What You’ve Been Up To (Staff Edition)

a look into what some of us at the courier have been up to

Emma Mendez // Culture Editor

Entering this new school year and beginning to work at the Courier, I had the lovely opportunity to interview my co-workers Opinions editor Jayde (she/her), and News editor Bridget (she/her) on what they did this summer and to discuss their newfound hobbies and forever passions.

What hobby or activity did you take up in the last few months and why? What does it mean to you?

B: I  took up knitting at the start of the summer, just as exams were finishing. Just because it was something that I tried to do as a kid, but never really got into and I started watching videos on YouTube. I really love knitting to help with stress, because my fingers always feel like they need to be doing something. Knitting is a productive way to relax. It’s just a way for me to be creative, I can choose different patterns, I can choose different projects. I never really got into things like drawing where I had to come up with my own design. This is a way for me to be creative and make gifts for my friends. It also helps me feel productive. If I’m feeling really frustrated with a project, I can just take a few minutes, and you can really see results with knitting. I have a job as a journalist, so I’m doing writing or interviews, and it sometimes takes hours to get a paragraph right. It’s really easy to see improvement. 

J: I’ve been reading a ton, I’ve read 30 books so far. I’ve also done a lot of writing. I got on Fiverr in 2021 and I didn’t really start to get any jobs until May. I’ve been crazy busy since then. In the last 6 months I’ve become a number 2 seller on Fiverr. I’m editing a novel, so I’m doing tons of writing and editing. It’s giving me the freedom to make my own schedule and pursue my own passions without other people choosing the jobs for me. I get to choose the jobs that align with my beliefs, I get to choose projects that I’m very passionate about. I’m a lifeguard as well, and my pool is closing at the end of 2021 so I’m trying to build my side hustles enough so they can become my primary job. 

What does this activity/hobby  do for your heart, body, mind, and soul?

B: It really relaxes me, it’s also something I can focus on. My mind- there’s always a thousand thoughts swirling in my mind…so knitting is something that I can focus on for a few minutes here and there, and it really calms me down. 

J: They give me more confidence in my writing abilities, seeing positive reviews. It has alleviated my imposter syndrome and lets me know that I’m on the right path of what I’m supposed to be doing. 

What has been your favourite and/or most surprising thing about taking it up? 

B: I think the most surprising thing is that, to do a simple pattern it actually doesn’t take much practice. I’m making dish cloths right now, and my first one was a little wonky. But after that it was really easy to get the hang of it. Especially after you learn the basic stitches. I actually made a blanket for my boyfriend, for his birthday. I’ve been trying to make a blanket for five years and I’d only ever just done a little bit and turned it into a scarf and given up. So it was really nice to actually make something really big for someone. 

J: My favourite thing has definitely been people reaching out for me to edit their novels. Like I said, I’m a big reader. So getting paid to read is pretty cool. 

Does it feel fulfilling to your inner-child and if it does, how so? 

B: It really does because I didn’t necessarily have the patience… I never really had the follow through I guess. I found a different kind of wool that was a lot thicker, so I saw results faster. It was hard to mess up. And I just sort of rediscovered it now in my twenties and I really enjoy it! 

J: I was the kid who hid under the covers who you had to crank to make it stay on, or I would read by the crack of the door, with the light coming through the hall. So this a huge win for me, that I’ve finally found my path. I think my little ten year old self would be very proud of me for finally finding the career I was meant to be in. 

Something that your hobby has taught you about yourself?

B: It’s taught me that I can be creative. I never really saw  this as something that could be creative. I saw it as more like “okay there’s a pattern, it’s kind of like math.” It’s a way to express myself without having to do painting or something that I’m not necessarily comfortable doing now. 

J: It’s taught me that I’m much more capable than I thought I was. Because as you know I’m doing several jobs right now and you know you always think I can’t take on anything else. But what I’ve learned is that I’m stronger and more resilient than I first thought 6 months ago. 

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