I could make a coffee table out of a piece of driftwood. I could turn old, discarded pallets into a headboard. I could sew fabric remnants into a dress. People say I have talent. That I’m creative and good at the things I do. But, I could do so much more. The things I make would be far better if I could just afford the materials that go into them.
“I could make that necklace…but, I don’t have $10.00 to buy the supplies.”
“I could make that felt phone case in 15 minutes…but, it would take sewing supplies that I can’t afford.”
“I could make that…”
“But, I don’t have…But, I can’t afford…But, I would need…But, I can’t get…I can’t get…I can’t…I can’t…I can’t…”
I try to improvise and make my own tools. Sometimes, it works, but most of the time it doesn’t. It’s frustrating, defeating, and embarrassing. I work for hours, only to have the project fall apart. So, I put away my shitty tools, clean up whatever mess I made, wash the glue off my fingers, and wait for the disappointment to go away.
I think about giving it all up. Never picking up a paintbrush, a needle, or a hot glue gun again. But, I keep trying because it’s the only thing I can do. I work until I get it done, until I get it right. And, if I can’t do it without some random, expensive thing, I file the project away in my mind and I wait. I know I’ll make my pallet headboard. I‘ll make that felt phone case. I’ll make that damn bracelet someday.