Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Loyalty and Moving On

I've said this before, I'm sure. I believe that often our great strengths are also our great weaknesses. In my case, it's loyalty. I am intensely loyal, even when it's clear that the time to be loyal has passed. I had that lesson given to me again today. Its time to let something go. I should have let go months ago, when I realized the situation wasn't right for me, but held on out of fear of hurting others. Who, it turned out, were doing the same thing.

I think the situation was part of why knitting hasn't been giving me joy. This was a knitting group, a group of women where it was very clear, I really didn't fit in. Which is fine, I don't have to fit everywhere. Given who I am, in fact, there's no way I can fit everywhere. I am who I am, these perfectly nice women are who they are, but we're really, really different, and who I am just doesn't work with them. After an honest conversation with a good friend, we both agreed no harm, no foul, and I'll step out of the group. I came home and thought about knitting. About how this group has felt like such an obligation, and by extension, my knitting has felt like an obligation, something hanging over me that I *had* to do. I don't think it's coincidence that I came home from being with my friend and immediately cast on a hat I had offered to make for a friend's mother who is going through chemo. I made the offer two days ago, but couldn't bear to get going.

As I cast on, I began to reconnect to how much I love knitting. I love the feel of the yarn, the sight of my hands holding the needles and working the stitches. I love looking at a beautiful pattern and thinking, sure, I can make that.

So, what can I take away from this? A very different lesson than I would have taken while in my 20s. Then I would have been crushed and hurt, and felt like there was something terribly wrong with *me* and I would have turned it into another excuse to be cruel to myself. Now, though, I'm taking it from the perspective of someone who has a pretty good idea of who she is. I usually like who I am, and this isn't going to change that. These women don't get me, and who I am is not comfortable for them. That's fine.

And I also am thinking about what's important to me. Sure, my friends are important to me, but I don't think most of these women are really true friends. We couldn't connect enough for it to get to that, and the one I really do connect with, our friendship is fine. As important though, is knowing that other things matter to me as well, and knitting is one of those things. Any group that sucks the joy in my craft from me is not a group that's good for me. I didn't realize just how much until today and I want my joy back.

So, to that end...I've cast on The Lotus Hat from Third Base Line. I'm using a skein of Malabrigo I had left over from another project. I don't know this woman at all, but her daughter has been one of my on-line friends for over 10 years. I cast on 88 stitches, which I am a tad concerned won't be big enough, but I need a bit more length in the hat before I can really tell. I'm excited to knit this and to give it away. I'll let you know how it goes!


Dakota said...

Your post sort of touched home I know what it's like to try and fit in somewhere you don't really belong, and to feel crushed when you are either not accepted by the group or are kicked out of the group.

I'm glad that you were able to leave the knitting group on good terms and without taking it personally like you would have when you were younger.

Knitting with a Purpose said...

Thanks, so much, Dakota! I am glad too. Mainly, I *knew* it wasn't a good fit, months ago, but hung in there because I didn't want to hurt them. In a way, I'm glad to know it wasn't all in my head! I have many places where I do fit, very well, so it's fine!

gloria p said...

Her mom will love the hat. I am so proud of your breakthrough, knowing what was holding you back and being brave enough to face up to the 'bad fit' and get over it.

As challenging as it is for ourselves, it's worse when we deal with our kids not fitting in, but you have discovered it's not the end of the world as we know it. It's actually somewhat of a relief to stop trying to be what you're not, just to try to please other people.
Well done, Lady!