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CASSANDRA JENKINS: Never too early to learn something new

I’m 22 years old. I graduated from high school in 2015 at the top of my class. I became the first person in my family to graduate from college in May of this year, since then I’ve traveled to three countries for the first time and began my professional career as a journalist.

It was a whirlwind summer, but with the settling in of autumn, it’s getting closer to the holidays. Before I know it, it’ll be New Year’s and the start of 2020, and with that evening comes the dreaded resolutions. Resolutions are supposed to be things an individual wants to work on, change or improve upon in the start of the New Year, but why wait till then?

Last week on assignment, I interviewed fiber artist Cindy Thomas about the art of quilt making. As I watched the Port Neches native work diligently and speak about her passion, it reminded me of a long since skill I promised myself I would learn — sewing.

Seeing the beautifully woven quilts and reminiscing to my own specialty blanket I had as a baby, I decided right then and there a handmade quilt would be the perfect gift for my niece that had just been brought into the world only weeks prior.

I called my mom on the way home from work to tell her of my idea and somehow we came upon the idea to make one together rather than simply buy one. I had always wanted to learn to sew so that every time my favorite clothes ripped or my pants needed hemmed, I didn’t have to send it out.

My interaction with Thomas sparked that old idea and pushed it even further to learn the basics of quilting. That one conversation also pulled up all the other things I told myself I wanted to learn over the past couple of years that I haven’t yet done, like learning to play guitar or becoming fluent in Spanish.

I realized in that moment that I didn’t want to be in my 60s or even 40s, regretting the things I didn’t learn because I got caught up in every day life and the grind of working a full-time job. I’ve always heard the saying, ‘It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks,’ but nor is it ever too early.

So, as a young adult, my plans for this weekend don’t include partying or staying out all night but a trip to Sew Much More in Nederland to begin the first stages of learning to quilt, which, hopefully, starts with an introductory lesson to sewing.