Monday, March 16, 2015
knitting through loneliness
Waldi came home last Tuesday. And things are slowly returning to normal around here.
It was rough being all by my lonesome. I know, it was only 24 days and I'm being slightly over dramatic. But the truth is that without Waldi I don't feel much at home here. I had several moments (after he'd be gone for weeks, and we'd shared one solitary email) where I quite literally thought HOW did I end up here? This is not my city. This is not my language... Normally, although it's not my city or my language, I still somehow feel that it's my home. At least for now. But with Waldi gone, I can assure you, I was seriously doubting that as well. It felt a bit like floating, or being slightly off balance. And it was hard.
So of course, I turned to knitting (and the Gilmore Girls, but that's another story...). Waldi took his Christmas hat into the mountains for three weeks and was worried that it would get ruined. So I started another. It was just a simple k1p1 ribbed beanie, but it was soothing to me to tangibly be making something for him while he was gone. No, it didn't stop me from feeling lonely, but somehow, in it's own small way, it helped.
I've experienced this healing power of knitting before. When we first moved here, I felt all the feelings- I was overwhelmed, confused, a bit lost, stressed, and lonely. I missed my family and my home and my language. Of course I had all these things here too, but they were still new and unfamiliar and the result was that I often felt very alone. I didn't have a lot of people to talk to who were experiencing the same thing as I was. Of course I made friends in my Sprachkurs (language school) but since we were all learning German together, the extent of our conversations usually revolved around questions such as what is your favorite colour? or what did you do yesterday? (believe it or not, I used to get Waldi to write down these simple questions and then I'd memorize them before class each morning so I had SOMETHING to ask, even if sometimes I couldn't even understand the answers).
But what does all this have to do with knitting? Well, I can assure you that I'm not being overdramatic when I say that knitting saved me in these first few lonely months. I had always wanted to be a serious knitter- to progress from scarves and cowls- and this was my chance. Armed with needles brought from home and yarn ordered online, I slowly started teaching myself more and more complicated projects. The process was healing for me- it gave me something to focus on that I enjoyed, it helped quiet down the foreign vocabulary screaming for my attention all day and it made me feel connected to my family and where I came from.
I'm not sure why I'm writing all this out today, except that it's been on my mind recently and I wanted to share. I know I'm not alone in this experience, and that many others have discovered knitting to be soothing, healing, relaxing and just plain fun.
Knitting is just so totally rad. Like for real. The best.
(I recently saw this survey, which talks a little bit more about some of the healing powers of knitting. These aren't secrets, but it was interesting to read the results all the same)