Making things

My things and me.

Days are hard to understand. I have always struggled to determine what makes a day feel great and satisfying. Two seemingly identical days can leave me feeling extraordinarily different. One really amazing day on paper can end up feeling lacking. One really unexpected workweek can end up being one of the greatest of my life.

While it may take a while for me to understand fully what’s going on with my life and it’s fluctuating pH, one thing that I have learned recently is that making things makes me feel better.

All types of making lead to the same result — playing the piano, mending a piece of clothing, writing a letter, writing. Writing down a quote or band name appeases a fraction of this need, as does thinking up a new t shirt design for my hypothetical t shirt company. Today, I planted a plant, and despite having done nothing else of note the entire day, I feel very happy and satisfied with my day.

In fact, I’m smiling right now as I think of earlier, when I put sunflower seeds into soil, with a fingerprint-sized hole for each seed. Once they were in, I covered them up like little children I wanted to send to bed. It took about 2 minutes, but I think it made my day.

I find some comfort in this need to create — it makes me feel close to other humans, as well as younger versions of myself, who spray-painted their shoes gold with outdoor furniture paint and used oil pastels to write hackneyed John Lennon quotes in preteen cursive on the walls of their closet.

However, I also find it perplexing that someone who so desperately needs to create can be as inexperienced in creating as I am. You would think that after decades of needing to create, I would have developed a patience and attention to detail around my craft(s) and an understanding of how to share them with others, but this isn’t so. I still need to trick myself into creating daily, as I tend to feel ashamed of creating and sharing anything that has no other purpose than to express myself.

I suppose the need to create only guarantees that something will be output at the end. It guarantees nothing about how much attention is spent in the meantime, how much time is spent overall, or how many people will ever see the creation.

Oh, puh-lease! I mean, who in the world would pay to blow bubbles?
- Squidward.



Writer, t-shirt designer, software engineer. Child. Canoe.

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