One of my roles at work is being a safety rep. For the next several months, I’m giving focus topic meetings on different aspects of being a safety rep since we have a lot of new safety reps in the area. For my first focus topic yesterday, I decided to discuss the aspects I’d found most daunting about being a safety rep when I first started – like dealing with difficult project managers and people assuming that I was suddenly an OSHA expert and asking really detailed safety questions. My area safety manager told the group that it was okay to make mistakes and encouraged people to get out there and try, even if they failed.
This maxim, that it’s okay to make mistakes, is one I constantly remind myself. I made one that my team member gently reminded me of via email. I was so frustrated! I should have known better! I went home and felt better after eating my feelings and walking my dog. But making mistakes just helps us grow, and part of working on a team is having other people holding you accountable and ground-truthing your work.
Last night, I started thinking about making mistakes in my own creative work. I still consider myself a beginner with crafting which holds me back, because naturally, I don’t want to make mistakes. I just want to make a perfectly Instagrammable piece of art. But that inclination keeps me from trying riskier stitches because it will “look bad.” Staying inside the box all the time can really hinder creativity, and I’ve definitely always been a rule follower. I can’t even purchase any of Keri Smith’s books, like This is Not a Book, because the idea of tearing pages from the book or destroying a page by pouring milk on it (or whatever the creative prompt actually is), is just so foreign to me. (I know! That’s supposed to be the point! BUT I CAN’T, YOU GUYS).
I’ve been working on a Studio MME Super Stitcher’s Club piece. What I love about Megan Eckman’s work is you can stitch the piece as simply or as elaborated as you’d like. It’s designed for stitchers who don’t like the crazy fancy stitches like French knots, but allows enough room for improvisation in case you decide to go crazy and plop a couple on there. I’ve decided to go outside the box and play around with some extra stitches on the piece. It’s made me uncomfortable, if I’m being honest.
My brain is like, “STOP IT. YOUR STITCHES ARE UGLY.” But I know that I need to at least try this idea and see where it takes me. Maybe my stitches will continue being ugly. Or maybe I will end up with a piece I’m really proud of. I’ll never know if I don’t try, or if I just continue doing the same back and running stitches and nothing else.
Making mistakes is a sign that you are growing and if you stumble a little, it means your path will be smoother in the future. I proposed a risky little strategy at work several days ago and to my shock, the team decided to accept it! There’s no way I would have had the gumption to propose it without the stumbling blocks I’ve had over the past year in this role. And I know if I continue pushing myself with my creative projects -instead of restricting myself to the ones I already know I can do – I know I’ll continue growing in that aspect, too.
I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be indulging in a lot of crafty time while Fiancé is at band practice. Need to buy some flowers and plants since the one hard freeze we had this year killed all my succulents. The house needs to be cleaned because it’s looking cluttered and I feel stressed when it’s cluttered. I’ll need to do some yoga and maybe a run, because I haven’t run since the half-marathon and now I feel that pent-up crazy lady feeling when I haven’t been able to run in several days. Maybe watch more of The People v. O.J. Simpson (not sure how I feel about it yet – and those fake Kardashian kids take me out of it every. single. time) and listening to a lot of this song, which is a current obsession. See you Monday!