This monkey was kind of my breaking point, where I realized that if I make everything, I won’t have time to enjoy truly delightful things like this little guy here. So recently I have come to realize why I have only hired two people to help me. In thirteen years. One to set up my site (2003 represent!) and one to help move things to WordPress (2014?).
And I was determined not to hire anyone because being a part of the DIY craft community was my identity, which I thought meant having to do everything alone. My hands needed to make it or else I would be caving. (Even after some thought, I still don’t know what I thought I’d be caving to, other than a better life?) But keeping a site that looks like drunken elves made it because you want to stick to your teenage principles? Worst idea ever. Because I’m not 18 wearing clothes three sizes too big (ah, the 90s!) and dying my hair pink so badly I looked like I maybe had mange and thinking that I was cool (I wasn’t, I was still a total dork).
Because the real DIY scales to where you are now, not where you were. The real DIY believes in helping other people live lives on their own terms (whether that be touring in an old van or working in a cubicle) and supporting them. It does not mean suffering and now growing. It means taking your inherent skills and running with them, not ignoring them because you think you have to *literally* do everything yourself.
Being involved in the punk scene didn’t help in this capacity, as hiring someone through that lens, too, felt icky and wrong.
So I did the best I could, but it was always less than because I didn’t have the requisite skills. It’s like when I see something at the mall I could make* and then buy the materials and never use them, adding crap to my house and in almost all cases spending more time and energy than it would take to just buy the darn thing. Because I’m DIY! Thread runs through my very veins!
Then the supplies I bought sit in a box that makes me feel like guilty because I know it’s full of ideas of things I didn’t do. Knit cute covers for wood beads to stuck into a necklace? That sounds fun and looks easy! However, there is not “this took 15 hours” footnote, so I think I can just whip it up in an evening and fail, so it goes into the box.
That box is a bummer. It is the worst for real, man.
So I don’t do all I could be doing in the fields that I rule at because that box and other related things I could make but don’t need to are an albatross on my neck… because I’m DIY, damnit. Hear the mighty force of the sound of my knitting needles work, that is my Helen Reddy roar.
But you know what? Getting a small biz or individual to help you out is also DIY, because it is supporting the community. DIY isn’t about going without, it’s about celebrating your community, which you can’t do because all of your money is going to things in that damn box.
So let’s burn the box and go do all the things we’re good at and let people help us with the rest. That’s DIY too.
*If you do this with handmade things you should definitely just buy the thing- you’ll be supporting someone like you, which is DIY, yeah! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼