While I maintain that I am my own toughest critic, I often find that some of the things we create in life that we personally criticize, set aside, pull apart are the things other people tend to love, cherish and keep for themselves. There is a little bit of creating and constructing here but a life lesson too.
Setting the Scene: My house chaotic with 5 animals and 1 toddler. The TV going, the radio in some room, and I’m sitting at my construction table trying to come up with a new design, a new look and something eye-catchy to post on Instagram. I sit for about 15 minutes grabbing different color beads, mixing and matching some patterns; I grab some string and get to work.
For about 30 minutes or so, I am unsure of my work. “Do I like my design?” and then “Would I wear this?” I put it on my wrist and swish it around. I look at its creation. Nothing overly complex, I used a few tools to get here, but I’m still unsure. In my haste to be done and moving on, I decide I don’t like it and toss it aside. Normally I would cut the string, unravel the beads and put them back in their places but today I just simply tossed the bracelet aside.
Weeks later at a craft show I am unpacking my bags and I find the defacto bracelet, the color choices I scrutinize, the design work isn’t all that great and rate it as a “Plain Jane.” I set it in a bowl with other bracelets of similar circumstance. After the show kicks off and people mill around a woman walks up to my table. She’s young and comments on the selection, she says she’s looking for something for her daughter. I love when people shop for gifts. I ask her if she’s looking for something in particular, what type of style does she like. Colorful? Bold? Simple? She beings to pick through my dish of misfit bracelts and pulls out the one I had placed in there that morning. “She will love this!” I tilt my head and smile but think, “Really?”
As she walked away I felt a little sad that my bracelet I felt was not good enough was exactly the bracelet she thought was perfect for her daughter. I thought about its construction, its choices, the time it took to create were a part of my thoughts, they were my choices, and it was my time. Missing the big picture here? Let me break it down: We spend so much time creating in life, whether it be at work, home, with family, or really creating a product that when it comes together we have an unrealistic vision of what it is supposed to look like, feel like, or how it should make us feel. So, we throw it away, take it apart, deem it unworthy, when really it is a piece of ourselves, a part in the universe and it’s exactly the “thing” someone else needs. Read it again > “[What we create] is a piece of ourselves, a part in the universe and it’s exactly the “thing” someone else needs.”
Did I go too far? Did I push making a piece of jewelry about something bigger or more than ourselves? Life teaches us lessons in small ways just as much as the big ones.