One of my friends taught me how to ride a two wheeler when I was a kid. It was a red bicycle. I can see in my minds eye the struggle getting my feet on the pedals while balancing. I’d get one on, then try the other. The first foot would land on the sidewalk. I’d go back and forth like this for a bit. After a while I’d get both feet on the pedals and ride for a bit, then I’d remember where I was and what I was doing and lose confidence in myself, the feet would, once again land on the ground.
Eventually I got the whole bike riding thing, except for hills. I don’t like flying down a hill. No. Just. No. Now, I’m not opposed to roller coasters. all buckled in and such.
Similar memories come flooding forward when I think about learning to machine quilt. The thing is, like learning to ride a bike, there were lots of awkward moments. There were lots of moments when I wanted to give up. And even as a woman of a certain age left the room with frustration welling up in my eyes.
I’m still learning how to quilt.
free motion machine quilt
tomorrow (as I write) marks the one month anniversary of working with MSQC. And I am just one year with Generation Q Magazine. I’m still learning the new job and figure I have months before I really get a handle on it, however I can see changes already. I’m still learning what it means to be an associate editor.
The thing about being open to learning, to admitting that you’re learning is that the possibilities are then endless. Permission is granted to learn from mis-takes. Mercy is extended to oneself and therefore to others. It’s taking the language from “I can’t”, “I’ll never” to “I can do this”, “I’m getting better”, “I can see improvement”. And honestly sometimes the stuff I quilt is simply awful. It’s a good thing.
Side note, I was having a moment the other day where I was calling myself an idiot for something. And while my behavior was sub-par (and there is something behind the behavior while it mitigates it to a degree, it does not excuse it completely) I am not an idiot. Then I had a stern talk with myself about both the behavior and the verbal abuse I was giving myself. I’ve seen quilter after quilter do this. WE belittle ourselves because we’re still learning. WE are so hard on ourselves and sometimes we’re downright mean.
I’m still learning how-to. . .