This is my firstborn. At a birthday party. He hated every minute of it.
He is very gentle, has a good sense of fairness, isn’t very outgoing, does not like team sports and is absolutely consumed with music. Any kind of music. He was excited when he heard about this party, but when we arrived and he saw the first group of adults race, he hid his face into my sleeve and said he really doesn’t want to do it. He felt bad, I could tell, afraid that he was going to be teased by other boys in the party. There was a lot of waiting around and by the time our group was ready to race, and after reassurances by the guys running the show that he could stop at any time, he decided to go. It was a bit of curiosity and some peer pressure, but I was proud that he would at least try it. At first I thought he was enjoying it, not knowing that in the first lap a kid bumped him (even though that was not allowed) and he spun out of control. But the worst thing was that the kid laughed at him. That did it. He did not ask to leave early, he finished the race, but decided not to do the second one.
After the birthday party he told me it was the worst. He felt bad because he felt out of place. He knew he was so different than the other boys and that was bothering him. I told him it is ok to be different, his true friends won’t care, he should be proud of what he is… you know how it goes…
Thinking about it later, I realized that was exactly how I was. When I was his age I preferred to be an observer. I shied out of most of group activities and I hung out with a couple of close friends. That was my comfort zone. But did I follow my own advice, was I being true to myself and proud of what I was doing?
Then I remembered a post I started to write in my head several times. About something that was bothering me. But I felt bad about admitting that I felt bad about admitting I was a quilter, so I never wrote it. What? you say… Yes, I have been quilting for many years now. But who knows about it? A few (read two) of my closest friends and then maybe one more that I gifted a quilt to. I am not even sure that she is aware that I made it.
But I felt bad about admitting this. What does it say about me? How I am going to say that I am what? ashamed of being a quilter. Wouldn’t that imply I think quilting is somehow beneath me. Wouldn’t that imply that I don’t think much of other quilters?
Which is not the case at all. I follow many quilter’s blogs, I have a tremendous respect and appreciation of their art. The truth is I don’t know any quilters in person. No one I know is even remotely interested in any fabric related art. I guess I did not want to be judged. As always, I have this feeling of not fitting completely with my social circle, and I thought if they knew I was a quilter they’d think I’m even weirder (which I guess assumes I think they already think I am weird; ah, insecurities…). And of course, if they knew, they might ask me to show my work, and that would just be too much. They would not like it for sure. Well, I feel like a 10 year old again 🙂
I came close to outing myself a year ago, with a plan to attend a Holiday Boutique at the kids school. Parents sell… stuff and percentage goes to the school. And just as I was about to sign up, do the paperwork, I chickened out. Quit. Found some lame excuse, probably that I don’t have time to finish the quilts. I don’t even remember what the excuse was… (some of the quilts planned for that even are still sitting unfinished).
I am not writing this to whine, or try and get sympathy. I am definitely not proud of how I feel. But, I think of this as a step forward to being more true to myself. To follow my own advice. To set an example for my kids. Don’t think that I’m going to print a bunch of business cards tonight and start handing them to all the moms at school tomorrow. I probably will not attend the Holiday Boutique this year either. But I made the first step. Even if it’s only admitting all of this to myself.
What do you mean to yourself? You just broadcast it to the whole world! But here is the thing… In this whole wide world of internet you can be just as isolated. Because… ha! nobody really knows I have this blog. Not really. I mean, I have some hits, but it’s mostly about the quilts or pillows I made. A tutorial maybe. But, who would really read this? I am now typing my 840something word. Who has time for that?
I am going to finish here. And hit ‘publish’ before I chicken out and change my mind.