Category Archives: crafty

Remembering my Fire.

I keep a small printed copy of this Audre Lorde quote in my bag:

“You cannot, you cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it.” — I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde

I don’t know how clear it is but I’ve loved Audre Lorde like a far away Mama since I first saw her writing as a kidlet.

There are so many areas of my day to day life where I am doing or feeling too many things and her voice is one of the ones in my head, chiding, explaining, telling me no.

In the last few years while I’ve been writing more nonfiction and whatnot, I’ve developed a bit of spidey sense when I start feeling like my Blackness is the root of a problem.

People assume I’ve done no research, that I’ve done no reading, that if I wrote something this year it is a brand new thought. I obviously am not X thing professionally so how I can I write about it.

After talking to some older and more experienced writers, I have had to redefine how I feel about these things and how I engage in them.

This is also part of why I kinda retired from fatty blogging. There came a point when I was getting on average 4-6 privately sent messages from people who fully believe that since I’m not as fat as I used to be, nothing I say has meaning.

I’ve noticed that when it comes to cherry picking anything I have to say, it only bothers me for a minute. Logically, I remind myself that if someone wants or needs to hang their entire dislike of me or my work on a phrase or sentence, I got nothin for em.

Emotionally shit has been rough. Learning new ways to deal with the idea that I am not enough has been good but hard.

Resuming blogging in my own wee space has helped.

What else?

I FINALLY picked my wig for Fall/Winter and it is on the way. I’m super excited because this dampness and humidity is making my hair difficult to deal with.

Uniballer and I are also working on making me a craft/beauty corner in our apartment. We’re looking at a set up where I can put my sewing machine, put my make up on and do youtube videos. Holy shit exciting.

I’ve finally started being able to get shawl sales going. It was way more difficult in terms of how I feel about letting myself be a maker than I anticipated.

Referring to the quote up there, I’ve long felt that I spend a lot of time giving myself good reasons not to believe I have fire. Thinking of it from a slightly different view, learning to allow myself fire about things that don’t make me money immediately or cost money to do, has been important.

Pleasure.

I’m realizing just how much I’ve learned to punish myself (economically especially) for having pleasures that aren’t free or lucrative.

It has become pretty clear to me that part of me figuring shit out is that I have to ignore my first instinct in a lot of ways and that is fucking terrifying.

I will have some craft related pictures soonish. I have some finished items that aren’t shawls that I want to list as well.

Here’s to giving it a shot.

Homo Out.

Welcome to my new thing y’all.

Here we are y’all.

Here is what I am doing here.

Recently I’ve realized several things that are a running theme in my life the last couple of years.

  1. Being a maker of things (written things, crocheted things, other mystery crafty things) means a lot to me on many levels.
  2. The number of fucks I give about how I am culturally inculcated to feeling about aging, my body and my looks has dwindled to negative 45.
  3. I needed a fresh spot to explore things.
  4. I was real tired of bloggers shit.

Those things happening at a time when I was already feeling some type of way about my previous litterbox mean this is happening.

So I’m just gonna start talking.

I’ve been doing this series over at XOjane for the past few weeks, I’ve been using both my poor skills and my passion for self care to try and help some folks get through it.

As I’ve been writing this series I am kind of amazed at how many of the attitudes I’ve shed over the years regarding what I do and don’t deserve and what is and is not okay for me to do or be interested in.

Once upon a time some of the shitty commentary from people who don’t like how I write would have just broken my heart. I would have bought into the idea that “the author” is the asshole to be made fun of thing and probably told Marianne I quit.

At this point though, I’ve heard all that.

I don’t particularly care. What I do care about more is in my own mind I feel like I’m doing some good and that’s awesome.

Also seeing how far I’ve really come in terms of learning to treat myself better.

Some of y’all might remember how much I angsted and wept over buying my beloved Oxblood Docs because they were expensive and I loved them.

Just lately as I’ve been learning to balance my writing life with the day job, and balance the writing things with each other I’ve been feeling down. I felt like I was/am doing something terribly wrong.

I’ve also realized I did a shitload of work to unlearn the whole concept of me “deserving” good treatment from myself or from others.

And then I ran into a brick wall.

I mentioned my deep love of and desire to just be a maker. I crochet, I used to do a lot of sewing. And then (as I am thinking of my stash of finished crocheted shawls) I realized I have a problem.

Somewhere in my early 20s when finances were dire I absolutely could not afford to have a hobby that didn’t involve free. I didn’t crochet, I didn’t buy clothes to tear apart or buy fabric. I didn’t buy books. I was at survival level brokeness.

During that period I decided somewhere in my subconscious that even if I did better financially being a maker of things that I might sell or give as gifts was not going to happen.

The part that fucks me up today is that I do have a hobby budget. I have a partner and other loved ones who support my obsession with being a maker but when I try to take that next step of setting up shop for physical items or entering a craft fair I freeze up and freak out.

There are a lot of messages that go through my head about this. The idea that if I fail or don’t sell I’ve gone and wasted money on my stupid ideas.

That if I do said thing even if it does sell it won’t really pay the bills so why the fuck.

Funny how the shit we think we have solved comes up again like a goddamn jack in the box.

Much like my years long struggles with learning to self care, learning to care for my body, learning to care for my hair this is something else I feel like I have to get through.

I have to struggle and remind myself I deserve to do shit that makes me happy. If I want to try and sell some arty shit, that’s okay too.

I want to say that if I can struggle through the depths of shit body image and through poverty driven disordered everything,  I fucking survived that and I am deeply invested in not turning 40 with this particular baggage.

To that end, there are some things I will probably talk about trying and failing at. Or the occasional win.

My current goal is to get at least two of my shawls photographed and ready for sale next weekend. Outside of really just wanting to unfuck my attitude about myself as a potential maker (note I don’t say artist, that is for reasons) I need to get through it.

I also really need to get going on my side hustles. I need a newer/more beefy laptop, I need to pay for myself and partner to go to AWP next year. And you know, life stuff.

I am glad I got that off my chest.

Welcome to Shannon has issues and is real over it.

Next time I want to talk about my one beautiful white hair on my head and some things about aging I was not expecting.

And thanks for reading y’all.

Homo Out.