Made Him Happy
I know a man who loves to knit. Blankets, quilts, sweaters… he knits them all. Knitting is his hobby, his love. He could choose another hobby—something a bit more masculine, like restoring vintage cars or hunting. But this man continues to stick with what makes him happy—knitting. Because he discovered knitting when he was only a little boy who didn’t know any better. And now, it’s a huge part of who he is.
As he grew into his teenage years he was made aware of the fact that knitting wasn’t a common hobby for a boy. “Knitting is a hobby for girls or for boys who like to wear high heels,” his older brother used to say. Over time, after being frequently ridiculed by his own family and others, he eventually asked himself a question: “Are the opinions others have about knitting at all relevant to my experience of knitting as a hobby?” And he immediately realized the answer was “No!” So, he kept enjoying the hobby—the love—that made him happy.
Stories, Fears & Expectations
It’s fascinating how we make certain decisions in life. Sometimes we follow our heart and intuition and we choose the thing that makes the most sense to us—that which makes us happy. Other times we follow our fears and expectations, especially those spawned by the culture and society we live in, and we choose whatever we believe will most appease those fears and expectations—that which makes everyone else (or no one at all) happy.
The man who loves to knit remained open-minded and stuck to knitting even when he learned about the cultural and societal expectations that suggested he should give it up. But he didn’t always carry forth with this same open-minded attitude. For instance, he believed for as long as he could remember that he would someday find the perfect mate. And he knew exactly what she would be like.
The story about her that he inscribed in his head when he was in his adolescence hasn’t changed much since. Nor has it drastically changed since he told me a story about her just a few short months ago over a cup of coffee. The beginning of the story goes something like this:
“I’ve always dreamed that someday I would meet the perfect mate. She would be smart and classy, yet sexy and athletic. And she would be a geek like me. I wouldn’t care what her religious background was, so long as she had an open mind and an honest heart. But she would have to be neat and tidy, because…