How do I start…
No, how do I pick back up. What do I pick back up?
That’s the problem with juggling hats, you see. I have so many and I love them all. I hold them close, I spin them in the air. I store them in the closet. And sometimes, I crush them because hats do crush so easily, after all.
Woman, wife, mama, homeschooler, friend, designer, crunchy, fancy, creative, maker, baker, picture taker, writer, artist, trainer, teacher, chauffeur, birth doulam volunteer, problem solver, coach, foster mom, bio mom, adoptive mom, cheerleader, realist, dreamer….
I don’t know which one to wear for you you. What comes first? What do I put up in the closet for next season? Actually, why am I wearing a hat when I hate the way things feel on my head?
Running through my head.
For months now. Years, actually.
Stepping out in a funky hat takes some serious chutzpah.
How long does dauntless take, to become a habit?
Over the years I have had six different blogs. They have all been topic specific and I have never just blogged as me, with my name. As open and honest as I have always been, putting my name out there was something different. I orten did it anonymously or with a pen name.
She was braver than I, always.
It has taken until now to give myself permission to embolden from the ground up. Let me tell you why.
I have blogged off and on for several years. Behind a keyboard pouring out my heart, vulnerable to the point of flooding my face with tears and snot, only to panic and take it back frantically making those juicy tell-all posts private.
I’ve bared my soul, my history, and my body image. Then made it anonymous because it hurts.
It hurts to have women and moms tell me that I inspire them, and then have the someone I see day-to-day scoff and tell me I’m ridiculous. It’s that one that gets me, stabs and slays me, no matter if a dozen thank me. Why am I so weak?
It gets tiring to be the elephant in the room, especially when you’re the one willing to unpack your trunk. Haha…trunk. See what I did there?
The more I mull it over, the less likely I am to ever do this. So, I’m gonna be real here and just…start typing.
But it’s ok. I’m ready.
I am not going to do fear and loathing anymore. I just won’t. I’m not going to make excuses for how people feel and worry if I am just “too much” for them. They did not even ask me to. I put that on myself.
I’m going to hash out a few things right now, before I start the baby-steps-back-into-blogging. I’ve been holding off on letting this out, trying to decide which way to go, what route to write…
I’m going to start with answering how I feel about me, before I put me in front of you on a silver platter to pick apart and mull over…in case anyone cares to do that picking business.
“You’re too intense.”
I am thankful for my God given intensity. I’m sorry if it stuns you and makes you uncomfortable. Nine times out of ten I’m thanked for being encouraging and challenging growth in someone. I refuse to take that one outlying opinion and mull it over in my head for days as a failure anymore. I’m not going to spend so much time if I have been wrong all along, over one opinion. It’s ok. You’re allowed to read someone else’s blog. From now on, I’m me. All of me.Take me or leave me. Really… you are welcome to leave before this gets real. And I am not kidding here. Please. Feel free to read someone else’s blog.
“You’re too passionate.”
I am blessed by the gift of passion. Once in a small group we were supposed to go around the room and say what we are passionate about. I wasn’t sure. The minute I said that out loud someone piped in,
“You are passionate about parenting and family!”
“You are passionate about supporting women!”
“You are passionate about sewing and clothes!”
“You are passionate about cooking!”
“You are passionate about homeschooling and DIY stuff!”
Let’s just call it, y’all. It’s not that I have one thing. It’s everything.
I. Am. Passionate.
There ya go.
Passion for my family. I am blown away by my husband and children and aim for growth in every day we have together. I’ve blogged about parenting and love sharing that part of my heart. I do that because we all can do it better, not because I think that *I* do it better. I want to share that walk with you and with all the parents swimming through the sea of controversy in parenting. Staying above water is a struggle and we are constantly hit by tidal waves.
I do not share about parenting because I am bitter. It is because I am learning, and I love to learn! My mama taught me that. I do not challenge parenting standards because my parents were horrible. I parent differently than them. I absolutely do, unashamedly. When I blog about it, it has the potential to hurt feelings. They have told me so, and I absolutely understand why it would be uncomfortable. I feel confident enough to discover new ways because they taught me to. I owe that to my parents for homeschooling me and teaching me to teach myself. They are as amazing as they are imperfect, which is where the beauty lies. By that they have taught me that I can be equally imperfect and amazing, in being me.
Passion for the beauty of a woman’s body and its beauty in style, in pregnancy and in birth.
Over the years I have had the great job of encouraging and supporting women to have a birth surrendered to truth. Truth is different for each birth. But don’t act like I’m a werewolf at a babyshower. Please. I’m ok with you loving your birth, however it was. Be ok with me encouraging others toward something that may be different. I’ve seen about 250 of them over six years. If there is one thing I know, her birth is not about YOU, and it’s not about ME. So… let me speak.
And then there’s my whole modesty mantra. Look… I’m basically a modest nudist. I like to be naked. But my spirit won’t let me. God won’t let me, ya know? I follow that still small voice that tells me what to wear. I’m going to tell you about it, and why I will champion the cause of modesty, yet dress as a “Modesto Incognito”.
Passion is a powerful part of my faith. Passion has lead me to places from which fear would have kept me. Passion left me dissatisfied with a mediocre faith based on popular Christianity and drove me to stand firm in searching for the Truth and the Light. It brought me to somewhere I never, never expected… The Catholic Church.
What?!?!? Did she just say Catholic?
She did. She said it. She did it.
She’s Catholic? What the what? Since When?
It’s ok. I love Jesus. Jesus loves Catholics.
Oh man, she’s gonna talk about Catholic.
Yep, I’m going to tell you about that… because it’s Jesus. I love to share Jesus. Stick around or don’t. That’s totally up to you. I free you from it if it bothers you. I mean, it’s all Jesus and you can read and not be Catholic… but I am. I found my freedom in it. So much freedom that it blows me away.
“You are so judgmental… “
Please understand that I make judgement calls. It’s what God asks of us, and I prayerfully try to toe the line of judging sin and not the heart and soul of a sinner, other than myself. I’m not judging you by making a judgment call on what I believe to be a healthy standard. My choice is not about you. Also, I constantly encourage others to search their hearts and find that sound judgment that is there. It’s not what you think it is, and our culture and society is doing everything they can to destroy our good judgement.
“Nobody can make everything from scratch and do all that healthy stuff. I could never do what you do. “
Really, that’s fine. I can’t even do what people think I do. I love to make things myself. I also love ordering pizza, and I miss that option in my life. So there.
I love treating bodies well, nourishing them with whatever is wholesome and caring for them on a daily basis. But you may not believe me. You may think I’m a liar because…. gasp….
I had WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY!!! Give me a few weeks and I’m going to explain to you in about 100 ways why that was NOT the easy way out. I promise. It’s hard. Especially when you’ve been known as a health freak for years…Yes, me. I did this… gasp…. Just wait. I’ll tell it all.
“I can’t believe you would tell people that! You know, that thing you just said.”
What, the truth?
Listen, I’m all about healthy boundaries. As a professional birth doula I am trained and experienced at following strict guidelines and HIPPA privacy regulations. It’s second nature. I was an HR manager with 900 employees when I was 22 years old. I can be diplomatic and discrete. I can poker face to the enth degree. That doesn’t mean that I can’t share failures and lessons I’ve learned, myself, in hopes that the experience can be used to help others. It’s part of who I am. To share. To support. To hold myself open to ridicule so that someone else can feel that they aren’t alone. I do that. Often.
I could go on and give you 100 things people have said to me about things I have written in the last nine years. I have the rebuttals ready. I think this is enough for you to get the idea, right? Right.
I’m starting fresh, from scratch and that may be with five readers instead of what I have enjoyed in the past. If you are reading this and you can see where I am going, it is worth it to me.
You want to know what all of this rambling is about? In a nutshell, it is a coming out in the light of day. I’ve spent years trying to hide ME behind a purpose or topic… every. time. I. write.
Because the real me, the whole me, was too much for people. Because Jesus wants us to see Him, not us. So I had to hide that for Him, right? Isn’t that required?
I named blogs different things and kept them separate. At one point I had 5 at once, compartmentalized by different topics so the topic was what you saw. You aren’t supposed to see me.
I can’t maintain that. I can’t hide behind the banners and the goals anymore and say that they are what is important and I’m to be as invisible in the process as possible. I’ve refused to use my name in most of my blogging. I thought that was doing “Humility” correctly.
It was letting the fear of others cripple my heart. I let them hold back the baring of my soul, and if there is one thing I have known since I was a child, it is that God gave me a soul that is intense and passionate… that loves to DIY for everything… and he wants me to bare my soul. He gave me a crazy one… to share it. Yes.. bare… naked. Like that.
I was afraid.
Now I am not. So this is all about taking a deep breath and for the first time presenting me. All in one place. All my randomness. All my depth. It’s ok for my blog to be about me. Who I am is ok. That can be useful.
Most of all, I want to share all that I’m meant to be… with you. To believe and know that I AM worth seeing and knowing. I don’t have to hide behind the words that flow from me, yet I don’t have to give them up to be something that I’m not. I can do both.
And if I’m worth reading.
I am worth seeing as a whole.
If I am,
That means you are, too.
But first, I have to tell you about me.
Bare and openly yours,
Talitha Cumi Seibel