Designing my ideal wardrobe while the American empire crashes

Why should "my ideal wardrobe" even matter? Have you looked around lately? I guarantee that if you live on planet earth, you are dealing with some serious shit right now. Covid Pandemic? Or are you burning -or- drowning in the fiery pits of climate change? Are you from the United States and dealing with... whatever this is? I mean, the collapse of the American Empire has been going on for years. But it was happening in gradual steps down, with a plateau after each step as the changes became normalized. But that gradual decline seems to have sped up almost exponentially in the last 4 years. Sheesh. Things out there are really crazy. Most days I have what's left of my tenuous sanity clenched in my fist, but my hand is starting to cramp up. It's tiresome.

pile of dead crabs on rocks in Millbridge Maine
Pile of dead crabs

Looking outside the walls of my life is so so depressing. I am so lucky. I know I am so damn lucky. I have a really good life. I have benefited my entire life from things I wasn't even conscious about just a few months ago. Like the fact that I am a white, educated, cisgendered, passing-as-heterosexual, bisexual woman. Or the fact that I ended up in the 2nd whitest state in America. I didn't know that when I decided to move to Maine. I just needed a big, big change in my life. I had arrived at a fork in the road when I made the choice to move to Maine. I have never regretted my decision. It was impulsive, but it worked out alright for me in the end. I was lucky. I worked for years as an exotic dancer and I only ever had one problem with a waitress, not the customers, other entertainers, bouncers, DJs, or anyone else for that matter. I was lucky. I joined the military impulsively when I was 17. Ten months later I had a medical discharge for foot problems. I was discharged in April of 2001. Five months later the World Trade Center attacks happened. I never had to fight in a war due to my medical discharge. I was lucky.

A decomposing minke whale skull rests upside down in a bed of seaweed
Decomposing Minke whale skull

Okay, I seem to be getting off track. Why should "designing my ideal wardrobe" even matter with the state of the world as it is right now. Let me ask you this though, why wouldn't it matter? I only sew with natural material and fabrics, I avoid plastic in my clothes as much as possible. I want to have a closet with clothes that are made well, fit my crooked body, are comfortable, and are made to last 20+ years. I want to make wearable art. So I ask again, why wouldn't it matter? This is me, putting my heart out in to the world. I want to make beautiful things that I (selfishly) benefit from, but feeling good about myself makes me step out into the world with a smile on my face. I step lightly, I feel confident, and a better version of myself goes out into the world. Everyone should do their own little part to keep beauty alive. Ugliness, fear and hatred spread easily, like an invasive species taking over a habitat. Beauty and kindness can still bloom, but the seeds have to be planted somewhere in order for that to happen. For me, the seeds are planted when I take care of myself. When I love myself, it is a radical act that says "I'm here, I matter". When I love myself, I have love to share with the world around me.

It just so happens that lately I have been ruminating a lot about what I want out of life, and what I want to put into it. I had started a 90-day challenge to practice my ukulele, and it was going really well. I enjoyed spending time on it daily for approximately three weeks, and then I hit a wall. I didn't want to keep going. I realized practice was making my left fingertips numb. Numb fingertips and sensory integration disorder really don't go well together. I have other... let's call them peculiar problems with my hands linked to my SID. I won't stay in a pond, lake, pool, hot tub, bath tub, shower or even dishwater long enough for my fingers to wrinkle up. It is a stomach churning feeling for me and I avoid it like hot lava. I experience my world and my art through my finger tips. I process my emotions through my fingertips. Happy/sad/depressed I will pick up a craft and work through my feelings until I feel stable again. When I spin yarn, I'm doing it by feel. When I knit, I'm mostly using my finger tips. When I shop for sweaters at a charity shop, I am doing it by touch first - running my fingertips down the sleeves of sweaters until I find one that feels "right", and then I will look and see if I like the design/color/and if it is the right size for me. When I sew, the fabric is running from my fingertips into the machine, or I am hand-stitching with a delicate needle and thread. I'm a very "touch oriented" person, and ukulele was taking away my sense of touch.

I realized I enjoyed the practice of doing something every day, but my heart, my passion is not in music. Music certainly has an impact on my emotions, but I live for fiber and fabric. I can find a peace of mind in the flow state I can achieve when working a lace repeat over and over in a shawl I'm knitting, or lose track of hours when I am spinning beautiful fiber, I've been known to get sucked into a sewing project for an entire day, only coming out of what feels like a trance when it is time to eat. These moments are the moments when my mind is the quietest and I feel the most at peace within my body. I don't get that experience from playing an instrument. So I gave it up to follow my heart.

This morning as I was realizing I probably will only play my instrument during music lessons with my kids from now on, I texted my friend, C, to let her know that I had chosen to follow the rabbit hole of my passion. (We had been talking about it last night are a long overdue "Mom's night") I'm not sure where it will end up leading me, but I think that is okay. The joy is in the journey, not the destination. Shortly after I sent that text message to C I received a large mask order from my online shop, as if in confirmation that I was making the right choice. I had woken up thinking I needed to take my masks off the website as they just haven't been selling lately and maybe they have run their course. But because I have ADHD, that thought disappeared as I made myself breakfast and I didn't have a chance to disable the shop before the surprise order came through. As I was reveling in the sign from the gods that I was on the right path, I got a notification from Foundations Revealed that they had opened up enrollment for four days only to join their website. I had just missed the last enrollment period by a matter of days six months ago, and had forgotten that enrollment was coming up. I whooped with excitement, it felt like another sign affirming that I am on the right path for myself, and then of course in the next breath I had signed up. There was no way I was going to miss it this time around.

So the world is going to hell in a handbasket (as my dear Mother always says). But is it really? Or are these just the death throes of an old, antiquated, outdated system that only benefits patriarchal, mysoginistic, racist, capitalists? I'd like to believe that a revolution is underway. We aren't going to win by holding hands and singing kumbaya, because when a mortally wounded animal is cornered, it fights to survive. We've got this beast cornered, but the fight is not over yet. We can win, I'm telling you, I know we can. But it's going to take a lot of heart, and love, and compassion, and art. Make your art. Make it visible, Share it with the world. Show the world that you are not cowered, you are not afraid to shine. Be a guiding light for others, show them that you know you matter, because I am here to tell you that you do matter. You are not on this planet at this point in history by mistake.

By the way, Wix has informed me that this is my 100th post. So, cheers to that. Thanks for reading this, whoever you are. I genuinely appreciate you.

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