02 Jun “Good intentions are just the start”: Finish what you started
About a month ago, Sarah asked me write a blog introducing myself to the Craftivist Collective, and I readily agreed. At the same time, she sent me some Gentle Nudges, to start my journey to becoming a #Craftivist. Considering I’m helping at CC (in comms), I’m very inexperienced when it comes to crafts. The last time I successfully sewed something, was when I was in primary school and my Mum made me sew my name into my maroon school jumper.
I’m a born introvert and at times I feel cripplingly shy and awkward. Like Sarah, I also have a passion for social justice. Unlike Sarah, I have no experience in activism. I’ve always felt like an activist; watching debates, reading articles and informing myself with all the opportunities for change in the world, however I’ve come to realise I’ve never actually done anything. I spend so much time weighing up arguments and checking I’m absolutely sure I’m doing the right thing, that by the time I decide to act, it’s already passed, the change has already happened and I’ve just been a bystander “liking” the occasional post or comment on Facebook.
My first task, coupled with writing this post, was to begin sewing my Gentle Nudges. The first Gentle Nudge I chose, was “Good intentions are just the start”, as I’m filled with good intentions, but often really struggle with their execution. I have a history of writing people birthday cards (a few days before their birthday), addressing them, stamping them and then never getting round to sending them. This leads me to being faced with two options: 1. Send the card late (which is challenging because the card is already sealed and I can’t apologise for how late it is), or 2. Not sending the card at all/ waiting a year for their next birthday to arrive. Hence why I currently have three birthday cards sitting in my rucksack, of friends whose birthdays passed weeks ago. If I had a pound for every card I’d written but not sent yet, I’d have about £13 by now.
So, I decided to sew my Gentle Nudge on to my rucksack, as it travels with me everywhere, I’m in and out of it everyday and I definitely need the inspiration to study and do my work for university.
It was going really well, I’d gotten about a quarter of the way through stitching and I was really beginning to feel empowered, giving myself the time and space to really think through the message. However, something terrible happened. I got distracted, and decided it was the perfect time to unpack some new cutlery I’d just bought for the kitchen. Rather than unpack each knife and fork individually (as they’re all individually wrapped- ikr), I decided to get all creative on it and take a shortcut, taking four knives at a time, ripping the plastic off (not recommended) as quickly as possible and having the job done. Never again.
I cut my sewing finger. So badly that I almost fainted. I was upset, the dog was upset and all I could think about was that Gentle Nudge, itself becoming something I’d started, with good intentions, and wouldn’t finish for at least three weeks.
So, for the past three weeks, my rucksack and I have been travelling up and down the country, running through tube stations, to and from University, with my Gentle Nudge, half sewn on, flapping about in the wind. The one positive of this, I have to say, is that people have definitely noticed. From the occasional smile, to a conversation with one of my friends, which went like this:
Friend: “There’s something hanging off your rucksack”
Me: “Yeah I know, I haven’t finished sewing it on yet” *showing her the Gentle Nudge*
Friend: “Haha, nice, I see what you did there 😉 😉 😉 😉 ;)” *thinking it was intentional*
We then went on to have a conversation about different methods of campaigning and the importance of making campaigning accessible to everyone.
Sometimes, there’s nothing more exciting than starting a new project, but there’s nothing more satisfying than finishing one. If you’ve never been involved in craftivism before, you’re only one step away from starting. If you’ve started a craftivism project, but haven’t finished it yet, keep going, you can do it and I promise by my next blogpost, I’ll have finally sewn on my Gentle Nudge.
*If you want to follow my progress to becoming an effective #craftivist, I’ll be writing a blogpost on the first Thursday of every month. *NEXT MONTH* I’ll be sewing my Desmond Tutu Change-Maker. If you want to race me to sewing a Gentle Nudge onto something, you can find them: here. Let me know if you do this though, and I’ll up my game.*
You can follow Lydia on Instagram: here.
And you can follow the CC Twitter: here.
“My Craftivism” is a series: We love hearing what benefits they see in craftivism, what their ‘crafter-thoughts’ were whilst stitching & what they are going to do with the project they have joined in with. It can really inspire us all, challenge us and hopefully get us all thinking about what is effective craftivism and how we can help each other be the best craftivists and global citizens we can be. If you would like to share your craftivism piece or event with us please do email us at hello@craftivist-collective.