Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I simply remember my favorite things

I thought that at a certain age you grow past the ability to throw yourself into a funk for no discernible reason. Maybe some people do grow past that stage, but, as it happens, I am not one of them.

The reasons were real and imagined. Once you imagine you are unhappy, you give yourself leave to unleash all the legitimate reasons to be unhappy as well. Everything plays into a miserable little loop of melancholy. Everyone has some real reason to be less than satisfied with life, but we're all constantly choosing whether or not to let that dictate our state of mind, I have come to believe.

Today, I chose to snap out of it. It scares me, sometimes, that after all of these years, it's only me that thinks to put an end to these phases. But then again, maybe that's for the best. Were it someone else's job, and they dropped the ball, it would be a quick jump into living the life of a shut-in. And who else, really, should have to bear that responsibility?

But today, I got what I needed. I put on my ugliest sweater, older now but no less (in fact, perhaps more) dear to me. I ran my errands. I bought a textbook for school and got to realizing that I am excited for another avalanche of information to begins its descent next week. And then I finished a scarf that's been driving me crazy for a long time.

When my mother looked at one of my coat hooks last week, she remarked, "How many scarves do you have to have?" I am not going to lie. I have a lot, and am always game for more. I am unapologetic about it. When the weather's even slightly nippy, I don them without hesitation. I wear them all the time. If there's a part of my wardrobe that I don't regret having in multiples, it is scarves. And this particular scarf was elusive. The texture of the stitches requires a specific match. I tried making it once, over two years ago, with a run-of-the-mill yarn and it wound up looking ridiculous.

That's the thing about such a project. It teaches you not to accept bullsh*t. I looked at the beta-version of that scarf, wore it once, and knew I would never wear it again. I cringed, but I ripped it apart. And the yarn from it became a more appropriate scarf that I wear all the time. Meanwhile, I pondered everything that had gone wrong, as one ought to do when in beta. The scarf had been too wide, so heavy it could have choked me, and the colors were too staid. It wanted to be something brighter and lighter, two qualities from which I usually shy away. But that was even more reason to forge forward.

And all of it finally culminated yesterday. This scarf was knit in San Francisco on rainy afternoons, in New York on early mornings, in Germany late in the evening, in Spain during siestas, and in Sacramento on New Year's day. I like to think of that, that it went with me in my travels, and now, because I didn't settle for bullsh*t, it will go to new places with me, this time around my neck. The picture really doesn't do it justice, because my photography skills still continue to blow. IRL, it's brighter and shinier. And it's strangely warm for something so light and dotted with holes.

if you are chilly

I started working on something else afterwards, but it was just a bonus at that point. I'd already cleared through the blues. One thing I'll say about getting older is that you pick up the patterns of what works for you. You can stop feeling sorry for yourself faster, and get to diagnosing and trying to fix the whatever, or better yet, recognize that it is exactly whatever.


For the record, the folks at Apple were just asking for trouble when they decided to dub their help desk 'The Genius Bar.' Let's just say after 45 minutes of sitting at said bar with alleged genius, I was not offered a single cocktail and I still have a non-functional k key.

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