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Walk Sew Good

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Walk Sew Good
Do you ever wonder.....what if?
What if I had decided to stay?
What if I had taken design instead of science for my college studies?
What if I didn't have kids?
A few chance encounters this month stirred these thoughts.
  1. A friend mentioned over coffee how being married with kids changes our progression as artists. No overseas workshop trips, less time to experiment and being in the flow of creativity. It's a change in priorities! 
  2. I attended a talk "Surface Design: Discover the Quality of Tactile Fabrics" and discovered that Tiffany Loy and Minyi both went to Japan to study weaving and shibori, respectively.  I wanted to scream, "I want to do that too!"
  3. Then I e-met two wonderful ladies, ​Gabrielle Murphy and Megan O’Malley who plan to walk across Southeast Asia later this year. They plan to speak with and learn from the people that are making fashion in a positive and sustainable way. I wanted to scream even louder, "If only!"
I started wondering "what if I had made these decisions earlier in life?". Obviously this would be very unfair to my family as I had made a commitment to be with them. But can I do something to improve my situation?

Of course I can! I saw this quote on a friend's facebook feed. It's true, you have to change your situation to be where you want to be. I might not be able to go on a study/workshop trip, but I can continue learning on my own and attend local workshops to satiate my hunger for knowledge.  I will squeeze in as much time as I can to continue my craft, and be extremely DISCIPLINED (ahem, do you really need to surf the internet?). It's my life and I have to take control of it!

Everybody's journey will be different, but by witnessing and being part of others' experiences we can grow richer too. I'm so in awe of Megan and Gabrielle - what they are doing is amazing. They will be connecting with people across South East Asia, people who are trying to change the fashion industry status quo for the better.  The stories of these people will be shared on Youtube and as Megan beautifully puts it, 

“We want to connect people with the stories of those working hard to create fashion in a sustainable and beautiful way. The aim of Walk Sew Good is to start a conversation with our followers and show them how they can support a fashion industry that has a positive impact,”

I asked both of them what pushed them to do this, and I wondered how their families felt. Megan and Gabrielle mentioned that the inspiration to walk came from the 13,000km pilgrimage Satish Kumar undertook to promote nuclear disarmament in the 1960s,

"In terms of how we decided to go for it, the idea had been mulling around in my brain for about a year and a half after I read an article about Satish Kumar before I did anything about it. What a legend and an inspiration! I highly recommend his book if you can get your hands on it. He did his walk to promote nuclear disarmament and after reading the Dumbo Feather article, I felt like I wanted to do something as powerful and meaningful about a subject I cared deeply about."  - Megan

I really could understand what was going through Gab's mind when she alluded to the "now or never" attitude. If you don't do it now, then when?

"I could spend the next 50 years of my life stuck behind a computer, or desk or counter in a job I hate, complaining about the state of the world, doing nothing about it, then die sad and depressed without ever having really lived; OR I could join Walk Sew Good with Megan." - Gab

Are they scared? Yes, they are (and so are their families), but, as Gab put it, 

"I think that there are some risks in life that are worth taking. If this trip can help make a difference to slavery, pollution or improve sustainability it's worth it. Hell, if it can stop my friends from buying so much crap then it's worth it. "

If you would like to support them on their 5,000km journey across SE Asia, pop over to their campaign page and "like" them on their facebook so that you can be "part" of their journey.  These two definitely knew what they wanted to do and are an inspiration to all of us!


So stop asking the "what ifs" and change them to "now or never"!
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Abdelghafour

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6 comments

  1. I can totally relate to the 'what if' musings. What if I had lived my life just for me instead of for a future family I was never destined to actually have? What if I had followed my passion for sewing as a job instead of just working to pay bills? Would I have ended up hating it the way I did my desk job? What if I had chosen to continue to study clothing production instead of working full time to buy a home? I'll never know, but right now I can choose differently. What if doesn't matter, instead it's 'Today I choose...'

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Agy. It's always so inspiring to hear about people who are 'doing'. We all have our 'what if's and things we want to do but feel we can't. But you're right - there is always something we CAN do - and that is what we need to find and focus on! I'm off to find the Walk Sew Good Facebook page - looking forward to following their journey!

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  3. Hi Agy! Thanks for sharing I'm going to check them out. I always have what if moments. But I think it's you can have family and do the things you want too.

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  4. As someone who was a teen mom I do have those moments, but I wouldn't give up my family for anything!

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  5. I learned to get over the what ifs when I realized that every step I've taken along the way has shaped who I am today. Even my mistakes have changed my life in the long run in positive ways.

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  6. When I got married, our priest said that we should never ask ourselves WHETHER we should stay married but only ask HOW we could work through problems. I think of this often and think it applies to the "What-ifs." There's no point in wondering how things could have been different but you can figure out how to fulfill your dreams in the life you have now.

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