100 Day Project Day 9
*Update: This is part one of a two-part project. Read part two.
*Update 2: Since this post, I’ve made an all-in-one post about removing ink, coloring, and making plarn. Read it here.
Day 9 of The 100 Day Project: On some real shit, today was a struggle. It was just a stressful day for personal life reasons and on top of that it’s been a bumpy couple of days energetically speaking. For seemingly no reason I put up my morning scribble thinking “I should just not do these. Everyone probably thinks it’s stupid,” then pretty much listed off all the reasons in my head why I’m going to fail at basically everything.
For reasons unrelated but also probably not, I was crying in my car a few hours later.
Yeah, it sucks. But here’s why I actually embrace these days and am glad when they happen: It means that I’m about to get a new perspective and start kicking ass. I’m about to break through whatever has been blocking me.
Here’s how I know it:
When I was going through a really dark, disconnected time of being massively unfulfilled and burnt out, I wanted to get better. But getting better is really fucking hard. I didn’t just want to get better though, I wanted to be thriving. And that’s even harder.
I was trying SO HARD. But every minute was infuriating. Then I’d get to days like today and I’d break down, then give in, then I’d just quit and spend a few days at rock bottom. Then start again, having eroded my level of self-trust just a little more.
Then finally on one of those days I decided that I needed to find a compromise. I decided to make myself a promise. I told myself, “this is going to suck. This is going to really really hurt sometimes. And it’s going to be hard. So here’s the deal: you’re allowed to lose your shit as much and as often as you want. You’re allowed to cry and to scream and to go to bed early and you’re allowed to wallow until it’s all out and you’re allowed to fuck up and you’re allowed to feel hopeless. But you’re not allowed to quit. Whatever you have to get out of your system, you’re going to get out by any means necessary. Then you’re going to get back up.”
And after that, things were just different.
Everything didn’t happen overnight. But things did happen. I stopped treading water and started swimming to shore.
I did cry. I did wallow sometimes. I had a lot of days just like today and much much worse. It wasn’t easy. It fucking hurt. But I kept my promise.
I let myself feel everything I needed to feel and think everything I needed to think. I acknowledged that it was happening, I got it out of my system, then I picked myself up and kept going.
And it turned out that every time I had a day like today I ended up reaching a breakthrough right after. Then over time I had less and less hard days. It was bumpy. It’s still bumpy. But the qualitative average of my days was becoming better and better.
There’s something that Andy J. Pizza from the Creative Pep Talk podcast says, and it resonates so strongly with what I’m saying here:
”life is hard, not bad. Hard and bad are not the same thing.”
So even after already having cried in my car, the hits kept coming. I realized I forgot to hit “publish” on yesterday’s 100 Day Project update, and irrationally thought that it meant I fucked up my credibility (news flash: no one’s paying that much attention). Then I found out that about half of all of the images on my site were broken, so I was going to spend who-knows-how-long talking to tech support, figuring out the issue, and re-uploading everything. On top of that, I still needed to do work on an Upcycling project for the day AND write this update post.
Before, a day like this would have derailed me entirely. I would have just thrown in the towel, given into my self-criticism, and stopped showing up for a few days while I dealt with the personal crisis of trying to convince myself I wasn’t a failure. Then I’d have re-emerged, feeling like I needed to now do it again bigger and better to make up for my shortcomings, only to inevitably start the cycle over.
But I don’t do that anymore. I react as necessary to get it out of my system, then I get the fuck back up. Bad days aren’t backslides anymore, they’re expected pauses and natural reminders to zoom out before continuing. They’re not a problem as much as they’re a useful tool for self-examination.
Then, after avoiding instagram all day because of the negative self talk I was giving myself about the Morning Scribble I posted, I checked it only to find that the post had gotten more likes than anything else I’ve put up so far, and also had multiple comments from people saying they wanted more.
Just one more reminder not to let head trash get you off course.
With all of that being said, here’s what I got to work on today...
Its not another planter! But it is another basket. This time I’m repurposing one of those restaurant style food baskets into something more functional (the holes in those things make it hard to use as a catch all) and less hideous using plarn (for the uninitiated, that’s plastic yarn made from grocery bags) and spray paint.
To start, I laid the plastic bag out flat and cut off the fused bottom part as well as the handles.
So what you’re left with is like a really ugly circle scarf.
Then I started in on one edge of the tube and started cutting the plastic into one long strip about an inch wide. You don’t have to stick ‘n poke tattoo a ruler onto your finger like I did but I’m not gonna lie, it does help.
Then eventually I ended up with a long piece of plarn like this.
Next, I cut off an arm’s-length worth of plarn and knotted one end onto the basket at the bottom.
And at the other end, I threaded it through the biggest needle I had.
And started weaving it in and out of the basket holes.
Right now it’s looking pretty fug but tomorrow it will blossom into a beautiful hot pink darling, so don’t judge too quickly. You’ll regret the mean things you say about her once you see her glow up.