A Declaration

I’m trying to write this blog without…..writing this blog? I guess I’m trying to say something without actually saying it. Let’s see how that goes.

So over the course of the last two weeks or so, I’d been having some personal issues with someone in my life. I’m really not a fan of having people around me who are negative. And I just don’t mean that they have bad attitudes towards the world in general,Β  I mean constantly telling me that what I’m doing isn’t valuable, that I COULD have done something more with my life, that I could have been anything that I wanted.

And frankly, I couldn’t take anymore. I only smile when I hear the phrase, “I could have been anything I wanted.” And I laugh. Don’t they understand? I AM everything I’ve ever wanted. A good person, an artist, a craftsman. Ok, so I’m not wealthy by any means and getting by every month is a struggle. But I acquired a certain tenacity that I did not inherit from my family. I also, thankfully, did not inherit the notion that things make you happy, and personal wealth is all that you spend your life striving towards. Not that those ideas make you a BAD person, but if you do not subscribe to them, then you shouldn’t be criticized either. I tell ya, some of us truly aren’t miserable with out a smart phone and a flat screen TV. If you want one, go right ahead! Knock yourself and have fun. But, don’t look at me as though I’m some sort of personal failure because I don’t have them, or even worse, not WANT them. (“What kind of person doesn’t want a television?”)

So a few days ago, with tension with this person already on fragile ground, everything came to a head and I snapped. I finally let everything go. And I was often not as eloquent as I wished to be. I made the clear decision that I could no longer have this person around anymore. They were making me feel bad about myself. What they thought was critical observation, I called being mean and I decided it was not necessary to hear about my being a failure, nor about me being strange because I don’t own a car and once had the aspirations to be a monk.

I decided to cut out anyone from my life that made me feel inadequate in any way whatsoever. I want supportive people around me. And I am unyielding in this. That’s it in a nutshell. It just so happened that this whole incident occurred right around Independence Day. I found it metaphoric, that I was declaring my own right not to feel bad about myself because I did not become the professional with a mortgage that you wanted me to be. And who knows what this future holds for me? Maybe one day instead of renting a 10 by 20 room, that I could get something bigger πŸ™‚ Who knows? I do have aspirations for greater accomplishments and moments. Maybe millions of knitters all around the world with buy my patterns and BAM! Maybe I’ll write a best seller and WOAH LOOK OUT. Maybe……who knows?

But, that is the beautiful thing about being in this country. You truly CAN be anything you want to be.Β  And you are generally not made to feel bad about yourself for becoming what ever it is you wanted. No, this country encourages and supports the initiative to go in any direction you wish. Yes, America allows your dreams to come true, despite whatever nightmares you experienced.

I feel so much better about myself.


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  1. Good for you! ;-D xx Please convert patterns to knitting flat instead of in the round, your selling will double!!!!! Loads of people don’t do “in the round” and would love to knit your bears xx

  2. Thank you for your honesty! I love a simpler life even though I’ve had many people tell me that I’m wasting my life. Really? I feel a sense of accomplishment and peace that fills the corners of my home much better than a bunch of gadgets.

  3. I’m so happy for you *S* Happy that you were able to tell that person that not everybodys dream is the same *S* Maybe that person realy would like to follow a dream like yours, but don’t dare? I find that to be the case for people i ‘run in to’ along my lifepath *S*

    Most people seems to be way to much afraid of ‘what the neighbour might think’ if they do so and so . . And i find that abit scary to be honest *S* How can we change the world if everybody want to impress their neighbours in ‘the wrong way’?

    I wish more people would listen to the words in Michael Jacksons Man in the Mirror, and take them to heart *S* If we all start with ourselves, and stay out of other peoples life in a negative way, the worl would be a better place *S*

    All Best *S*
    Mona, Kristiansand, Norway *S*

  4. I love your blog. Your words encourage me so much and I love that you let us watch your journey. Thank You.

  5. Good on you. I have a friend who found she had to put some barriers between herself and the people in her life who were not a positive force. She has some mental health issues and is dealing with being bipolar and having to cope with negativity was just not a good thing. If people don’t like who YOU are, their loss. They’re missing out on all the energy you bring to the relationship. I’m on the other side of the continent, in Vancouver, BC, but I think of you and your wise musings every time I bring out your teddy bear pattern and start to knit.

  6. Good for you! Sounds like you are doing what’s best for you, and that’s the way it should be. You are on the right path, YOUR path. Life is too short to be around people that bring you down and not lift you up. I applaud you!! xxxx

  7. All you are every required to be is you. Those who are meant to be in your life will love you and support you. Those who aren’t meant to be in your life, don’t need to be in your life to bring you down. The timing is indeed interesting… Keep doing what you love. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. ” ~ T. D. Jakes

  8. Yes! You tell them. I do not have a cell phone either, the reason being is I have so much more to do that I enjoy. Knitting, gardening, cooking healthy food. One day you will look back and see all the things you did in the time most people spend on cell phones! You are a good and constructive person, do not change and I wish you all the best. P.S. I feel you are a better person for the way you look at life!

  9. I did the same thing a few years ago. I have to say I feel much better about myself and am much happier.

  10. You go, you knitter, you! yes to waving goodbye to people who suck your energy and don’t accept who you are. Remember plenty of people do accept you!

  11. Amen to that. I am personally going through something like that – I need a few things but I don’t have to have everything! I want to be able to just pick up and leave. Can’t do that with a mortgage. I am looking forward to when I can do that. Keep updating us on you!

  12. Congrats on your newfound freedom Gregory πŸ™‚ I takes a lot of bravery to cut ties and a lot of self-knowledge to know that is the right course. Lots of good wishes for you πŸ™‚

  13. Hurrah for you! That’s the best thing to do. I have family members like that and it’s so much nicer when they aren’t around.

  14. Good for you! I have done the same with negative forces in my life, but always more passively and with avoidance techniques – by not returning repeated phone calls or answering emails. Eventually the other party gets the drift.

    I think you did the right thing and you’re better off for it. You have to do what’s right for you because YOU are the only person living your life. πŸ˜‰

  15. There you go! Tapped into your courageous self and spoke your truth! If they truly love you, they will rethink their ways and come back to you with humility. I believe people deserve a second chance if they are genuine. Hugs to you and those adorable teddy bears. Olivia

  16. Hey there. I don’t usually comment here, but what the hell. I did not aspire to the life my father had by the time he was in his 40’s. I don’t own a car, nor a house, nor have kids. I have a small apartment I share with my husband. We have a little money and a few nice things. Mostly things that have been given to us over the years, including our grand tv.

    When I moved from the U.S. to Canada, I struck out on my own for the first time in my life (clean and sober) much to my families dismay. I made my declaration about how I wanted to live my life, who I wanted in my life and how that was all going to go down. I have not spoken to my parents in more than 13 years now. Today I am grateful for what I have. It may not be much by today’s standards. I have had to learn how to be happy with what I have and that what I have is ok, and that I don’t need MORE.

    You seem to already be here.

    You are an artist with a following. There are people who love you and respect what you do ( however sometimes people have been unkind to you) I do read comments. It is hard to be around people who constantly judge us for what we did not become or what we have not yet achieved. There are those of us who are very happy with the life we have, because we built the lives we have. If we wanted more, I am sure we would have gone to great lengths to get there.

    I don’t see the need to have those kinds of people in our lives. I am proud you stick to your guns. And you finally were pushed over the edge to make that declaration. Good for you. If you have the holy trinity of “things” then we are blessed. (1) a roof over our heads (2) food in the fridge and (3) a warm bed to sleep in. How many humans don’t have even the basics.

    I think those who have so much should live a few days in the shoes of those who don’t have so much or very little. The world is rife with “things” you need to have to be successful and life fruitfully. I just don’t buy that theory. I will never have a house and thousands of dollars in the bank and a huge retirement fund as it goes today. But I will make it one way or another.

    I honor you. And I honor the life you choose to live. Be proud of that life. And fuck those who can’t get it or won’t. They aren’t worth the time we have to spend on them.

    Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can never be regained.

    I don’t allow negative shit in my or (our) lives today. Life is too short to waste time on people who do nothing to help us get along or support us. And you shouldn’t either.

    Be proud and stand your ground.

    Jeremy in Montreal.

  17. How dare they, I mean REALLY, how dare they judge you and your lifestyle? If they kept their opinions and comments to themselves I suppose that’s one thing. Negative disparaging comments are something altogether different though. I’m proud of you for speaking up for yourself. It definitely isn’t the easiest thing to do! *hugs*

  18. If you are content in your soul, you did the right thing. You are, in your own way a monk, you spend your time knitting, each stitch made with love and care, that is prayer in it’s way way. St. Benedict said that work was prayer, he was right. Your work supports you, maybe not how others think it “should” be, but that isn’t for them to say. Life is a journey. We make that journey in company with others at times and at other times we are solitary on our trek. You are following your heart, it shows. You are being your authentic self. That means you can only be true to yourself, you can’t be what other people think or feel you should.
    Also, I agree with Katrina Whitehead, converting your pattern to flat knitting would provide a lot more knitters the option of making your bears.
    Thank you, Gregory, for your honesty, you openness and sharing your journey with us.

  19. πŸ™‚ There is a big difference between constructive criticism and negativity. Sounds like you have learned the difference. Remember detachment doesn’t have to mean cutting someone off, but it does mean protecting yourself. Besides if that person gives you any more flak, tell them you are living your faith by applying Biblical principles — that usually shuts people up πŸ˜€

  20. Who you are and what you do are very important. The love you knit into every stitch of your bears is imparted to each person who receives one. And that love extends out into the universe in infinite ways. Negative energy, whether it comes from a person, the food we eat, our environment, the media, or whatever, is not healthy. The Divine has blessed you with the sensitivity to recognize it and the courage to live your life without it. Our world is a better place because you are in it.

  21. Yay for you! I am kind of at a similar situation. I just had a whirlwind divorce after 26 years of marriage, not my choice. I thought I really needed him, but I am discovering what a negative force he has been in me and our children’s life, let alone all the lies. I applaud you to have liberated yourself in what you know is best for yourself!

  22. Very nicely put. Keep out the negative and embrace the positive. You are doing what you love to do and that’s the best thing for you. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Tamara

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