Just Because You Make Doesn't Mean You Have To Make Everything
The weekend was getting closer and I was super excited. My brother in law and I (who's basically like the older brother I never had) were taking a class in blacksmithing. Seeing as we're both fans of the show Forged in Fire, our interest was totally sparked (see what I did there?) and we wanted to try our hand at it.
I won't speak for him, but my enthusiasm for working with metal died that day.
Here's the thing; I'm pretty good with wood. I'm very good with electronics. I'm great at fixing things, and I have a very good mechanical "sixth sense." Few things in the maker world trip me up, and after I learn how to do something I put a lot of effort into getting better at it. After a day in the forge, though, I have no interest in pursuing it.
Aside from the obvious fact that I was doing something new, I just didn't enjoy it. Moving metal and shaping it and heating it is not fun work. I didn't feel like a craftsman or a maker, just a grunting gorilla banging on a small piece of steel with a very tired arm and a nose full of coal soot. After 4 hours, I was basically done and just spent the rest of the time chatting with our teacher, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even when I don't make the same things as the people I'm talking to, I enjoy listening to them and hearing about their experiences. The highlight of my time there wasn't the thing I made, but rather watching him do occasional technique demonstrations and watching the two other students crank out beautiful pieces of work with his help. It's clear their level of enthusiasm for metal work was much higher than mine and that's when I realized that as much as I love watching people do it, I don't enjoy doing it myself. And that's okay. See that's the lesson I needed to take away from that day. Not that I should have kept going and forced myself to like it. Not that there's something wrong with me or that I'm a quitter. It's that sometimes things aren't a good fit and you just have to move on and enjoy the things that are, which is what I'll continue to do as I explore the amazing world of making things. I may never make a thing out of metal again, or I might, but whether I do or not I'm glad I had the experience even if I'm a tad sad that it didn't make me into the next contestant on Forged in Fire, although based on what I brought home that day, I'd probably get eliminated quickly anyway!