Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Authenticity

Reflections in Grey  The quilt that was juried into QuiltCon!Being authentic isn't really part of my nature. Isn't that an odd statement? But it's true. I've tried to "be" someone else most of my life. Part of the reason for that had to do with being young and not understanding how authenticity is the one virtue that would most help me to feel comfortable with who I really am.

Another reason for wanting to mask my real self most likely had to do with my bipolar disorder. I was very good at hiding whatever was wrong with me. Although I didn't know what, exactly, the problem was, I knew I was different. Not in a good way. And I didn't want to be. My difference caused depression and fear.

Visit my blog for a tutorial on binding your quilt.   http://fleurdelisquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/attach-your-binding.html As I look back I realized that I tried on several different skins before I was finally able to be comfortable in my own. 

In my teens I wanted to be a person who had grace, courage, and a voice. How do you fake those? Hide what is real. 

In my twenties I wanted to know how to be a good wife and mother. Then I began my college years and wanted to be smart. 

My thirties found me starting a career, so naturally I wanted to seem successful and strong and an insider in the school and community. Our forties brought grandchildren, family troubles, parental obligations. I wanted to juggle it all and keep up. 

And I wanted, always, to be better. Not to be a better person, but to be better at all the things I was doing. Better at being someone else. Better at wearing the mask of the year. The decade.

Ordered Chaos  A sofa quilt for my daughter in law.   54 x 80.  She loves tulips and neutrals.I was driving myself deeper and deeper into depression. The harder I tried, the more difficult life became. When my parents died, my juggling act imploded. 
It was difficult to start over, but I somehow pieced my true self together. 

The pattern was not pretty. Nor was it easy. Sometimes it's still not, but with lots of help and support, a truer version of me has appeared. I'm going with that version. Piece by piece. Row by row. 

Quilting teaches me...


Kaja said...

A beautiful, brave post, Mary. I have always felt you were a jolly good, admirable, funny, warm, open, generous version of you.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thank you, Kaja. It's interesting that you and others became my blogging friends around the time that life crashed around me. Our friendship encouraged me and made a difference in several ways, so thanks for that, too!