i’ve been thinking a lot – perhaps too much – about the sewing community in the week since i have been back from ny-lon2014. because, really, it bears thinking about.
you know what i mean: how is it that people so consistently get together, get along, and make real friends at these meetups? what are we doing by participating in this act of blogging? how does it help us, what does it mean?
and from thence to the larger questions of life, the universe and everything. obvi.
i think about these things because yesterday at lunch it became clear to me that my adorable, loving, doting father was actually quite clueless about why i had gone to london – who with, what for, and how it had come about. “but you don’t even know these people,” was not actually a phrase used, but implied.
but don’t i? what are we doing, when we blog, when we share our style, our outfits, our thoughts, our sewing, if not presenting an authentic and true self? behind every elaborate persona, pseudonym, beverage selfie, chopped off head is still a person sharing his or her creations with the wider world. a fully formed person, with their own society/family/circle of friends in their “real” life and therefore free to share some of the most intimate things – by which i mean their creations – with us, their “internet” or “fake” friends. and when we see those creations and comment on them and appreciate the work you put into them, we are already accepting and admiring that most fundamental thing about you – what you create (or, if you prefer, how you express yourself).
so how can i not know these people, these “internet” friends turned “real life” friends, when i already know so much? maybe i do not know the details – the education, the socio-economic details, the religion, how “cool” they are perceived to be (or not) in “real life” – but those details are immaterial to the person i already know.
when we create a blog and start writing and sharing photographs and creations and ideas and inspiration, we are putting ourselves out there. i have come to consider it a genuine act of courage – your work, your self, is out there for all to see. and when we meet in person, in “real life”, you either show yourself to be that person or you don’t.
you put up or you shut up.
and sewists, i find, put up. we are lucky, because we share this innate interest in creating things. and because we know how much effort goes into each garment, we are, by and large, a respectful lot. respectful of people’s time, and ambitions, and skills, and style. we learn about different types of life by learning to appreciate the myriad styles represented across the blogging community – different shapes, and bodies, and colors, and religions, and traditions. beliefs about modesty or sexiness. balancing work life and home life and children and families.
so why would i not go to meet these people? i always think of kelli (of true bias) telling me how she had explained it to her husband: “of course i am going. these people think i am cool.”
and we do. because you are cool, kelli. (and you have magic hair.)