I think I thought that making the dress meant that I was consciously participating in doing something that took time and attention in the leadup to the wedding. Which felt important, because the whole getting married thing was about consciousness for me. Getting married was a way to consciously choose to celebrate the most important relationship of my life. Getting married, not for convenience, or legality, or families, but simply for the ritual of saying "I have loved you for years and I will love you for years to come". The good stuff in life is worth celebrating.
So it felt/feels big. And the avoidance and procrastination was that I wouldn't be able to create something that said that. Talk about pressure!
So where were we? I was sitting in avoidance and procrastination when things shifted, as they do. I moved through that part of it and finally got to the making.
I had the fabric I purchased way back in March from Tessuti, and finally got brave enough to jump in. Jumping off the diving board into the unknowness of the project. Could I actually make the wedding dress? Would it look like I wanted it to? Would reality match the picture I had in my head?
I got brave, and cut out the muslin. I got brave, and decided that this one evening was the evening I was going to start it. I put the knitting aside, and pulled my sewing machine to the front of my desk.
And then.....I started sewing. I sewed either side of the skirt and either side of the top.... I did a few gathers on the bottom of the bodice....
And I HATED IT!! I hated every moment of it. I didn't like the feel of the fabric, or the pressure I felt, or the way the fabric slid off my desk as I was sewing. I could see that I wasn't going to be able to get the fit right or that to do so was going to require fiddling that was way beyond my patience and tolerance level. I didn't like the fact I had to use pins.
I have no idea if I've ever written about it on the blog before but I practice truth-telling as a lifestyle choice. I won't go into detail about it today, but suffice it to say that the trickiest part about it is actually figuring out what the truth of a situation is. You can't tell the truth unless you are certain of what it is. The truth is often not what we think, and often not what we feel. Because generally those two things, when we really examine them, are not the truth. They can guide us to the truth, but only if we do some searching. Trying to be truthful is not a passive way to live, because often the biggest lies we tell, are to ourselves. And to figure out what the truth actually is, is really hard work.
Anyway, circling back to the wedding dress, I hated it for a good couple of hours before I stood up and got a cup of tea. While staring down at my cup, it occurred to me that maybe I wasn't sitting in my truth. Maybe the truth was that I wasn't going to enjoy making my dress. Maybe the truth was that I didn't want to do it. Maybe the truth was that I wasn't the kind of person who wanted to make my dress, even though I thought I should be.
In this situation, it turns out that I had been making up a whole heap of stories. I felt I should participate in the wedding, in this way, in order to make it meaningful. I thought that this was a way I could convey how special this whole thing was to me. I felt like I should because of my crafty experience and values around making. I thought it would be good for me - help me work through some of my stuff- as it was something I hadn't done before. For god's sake, I run a craft retreat. I talk about the meaning and the joy of craft all the time. It is such a present part of my life, why wouldn't it be part of my wedding. It had to be. I mean it was obvious that I should make it.
But it turns out the truth is, I don't want to. I wasn't going to enjoy it, and I really want to enjoy my wedding, including the leadup.
This post is almost the opposite of the I Wish I Could Surf post. It isn't a thought that I had about myself that was stopping me from doing something, it was a thought that I had about who I thought I should be, that was causing me to do something that I didn't want to do.
As soon as I had made the decision not to make it, with the cup of tea in my hand, I instantly felt totally joyful about the dress. Joyful. Full of light.
And unlike the surfing post where I haven't done anything about it yet, this time I have. I've found the truly lovely Francesca who trained in Milan, had an Italian seamstress mother, and lives in a beautiful spot up in the hills. I'm handing her the fabric this week and my life feels light.
Here's to truth, and freedom of all kinds, but especially freedom from "should"!