MeMadMay

Me? Mad!! May! Day One: A self-imposed crazy challenge!

My motto for the month!

So it’s the first of May – and round the sewing blog sphere that obviously means masses of people taking part in Me-Made May, an awesome month of celebrating your self-made clothes, organised by Zoe. I’ve ‘participated’ twice, but never in any particularly successful way. Both times, I ran out of steam, getting frustrated with taking my photograph every day, and not really being organised enough to actually stick with it all the way through. Last year I was pretty close to wearing me-mades every day, but didn’t really have any documentation of it…. That petered out about midway through the month.

So, after months of blog-silence from me, I spent the past few days thinking about whether it was a bit idiotic to even try to participate this year, when I can’t even get my shit together to write a normal blog post. One thing I know for sure about myself is that I tend to be a bit of an ‘all or nothing’ person. I don’t do things by halves. So, I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t join in, and I was moving on to think about something else, when I realised I was being a total defeatist, and giving up on doing something that I wanted to do before I started, on the off-chance that I fail at it again. 
And that, folks, feels like a bit of a running theme of my life around the Cuckoo Clock lately. Wanting to do things, but never starting them because I’m afraid I might fail. 
It’s funny how, when I was younger, I would notice when I was becoming too ‘comfortable’ or ‘settled’ in a particular situation, and would immediately come up with something to do that would ‘shock’ me out of my comfort zone. It didn’t have to be anything big, it could be really small, but something that I had been putting off, or getting out of, or not starting because I was frightened to fail. However, in recent years, I’ve definitely felt the insidious grip of ‘if unsure, don’t bother’. So, blog posts that I knew would be difficult for me to write? Just don’t write ‘em! An uncomfortable conversation with my boss at work? Just don’t have it! A pattern that I really love the look of, but feel like I wouldn’t dare wear the finished garment, because it’s not ‘my style’? Just don’t make it!
None of those things on their own are particularly bad, are they? I mean, it’s actually quite sensible to think ‘I just don’t think that pattern is a sensible purchase, because I probably won’t wear the finished item – and I have tons of patterns that still need making up over here!’ or ‘I don’t want to bother my boss right now – I know he’s busy, and I don’t want to distract him from that deadline’ But, it’s a little insidious, and before you know it, you’re stuck in your ‘comfort zone’ suddenly feeling like those decisions you made NOT to do something are more than just decisions that applied to one particular circumstance…. They’re rules that you made for yourself about what you CAN or CAN’T do. 
‘I can’t wear backless dresses/tops’
‘I can’t ask my boss for help with [insert problem here]’
‘I can’t run on a treadmill’ (yes, really!)
‘I can’t admit that I want something in case I don’t get it!’ 
Before long… even the stupidest things become big deals, because you’ve made them big deals. 
Over the past month or so, various situations both at work and home have made me think about busting out of my comfort zone, and trying  to push myself past these invisible boundaries that I’ve set for myself. I’ve come across blog posts and news items that have made me think about what I want out of life (big and small things) and I’ve had various conversations about people being ‘their own worst enemy’ because they limit themselves, or allow their fears to stop them from growing as a person. 
And I’ve realised, I’m just as guilty of that as anyone, if not moreso!
Suddenly, participating in Me-Made May was more than just a challenge to see what me-made clothes I would wear for a month, it was a symbol of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, of doing ‘one thing every day that scares you’ (Eleanor Roosevelt was pretty smart!), of freeing myself of the fear of failure.
So. I realised, instead of worrying about whether I could complete Me-Made May as it stands, I had to go BIGGER. 
And I came up with an idea to just DO one thing that scares me every day for the month of May, WHILST wearing me mades. 
Thus, ‘Me? Mad!! May’ was born. My own little challenge to myself for the month of May. Because, as I said. I don’t do things by halves. 
I must do one thing every day for the month of May that I haven’t done because a) I’m too intimidated, b) I’m honestly scared of the outcome, c) I’m too embarrassed, d) I don’t want to fail.
As much as possible, I must try to DOCUMENT my daily challenge with photographs etc. This will not be appropriate every time, as there will probably be things that just don’t lend themselves to photographing, or situations when it would honestly be massively inappropriate to do so, but on those days, I must still write a blog post where I at least SAY what the day’s challenge/fear has been, and how I coped/didn’t cope with the situation.
Some of my challenges might seem really lame, but I guess that’s because we all have our own little fears and issues that we’re uncomfortable with. I realised, after talking to my Mum about ideas for challenges, that a lot of them really are very personal. One of hers was ‘driving somewhere new’, because she isn’t the world’s most confident driver, but that wouldn’t really be a challenge at all for me, because I don’t mind driving at all. 
Hopefully, as the month of May progresses, I’ll be able to show myself that the majority of my ‘limits’ are self-imposed, and that I’m more than capable of doing the things that I think hold me back, if only I’m willing to make myself uncomfortable!
So, what’s ‘Me? Mad!! May’s’ first challenge? 
Actually writing this post and putting it on my blog, before chickening out and deleting it! 
Yep. Just admitting that I’m going to try to do this challenge is scary, because…. Well… what happens if I can’t go through with it!? 
I guess that’s the point! What am I getting myself into????
Happy May Everybody!
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4 thoughts on “Me? Mad!! May! Day One: A self-imposed crazy challenge!

  1. Dude! This is AWESOME! I love this idea so much. This really resonates with me. I would have described myself in the past as a pretty fearless person (move to California at age 18 without knowing a soul within 1000 miles, no problem!), but I feel like fatigue and years of work stress have worn me down into a boring person. I'd rather sit on the couch than try something new! But it's chipping away at my personality and my happiness. I'm between jobs at the moment and just yesterday, someone sent me an internship opportunity they thought I should apply for. The thought of being an intern in my 30's is unappealing, I don't think I can live off the super low wage, and it's not even in a field I've ever been interested in before, but for some reason I was curious. It took me all day to work up the courage, but I applied yesterday evening and I have an interview next week. You're going to be my inspiration when I'm terrified going into the meeting! I can't wait to see what you get up to this month!

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  2. I totally get how you feel- I'm a worrier/afraid of failure person too. I hope this will be a fun way to shock that system! 🙂
    I'm currently doing the 100 Days of Happiness project (not on instagram, just in my journal) to try to look for happiness more in small everyday things. I think your doing MMM and me doing this are a little bit like sides of the same coin. Maybe?

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  3. DUDE! It's totally like we're twins! Thanks so much for commenting – because now I know I'm not the only one who feels like this!

    And I'm SO IMPRESSED with you applying for that internship! It would have been so easy to just say 'it's not in my field, it won't pan out' but you actually applied for it! That's so cool! Even if it doesn't work out, at least you tried! You're MY inspiration! 'It's better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all' or as Mr Cuckoo has being saying to me 'Go Team Fail!'. Which makes me laugh. Every time.

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  4. It's so funny that you mention the 100 Days of Happiness thing, because I DID think about doing it, but sure enough – I thought 'I'll never manage to stick to it for 100 days, so there's no point!' I definitely think there's a link! It's all about shocking yourself out of daydreaming through your life and actually paying attention to what's going on around you, which is a brilliant idea I think!

    I'm simultaneously excited and terrified about this MMM project – which I guess is the point! I hope you're finding that the 100 Days of Happiness is working for you!

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