I learned to knit at age 6 because my grandmother survived and escaped war. She was brave. If she could survive to pass on a cultural legacy to me, I can be brave and survive too.
I've needed to remember that as the Give Up self and the Brave Self are duking it out. Ever since a point in time a year ago, a shift took place somewhere in my psyche where the refrain "You have no future" started haunting me. It started after I completed radiation, but appears out of the blue again and again. Even in my darkest times of life, I always had the sense of an open window somewhere, a vision I could carry internally of a future no matter how unrealistic. So this is new to me. Brave Self says, "Back off. You are responsible for your own happiness. You can make yourself a future."
I am glad to be back contributing to medical care after a decade away from medical transcription with a freelance job over this past month for a small rural hospital that is a rarity using actual humans to create their records. After swimming in medical language for 20 years, it's amazing how it's like putting on an old sweater to find I still know how to spell some obscure orthopedic surgical sponge in an operative report, and all the intricacies of the ER dance return to my mind.
Currently, I am seeking a reinvention with step-wise goals over the next four years, so that I position myself to actually be able to retire a decade later or love my work so much I don't want to retire. No expectation of ever owning property or a home, my goal is set to achieving a self-sustaining level at a smidge above half my area's median household income, which is a lifetime high for me. My Brave Self with a dose of curiosity is investigating any possible career path or further education that might incorporate my passions, skills, volunteer and work experiences into a future. A future that allows me to benefit others while working closer to 40 hrs/week and not worry about making every bill, that allows me to save enough toward expenses I currently carry as debt, like new tires on my ancient car, or surprise medical bills, or basically anything above essential household expenses. Did someone say yarn?
Yes, most of my yarn is carried on debt. I have had to face the cold hard fact I have an addiction that has become a great roar the more anxiety I experience about my future, the future of the world, and my health. Knitting calms me, and colors are a source of comfort, but buying enough yarn to open up a store, thinking of all the items I intend to make as if I had 10 hands that are not working 55 hrs/week is not helpful. I recognize I have a problem, and Brave Self knows it is wise to put a stop to this until every part of my stash is knit up. Enough to keep me busy should I live long.
I'm sure anyone who has been through the journey of hormone-positive cancer can relate, but I had no idea I'd be facing 7 years of recurrence-preventing drugs that are like a roadmap for premature aging. I also feel shame over resenting it since after all my life was spared secondary to modern medicine. One year down, 6 to go, I started a second drug this week in the form of a deep injection (yikes). Advised to take more medication to combat the side effects of headache, bone pain, and exhaustion, I refuse to go down that path of a long list of medications, each to combat the effects of the prior.
So I walk in pain, because my mind is in joy among the trees, deal with exhaustion by power napping, ride my emotional lability because it shows me I am alive.
This morning, I actually was eager to get out of bed (unusual for me) because the night prior I had completed the back of my Rowan cardigan. I realized my work life for three decades has been literally invisible, as in all that I produce is confidential and cannot be shared with others. I have no portfolio of masterful research and documents to share. Therefore, the contrast of making something with my own two hands I can link to my identity and wear on my body is thrilling. Though it contains a few wonky sections, it made me happy to wash and block it, knowing all I have remaining is to make a 2nd sleeve and two fronts in order to take it for a walk in the great green healing woods.
3/17/2023 06:00:54 pm
That green sweater is going to be just gorgeous.
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Staying close to the wealth of nature and making with my hands bring me greatest joy and comfort. You can find me on Instagram as @waterwomanknits, and on Ravelry as Waterwoman-Knits.