I have a long and hateful history with sewing machines.
When I was a little girl, my mother made my dresses. They were lovely works of art.
I wanted to be the seamstress my mother was.
When I was about 12, I began sewing simple dresses for my baby sister.
I was not then, am not now, and never will be the seamstress my mother was.
I once put in a zipper both upside-down and backward.
As an adult, I have approached sewing machines with trepidation.
For years I didn’t sew anything that required the use of a machine.
I was afraid of it.
I knew I would never sew again unless I obligated myself to do so.
So, I obligated myself.
I invited my 10-year-old granddaughter, Sparkle, over to make a doll dress.
That forced me to uncover the machine, set it up, and test it.
Sparkle and I made this little dress, and we both felt proud.
No longer does my sewing machine hold me hostage.
I plan to help my seven-year-old granddaughter sew a pillow.
Many of us bow to a fear of something.
Several years ago, I prepared a dinner and took it to a friend who had recently lost his wife.
I instructed him to microwave the food when he was ready to eat it.
“I can’t use the microwave,” he said. “Peggy used it all the time, but I’m afraid of the thing.”
Other people are held hostage by airplanes; deep water; loud, opinionated relatives; elevators; bullies at work; and big life changes.
These things themselves do not make one’s heart palpitate and hands tremble.
It is the fear of them
Fear kept me from my sewing machine for years.
That is what fear does.
It stops us.
Fear of navigating in downtown Indianapolis stops me driving north of Southport Road.
Fear of learning new programs prevents me from fully utilizing my computer.
At one time, I was afraid to speak in front of groups of adults.
I love the English language and relish opportunities to teach it, especially to adult learners.
Muhammad met the mountain when I was offered a position to teach at Indiana Business College in the early 1990s.
My passion for English and my desire to teach came up against my fear of speaking to crowds of adults.
My passion and desire helped me push through my fear.
I taught English grammar and composition to adults for five years.
If I develop enough passion and desire, I will overcome my fear of driving in downtown Indianapolis and of learning new skills on my computer.
When we are afraid of something, we respond in one of three ways:
- We avoid it. (I don’t have to drive in Indy or learn new computer programs.)
- We can get someone else to do it. (Thank goodness for friends and family.)
- We can push past the fear and find a way to do the thing.
Maybe you fear nothing and nobody. If so, good for you.
Most of us don’t live in your world.
If you have a fear that holds you hostage, consider your options.
You have three.