Saturday, July 12, 2014

on being in the spotlight + diminishing yourself



True And Strange Confession Time: i don't like the spotlight.

that is to say, i like the spotlight, i actively seek out and enjoy the spotlight, i mean seriously, I'M AN ACTRESS, i LOVE the spotlight... but i don't like the spotlight.  it's definitely an I Love You So I Don't Have To Like You relationship. i've always been at odds with it, mainly because i never want anyone to feel as though their spotlight is diminished by my spotlight.  and vice versa!  growing up female does that to you, doesn't it?  (the world cup announcers have influenced me, i have taken a fancy to the british way of asking someone if they share your opinion by tacking a leading question onto the end.  it's a wonderfully polite way of saying I AM RIGHT AGREE WITH ME, isn't it?)

ahem.  diminished spotlight.  growing up female does that to you, doesn't it?  we are taught that if someone else is beautiful, smart, or talented, we are therefore not as beautiful, smart, or talented. because there is a finite amount of those qualities to go around.  although i cry major bullshit on that, i apparently also believe it wholeheartedly, as the prompt for this post was my personal cringefest over an absolutely lovely and extremely flattering oonapalooza question and answer from gillian to ginger.  no seriously, just now, i had to pull away from the computer and rub my ear in a nervous fury before i typed that sentence.  as bratty as i am, i should have been primping and preening with my tiara (i do have several) whilst reciting the sunshower of praise out loud to the cat.  but no!  i felt awkward reading it!  i felt nervous!  indeed, i felt like a Supreme Brat! (that brat part goes both ways.)   because if i'm called great... maybe others feel there's less great to go around.

i'd like to once and for all stuff that wretched feeling into a bag marked INSANITY and incinerate it.   am i diminished by your greatness?  NO.  am i inspired out the wazoo by your greatness?  YES!  i revel in each beautiful new creation and each beautiful new lady (or gentleman!) i "meet" in this community, and i sincerely mean every compliment i type out on the web, or holler out in person.  and i know you mean it, too.  so why the fear?  why shouldn't we have oonapalooza and sew dolly clackett and pattern testing and blog tours and liebster awards and me made months? why shouldn't we embrace our wonderful aspects in every aspect of life?  why should i feel like i need to diminish myself because some really awesome people have decided to put me in a spotlight?

maybe we are all in the same awkward boat on the receiving end, but sailing a great big giant cruise ship of love on the giving end. 

so i'm going to do what ruggy has forever admonished me to do when receiving a compliment after a performance (i'm really super crazy cringe-y bad at that): i'm going to say thank you.  and mean it from the bottom of my technicolored heart, without any caveats or quantification.  all of you wonderful people participating in oonapalooza are blowing my mind, and i've created a pinterest board of the amazing looks i've found so far (please holler at me if i've missed you, and i know there are many WIPs & eyepoppers on instagram waiting to be blogged, holy cow wait till you see --ETA and see the first roundup also here on the sewcialists blog).

and what's marvelous is: none of these creations are carbon copies, or sewists creating garments they would not actually wear-- no, each and every one is individually stamped, but inspired by a kalkatroonaan love for color, or print, or stepping out of the comfort zone, or, as stitches and ditches put it, use of Extreme Determination.  i inspire you, and you inspire me.  (that sounds big headed, like godzilla sized big headed, but i'm going to exercise Extreme Determination and leave that bit in. surprise of all surprises, this oona-inspired challenge is bringing me out of my comfort zone.)

thank you.  i love seeing what you create.  you are beautiful, and smart, and talented, and isn't it wonderful: there are infinite quantities to go around.  

89 comments:

  1. I think you deserve all the honours you get Oona! I've been (quietly) following you for a while now, and I'm totally coming to terms with my inner Oona :) I hope you like the jersey Centaurée and the Oonapalooza Comox trunks I've uploaded to the Sewcialists Flickrgroup, I know my husband and I love wearing them :D

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    1. i've been following you loudly on instagram! now, can you pass some of hubby's love for menswear print along to ruggy?

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    2. thanks! unfortunately IG is the most social thing I can manage to squeeze out with my job... I'll send out the good vibes, but they have to travel across a lot of ocean... Could get lost from Holland to the US ;)

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  2. YES! It's not a zero-sum game! I think we also feel this way because it's not "lady-like" to toot your own horn. Kind of reminds me of that bit from "Mean Girls" where RM tells LL she's pretty and when LL says thanks, RM says "So you agree. You think you're really pretty." Because everyone knows we're not supposed to get too uppity in our opinions of ourselves. Grr.

    We (and when I say we, I really mean I) are getting better at not worrying that self-confidence doesn't mean we think we're better than everyone else. Unfortunately, there are still too many people with low self-esteem or something that feel the need to "bring you down a peg" (e.g. the comments on just about any YouTube video), so it's hard.

    I'm not sure where I was headed with this, but YES WE ARE ALL AMAZING and Oonatastic.

    (P.S. Pinterest link goes to blogger.com)

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    1. oh, that scene just says it PERFECTLY. one of my favorite movies, too. such a smart freaking funny film. it's a fine line of perception between self confidence and self centered (as an actress the line is MICROSCOPIC), that's why i love it here so much, we just bump each other up.

      and thanks for the link heads up!

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  3. Ooona - I have been blessed with beautiful eyes. Strangers stop and little kids stare and someone always says something nice. My mom told me when I was little - when people pay you a complement, they take their time to say what they feel at that moment. When someone does that for you, you should be ever so greatful. Wisest words ever! I always say Thank you and in my eyes they see I mean it from the bottom of my heart. And, you are a print pattern goddess or I certainly wouldn't take my precious time reading your blog and oooogling at the beautiful things you make! Take a stand momma and bow - you don't always need a stage!!!

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    1. This is brilliant advice. Thank you for sharing!

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    2. what a wonderful thing for your momma to teach you! this is exactly what ruggy says to me-- it takes away from the person giving the compliment if you take their compliment down. "oh, thanks, but..." it's that but that drives him crazy.

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    3. Nothing like dropping some knowledge! You are the bomb digity! I won't be in on the Ooonapalooza but I can definately say I have purchased some way out of the box fabric combos and It's all because of you my dear! Keep up the great work!! I'm having a great time looking at the entries!

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  4. Somehow I missed Oonapalooza, but I think it would be joyful to sew something Oona inspired.

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    1. It's the whole month of july! Check oona's first post a while ago ;)

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    2. He're ya go! http://sewcialists.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/its-oonapalooza-time/

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  5. This really strikes a chord with something I've been thinking about this month, and wondering how to fully and clearly express. For me, I look at SewDollyClackett, the Nettie bodysuit, and Onnapalooza as a great new phase in the online sewing community. We've grown and grown over past years, and now I feel like we're consciously celebrating ourselves - and that's a wonderful thing! You, Roisin and Nettie aren't THE BEST, you are part of THE GREAT, which is all of us. Hell, to put in in perspective... if we weren't doing Oonapalooza, we'd be doing a colour-of-the-month series which is itself a small tribute to my own love of colours and my blog title, Crafting a Rainbow! For me, hosting Oonapallooza is also a celebration of Lady Katza, who suggested it, and the poser of Twitter to make anything turn into reality. Part of the reason that I'm enjoying asking other bloggers about you is that I, in turn, get to publicly say how awesome they are. (For reference, there are two more posts coming, so buckle up and take the compliments!) It's one big glorious circle, and I think that we're all just paying forward the kindness and respect we get from other through blog comments, little parcels in the mail, support on social media etc.
    I think you are right that people are trained not to feel comfortable compliments - but I also agree that it's not zero-sum game. Every single person who I've seen mention joining in Oonapalooza is excited to push themselves a bit, to have an excuse to take a risk, and to celebrate your contribution to our community. That's what gets celebrated in our wrap-up posts, like this one: http://sewcialists.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/oonapalooza-projects-a-1st-roundup/
    Awesome people doing awesome things. Which includes you, and includes all of us. The more the merrier, I always say... the more compliments, the more people smiling as they type compliments, the more people taking fun risks in their sewing, and the more people dreaming up what the next challenge might be. (Which does remind me, anyone have suggestions for other seamstresses who inspire, or maybe a challenge where we all pick a blogger who personally inspires us?)
    Good post, Oona.

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    1. gillian, i wish i could put big blinking sparkly lights around this comment to ensure that everyone reads it. so many beautiful things said so very well. i can't add anything of intelligence, and i'm not putting myself down, i just truly can't!!!

      perfect.

      but i can add the sewcialist roundup link, which i meant to do, and i can buckle up :))

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    2. Gillian, I love what you wrote! Thank you very much for describing so well.

      Oona, you never diminish anyone's spotlight. Everyone is different and differently greatest. I love your greatestness so much from the bottom of my heart, and I'm always happy to give my best compliments on you without loosing any kind of other's lights. On the contrary, it only enhances that we're all great.

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    3. I completely agree! Acknowledging those who are part of THE GREAT is one of the things I love about the online sewing community. :) Here's to Oonapalooza! *raises glass*

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    4. What she said. Yes, it may be cringey to be in the spotlight, but people are joining in Oona-fest because they WANT to - because you inspire them and they love being part of something wonderful. Lap up the love, lady, you deserve it! xx

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    5. don't we all, you lovely trio! right here, three ladies i admire, three totally different styles, i haven't had enough coffee yet to really sum it up... but just so cool.

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    6. This is exactly what I would have said if I could have articulated my thoughts as clearly. Each of us in our own way is great, and together we are awesome. The online sewing community is one of the greatest and most supportive groups of individuals I have ever come across.

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  6. Your personality is so LIVE and COLORFUL; it is all actually felt via the www. I'm sure I speak for many in saying we love your Oonaness and are greatly inspired by it. Please don't ever stop it.

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  7. Wow, this just gave me a whole new perspective on everything I have struggled with for a very very long time. Thank you you rock!

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  8. There can never be enough greatness out there Oona, which is why I get so excited to find and be inspired by all the amazing women out there (bloggers and not). Acknowledging your own greatness can be tough and I think it takes practice and a conscious effort in changing one's (often female!) way of thinking, and shrinking from any limelight they deserve. I was TERRIBLE at it for a VERY long time, but some great friends helped me when I was younger (in their celebration of ME striving to be fab, rather than subscribing to the idea that another's greatness diminishes their own. We call this 'the tall poppy syndrome' downunder, a cultural blackspot for us). But most of all, it has been having three small girls under my care and the fact that I am desperate to teach them that they ARE wonderful and need to see themselves and believe that they are wonderful, and to thank people for saying they are wonderful rather than denying it. The best way to do this was to lead by example, so you know what, I'm starting to actually believe that I am wonderful too! You, lady, are in the WONDERFUL brigade and should be acknowledged! Keep sharing with us all the funny, inspirational and supportive energy that is a part of your spotlight.

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    1. debbie, those girls have a brilliant example to grow great by! it's amazing that in the teaching of them, you taught yourself.

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  9. I can always count on you to speak up, and I'm so glad you said this. Because I think it is so true for so many of us women and it SHOULDN'T be. Someone shining bright beside you doesn't diminish your own shine, it inspires and reflects and magnifies! (But ti's so hard to remember that sometimes). Jealousy is a horrible emotion but it's such a culturally conditioned part of being a female in our society - and each of us fighting it in our own way in this awesome community we have here is a solid step towards being the self-loving, open, welcoming selves and community that we all want and deserve!

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    1. haha, you know i'll open my big mouth ;)!! yes, luckily for us jealousy seems to be such a tiny part of this community, it's a great relief from the norm. i love how you put it-- the shine reflects and magnifies.

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  10. I sewed furiously many years ago, then stopped. Without the internet (well, pictures anyway) it was like sewing in a vacuum. I came back to it, in a large part, from the different makes all over the world. I don't think of anyone's posts as showing off, ever! You inspire people! We al learn from each other, but what's more, we are all a PART of peach other. #Oonapalooza is just another reason to sew! You rock girlie!

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    1. well i'm glad you're back, what beautiful tiramisus you have!

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  11. You definitely deserve all the spotlights you get, but I understand what you mean by not liking it... I'm a pretty shy person myself and coming from a country where false modesty is like a national sport it's pretty hard for me to just be proud of myself or happy with the compliments I get!

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    1. false modesty=national sport. HA. i mean that in a wry sort of laugh ;)

      i was so happy to see you win "sew it up." that's the kind of sport i can get behind!

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  12. Oona, Oona, OONA. It's hard to unlearn that training, isn't it? But it feels so good to pay someone a compliment and get a response that shows they genuinely appreciate it and that it made them feel great. So, I guess, it's worth retraining ourselves, isn't it?

    I don't think I'll get any Oonapalooza sewing done this month (it's Tour de Fleece, non-stop yarnmaking!), but I DID buy some pretty wild fabric per your encouragement.

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    1. Hmm. It'd be nice if I could figure out how to make the blogger platform default to my wordpress instead of my email address attached to my real name that no one even CALLS me…

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    2. girl, i have so many accounts i'm surprised anyone knows it's me anymore....

      i loved your dress & your thoughts on skills!

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  13. "There are infinite quantities to go around" ---> YES. THIS. And you can be humble, thoughtful, and kind while still receiving a compliment without batting back a defense (I mean, I know this to be true in THEORY, but I struggle with just accepting a compliment and not launching into a reason why I suck to the giver-of-compliment). You inspire others, others inspire you, we're all inspiring each other and encouraging each other and appreciating each other's unique qualities and talents. It's pretty cool!

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    1. yes, we must always revert to the suck! lest the listener think us Full Of Ourselves! okay, so let's make a pact to slap each other in public if we catch that happening.

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    2. i hereby volunteer to smack both of you around if you ever do that! to me, this ties in to the seemingly endless round of conversations we have about why it ends up being pretty lucky that we all know (or "know") each other - so many different, amazing women, each with something unique that can teach us more about life, the universe and everything.

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  14. Oh honey, and the rest of you young things, wait till you're my age. Someone likes my posts, and next thing you know I'm in the kitchen hollering "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy. (Which is fine, because no one's coming in the kitchen when "she puts people to work" might be in there.)
    Your blog is great. Own it! In the words of that revered 20th century philosopher, Stephen Sondheim, "if you're going to bump it, bump it with a trumpet!"

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    1. okay, i laughed out loud at this and read the whole thing aloud to ruggy, i can just picture you in the kitchen! why the kitchen?! why not the sewing room? BECAUSE IT'S EVEN FUNNIER THAT WAY.

      that sondheim. he does like to bump it with a trumpet. 'specially in his 1970s phase.

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  15. Thank you for this post. It's something I've felt in the sewing blog-o-sphere - support, appreciation, and inspiration - that I have lost in real world sewing. Too many people with too much criticism. Too many people making sewing into a competition and a contest. "There are infinite quantities to go around" - these are words I needed to hear to get me through the next few weeks of commissioned sewing projects, and remind me why I'm sewing and what will still be there for me when I can get back to sewing for me.

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    1. like heather lou said, "head down needle up"...you'll get through those commissions. maybe you need a scheduled you-made fifteen minutes a day?

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  16. Oona, you know how much I loved your style. You make sewing fun, hip and happening. Your style and use of colour has inspired me to be more creative in my choice of colour. For many of us, it is hard to take a compliment, as if we are somehow unworthy to have such lovely things said about us. We also find it hard to toot our own horns. We have continue to tell ourselves that there is enough compliments to go around. I always remind myself why I sew nod for the joy that it brings me. If I get compliments while I'm at it, it a bonus.
    BTW my Oonaplaazo piece will be making an appearance very shortly. ;)

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    1. ooh sharon, i'm excited to see! if i were you in that bombshell, i'd be playing my horn to beat the band.

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  17. Out of all the seamstresses/bloggers, I've always seen you as the cheerleader, the mother and the ringleader of the community. Everyone surrounds you and that's because you are a beautiful person, inside and out. You inspire so many people, and there's not shame in that. You deserve all the praise you receive and I'm glad to hear that everyone is rallying around of the best sewers I know for her birthday month :)

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    1. maddie, you say the most beautiful things, which comes as no surprise... thank you very, very much.

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  18. You've got me a bit emotional reading this - it's past midnight in the UK and I've drunk 3 delicious glasses of red wine from New-Zealand which may explain - but in a nutshell, you get what you give and I think you give a lot and you deserve every bit you get; You're great, beautiful, smart, inspiring and funny, hope I get the chance to meet you one day xx

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    1. ...and when we do, we'll have a bottle of delicious red together for sure.

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  19. YES. Yes. Yes. Love this so much I shared it on FB with the following comment: Yes. There is plenty of awesome to go around. Let's stop diminishing ourselves and *all* be the best we can be. The world needs people at their best. Whatever your best is, whatever you are best at. Please do it. Please be wonderful. Get going, your talent is only rusting away when you bury it in the ground.

    Thank you for writing this. You are a breath of fresh air, and I *always* come away from your site lightened in heart and delighted in eye.

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    1. thank you hearth, and what a beautiful way to put it-- i am so glad to brighten any little bit!

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  20. I keep a journal with quotes near my desk. One of my favorites is from Nelson Mandela: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were both to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." No diminishing. None. Let's seek out those infinite qualities of awesomeness.

    And, while we're at it, here's another quote I find quite fitting for oonapalooza. From Jack Kerouac: "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

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    1. amy! i was thinking of that quote yesterday after i posted, i'm so glad you wrote it out here. LOVE that quote, and read the kerouac out loud to ruggy. i have a small journal of carefully copied paragraphs from my favorite books, that one is going in. "exploding like spiders across the stars," how gorgeous.

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  21. One of the things I love about reading your blog, as well as others', is you articulate things that whirl around in my head all the time and your conclusions make so much damn sense.

    I always see whatever other people have been up to and think 'that's amazing ... well I'm not as good as that, there's no point in me doing it as all the talent / skill / creativity / style / general awesomeness has been taken and I can't possibly compare". I am slowly learning that I have skills and am good at stuff in my own way. But following these incredible sewing blogs, bizarrely, can be mighty discouraging and completely inspiring simultaneously to the person (and it would seem not the only one!) who never feels good enough.

    Then there is the thing when people tell me they like something I made, And I never believe them - I think they're just being nice. But there's a whole 'nother hornets nest.

    Really great post. Long may you continue to inspire and be appreciated for the incredible things you make. I'm still blown away by your first Project Sewn entry!

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    1. beautifully said, charlie. and guess what, i was completely stressed out and feeling that my first project sewn entry was not up to snuff. we all discount ourselves, it's easy to fall into the comparison trap of facebook and pinterest and whatnot...

      when something seems to "above" to accomplish, hell, it might take a few tries, but what fun trying along the way.

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  22. This post made me cry a little. It resonates so well with me.

    I remember back when I was about 13, a really cute boy at school told me, "You look good today." And I shrugged and said noooo. And he got mad and said why can't you just say thank you and take a compliment. This really shocked me as I thought being modest and self-deprocating was the polite and right thing to do. Anyway...

    I am new to the sewing world, and I am so inspired by everyone I've encountered (in whatever way: blogs, instagram and so on) so far and everyone is so nice! I too mean every comment and compliment I give out/write. I love that everyone expresses themselves and comes up with new ideas. And I really think that sharing them really boosts everyone else up. If I (or you) want to raise the vibration of someone else, you have to first raise your own vibration.

    Anyway, I'm babbling, but I agree with you - we can all be great!

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    1. well i'm glad you're here, what a lovely blog you have, you hudson pant factory!!

      how interesting for that to happen from teenager to teenager-- did that stick with you and change your way of responding to compliments?

      and i love that sentence about vibration.

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  23. Agree. I don't comment much on your blog (or others really) unless there's something really great that I just can't pass up. I don't sew or wear things like you do, and you wouldn't sew or wear things like me but we can just be inspired to make and push ourselves. Trying new things is everything, no shame should be involved. So thank you, just for showing me your perspective!

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    1. molly! how did i lose you? must've been in the Great Blogroll Loss Of '09. at any rate, i'm so glad you decided to comment this time-- i feel the same way, we have totally different styles, so many of us do-- but we're all so aware of the importance of personal style and the effort that goes into what we make, that the differences are inconsequential.

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  24. Yes. All of this, YES!

    True story: when I was a little kid and got compliments, I would just agree with people. It was very embarrassing to my parents, and eventually I got trained to say "thank you" instead. But lately I've decided that I'm old enough that a non-typical response will come across as charming, and not just like nobody ever taught me social conventions. So when somebody says "You're great", I say "damn right I am!", and when a friend calls me smart, I remind them not to forget talented, sexy, and oh so modest.

    We are all amazing people, and revelling in it can only set a good example :)

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    1. i love that! i hope you were hollering your agreement then, and are hollering your agreement now!

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  25. It's a curious mindset, isn't it? I don't think it's only women, though. Being Czech, maybe. Being human, maybe.

    It struck me in a chapter from Screwtape Letters, years ago, before I read the book myself when someone was reading it aloud. Forgive me for putting this up here, but I LOVE that "building a cathedral" parable.
    "The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents-or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things."
    "The Enemy", of course, being the demon putting it that way.
    I excelled at things as a child, and it was making me really, really uncomfortable, as I was operating under this sort of distorted idea of humility, which was fighting in me with the thought that I'm really better than others. Not anymore, at least I hope so (I guess it still happens sometimes). I don't excell as much nowadays, which is part of it, but this really helped me see it in a different light.

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    1. Just to clarify, by "not excell as much nowadays" I mean "no longer stand out as the one person in the class who always remembers everything even though she's not even trying, thank God I really have to work for it nowadays." :D

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    2. what an interesting parable-- so wait, is the enemy bad or good? i mean, i'm assuming bad, but that last sentence "he wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things" seems like a good thing?

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    3. Sorry, I did not make it clear enough. Good for humans, bad for demons. :D

      There's this whole... double standard, for lack of a better term, going through the whole book where it's written as advice for a tempter how to influence his "patient", but through that Lewis is giving his own advice. It's a literary device he in the preface says he was really glad to be rid of when he finished writing it... but it works. Taken out of context, though, it can definitely be confusing. :P

      So, yeah... that cathedral-building parable is kind of the pinnacle of creative excellence, which I guess is why it drove it home for me, because I've always been creative in one way or another.

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  26. I love this. I didn't join the fun, because I love your style on you, but on me, it just doesn't pop. You have your wonderful thing and it inspires me to push and try new ideas in my way of doing it. That's what I love- how we all (ok, I feel weird including myself in this set) inspire eachother to be ourselves and shine in what we do- an amazing community with so much to be proud of in ourselves and eachother!

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    1. that is SO interesting, because i think of us in the same genre style wise! not that one needs to join a sewalong to prove it, of course. you are definitely in the inspiration set, in fact, lady, i think you have no choice in the matter :)

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  27. I completely know what you mean. I do get awkward around compliments and at times completely dismiss them. At the same time, I'll get internally annoyed that no one says anything about some kind of hard work I have done.
    You do in fact inspire a lot of people with your talents and your personality as well. I am happy to call you a friend and only wished that we lived closer so I could be inspired more and have more cocktails.

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    1. always more cocktails :))). totally right about the but why AREN'T you complimenting me thing too!

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    2. Seconded. It's so tangled up in one's mind, all this!

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  28. I just have so much love for you Ooona, and everyone else in this community. And I loved everything Gillian said, too.

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    1. MWAH. you are my sewist girlfriend, after all, and the mad doctor of this 'palooza.

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  29. I love you and you love me and we all love everyone and we're all super amazing ladies!!

    This whole thing about self judgement is so interesting. The idea that if you're awesome, I can't be awesome too. I immediately thought that about myself compared to Ginger when Gillian's Q&A with me went up. Ginger's responses to the Q&A were written so well and lovely. My responses were so short. It's hard to get how much thought I put into the words I chose to answer each question, making sure they accurately represented my thoughts. I immediately judged myself thinking "man, my Q&A sucked compared to Ginger's!" But then I have to remind myself, I'm just different, but that doesn't mean I'm not awesome too. I'm just a lady of few written words. I'd rather tell everyone how awesome you are in person than in writing over the Internet, which is part of the reason I'm not the best blogger. But I'm still awesome!

    One more time everybody! The greatness of one lady does not diminish the greatness of us all. Especially the women of this community.

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    1. Jennifer, there is no way it ever crossed my mind that your answer weren't good just because they are brief! Not. At. All. Hope you have but that bad-talkin' mental voice to rest about that, because it's just not true.

      Which does start me thinking though - there has GOT to be a way to celebrate ourselves and each other without each one of us bad-talking ourselves in our heads. Maybe our next monthly challenge needs to be a celebration of ourselves - a month to sew things that are perfectly oneself, and to explicitly compliment ourselves on what we do well? (Would anyone dare to join?)

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    2. GIRL! that photo of us alone speaks a thousand words...and your carefully chosen words made me grin like a fool--- i still can't get over "great fit!"!! I JOIN YOU IN YOUR AWESOME UNIVERSE CHANT!

      and gillian, that is a STELLAR idea. if we are all telling the truth in these comments, then we would all have to join and celebrate ourselves!

      so many exclamation points!

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    3. I would SO join, and make all of those historically-patterned modern things, and not finish most of them, and be totally me. :D
      ... I could actually finish that kacabajka, and be totally me. Make it happen, I want to see what others interpret themselves as!

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    4. Oh Gillian, you have the best ideas! And August is "Sew Costumes for Conventions" month in my house.

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    5. Love you guys! I'm in! Hmm...what would I make...?

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  30. Aaaah, I loved this post! It's so true, how hard it is to graciously accept compliments and praise and the like. And yet, it's so nice to be able to give them. Such a double-standard we set ourselves, as though we're less than everyone around us in a way....

    Anyway, not a lot else I can say that hasn't already been said by all the ah-maze-ing comments above (such a great lot to read!). Keep on rockin', lady! :-D

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  31. I adore you. This was very moving and so true... its second nature as women to marginalize our strengths or greatness in any way because we fear being called out for snobbishness or arrogance or any of those other ugly words women get called when they accept their worth. This is NOT something men have to deal with. When we reduce ourselves we reduce all women - when we accept and even celebrate ourselves, it makes all our lights shine brighter....

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  32. Your spotlight could never diminish others, I think the reason you are so loved is because of how much you support so many! Girl you truly give back!

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  33. When I was younger and my best friend wanted to be an actress, I complained to my mom that she couldn't do that. She wasn't x or y or z. But my mom reminded me that my job as a friend was not to tell bestie that she couldn't do something; instead, it was my job to build her up. And let's be real. Middle-school me was probably just jealous. Luckily, bestie and I are still thick as thieves and she did actually become an actress.

    Being a good friend, being the type of person who builds others up, is one of the most important things any of us can do as friends.

    And sometimes being a good friend back is appreciating those build-ups. I think as women we definitely get so much "don't talk about yourself" and "don't brag" which, while ostensibly good, can morph into a fairly damaging inability to accept compliments and an inability to believe that those compliments are genuine. I know it's something I continue to work on constantly -- to simply say "thank you so much!" and not add something negative.

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  34. Girl,
    I relate deeply with all that feelings of awkwardness and I-wanna-go-to-the-corner-and-watch-it-until-we-can-change-the-subject-okay?. But, as many people have said, you are really an inspiration. When I first got here reading you, I thought you dressed really daring and strange(hahah), but your personality captivated me. To a point I had courage to take my sewing machine out of the top shelf on my closet and got it working again, after YEARS of idleness.
    A bit later I fell so in love with your style, but in a different way, a first for me: I see your shine and rainbows, and I don't want to do as you do, I think you are beautiful and unique and brave and creative in a way that allows me to do the same and be who I am, and do what I want, and dress how the heck I want to. And just have the courage to try, make mistakes and try it some other way and do it!
    I mean, beyond the sewing and clothes and styles, I see this as a big homage to a statement(a principle?) you embody so well: we should all be free and brave, and embrace our creativity with love and attention.
    Of course this click happened concerning all of this community and many blogs, but I don't lie when I say somehow you are a bright bright star in a beautiful bright and vast constellation.
    I am really grateful for your sharing and I really admire you, even though I have never met you or probably never will.
    So, thank you!
    no awkwardness, no nothing bad, this is a great celebration of you and we all!
    headbanging and jumping around! YEAHHH!

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    1. meaning: I think it's a beautiful thing to inspire people this way without even trying to. you know?
      so, you have a truck full of good deeds, will go straight to heaven, goodgirl!
      ;)

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  35. I know exactly what you mean. I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually crave attention (probably because I rarely get it) but when someone does say something nice to or about me I don't know how to handle it. I want to crawl back into my obscure little hole.

    But you... YOU deserve it. Your overall style is different from mine but I LOVE your fabric choices and you are amazingly talented and creative.

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  36. You are fucking awesome! And will send you an email once a day for the next seven days to help you become comfortable with that FACT!

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  37. Great post! Here's to ever more gracefully accepting praise and appreciation. So wish I could join oonapalooza but it will have to be belatedly-- this month is insane. xo

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  38. This is super encouraging to read, and you're totally right, growing up female totally DOES do that to you.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!