When I was about nine years old, my mother taught me how to cross-stitch. She made it sound like it was a big deal, so I wanted to learn. I remember the hours of torment poking myself with the needle, getting the thread tangled, making mistakes and not knowing how to fix them. I remember many times when I had to ask my mom to help me fix the mistake I had made. I also remember many times when my mom refused because she wanted me to learn on my own. I hated it at first because It was difficult and painful, but eventually I started to figure things out. I learned how to hold the needle so that I didn't stab myself constantly. I learned how to thread the needle easily. I learned how to fix major mistakes I had made and to pay very close attention to what I was doing because small mistakes early can lead to huge mistakes later. Most importantly, however, I learned that at the end of all of this pain and toil and aggravation, when everything was said and done, when it was finished and I could stand back and see what hours upon hours upon hours of work got me, I saw a beautiful picture unfold and I got the satisfaction of knowing that all that effort paid off.
I still make mistakes when I sew. I still have to go back and fix things I've done wrong. I'm still learning tricks too; this last year I finally figured out how to avoid having the ends of the thread become horribly uneven. Tonight, I also did something I have never done before: I somehow broke the needle. I still don't know how it happened. The eye of the needle somehow snapped off. I didn't even know that was possible! I feel kind of accomplished.