Yesterday it rained: a slow, light mist over the city. The sky was bright, and every droplet of rain lit up in the glow of the mid-morning. I stood at the top of the fire escape for a moment, and the smell of wet dirt and dead grass and rain blew in the open door behind me.
Two days ago, I had eight huge pieces of skirt muslin and a misthreaded machine and too many days without rest. I cried pinning a godet to a perfectly reasonable piece of skirt. I cried to my mom on the phone. I went home and slept for twelve hours. Then I went to school and emptied my garbage cans and said hi to the director, and I hugged my dress, and I went home again.
I've always known that rest is important for me. All the knots that tighten in my head as the week progresses are gently pulled apart in the hours between work. I know this, and I was still fighting it, thinking I could beat it back. I should know better.
So finally, Saturday, instead of sewing a skirt, I rested: I vacuumed the living room, and did laundry, and decimated some morning glories that had taken over the front yard. I drank a beer in the middle of the afternoon and sat on the couch in the sun.
It felt weird, remembering the world outside of ballgown. It was as if, for a day, that my little room didn't exist - which made me a little sad, to be honest. I already know that someday in the future, I'll live and relive these moments over again: this feeling of purpose and triumph, and even these moments of failure. There's something in this process that reaches deep, that challenges your strength and skills and willpower. It forces you to look in the mirror and know yourself. To push through when it's important; to walk away when it isn't. And that clarity is...sort of amazing.
So Saturday I rested, and yesterday - with renewed energy, with a pastry from the market and the rain at my back - I sewed my skirt together. And it was easy.