You want to learn how to knit.
Why? You have no clue.
Okay, that’s incorrect. You do have a motivation that marginally makes sense.
The reason is this.
Actually, to know the reason, you have to go back to Stage 3
of whatever this funk is, somewhere between Day 133 to Day 152. You have to sit and marinate in the stew of emotions before you can try and fail to put it into words.
Stage 1 is
It’s fine, you’re fine, everything is fine.
You respond to texts asking hey, how are you? with
utterly fallacious, exuberant, positive
You might not be entirely fulfilled, but that’s okay because you are happy. You are fortunate, and you are grateful, and treasonous thoughts suggesting otherwise are despicable.
Who knows how long Stage 1 goes on? After all, you are an expert at deceiving others
, even yourself. If you had to guess, this stage lasts 130 days or so.
Stage 2 is The Crash.
The Crash thankfully lands on a weekend, or else there would be consequences.
It starts at 7 pm on a Friday, when you go to bed after eating
one two three donuts.
It ends at 4 am Monday morning when you finally drag yourself out of bed to do the work that’s due in five hours.
In between you do a lot of sleeping and staring at your clock in the fetal position.
Stage 3 is avoidance.
Avoidance of responsibilities, avoidance of people, avoidance of life.
trying to escape from it all.
There are times when it feels like careening down a slope, out of control, like the panic you feel right before you slip on ice extended for eternity.
And there are times when all that exists is apathy.
Perhaps this is how wind-up toys feel, bursts of mania followed by numbness, a puppet of some external force.
You lose track of the days.
But one day in Stage 3, you come up with an absolutely brilliant idea
called online dating.
The euphoria wears off once you’re faced with the Sisyphean task of creating an I’m a desirable person profile and uploading not ugly pictures of yourself.
So instead you start looking up dating horror stories.
Dating success stories.
Couples married for 60+ years.
Those videos where people wear headphones and secretly say what they really feel to each other.
The whisper challenge.
Easy pasta dishes.
This will change your life. (It didn’t.)
At some point in your Stage 3 nocturnal internet browsing, you end up on a subreddit and read about how knitting helps someone calm the pixies in their head. Their words, not yours.
How unfortunate that there aren’t any pixies in your head.
There are alligators.
Eventually, you pull yourself out of the muddy swamp that is Stage 3 and enter Stage 4.
Stage 4 comes with the acknowledgement that your current lifestyle is unhealthy, but the energy to change it is sold separately.
Stage 4 is called Maybe tomorrow.
In Stage 4, you do useless tasks like counting the number of days that have passed since The Crash and looking up recipes you can’t cook.
You try to reorganize your closet but all you get around to doing is scattering your stuff out on the bed.
You should eat something.
You should wash your hair clean your room read the mail call your mom vacuum do laundry be productive be a human put your goddamn stuff back into the closet.
Today is tomorrow, and you have decided you want to learn how to knit.
Why? Knitting is calming, they say. You could use a calming influence in your life.
Why? If you master stockinette stitch and follow this Easy Knit Hat for Beginners! tutorial, you could knit a cute little hat for your brother’s baby instead of scrolling through Amazon for something heartfelt yet affordable.
Why? Maybe you just want to see tangible progress somewhere in your
pathetic life. Proof that you can make something with practical value, something that other people would want. Maybe it’s just you that you want other people to want.
The real reason?
Breaking out of
this cycle Stage 4 would be nice.
You got lost on the way to the craft store, and it took a while to find the scissors, but finally everything is ready. You can tie a slip knot, and you’ve managed a short row of knit stitch. 90 Minutes of Soothing Meditation Music! is playing in the background. You’ve even lit a candle in the living room despite your worry that you’ll set off the smoke alarm and the neighbors will yell.
There’s only one thing you haven’t accounted for.
Knitting is hard.
The needles don’t go the way you want them to.
Knit and purl are hard to keep track of.
You’ve conveniently forgotten that your hands are ridiculously clumsy.
And 90 Minutes of Soothing Meditation Music! isn’t really soothing.
You lose stitch after stitch but you keep
deluding convincing yourself to keep knitting, that maybe you can still save it, maybe it will turn out okay, maybe, maybe, maybe until you give up and unravel it all.
Take a deep breath.
It’s fine, you’re fine, everything is fine.
You tie another slip knot and try again. The yarn
(and your patience) is a bit frayed from your initial attempt, and your needles stab the wrong places. It looks messy. It looks wrong.
You put the needles down.
The little scrap you’ve reknitted gets a little wet.
The alligators in your head get loud again.
try to drown them out turn off the music and watch some TV instead.
The show is rather funny, and you laugh a few times. But you started watching towards the end and all too soon, it’s over. You browse for a while, but you can’t find anything.
The TV is off. The room is quiet.
You look at the yarn and needles.