Ahh… the feeling of being a beginner at something… It can either be magical or torture, and it’s always up to each of us to decide which it will be.
Tonight I finished tuning up my new bandsaw and decided to take a stab at what I’m assuming will become a favorite hobby of mine, making puzzle boxes. There’s something incredibly exhilarating to me about taking a vision of a concept from my imagination and then creating it with my own hands. This activity does just that, pulling ideas from many different places to help me create new boxes that have to be taken apart like a puzzle and may contain a secret compartment (or several) if poked and prodded and twisted in the right way. It’s a combination of imagination, engineering, mystery, happiness, and the unknown all rolled into one. That’s the dream, anyways!
Today began the reality and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got the bandsaw ready more quickly than expected so I thought I’d try my hand at making the cuts that look oh so easy in the book I’ve been reading. As I started running the blade through the 4×4 pine for the first time I could feel a little frown on my face as things weren’t going nearly as smooth as expected. As soon as I felt a little frustration I smiled… I was making progress! Who cares about failing the first time, I was actually doing it the first time and that felt AWESOME!!!
As I kept cutting away it did start to become easier but it still looked like something you would find on Pinterest under the category of “FAILED IT!” Even though it turned out horribly I am still smiling about it as I write this. I’ve taken the first step, I’ve made the first cut, I can only get better from here and I can’t get to where I want to go without starting.
The boys had a little fun playing around with the ugly and sloppy little butchered woodblock. Gavin had some ideas to help me out with it and Dominic jumped in to remind him to be nice to me. I smiled, thanked Gavin for the constructive feedback, and reminded him that I’d love any help to make it better the next time. It was fun seeing them smile while playing with something that was about the worst prototype of anything I’ve made in a long time and it reminded me of one of the reasons I want to learn make these.
Today’s success certainly won’t be seen in the block of wood I was working on (I might have to burn it to put it out of its misery!), but the success is definitely seen in the smile on my face. I’ve started something. I’m not good at it now (I’m actually pretty terrible), but very soon I will be better at it. Eventually I will be very good at it. When that day comes I’ll look back to the memory of this first block, remember the first cut, and smile. This is when I began. I’ll also be glad that they don’t look this bad anymore! 🙂