What I’m Leaving In 2020

  • Continual self-doubt. I don’t get a stream of doubtful thoughts, but I get patchy times of feeling inadequate. I know that I’m intelligent and capable of doing a multitude of things, and doing them well, but there’s a small voice that taunts me with a “are you sure?” or a “is that really for you?”. I’m over it. I bought The Confidence Gap (Harris, 2011) and I’m going to make it a priority to leave the second-guessing and impostor syndrome behind me.
  • An overabundance of yarn. I can’t do it. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had to alter my plans to inventory my stash to include purging yarns as well. I found a fingerless glove (the Udoravia pattern) that was affected by moths, and it made me question every yarn I owned. Keeping scraps of yarn around in case I want to make a scrappy blanket is not ideal for me anymore. The glove was the only thing that suffered, and I have plans to reknit them and revamp the pattern anyways.
  • Fuzzy pom-poms. I’m done. I never got on the bandwagon and I don’t plant to catch a ride & join the cause any time soon. There’s something about the knit/crochet texture having a furry texture topping it that throws me. I can’t explain it.
  • Lack of publishing new patterns. I began publishing again and realized how much I like designing something that I like, and then having other people go, “Yeah, I’d make that, too. Thanks, Jen!” There’s some validation there, but it’s also the appreciation of something I’ve made. I want to keep the momentum going and maybe publish to some (more) yarn companies & designer collaborations.
  • Knitting projects I neither like nor want to finish. The same way I approach my reading list is the way I need to approach my knitting/crochet list. Why continue to make something just to say that I finished it? Why rush through my knitting? I think this is part of why I’ve been drawn to wooden needles lately. I feel the need to slow down and actually enjoy my stitches more. I’m not racing against anyone, and I’m not putting any deadlines on myself. This will definitely help with my resolve to not have a ton of stash anymore.
  • Allowing “compliments” if/when I lose weight. I have my “winter coat” right now, but I usually drop down in the warmer months from drinking way more water and eating lighter. Summertime in Philly can sometimes mean that it’s too hot to chew . Unless you know why I lost weight (exercise? stress? ED?), don’t say anything. Hey, you look brighter, peaceful, etc. These are complimentary observations. Leave the weight words behind.
  • Not doing yoga every day. I have to leave the inactivity in 2019. I need to do yoga every day (or at least 5 days a week). My doctor has already sweetly and politely shamed me about my hamstrings: “When they’re not stretched, you overcompensate when you walk and that can lead to back problems.” Just today, I turned my head and I felt a unsettling yet soothing pop in a muscle in my neck. Nope nope nope-itty nope. Don’t like that.
  • Craft communities of a time before. I figured that this is a given. We’re not going back to the old shit. We’re not going to forget about what 2019, nor will we disregard what it takes to bring the best out of this entire situation. The inclusion happening is still…happening. It never really got started at a certain time, but 2019 seems like the starting point for those who never had to think about the lack of inclusion. 2020 is not the time to get silent about anything, especially after Brexit, before the US election, while there are fires in Australia among other signs of climate change (the earth is evicting all of us), genocide in various (!!!) places, and while JK Rowling is back on her bullshit.
  • JK Rowling. What is her problem?!? The insulting anti-Semitic references (bank-controlling, untrustworthy goblins…that’s not even original, Joanne), the indigenous references that are just a last-ditch cash grab after Harry had his last adventure, and Johnny Depp. Colin Farrell would’ve been just fine continuing to play the role, but that still wouldn’t have helped her case. She’s an entire jackass, but she has enough money to insulate herself from the comments & criticisms calling for accountability. Ah, white lady privilege.
  • Cascade. I have never knit with a yarn from that company that held up. Never. I was reminded of my displeasure while going through my stash. The most recent regret? Maybe 2 years ago, I tried their Longwood offering. O.M.G. I get irritated when I think of my experience with that yarn. It’s a worsted/aran weight yarn made of multiple chained plies. It’s marketed as being super soft, and it is soft. Nothing is really mentioned about the plies except for the comments on the yarn on its Ravelry page. These chained plies are loose, stringy, and you will split the yarn whether you knit, crochet, prefer a s- or a z-twist, etc. This is just the most recent of my experiences with the company. Other offerings have pilled on me, and just because it pilled less than a merino singles doesn’t mean that the pilling is preferred. I cannot.
  • White people who refuse to think about and/or acknowledge their privilege. Nope. No more of this. I’m not entertaining any more people who say, “NO, that can’t be the reason that this person acts this way/says those things”, especially when there are clear instances of someone just not being aware of their monstrously large amount of privilege or how much space they take up. When someone walks into me and tells me, “Oh no, you’re good”…WHAT?!? No, you should be saying excuse me. I’m gonna start just shoulder-blocking people like I was Jerome Bettis.
  • Giving grace to people who don’t want it. Their actions tell on themselves. Grace is for food; fuck those people.
  • Shrinking myself down. I cannot do this in size, intellect, or in capability anymore. I’m smart, I can get shit done, and I don’t have to make myself look less threatening to people who are insecure about themselves. I feel like 2020 is bringing some good things my way and I want to make sure that it finds me where I’m the most comfortable.

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