Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ballgown: Day 14 (Or, Mental Health is Important, and So Are Friends)


Yesterday was rough from the beginning; I got to school and immediately had to rip out and fix some of my work from the day before. Then, bleary with fatigue and frustration, I accidentally cut a thread I shouldn't have, and hours of hard work began their unravelling before my eyes: where no machine could possible reach, where little threads of georgette happily shimmied out of their weave. I stood there for over an hour, sweating and painstakingly hand-sewing over the damaged area to fix it, praying with every stab that this would be the one that would make it right.

At the end, with the crisis under control and the binding safely tacked back in place, a wave of anxiety and nausea washed over me, and I had to stop for lunch and a walk around the block with the director to calm down.


Letting go is hard for me. It's both my strength and my weakness. It makes me meticulous; makes my work better. It also causes a lot of stress and anguish over things that may or may not matter. Sometimes the overwhelming fear of failure can actually paralyze me in my tracks, and I often struggle with the choice between executing something imperfectly and not executing something at all.

I think maybe the difference is in the motivation: the work that inches towards greatness is the work motivated by joy; the work that falls flat is, ironically, motivated by fear. It's a funny thing, to have to learn how to temper my need for control. It constantly pushes me forward if I put it in a reasonable gear, but left to accelerate of its own accord, it can destroy me and everything in its path. And I was in full self-immolation mode for most of yesterday, which felt pretty fucking crappy.

So it was a nice change of pace to go visit with a new friend after such a terrible day. We chatted about things we care about - feminism, tv shows, yarn, pets - and I left feeling like my heart had been filled back up. It probably sounds weird, but I feel like the universe sensed I was in a bad place, and sent me this gift - a feeling of connection, of gratitude - to knock me back into orbit and remind me of things that matter way more than a sleeve cuff.

And hopefully, today will be better.

Happy Thursday.


Agnes said...

I hope today is a better day for you. Hopefully it is cooler at the school and your personal temperature is cooler as well. You make beautiful things - trust yourself and don't be mean to yourself. You can and will get through this ball gown and it will be stunning! We are all cheering you on.

Cory Ellen Boberg said...

Thank you, Agnes - that means a lot to me.