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“You have to choose your combination carefully. The right choices will enhance your quilt. The wrong choices will dull the colors, hide their original beauty. There are no rules you can follow. You have to go by instinct, and you have to be brave.” –(How to Make an American Quilt movie – 1995)
Every day, each one of us steps out into the world with the intention to create a better life for ourselves, to contribute to the world. How each one of us does this, however, is unique. How much easier would it be if we only had to follow in someone else’s footsteps, similar to a connect-the-dots instruction manual, and viola, the perfect life would be laid out in front of us? I have no doubt that the perfect life would be laid out for us if we followed such a path, but it wouldn’t be our definition of perfect; it wouldn’t be perfect for us.
There have been so many times when I just wanted to look up to somebody, to pattern my life after someone else who I admired so I wouldn’t have to worry about making mistakes, being made a fool, being laughed at, but what I’ve come to realize, as I remind myself to snap out of it, is that I wouldn’t want to follow someone else, I don’t want to be somebody else. The word I want to bring your attention to is the word follow.
It is always easier to follow than to lead or venture out on your own, but no one by the name of Amelia Earhart, Nelle Harper Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Will Smith, Bill Gates or Audrey Hepburn ever wished to be just like someone else because if they had, we wouldn’t recognize their names as people of respectable talent, courage, style or innovation.
Our lives are indeed similar to assembling a quilt. Many pieces will be considered, but not all will be included in the final product. You will know sometimes immediately when someone or something(a job, a home, a town) doesn’t quite fit in your quilt, and sometimes it will take time for this piece to stick out like a sore thumb and reveal that it is not something that will strengthen the final product and, therefore, must be removed. And guaranteed, it will take courage to remove it if it has been there for a while, but the extraction must happen.
It is up to the quilter to be continually adjusting, searching and demanding that those certain pieces must be found that will make their quilt the highest of quality. Take, for example, the image of the sophisticated bathroom above. A theme was determined, but the pieces didn’t come in a kit, the designer had to seek out the exact items. It is not to say that some other lovely furniture and lighting fixtures existed, they just didn’t fit as well in this particular room.
Good luck on your journey this week to build your quilt. You have the talent, and there will be times that you are discouraged, but you will find what you are looking for if you venture out on your own.
Have a wonderful week!
Image: Hana, Hawaii