I have never played video games, never gone out for a sport. I watch no regular TV shows, almost never do my homework at home, and have joined few high school clubs. Yet my days are not filled with unending boredom. In fact, I do not have time for sports and TV. What fills my days? I sew. It is actually something of an obsession. I started sewing classes nine years ago, and by the end of eighth grade I could finish practically any pattern. I sketch during school hours, eager to get home and start my next project. My sewing machine broke a couple months ago, leaving me on the verge of a meltdown when I realized that I was now incapable of creating anything until it was fixed. My specialty is costumes, both historical and movie replicas.
There is something magical about putting on a costume. When I lace up my gold Regency corset over a floor length skirt my mind is electrified by thoughts of the elegance and poise of those timeless eras. Or I can don the creamy layers and flowing brown robes of a Jedi, with the steady assurance that my costume is nearly as accurate as the movie itself. What about the chill I get when I look at my Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland dress and think of all the painstaking hours I spent searching the Internet for pictures and recording even the least perceptible of details? The best part is the knowledge that I created those costumes from scratch. Me. Money could never buy the effort put into them. I wore the gold corset dress for my senior pictures, with no regrets, because my creations are part of me. I could not exist without them any more than they could have existed without me. When I finally complete something, be it corset, dress, or even curtains, I get a thrill just looking at it and realizing that I dreamed it up, I sketched it out, I created the pattern, and I brought it to life with the skill of my own hands.
Don’t get me wrong; my life is not about sewing. My life is about creating. Mankind is nothing without creativity—individually or as a society. When an artist dreams up a painting or an author a plot, they have the opportunity to create something lasting, something that will outlive themselves. They have the opportunity to beautify the world. When I was younger, I was embarrassed because my peers thought sewing was “old-fashioned,” “girly-girl,” or just plain “weird.” But now that I have realized the power it gives me to bring imagination to life, I would not trade my skills for anyone else’s. I believe in the power of creativity to shape our future.