Weekly Update 2

Hey everyone!
How has your week been? I hope it’s been a good one, or at least decent. I know how life can be.

It’s been a week of wild weather changes where I’m located in Southern Illinois. We went from 66 degrees down to a stark 10 degrees almost overnight!

We also ended up getting a few inches of snow, which for this area is not normal. In fact we broke a lot of low temperature records this past week. I also built a lot of fires this week! My cats absolutely adored the warmth and curled up in front of the fire.

Loki enjoying the fire on her dining room chair we keep in the living room for her because it is HERS

So I realized that I have a lot of followers that I actually don’t know, so I thought it might be a good time to kind of do a meet the maker type of post. It’s something I’ve seen a lot of small business owners do to introduce themselves to their supporters. Though knowing me, I’ll probably get way more personal and a bit more real.

This is actually something that I’ve had a lot of anxiety about.
Sharing things about yourself, including things that might be different or weird in the eyes of some, takes a lot of courage.
I’ve always thought it was just confidence, but I’ve grown to realize that most people are nervous and scared at first. I’ve also realized that the self doubts don’t stop either, no matter how successful you are. Unless of course you don’t have enough insight to see your own flaws and acknowledge them.
I tend to be very critical of myself. While it’s something I’m working to change and improve upon, it’s still there. Because of this I do doubt myself, my designs, and even my posts (all of them) quite a bit. That’s part of living with anxiety I suppose. or just being human.

So here we go.

I’m not a really formal person, and I’m not going to try to write in a formal “business” like way anymore. I’ve tried it and it really doesn’t work for me. It’s not how I really am or how I really speak.

Besides, aren’t there enough fake people out there?

Large corporations that have entire public relations and marketing teams to make sure to smooth things out and make generic posts that everyone will like…

Well, that’s not me.

So hi there, I’m Shara! I’m almost 30 and taking a crack at this blogging world. And yea the crochet thing. That being said, yes crochet is a huge passion of mine, but music, cooking, and baking are as well… I’m also killer at budgeting, DIY, and pinching pennies. But that has more to do with the severe inequality of pay in the US, but especially in my region.

I have a beautiful girlfriend named Catie, and we have a family of cats. Also I’d like to use my favorite line here just because I can, normally I use this when prompted with a question but…
I’m not a lesbian, but my girlfriend is!

Ok all jokes aside, we are BIG LGBT+ supporters and advocates in this household. Love is love, be yourself, and be free. We do our best to support others and reach out in groups all the time to kids that have been rejected, kicked out, and sometimes even physically harmed by their families upon coming out.

Any hate received across any platform of social media that I use will be reported, deleted, and the user will be blocked, for future reference. This is a HATE FREE ZONE and that goes across all of my social media platforms.
The way I see it, there is enough hate in this world already. Why would you want to add to it?

I digress.
We both work full time but are lucky enough to have jobs that aren’t strenuous, our co-workers and manager are amazing, and I actually have quite a bit of time to work on my crochet while at work. In short, I can’t complain too much.
It’s actually really nice having the job that I do, aside from the positives I’ve already listed, another great part of it is that it’s really flexible. No strict policies on attendance so you’re able to leave if there is an emergency as long as you are able to get someone to cover. Having great co-workers makes that easier than it sounds though. It’s been extremely helpful to me these past couple of years.
The past few years I’ve realized that I’m sick. Chronically ill that is. While I have some diagnosis confirming some of my chronic illnesses I’m still chasing down a decent doctor to help me some more. I have been confirmed with fibromyalgia though, and that’s a pretty big one.

Now I’m not sure when it started exactly but I have narrowed it down between two major injuries that could have triggered it. I’ve been able to narrow it down knowing that one thing that can set it off would be a major injury or illness. So I believe it set in sometime between the age of 14 and 16.
At 14 I was injured by a kid at school and ended up with several bruised ribs and a lot of scar tissue in my muscles on the right side of my back and shoulder blade. At 16 I was in a car accident, rear ended while stopped behind a school bus and suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as damage to my neck and back.
I was finally listened to and diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 28, so a bit over a year ago. I’ve honestly still be piecing things together, things that now make sense when I factor in that I’ve had this (and other things) this whole time without knowing.

It’s like having a lifetime worth of aha moments.
Oh, that’s why it hurt so badly when people would try to rub my shoulders
Oh, that’s why after bumping or brushing against something lightly I was always in pain for 10 minutes afterwards.
Oh, that’s why I have been feeling severe unexplained shocks of pain randomly more than half my life.
That’s why my joints all hurt and ache
That’s why some days I feel like my body is 80 years old.
That’s why sometimes I can’t remember basic words or form cohesive sentences.
The memory stuff was obvious, brain damage and all, but the rest… wasn’t so obvious.

We are still waiting to get to the bottom of it all though. I may have something even bigger going on, I have an appointment in St. Louis coming up this month that I have been waiting for quite a long time. Hopefully this rheumatologist can help us figure it all out.

Now, I’m not sharing any of these details about myself looking for any sort of sympathy, more just to show you who I am, and this is a big part of it. I am not my illnesses, but my illnesses are a part of me and have helped shape me into a better version of myself.

I do hope that those who read this gain a deeper understanding of me however. Such as why I’m not particularly fond of working with certain yarns or textures because it can be so painful.
While yes I know I can probably sell those plarn bags and make a profit… it’s not in the cards for me. That is too painful of a material and project for me to work on consistently enough to build any type of stock.

These discoveries about myself and my health the past few years has had a huge impact on me, and because of it, I have been learning to be more gentle and forgiving to myself. I’ve always been my own toughest critic. That person that, I promise you as much as you want to lecture me and make me feel bad for something, I will punish myself more than you ever could. I’ve been hard on myself most of my life, trying to do better and do basically everything. I have definitely eased up on that though.
Thanks to some very close family and friends I have been learning to do better. To ask for help. To give myself a break. To take a day off. To forgive myself. To remind myself I’m only human and we all make mistakes. That mistakes and failure are the best way to learn and grow. While I’m still struggling with some of those things, I am trying and improving a little each day.

I do have lofty goals and dreams that I hope to someday achieve. Though I’ve learned to cut myself some slack. Especially since I started this adventure. My head space at this point in time is completely different from when I started last December. It’s more forgiving and patient. I hope to carry that kindness for myself moving forward in hopes of becoming the best version of myself.

How is that for honesty and authenticity?

I just couldn’t imagine moving forward from here any other way.

Trying to seem perfect or like I always have my shit together was honestly just so exhausting and overwhelming that I didn’t even post anything because I didn’t know how to do that, how to put on that performance.

So I’m very happy, though mostly relieved, that I finally got to this place with myself. To this decision to be real, to stop worrying about looking professional. While yes, I am a professional in my crochet work, I am a human, and I’m an artist. I will not dilute myself in hopes of pleasing others or just having a broader audience.

I have been working on some crochet of course, though since a lot of what I’m doing now are gifts for people who may be reading this I have to be careful on what I share. And for now I don’t have anything I can share. Though I promise next week I will!

Oh and yes, I know it’s been longer than a week since my last update but, in part of being kinder to myself I decided as long as I do an update once each calendar week, I’m happy with it. Hopefully in the future I can get going on a set schedule.
I’m hoping to get a laptop before too long so that it will be MUCH easier to do all of this.

Until next time!