A little time in the sewing room.
the other day while running on the treadmill the ‘perfect’ blog post was written. in my head, as usual, and never with a keyboard or pen in sight. my thoughts are calmest when i am busy…running, gardening, walking, driving to the store or hauling more brush out to the pile. the post was about an ache in my heart that i suddenly felt compelled to share. an ache that has probably sat there for as long as i can remember. but when i sat down to write, i couldn’t accurately put the feeling back into rhythmic and organized words.
but here i’ll try.
for as long as i can remember i have regarded my body and myself as separate. two separate entities that are somehow forced to share the same space. and i hurt for all the hatred i’ve poured into myself. all the lonely self-loathing, spiteful glances and disgust. the longing for a ‘perfection’. and i have been angered by how pityful it is to waste so much energy on hating myself…my body…my every slip of skin….while i could have chanelled all of that good life into loving. i ask others for love and acceptance…like the simple goodness that it is…but i don’t for a second give myself that same comfort. i do not give myself the peace of self-respect.
i am healthy.
and the acceptance starts here. if you know what i’m talking about…what i’m hinting about. if you too have an ache in your heart from every moment you’ve spent dressing up the disapproval and discomfort you feel in your own skin. i want you to say it too.
i am healthy.
i have gray hairs coming out in dozens. i lost 2 dress sizes and it shrunk the one thing i wanted left untouched…my breasts (oh the irony), but left my cellulite unharmed. i am thin and fit and even at my skinniest have carried what i used to affectionately call the ‘scone belly’. in high school i was so so skinny…a flat rectangle held up by two matchsticks. and while everyone kept saying how much they would love to be as skinny as me…i longed for a curve and i longed to have people stop saying ‘do you eat?’. oh i eat. and for a brief period of time there was balance. i hailed the miracle of being introduced to a regular diet of ‘poutine and beer’ and i filled out and sadly i still hated myself. and i filled out some more. and some more. and i had to buy one dress size up and up again.
and i worried for my heart. so i ran. i ran to keep a good distance between myself and genetic heart disease. i ran until a set of stairs no longer took my breath away. until 5 km and 10 km would no longer feel like a marathon. i ran and my body got healthy and strong. but my heart still ached. it ached for the lack of celebration. for even at my strongest. even at the beauty of my 30s with new jeans and strong legs and a happy heart…i cannot see myself and my body together. i will not let myself be joyful in my own skin.
please regard how difficult it is to be so honest about so personal a thing.
i suppose what i’m trying to say is that the hatred…the distrust and dislike of my own body….has nothing to do with weight. skinny or not…healthy or unhealthy…strong or weak…i regularly turn my back on the body that is my life’s greatest tool. and it has gotten worse. an ex-boyfriend once told me that i suffered from body dysmorphia. and i yelled and cursed and hated him for trying to stop me from hating myself. the definition being “excessive preoccupation with perceived defects in physical appearance”.
and it has to stop.
i don’t want to spend another day not loving myself.
i don’t want to spend another day finding ‘defects’ in a body that does everything i ask of it.
i am healthy.
even when i don’t feel it, i am sexy.
i will always be sexy.
sexy isn’t something that goes away.
sexy isn’t something that ages or fades.
sexy is what i can be if i let myself be.
i am healthy.
these legs can run for hours.
and i have been given everything and then some.
i have food to nurse my health and all the comforts of a good life.
my thyroid has been trying for over a decade to shut down and leave my body. and i don’t blame it. what with all this hatred. and if i don’t stop hating. if i don’t start being good to myself emotionally.
i will no longer be healthy.
all the good food and exercise in the world won’t heal me
if i don’t love.
It’s easy to be nervous, distracted, anxious when sitting on the doorstep of some kind of change. I’ve always lived uneasy with change, and yet oddly craving adventure and new experiences. In 32 years I have lived in an extraordinary number of places and I find each move, rather than getting easier, becomes more of a struggle. Physically it is obviously exhausting, but emotionally the toll is hidden and much more profound. You can see now that it takes me much longer to hang a few pictures. I’m efficient when I move. I have the boxes unpacked, the kitchen ready for cooking and all the essentials organized in a matter of hours. Typically I have the whole thing done and over with in a day or two. Yet the little things, those steps you take to truly make some empty or new space feel like home, those steps take longer. I hesitate to make a new home. I hesitate to truly claim a space as my own.
So here I am on the doorstep again.
As much as I love the craftiness of making a home, after 3 months I still haven’t connected to the new home. The picture frames lean against the wall sitting on the floor where they were originally unpacked. The shelves went up and the craft table given a comfy spot with plenty of beautiful natural light. I have invited some favourite people into the new space, we have cooked beautiful meals and shared all the usual joys of time well spent together. We have bonded and grown and loved, but the space itself feels temporary.
I am fortunate to have placed my home in the heart of someone wonderful and I take comfort in that. While I struggle with change, dangling one foot out the door, I know I have a true home of two loving arms. So today’s post is about gratefulness for the space that has been opened in my heart and the sweet man for which I am blessed to share all of these struggles and joys!
Dear Blayne, you are my home. Love, Stacy.
And so it happened. I figured it would, but I just wasn’t sure how and when. I knew that one day the weeks and weeks of markets and sales, marketing and ordering and sewing and marching through the whole process of keeping my own little business in order…after weeks of 50+ hours….after eating and breathing my love of craft. I took a few bites that tasted sour. Really sour.
And it was time to take a very lovely step back. So, is this the end of The Raw Edge…no! You see..I simply love the art of making too much to stop making. But it’s time to take a break. It’s time to taste the comfort of and sheer joy of creating whatever I want, whenever I want. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes…or maybe I value my creative spirit too much to let it go on feeling so so bad.
So these weeks are weeks of change. I’m taking the shop down for a while, kicking around some new ideas and simultaneously packing my bags. In 3 weeks I’ll leave Peterborough (my home for the last year) and I’ll head back to where my heart truly feels at home…the Haliburton Highlands. I am now the new administrative coordinator for the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association (and currently mothering tanks and tanks of lake trout destined for our lakes). And in the evening and weekend hours…I’ll play. I have a thousand projects and a thousand “to make” lists that I can’t wait to delve into. There are poems to write and short stories to finish. And there is the set of backcountry skis and snowshoes that saw way way way too little use last winter.
I can’t wait to share all of that with you!
In the meantime, there are orders to be finished and fabric to be sorted. I will be hosting two more sales to help clear out some of my summer crafts before the move. If any of you live in the Peterborough area, please get in touch as I’ll be opening my home soon with an ‘in-house’ garage sale of sorts.