Such a Pretty Past

 

This is the God-awful cosmetics bag I made in my first Beginner Basics Sewing class at The Sewing Studio last night.

 

 

The pattern itself isn’t the worst. And I’m actually quite impressed that I was able to install a zipper.

 

 

But upon closer look, anyone can see that I have no patience:

 

 

I wanted out. It was 9 p.m. and I had a bed that was calling my name from far beyond my 45 minute subway ride home. That last corner of the bag was taunting me, open-mouthed, just asking to be smacked shut. I zipped it through the machine and ran to the train like a kid to her mommy.

 

I woke up today inspired to buy my own sewing machine. This could be my new hobby! I could make my own bags, pillows, curtains, aprons, quilts – none of which I need more. But my newfound nontalent had me daydreaming.

 

And then I had to get honest with myself. At no point during that class last night did I think, “I want to do this again.” Only two thoughts that ran through my head over and over again: “This is not for me” and “Would anyone notice if I left?” And though I’ve always been partial to dramatic interpretation, admitting that I even cried at one point is not an exaggeration.

 

I hated it.

 

So what, then, convinced me to remember the experience fondly this morning? It was a bad night. Yet, there I was, wanting more.

 

It forced me to think of how often I romanticize bad times into beautiful memories.

 

When I think of college, I think of the fun. The parties. The friends. The boys. The free time.  I neglect to remember the 1.5 Grade Point Average that almost sent me home sophomore year. The debilitating anxiety that followed for years as I struggled to turn in assignments. The massive amounts of energy wasted on generating excuses for missing exams.

 

I’ll pass an outdoor café bustling with a Sunday brunch crowd on a sunny Spring day, and glamorize the  past, when I’d meet my girlfriends for gossip over mimosas. I rarely flesh the memory out enough to include falling down the subway stairs 12 hours later with a sprained ankle and bloody knees.

 

The end of a relationship.  I remember the beginning – the flowers, the courting , the compliments – not the tear-soaked years that followed. I remember the first date and the hope that enveloped the night, not the last three sleepless months when we were both so insecure and full of fear that there was no room left for anything resembling love. I remember the dipping pools of happiness, not the ocean tides of heartache.

 

Will my mind always work to package my life into a picture-book past? Or will I one day be able to accept things the way they actually are - both good and bad, with a bit of sloppy stitching around the corners.


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