I kind of wish I had a picture of how badly I mauled this dress, but I'm also kind of glad that there is no proof of how I destroyed it. I received this dress (NWT) from someone who didn't want it anymore. I tried it on, and amazingly, it was long enough. It was a bit too wide, but I figured that with my amazing sewing skills, I'd have it snug and flattering in no time.
Let's just say I overestimated my ability to sew. I won't go into details, but the night I tried to fix it ended in frustration, tears, and a vow to never alter anything ever again. The next morning I took the dress to the tailor, prepared to beg him to take drastic measures to save it. After sheepishly avoiding the hidden ripped seams and annihilated seam allowances, I was surprised when he said that I did a good job. His confidence in being able to fix it was reassuring, so before I left I showed him the true damage.
"You killed it!"
Yeah. I killed it. But I did a good job killing it! My tailor resurrected it, and now the dress fits me like a glove and even has a convenient zipper that hides some of the mutilation that it endured.
As for the vow to never alter anything myself ever again, it was broken the next day.
If there's one thing I learned about social psychology and developmental psychology, it is that humans imitate each other. For right now, it doesn't matter why. We just do. We do what other people do. If you want the world to be a joyful, compassionate, loving place, you must embody those principles, even when it's really, really hard.
Most of us know the following two phrases:
They are well-known for a reason. If you have trouble figuring out how to incorporate this practice into your daily life, here are some ideas.
Spend more time praying/meditating/in nature. It puts everything into perspective
Do something you love every day
Shut up and LISTEN
Pick up someone else's garbage
Ask the elderly if they would like your help
Start having constructive conversations
Spend less time & money on stuff, spend more time & money on people
Gift your stressed-out friend with a massage
Cultivate relationships, not collections
Share your books
Respect, respect, respect
Feel all of your emotions, but don't act on all of them
Consider your "enemy" a challenge from the universe to be a more loving person
Invite friends out, and be inclusive
Create something beautiful
Make a child laugh
Open your mind--learn something new every day
You won't like everyone, but you can always treat them with compassion
Read a self-improvement book
Let go of your expectations
Smile at a stranger
Most importantly, don't just tell people that you care. SHOW them.
This project has been in my head for years. Literally, years. Back in the day when I didn't realize that shopping at fast fashion stores was socially irresponsible, I bought this little black dress. Super cute and super tiny (i.e. riding up way too high).
Unfortunately, this is the only picture I can find of the dress in its former state. (Hellooooo bathroom selfie.) I decided to cut the top off so that I could have a simple pencil skirt. Clearly, I forgot about the whole "riding up" thing, so the pencil skirt idea has been temporarily put on hold. I got to work on the other half (more like third) of the dress.
Now it's a super comfy crop top! The best part? The elastic I have in my sewing kit was way too wide, so I stole the elastic band from an old, worn out swimsuit. I knew it already fit me perfectly. All I had to do was cut it, insert it into the casing I made under the bust of the top, and sew it all up. Voila!
I've been all about that DIY life recently. I'm a very practical DIY-er. I only spend time creating something for a specific purpose, BUT I am also the kind of DIY-er that doesn't know when to stop. Which can lead to problems... XD
I figured I can share my DIY successes and disasters with you. It'll be fun! And pretty much everything I do is with materials I already have laying around, so probably nothing too fancy.
Let's start with the shoes.
I have a pair of sandals that are really well-loved, let's say. Really, I should probably throw them away, but I'm one of those people who uses things until they absolutely fall apart. So, I sharpie-d them. Yup. I literally took a sharpie, and colored in the straps and the edges while binge-watching Reign.
While I can't hide the fact that these guys are at the end of their life, I think I did a pretty darn good job. I'll probably be able to wear them out for another month or so. And that gives me time to find new favorite sandals either at a resale shop, or from a sustainable company. Perfetto!
I'm going to be completely honest and admit that trying to be happy this past week was a struggle. There was no particular reason for me to be sad. I know that sadness is a perfectly acceptable emotion, but to remain that way for several days is not so fun. I've learned that when my mind is in an unhealthy state, I cannot allow myself to be idle.
Being idle means too much brooding. I get stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts, and pulling myself out takes a special recipe of productivity, socializing, and time. I cannot even meditate unless it is a fully guided session.
So if you're like me, don't dwell. Keep yourself busy. Figure out your special recipe. For me, at least, that is the short-term solution. As for the long-term solution, I'm going to do my best to follow Pema Chodron's advice.
“The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.”
Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
That last part about withdrawing? That's exactly my issue! It's tough, so I'm going to have to practice. A lot. (Check out my friend's thoughts on practice and perfection.)
P.S. I read Living Beautifully a few months ago, and it was begrudgingly eye-opening. I highly recommend it to the entire human race. :)