As I was reflecting upon 2013, and figuring out what what my goals were in the upcoming year – I realized something. I wasn’t connected anymore. I am so thankful for all of the growth the Sewing Rabbit blog has undergone the past few years, so thankful for every single reader, viewer, and friend. In fact, we have gone through so much growth that I needed to take on a team in order to keep up with all of the work. After all, no one person can do everything – we all need help. And taking on the team was one of the best decisions I ever made. But in that growth, I lost something. I lost some of my connection with you. After all, when others are writing some of your content you lose a bit of the daily conversation.
So one of my 2014 goals is to get connected again. To share some of my story each month, in an effort to help you get to know me better.
Of course I know some of you may not care, and are here for the tutorials or patterns – which is great! Skip these monthly posts and keep coming back for the good stuff. I am writing these posts simply so you can get to know me better – the person behind to blog you read daily. To open up the conversation, to be friends, and to connect with you on a more personal ‘real’ basis.
So…where do I start?
I guess at the beginning…and don’t worry, I will skip over my entire life growing up. But there are some core things you need to know about me, that helped form who I am now.
That’s me. Wasn’t I a little nugget? My mother was a teen Mom, getting pregnant unexpectedly at the age of 17. The pants she is wearing in that photo? Totally handmade. I love her for that. In fact, when people started asking questions about whether or not she was pregnant in High School, she started wearing a shirt that said ‘Baby’ and had an arrow on it. That’s my Mom, she is totally awesome and I love her in every way possible. Of course being pregnant at such a young age is usually not what people dream of, but I thank my lucky stars that she kept me – loved me – and raised me to be the woman I am today. I am very close with her, and very much like her.
The man holding me is my Father. I did not grow up with him in my life, which I will get into. My mother had another daughter while married to my Father, my sister and I are exact opposites in every way – but she is still one of my very best friends.
As mentioned, my parents divorced when I was very little. You see, my father is a very sick man – diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He was abusive towards my Mother, and on a lot of drugs at his young age. I remember a few fights they had when we were very little – and standing in between my parents to try to get them to stop arguing. It must have been hard for my Mom, no one ever wants to separate their children from their birth father. But I am so thankful she had the courage to do exactly that – what was best for her children. We ended up moving from Illinois to New York when she met and remarried my Stepfather, whom I consider my real father as he is the one who raised me.
I have no hard feelings towards my birth father, I understand he is mentally ill. Because of that I spent a lot of my young adulthood learning about Paranoid Schizophrenia, as it was always a concern for me that I would develop it. My father and I developed a relationship in my early adulthood as well, writing letters back and forth. I take comfort knowing he has found Jesus, and that I will be able to talk with him when he has a sound mind someday with the Lord. I even learned that my great-grandfather on my Father’s side is a classified genius – having found stars in the sky that are now named after him. Kinda cool. And thanks to Facebook, I am even ‘friends’ now with some Aunts and cousins from his side of the family.
Why do I share this?
One – because no family is perfect. One of the biggest misconceptions in blog-land is the image of the perfect family. We take beautiful photos, and only share what we want with the world. I have a lot of imperfect in my life – then and now. This is just the very tip of the ice berg. I thank God for the imperfect, because without it I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Two – because I think a lot of people are scared to share things like this with others. I know I was. No one wants to tell people that their real father is a paranoid shizophrenic, after all – what does that say about them? You are not alone.
Three – to be free. Secrets like this hold us back from so much happiness in our life. You never know what you share, and how it can affect others. Letting go of our past hurts, our secrets can unlock the chains that bind you. This is no secret is my personal life, and I certainly wasn’t keeping it a secret here – it was simply never shared. But I tell you, when you hold things like this inside – you are binding yourself up in a way that will never allow you a life of freedom. God doesn’t want you to be under chains, He came to set you free from oppression, free from the yoke of burden.
Four – back to my Mother. I share this because I am so very proud of her. In fact, I am crying as I write this now. My Mother is a rock in my life, I never would be who I am today without her. She always encouraged us to be strong young women. To be able to stand up on our own two feet, to fight for what we want, and to live a life of happiness and joy. I imagine she had to learn that lesson the hard way, having had the courage to go through her struggles. (And don’t think I went through life as a happy teenager with my Mom, I cursed her like all teenagers do and thought I had the worst Mom ever. Gosh, I was such a snot. Lol.) I write this as a Mother with 3 children of her own, looking back and knowing that my mother was the best Mom ever. She always did the best job she could with what she had. We didn’t have much back then – living with my grandparents. And then once she got re-married in a second floor apartment of her MILs house. But we were always happy – even when my sister and my greatest joy was popping the tar bubbles in the hot pavement during the Summer. We were always, happy.
I learned how to work hard from her. To reach for what I want in life, and to keep on striving until you get it. To be a strong independent woman. And I learned how to be a loving Mother, always bringing life and joy into my children’s lives. To be a silly, jump around and dance in the kitchen kind of Mom. To kiss their boo boos, and cuddle with a book kind of Mom. I also learned to scream when I am mad, laugh loudly, sing in the car, shop well, and be creative – all from her.
Why do I share this? Because I want to be connected with you. And in order to do that, you need to know a little bit more about me. About who I am, about my family, about some of the things I have been through and where I am going. Why I do what I do, and how I do it. Some of these monthly posts will be funny, some hopefully encouraging, and some may even be sad. ALL of them will be real.
Furthermore, this Friday you will get to meet the new 2014 Sewing Rabbit Team and learn a little bit about them! And next week will bring a full new year of sewing tutorial awesomeness! In the meantime, if you ever want to reach out to me – I am always here to respond to comments, e-mails, and you can find me hanging out on Facebook and Instagram most frequently when time allots.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I look forward to getting to know YOU better in 2014 too.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…