Just Show Me...
There was a time in my life, when words from adults carried so much weight. I remember one adult in particular whose words were more negative than positive towards me, so much to the point it left me feeling worthless far too often when I was in his presence. It's strange to reflect upon those moments and how greatly they impacted me, it's even stranger to think of all of the things I've done since those days.
I would mention this person by name but that would open a wound which is healed and no longer soft; you see, I've moved away from the days of insecurity and into a world of confidence. For me, all I've ever wanted to do was learn to use my hands to fix things and build things, however, there weren't many people within my life who had such knowledge to share, during my days of shaping/molding. Well, to be fair, I'm still being shaped and molded despite my age.
My summers consisted of working on projects with friends, that would have us learning about electrical, plumbing, and even landscaping. The summer months were fun because they would allow us to serve others in a way we weren't accustomed to, we would leave our desk jobs and trade them out for a chance to learn a new trade. The look on the faces of families whose homes were completed is something I carry with me to this day. The only thing I've ever wanted is a chance to learn; IF one has the knowledge and fails to share their gift(s) what good is said knowledge.
The best friendships I have currently are the ones with my friends who are sharing and inspiring me and others to grow along with them. We live in a society that's caught up in so much "junk" and I'm so far removed from caring about anything that isn't beneficial. My main focus isn't attempting to become rich as much as it is attempting to become knowledgable. A few of my closest friends have challenged me to write more, read more, invest more, travel more, and use my mind and hands more. I cannot tell you how much beauty there is when someone cares enough about you and pushes you to be the best you can be. Perhaps this is my time of growth/expansion; I find myself seeking more solitude and less noise, I simply don't have time to waste and it's becoming evident with more and more of my interactions with others.
A few weeks ago, a close buddy of mine who is so good at far too many random things, said, "I'm going to teach you how to build chairs, we'll go buy the wood and you can come by the house to put everything in place". I took his comment and thought to myself yeah this shouldn't be an issue but then I remembered that it had been years since I used my hands and mind to build anything tangible. For some strange reason, I heard the still small voice of the aforementioned naysayer telling me that I should never touch a tool ever again. Such silly thoughts given the person I am today but for some reason the words lingered.
Yesterday, my buddy and me visited the hardware store to pick out the materials needed for today's build. He explained the type of wood to look for and he equated things to looking for fresh produce. I mean, I would have never thought to select wood in the manner of which he suggested, it was pretty dope, and he was pretty damn patient because he knew I was outside of my comfort zone. You see, there's a difference when others want you to learn what they're passionate about and it shows with how they treat you during the process.
I can't lie, even after purchasing everything, there was a part of me that wanted to make up an excuse not to drive out to my buddy's place, today, just because I was unsure of how I'd "look", you know a middle aged man who isn't savvy with all his hands. No sooner had I landed at my friend's house and was met by his family, we started in on the basics of building a chair. My friend asked me my level of using certain tools and I was honest and he said, "Well, bud, today is the day you get you feet wet". I immediately looked down and then up and said, "I'm wearing the wrong shoes".
Look, I'm no Bob Villa but today I sanded, used a power saw, a Japanese handheld saw, multiple drills, tape measure, ruler, some clamps, glue, and my mind. Some hours later, my buddy looked at me and said, "Loook at you, you're going to come over here and use this space without me even being around to help"; I think he was being more than nice but that comment caused me to pause and think about how I've only ever wanted someone to JUST SHOW ME how to do certain things and then allow me to try.
Today, we continued to solidify our friendship, there was a level of trust in something so simple as building a chair. There are always a lessons to be learned, for me it was the continued lessons of patience and perseverance, listening and trust. This dude really trusted that I would injury myself while the blades were running on the saw and I definitely listened to what needed to be done to avoid losing an arm or fingers (today). I know, there's still time to screw up and I pray I don't have a piece of wood ricochet off of something and take my life during my next visit to complete this chair of mine.
Last year was special for so many different reasons and three months into this year, I feel as though 2021 will be even greater, not because of a friend has shown me how to use my hands again but because I know there are friends within my corner who truly care about my progression and thirst for knowledge. I hope I'm a good friend to other friends who are seeking to grow, as well.
The project isn't quite done but we have base and just need to add some stain and a few other minor details. This was pretty fun, I can't wait for round two of chairs in the coming weeks/months.