I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Mistakes are a great way to learn. I’ve made some epic ones, some slap-myself-in-the-head-I-can’t-believe-I-survived-that mistakes. And yes, those are the ones that I tend not to repeat. Or tell anyone about.
In woodworking, this ability to learn from our mistakes can literally be life-saving. Don’t wear my hair down next to a drill press. Remove all drawcords from hoodies. Always wear PPE when operating a chainsaw. Make sure all parts of my body are behind my chisel cuts. These are relatively easy because they’re so cut and dry. The consequences are fairly disastrous and obvious at times, and the prevention just as evident.
What I struggle with, and what I think we all have struggled with at some point or another, is understanding the value of admitting to these faults – or any faults at all, even outside the woodshop. I don’t want to swing the pendulum as much as to take pride in being foolish and unsafe, but to be able to transcend the stigma attached to being wrong, or doing or saying something I would shake my head at just 10 seconds later. There is such INCREDIBLE STRENGTH in opening yourself up to your own shortcomings, and letting them be known to others. To say, ‘I was wrong and I wish I had done or said this’. Not only does it open up new spaces within ourselves, it unlocks something in everyone involved, even those you’ve hurt.
I’ve spent a good part of this winter alone, or with my cats, and haven’t experienced a lot of human interaction save for social media, which can be a warped kaleidoscope of tunnel vision. Lots of reflection and intention have gone into these past months, and I’m very excited to jump back into the fold and share my thoughts, especially within the woodworking scene. I sometimes fear that my words can be too sharp for ears to want to even listen. I vacillate between wanting to dull their edges so more people are willing to hear me and what I see as compromising something within myself and my convictions. I appreciate those of you who are out there listening, and even more so for those who understand that every second of every day I strive for change within myself. I see no need to stand in one place, and hold relentless hope for less of a desire to be right.