Striped Cardigan

striped-cardigan

Wahoo! I’ve finished the cardigan that I’ve been carrying around in my bag for the last few months.

It’s been slow progress, in part because it was a more ambitious project than I usually tackle, but also because I’ve not had the time to sit down for hours at a time and craft – something that my mental health has certainly missed.

I’ve been looking back over Instagram to try and work out when I started it, and I suspect that it was sometime in late April. This means that this knitting project has been with me through A LOT.

I took this photo when I was waiting to meet Angie after work. I met Angie because she is a partner of my partner, but since we seem to have good chemistry and a few things in common, we decided to start meeting up without him.

So I suppose I should say that I took this photo before a date with Angie. Even now, three months on, it feels weird and a little uncomfortable to say that I am dating Angie, because it defies my pre-conceived notions about what A Relationship should be.

Apparently I posted this photo while I was not writing my essay.  Essay writing has a thing I have had to get back into this year, because I have started studying part time for a masters degree.

This has felt super indulgent. I’m paying £6000 and spending a lot of my free time working because I like learning and because it serves my ego to have a few more letters after my name. I don’t need to do it for work, it’s unlikely to directly impact my earning potential. Frankly, it’s a little pointless. But because it’s a bit pointless I am really proud that I’m doing it, because it’s not often that I invest this much in myself or do something just for me.

Most of the year has been good for getting stuff done and not being overly anxious. That’s because I got myself into a routine that involved getting up early to exercise before work, eating well, studying after work, and going to bed really early to get a full eight hours sleep.

This was fine. It meant I kept up with university work and steadied my mood enough to come off anti-depressants. It also meant I never had any fun.

So over the past couple of months, I’ve let myself loosen my routine a little bit: I’ve been out dancing, I’ve gotten drunk, I hooked up with a stranger. Some of this went well, some of it caused the most monumental of rows with my partner. I’m still trying to find the balance here, and not to overthink everything.

This was the pub trip where I celebrated finding a flat I wanted to live in. Most of me is super excited about Grit and I not only living in the same country, but living together, without anybody else. Part of me is a little worried that we’ve become too conventional.

Isn’t it interesting what we pin our identity to?

Oh my goodness. Packing and moving was hard. Not even because of what we had to do, but because we needed help to do it.

It is so difficult for me to accept help. My instinctive thought when anybody offers is to get angry and defensive – “Are you suggesting that I can’t do this on my own?”

I am capable… strong… independent… and yet, isn’t it wonderful that I have friends and family and partners willing to move boxes, drive back and forth to the tip, and clean mould off the walls?

I am learning to accept people’s generosity graciously, without guilt and without shame that I “need it”. It’s a lesson that is long overdue.

We’re currently in the middle of a three-week gap between tenancies. It has been challenging to be a long-term guest in somebody’s home because I like to be wholly self-sufficient, and I can’t do anything without asking where things are, or where I can put things, or asking for a lift to where I want to go. It’s been good for me, having to ask, and accepting generosity without knowing exactly when I can return the payment.

So here we are, and I feel like I’m on the brink of something. My next adventure.

There’s a lot of things that moving out of a house share means I can do: host dinner parties, invite people to stay for the weekend… make space for crafts and friends and family. More so than ever before, I’m drawn to the idea of family and community. I’m ready to invest in deeper relationships and more honest conversations.

Make it yourself! The pattern I used was Caramel: A Simple Blanketstyle Cardigan by Isabell Kraemer

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Striped Cardigan

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