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Let go of the past – hang on to your plants instead 

By February 6, 2020May 22nd, 2020No Comments


D.I.Why Are We All Here? is a monthly column that provokes anxiety and offers a craft to relieve it. It is written by Cassie Delaney a podcaster, producer and Pinterest enthusiast. 


When we were eleven, our sixth class teacher Mr Kearny, instructed us to write letters to our 21-year-old selves. 


The premise was an obvious one: we’d hang on to the letters for ten years and open them as adults to reconnect with our inner children and subsequently be filled with wisdom, guidance and career direction. The ten years between the letter writing and ceremonious opening would be filled with so much adventure, change and opportunity that we would, of course, forget its very existence until such a time that we needed it. We would laugh, cry and remember who we truly were meant to be and after a quick montage of important decision making, we would resume the path set out by our younger selves. The right path. The who-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up path.

Reader, that was not the case. 

The first flaw was this: I could not forget the existence of the letter as, for the ten years between writing and opening, we shared a bedroom. Surprisingly, the decade immediately succeeding my confirmation had not taken me global, I had not become a pioneeringly young, yet highly successful fashion designer and I did not live in L.A with my five children. 

And despite the darkest warnings to my older self (if you are NOT a fashion designer, then I hope you are extremely disappointed every day of your life), the letter served little purpose other than to remind me that I once had a crush on Michael Howard and I am a perpetual daydreamer with unrealistic expectations. 

During the ten years between, I had been many things and wanted to be many more. I took up guitar and put it down again at the bequest of anyone that heard me play it. I joined a Gospel Choir and sang solo exactly once. I shared an aesthetic with Avril Lavigne, then P!nk and then the generic cast of The O.C. I was in love with Chad Michael Murray. I was a Born Again Christian for a while. I said things I now don’t believe. I drank vodka. I wanted to be an architect, a designer, a doctor, and a publisher. I almost studied creative writing but did something else and then something else after that too. I didn’t like pizza. 

But the letter did have an impact on me. It made me realise the importance of figuring out who you were meant to be, committing to it and chasing that dream until it became a reality. And thankfully, by then, at 21, I had all the answers. Simultaneously, we committed to social media so luckily, every time I made a decision I could let everyone know about it.  

I devoted myself to a career in media and proudly exclaimed myself to be a journalist at every turn. I updated my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. I posted articles on my website. When my career trajectory changed,I announced that too. A promotion? ANNOUNCED. 

Like most, I fell into a cycle of chronically oversharing — I posted my thoughts, my ideas and my plans online, in a belief that sharing them would forge a sense of responsibility to see them through.  And when that didn’t happen, I fell into a familiar cycle of anxiety and regret. 

Unlike the letter, social media holds us accountable. It suspends in time our thoughts, hopes, vulnerabilities and opinions. We leave little fragments ourselves out there, out of context, for all to see and examine and criticise. If unhappiness lies in the gap between who we want to be and who we actually are, then anxiety thrives in the space between who we said we were going to be and the humans we became. 

Change is inevitable (I learned that when I was a Christian). Not being the thing you said you were going to be when you were eleven is fine. Not being the thing you said you were going to be on Twitter when you were 24 is fine. Not being the thing you said you wanted to be yesterday is fine. 

I’ve stopped posting about my life online, so this column and my recent return to Instagram is a big deal for me. When I worked as a journalist I wrote very personal pieces and I talked about who I was then and I made mistakes. I said things I now don’t believe. 

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up anymore. I certainly don’t fancy Chad Michael Murray anymore. I know who I am now, I know I’m subject to change, but I know that when that inevitably happens, I won’t hang on to any notions of who I should be for too long. 

If you do want to hang on to something, let it be a wonderful fern. This macramé plant hanger is one of the easiest DIYs and makes for a wonderful housewarming present. It could even fit in an envelope and be posted to LA. 


Macramé Plant Hanger

  •  You will need

  • 8 x 4m(ish) macramé rope or cotton (I’ve used 3mm rope but use whatever you have to hand)

  • 2 x 1m(ish) macramé or thick wool 

  • A scissors 

  • A wooden ring


Measurements don’t have to be precise – to measure 4m for example, I usually measure twice my wing span and a little extra for luck.  The two shorter pieces will be used for gathering knots at the top of the hanger and underneath the pot so a thick coloured wool also works great here. I buy my craft supplies online and I find this macramé rope to be the most affordable and reliable. Be patient with the delivery. Before we jump in, familiarise yourself with the basic Macramé knots.

Step One: 

Thread your eight lengths of rope through your wooden ring until the ring is halfway along the rope. The eight lengths will fold in half over the loop, giving you 16 strands to work with. 

Near the loop, grab the 16 strands. 

Take one of the shorter lengths of rope and add it to the bunch. Grip the bunch in your non dominant hand. Take the shorter length from the bottom and loop it upwards, so that the shorter length of rope has creates a loose loop that runs vertically. Now wrap the length horizontally around the bunch to create a gathering knot. Feed the end of the knot into the loop and pull. 

 Step Two: 

Divide the strands into four groups of four. Now the fun kicks in. We’re going to do a series of spiral knots. This is a staple of macramé and though it sounds complicated – it’s really easy once you get the hang of it. Taking a group of four, centre the two middle strands. Now take the left piece of rope and cross it in an L shape over the middle two. Take the right rope and cross it in a backwards L under the two middle strands. Take the end of the right rope and feed it trough the loop you’ve created in the left L. Now take the end of the left rope and feed it through the other L loop. If you’re confused, I recommend THIS YouTube tutorial. Crafty Patti is doing the lord’s work.  I did 16 spiral knots for each set of four strands. 

Step Three: 

Leave a four inch gap. Now we’re going to do a square knot which is basically the same thing, but alternating which rope goes over the front and which one goes behind. Again there are people on YouTube with more patience than I when it comes to detailed explainers. 

Step Four: 

Congratulations, you’ve almost ready to levitate your best plant friend. To create the cradle for your plant, first roughly estimate where your knots should sit. Now, separate your bunches of four strands into two and complete one square knot using two strands from one bunch, and two from the adjacent bunch. 


Step Five: 

To complete your hanger, create another gathering knot beneath your plant pot. Use a coloured wool to add extra pizazz. 








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