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How could you reconfigure yourself?

A few months ago, I found a pair of curtains with the most fabulous dinosaur print on them in a charity shop. My first thought was that I had no use for a pair of children’s bedroom curtains, but I really loved the print. It would have been easy to see them as only curtains and to quickly put them back. But as I was lamenting the lack of a suitable window to hang them in, I remembered The Sound of Music and realised that they could be much more. It took some time and hard work, cleaning them and carefully breaking them down into the constituent parts, but once I could see all the pieces, I could begin to see how they could be put back together differently. This weekend, with the addition of some thread, bias binding, and a lot of patience, I made a skirt using the dinosaur print that I loved and I’m plotting what to make with the rest of it.

Sometimes we might get stuck with how we view ourselves and the roles that we inhabit; if we spend our whole lives as a pair of curtains, it can be hard to imagine that we could, be a skirt. It’s one of the reasons why therapy can sometimes bring some discomfort and distress as part of the process. We might begin by acknowledging who we think (or are told) we currently are before thinking about what we might like to be. This process might feel a bit like deconstructing the curtains, taking apart all the different bits and looking at them individually, before seeing if we can put them back together in a way that better serves our purposes. This might even mean discarding some parts that are no longer useful and going in search of things that might be needed to complete a transformation.

It is unlikely to be a straightforward journey, it can take time to unlearn being one way and making space for the new possibilities and we might need to try them out to find the right one. We might need to undo a seam or two, and get creative with a pattern we’re trying out, but over time we can begin to move between different spaces and roles, while keeping hold of who we are. We might even get some help with some of the tricky bits when we feel like we are stuck and unsure of how to move forward. This is certainly how I feel about therapy, a resource to dip in and out of as is needed.

If you could reconfigure yourself, what would you let go of and what would you add?

Skirt made of blue and green dinosaur fabric next to a sewing machine with a set of pinking shears reasting on top. Text reads ‘How could you reconfigure yourself

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