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 BETTER MOMENTS

A journey through grief & self discovery

  • Writer's pictureChristine Angelique

Trying Something New

Updated: Feb 29

Crochet Crafts: Tulip Basket


I bought a crochet kit to make a basket of tulips. This seemed perfect because tulips were my mom's favorite flower, and have since become a great comfort to me. Have I ever crocheted before? No. Is choosing a bouquet for my first project crazy? YES! But that's exactly why I'm doing it!


I'll often get in my head about how big a task or goal is. I'll overthink myself into not doing it, not even trying. That's no way to "live in the moment!" So, just like I did with posting my first blog post, I jumped in with the faith that I'll figure it out along the way! And even if I fail, at least I was brave enough to start.

Motivational Tip: START! No one's perfect, or good at something when they first try it. So don't overthink it, and just start.


Now, you might be thinking, "Why did you pick crochet?" Well, I make it a habit of reading my favorite celebs/public figure's memoirs and books. This year, I read Michelle Obama's book, The Light We Carry, and she talks about the different tools in her toolbox that help her sort through her emotions, and continue protecting her light. In "The Power of Small" chapter, she mentioned how knitting helped her clear her mind, and how it was one of the small tools she used to not get overwhelmed by life's big questions. This quote really stuck out to me:



"When you're beginning something new, you can't always see where you're headed with it. You have to be okay with not knowing exactly how things will turn out." -Michelle Obama

This was profound not only for advice with starting new hobbies, but also, as an antidote for starting over. As I start this new life without my mom, it does feel very daunting. I don't have the answers to life's big questions, or even know where I'm headed, but I can start a small stitch. I can continue until it becomes a visible pattern that makes sense, whether it leads to a finished crochet tulip basket, or a new life that continues to make my mother proud. In other words, if Queen Michelle Obama knits, I'mma knit! Although, crocheting seemed easier, so I decided that was close enough!


While learning to crochet, there were severals themes I noticed:

  1. Patience & Frustration

  2. Perseverance & Trust the Process

  3. Escapism

  4. Serotonine & Dopamine

Patience & Frustration

Let me tell ya, the first day was ROUGH! I thought to myself many times, "This is supposed to make me feel better, not freaking miserable!" In general, I like to win, and I don't enjoy not understanding something, or "failing". One of my toxic traits is assuming I'm low-key a prodigy at anything I try, and this reality check was frustrating me! I quickly learned I was going to need patience to pull this project off, and the frustration that came with learning was all a part of the process. Grieving is the same way. Even though I know the grief process isn't linear, I sometimes find myself frustrated when I'm back in the denial, or anger stage. "Ugh, when will this get easier!" "I'm tired of this!" Grief can be frustrating. (Especially when you're a self-help-book-reading baddie who wants to speed up all the steps, so you can jump straight to your, "I've made it," life. But just like learning to crochet, you have to have patience through the frustration.


Perseverance & Trust the Process

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" (Does anyone know who first said that quote? It's used so much, I don't even know.)

Perseverance, and not giving up is a big part of not only crochet, but starting any new hobby. Sure, I wanted to quit multiple times while working on this project, but I knew what was waiting for me on the other side of the mountain: pride, joy and a cute tulip basket. (Staying with the mountain analogy...) It's hard to climb a mountain. Sometimes you'll slip, or fall. Sometimes you have to reevaluate, and go about it a different way. But once you're on the mountaintop, all that "starting over" and "not giving up" was worth it. You guessed it! That applies to both crocheting, and overcoming grief. The thing with grief is, it's not just one mountain. It's multiple, for the rest of your life. But if you continue to persevere, you can find happiness, joy, pride, or the new life you want. And over time, hopefully, you gain endurance and stamina, so climbing the next mountain gets easier.


Learning to crochet also taught me to trust the process. Making those leaves was the bane of my existence! And while I was following along to what the tutorial said to do, it was looking a mess, and I felt like I was doing it wrong. But I trusted the process, and behold! It did in fact become the cute little leaf I needed for my tulip.

Grief Tip: Embrace the chaos, and trust the process! It might look messy, or seem like you're "doing it wrong," but you're not. You can't do grief wrong. And I've heard, it does get better. So trust the process, whatever that looks like for you.

Escapism

I don't really believe in zodiac signs to influence my destiny, or decision-making, but I do love personality trait assessments. I'm a Pisces, and they say we love to escape. They're not wrong! I loved to daydream as a kid. And I'm pretty sure I love movies, and acting, because for a couple of hours I get to be somewhere/someone else. I didn't realize how crocheting, once you get the hang of it, was a great escape. I'm not sure what happens, but I just get in the zone while looping and pulling yarn into multiple stitches. Hours would pass by, and I wouldn't even notice! Sometimes, nothing was even on my mind. I wasn't stressing out about my usual life-stressors. I wasn't trying to process any emotions. I was just hypnotized by the stitches in a mini escape. I'll ask my therapist what licensed health professionals think about it, but in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with a little escape. (Especially when you need a break from all the emotions grief brings.)


Serotonin & Dopamine

(Y'all know these words because of Andrew Huberman, right? lol same)

This is just my fancy way of saying crocheting has a calming effect. Again, once you overcome the frustrating bit, and are in the rhythm of crocheting, it has a way of calming you down. It rocks you into a sweet lull or happiness, and motivation to keep going. In other words, crocheting can make you feel better. This one's pretty self explanatory. Feeling better is usually all I want during this grief journey, and life in general. I'm glad a simple thing, like crocheting a tulip, can have a nice calming effect on me, and for a couple hours, bring me happiness.


Overall, I am so glad I decided to try something new this week. Who knew I'd gain so much insight from just starting a new hobby. And since I really enjoyed myself, I think this hobby's going to stick around. There's so many more kits, and fun things you can crochet! This kit was only $10 on Amazon, so it's Budget Baddie approved!


UPDATE: OMG! My dad just told me, my mom used to crochet all the time, too!! He even found some of her old crochet hooks in a drawer! *cries* Crocheting means even more to me now!


If you'd like to give crocheting a try, or want to make your own cute flower basket, here's the Amazon link. Let me know how you liked it!




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1 Comment


aruth_samuels
Dec 06, 2023

That was beautiful!😍

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