As a child, I was a connoisseur of all things crafty. I would take trips to Michaels, grabbing whatever caught my eye at the moment, throwing them into the little shopping basket and, in turn, zapping my father’s bank account (I must have spent at least a hundred dollars on craft supplies and materials). I did everything: crocheting, collaging, sketching, sewing, photographing, t-shirt designing, stamping, painting, etc. I thought I had versed myself on every craft on the planet until my mother and I walked into the unassuming book store and my life changed.
You know that feeling when you know that something is destined to happen? That happened when I saw the thick binder of origami figures sitting on the shelf, waiting for me to take it. In my eyes, origami was going to be the hobby to end all hobbies. Origami was the one craft that I was going to do for the rest of my life.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t last for the rest of my life. I kept up folding for a solid 4 months before I moved on to the next activity. I would occasionally pick up the book on off days from school, telling myself that maybe I would start folding again. My folding inspiration would last a day, then I would re-shelve the book and leave it there for another month or two.
It was only in high school that I began to fold again. This time around, I focused on one figure: the paper crane. Ironically, paper cranes were one of the figures I hated most because of a confusing intermediate step. It took me years of frustration and then one day, it just clicked. After that, folding the crane was a breeze.
For me, paper cranes were a gift. They one: looked so peaceful, two: were easy to fold once I got the general routine down, and three: were something to do with my hands when anxiety struck. I would fold in class or at work-anytime I got bored.
I still fold today to ease tension and give my hands something to do. Paper folding hasn’t just given me a new hobby, it’s given me a new goal: fold 1000 paper cranes. There’s a legend that says that if you fold 1000 cranes, you can have a wish granted. I only have 50 so far but a start is a start.