Considering I’d started crocheting in June, I decided to make a pride scarf. Once the red panel was done, I continued with orange. My fingers settled into the habit of ensuring even tension, and I could actually see and count each individual stitch now. The red panel had been full of uneven stitches, each row a literal different size. The orange panel came together smoother, and it gave me a massive dopamine boost. All those neat little rows of stitches. It was a joy to watch the scarf grow.
My partner’s praises were non-stop. “I’m going to wear it throughout winter,” he promised. June disappeared in barely any time at all, and I was sad I couldn’t finish the scarf in time even for Pride London. No matter. I would finish it before winter. However, there was a crossroads to deal with before that.
To be brutally honest, I hated that first panel—the red one. It looked untidy and poorly made and caused me grief every time my eyes passed over it. Now, to explain why this signalled a crossroads, I must admit something unpleasant about myself. Whenever I realise that something in my past has become messy, my immediate reaction is to remove it in its entirety or completely close the door on it. This is the reason I’ve deleted my social media several times in the past decade because I couldn’t help but cringe at all the things past-me thought sounded or looked good.
The idea of things being less than perfect makes me so anxious I’d rather they just completely disappear from sight. I cannot tolerate physical manifestations of change or growth because that means I was ‘wrong’ or ‘different’ or ‘imperfect’ at some point (not that that means I’m perfect in the current moment by any means).
On that same vein, the first panel in my scarf showed how much of a beginner I had been. It sounds ridiculous as I’m typing this out right now, because obviously, I had to begin somewhere. I can’t just immediately be the best or even averagely good at something without starting at the bottom. But that’s how unhealthy perfectionism makes me think. I want to be good at things immediately without any time or effort put into them. If I am not, then I am clearly terrible at those things and should never try my hand at them again.
Right then, that red panel was the bane of my existence. I desperately wanted to unravel the whole panel and redo it so that the final product would be even and look good. It’s what I’ve done all my life. But this time was different.
After a few days of drowning in regrets and reliving some of the worst moments of my life, I decided it was time to take the road less travelled. New me. After all, I’d even begun a blog with my own name and not just a pseudonym (like I have done in the past, twice actually). Clearly, strange things are afoot this year. I decided to embrace the red panel. I wouldn’t alter it. Even if it didn’t look good, it was still a reminder of how far I’d come in crochet and life. A reminder not to run away on well-paved roads all my life. A reminder to accept my past and just let it be.
And there we have it—the completed scarf. It is definitely a bit too bulky to be functional as a scarf, but my partner still insists he’s going to wear it as one.
I’m going to have to learn how to block it so it looks better on him.
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