First I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that as I write this, President Elect Biden and VP Elect Harris are preparing for their inauguration. I know I keep saying this isn’t going to be a political blog but hey that’s what happening right now. It is amazing to be able to see the first Black woman to reach the heights of Vice President. I didn’t wear my pearls or my Chucks because I overslept but just know I am standing in solidarity with this new administration.
Off topic on topic, I didn’t realize until today (Don’t blame my public school education!) that I have been incorrectly thinking that VP Elect Harris is the first non white person to hold that office. Charles Curtis, member of the Kaw Nation, was inaugurated as America’s first (and only) Native American vice president in 1928. I will say there are definitely mixed feelings about the effects of his vice presidency on indigenous people and America at large. However, that my dear reader is another post and deserves a different voice than mine.
Now back to the point of the post (you all are used to me by now I hope), I DON’T WANT TO SELL FREAKING MASKS ON ETSY. Dramatic much? Maybe but I’m serious. I just want to sew up some masks and send them out to my friends and loved ones without feeling guilty or lacking of hustle.
I never thought I would learn to sew. My mother has sewn my whole entire life. I have seen her even make suits for my brother and dresses for myself. Eight years I begged her for a sewing machine. I just knew I was going to make masterpieces,I ended up making… not a damn thing.
Enter Miss Rona + a few hours on Youtube + several trips to Joann Fabric. I am officially a sewing machine. I went from not being able to even wind the bobbin to making about 200+ reversible cloth masks.
I have loved the experience. I have made masks for almost everyone I know (and quite a few I didn’t know). From the family members I have known my whole life to the folks I have only chatted with via DM, I have sent out dozens and dozens of postal stamp adhered, colorful envelopes with a mask and a note inside. For my 38th birthday, I made 38 bags of masks and hand sanitizers as part of my celebration. I was able to drop them off at nearby bus stops for those who hopefully needed them the most.
I’m not saying I am a needle wielding Mother Teresa.
I have greatly benefitted personally from the experience. I love learning new things, and sewing is definitely challenging. Though raggedy at first, as I got better at it, my confidence increased tremendously. Every time someone posted a picture or sent me a note of thanks it felt amazing. There was even a calming effect of thinking that I was doing something to fight the virus for myself and the people I loved. It led me to create new and reignite old connections with people. It is therapeutic. It has definitely helped me create peace during this extremely troubling time.
And then came the “Girl you need to sell those masks”, “You know how much you could be making with masks?”, “My cousin’s sister’s coworker wants to buy one”, “I need 5 like the one who had on for my Christmas presents.”
Now my spirit said, No Kristi. You are already blessed. You have learned a new skill that brings you joy. You were able to keep your job. You have not lost anyone close to you due to Covid. You don’t “need” the money.
The narcissist on the left shoulder grinned “Everybody loves your masks because they are so great and unique.” The hustler on my shoulder whispered “You like nice things… and money requires them”.
So I made 5.
Then I made 10.
Each time them selling out almost immediately. It was great. The money bought some more perfume bottles for my collection. But it didn’t give me the feelings anymore. I found myself not as excited to rush home and stitch and sew. It was a business. I found myself falling down into the whole of my
closed on hiatus journal making business. I had no interest in making masks at all, not even for myself. I would set out to make them, and then lose the desire. Until Monday. For years, every MLK day I have participated in the MLK day of service. From picking up trash to painting school, it has always been a designated day for me to give me. Since the traditional events were canceled, I had an idea. I cranked up the music and again made 21 masks to distribute in the community for MLK 2021. And just like that I had the feeling again that I missed. The feeling that money just could not buy.
So for the baker, who likes to make red velvet cakes, you don’t have to want to be the next Julia Child. There is still joy in linking the spoon.
For the poet, who speaks your truth and take up your space, you don’t have to make a CD to be worth listening to.
Hobbies don’t always have to be hustles. Hobbies can just be that. BUT if you decide to make it your love your livelihood, I’m here for it. Just don’t forget to send me a link because I will support all of the things!
And one more thing, JUSTICE *clap* SONIA *clap* SOTOMAYOR *clap*, sis you just couldn’t get her damn name right could you? There were whole national discourses on how to pronounce her name. There were freaking shirts on how to pronounce her name. Are you serious? Girl, I can not.
Oh and the first 5 people that comment on this post, just shoot me your postal address and I will make you a mask… for fun.
2 thoughts on “Dear Reader who doesn’t want everything to be a hustle — or how I spent my MLK Day”
All of this! I quit sharing my creativity for a long while to avoid the “You should sell those…” comments.
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 and 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 to your comment about Justice Sotomayor (although I’m glad Madam Vice President CLEARLY & correctly annunciated her name ❤️.