Monday, February 18, 2013

Where it Began

I came across these photos the other day so I thought I would share. They were taken back in 2008 before I ever discovered blogs.  I had decided to try and sell my shelves at a couple local Holiday Bazaars so I contacted the person in charge and they requested a photo to make sure I fit in with their event. 

I didn't really set out to sell the things I built in the beginning.  I just loved to build and you can only have so many shelves in your home.  Around that time I started a new job and decided to join the company's Relay for Life Team.  The team captains asked people for craft donations.  The plan was to sell those crafts at a local bazaar and donate the money to our team.  My kind of craft at the time was building decorative shelves.  I was a little worried on how they would be received but I took them into work anyways.  It was a big step for me at the time.  Well those gals I worked with bought a bunch of my shelves and I had several requests for custom orders.  I will never forget how that made me feel.  I so needed that boost of confidence.  Do you ever wonder sometimes how you end up the places you do.  I feel like I ended up at that job just because of all the encouraging friends I made there.    

So feeling good about how all that went down I signed up to sell my shelves at the Holiday Bazaars, I did okay but really wasn't ready to keep doing that.  You see my life at the time was taking a turn.  This is something I have never mentioned on the blog before but I think I am ready as I will ever be.  I didn't intend to even write about it now but here goes.  The reason I took that job in the first place was because my previous job was very stressful and a 45 minute commute.  My husband and I had just gotten married (we had been together five years)and wanted to start a family right away. We were both 31, and so ready.  I wanted to be closer to home so that once we had kid number one I would go to part time, after kid number two I would probably stay home with them.  It was gonna be great, what a beautiful plan.    

Five years later and there are no kids.  Obviously there is a huge story there that I am not going to go into all the painful details of but I will say it has been a hard last few years.  (understatement of all time)  If you have ever suffered from infertility or loved someone who has you know.  It is a swamp that pulls you down and consumes you.  Once you finally climb out of it you are hesitant to even look back.  

Then I feel selfish for not sharing my story.  The whole reason I discovered blogs was because I googled infertility and found one.  At the time I didn't get what the appeal of blogs was, I was about to learn.  So this blog was written by a gal named Jen who was suffering from just the thing I was.  Her blog was just what I needed.  She was snarky and funny and honest.  Not to be over dramatic but I feel like she saved me.  A blogger who I will never meet and has never answered my comments ;) helped me cope.  One day she had a someone guest post and from there I discovered home decor and DIY blogs and found my people.  Thank you God!

I have hesitated to mention this on the blog because I don't want people to think I'm complaining.  I don't want you to feel sorry for me.  I was sad for a long time but I am not a sad person.  In my experience infertility is a topic people do not want to hear about.  Even people who love you the most because they don't know what to say or how to help you.  It makes people uncomfortable.  So out of fear I have ignored the little voice inside me that for two years has been telling me I need to just tell my story.  I need to let it go.  

I lost myself for a long time but I feel like I found me again.  I laugh again, all the time even when it's not appropriate.  I dance around and sing in my workshop when I'm building things.  Sometimes I still get sad about it, that's normal.  I have learned that most everyone, not just me, has suffered from loss and heart break.  Someone summed it up once by saying "for all you've lost what you've gained is Grace".  For now we have made the choice not to pursue adoption and live child free.  That decision was the hardest part of the whole thing.  That is why I say for now.  If later we feel called to adopt I will leave my heart open to that.  If not I know we will be okay.  I have found my passion and appreciate just what the gift of creativity means to me.  It's a gift I need to use and share and hopefully inspire someone else to use the gifts they were given.  These projects I share on this blog have helped to heal me.  There are some who will wonder why I would share something so personal with the world.  This post is not for them.  My hope is that it finds the person who needs to know they are not alone.  That they will heal.  I know how much I needed that.

P.S.  The first name I came up with for my blog was Mimi's Gone Mad ;)  It sat for six months with no posts.  
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Anonymous said...

Hi Mimi,
Without going into details, let me just say that I feel your pain and I know how hard it can be. I have children now, but we went through years and years of pain and despair. I don't want to make this about me, but I wanted to say that I don't think you are complaining or wanting anyone to feel sorry for you. Your past and your pain are part of who you are and the things that you do. I just want to tell you that I'm glad you found blogging and I'm happy that I get to read your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Boy, oh boy, does this hit home! We suffered from infirtility, for 9 years and 5 months, to be exactly. The reason I can be so exact, is because we first started trying the morning I heard that Princess Diana had died. We now have a 5 year old daughter, but I'll tell you, the road of infirtility is a lonely, frustrating, mad at God, feeling, all bundled up into one big sob! I get what you have gone through. I was there. I didn't know about blogs then, either. If I had, it would have made me feel better, as well, to hear someone else's story. The thing that used to make me the most angry was when people would tell me I just need to "relax". "Relax", my eyeball! I found out when our daughter was about 5 months old, that people all across Canada, and the U.S., had been praying and asking God for a miracle for us.

I will say, God has a terrific sense of humor! What He gave us was a baby with acid reflux, that cried about 16 hours a day for the first 6 months, and only napped for 4 months of her entire life.

The one piece of advice I can give, after having lived through it, is, if you are able to at this point, take inventory of all the advantages of being a couple, including your time freedom, and alone time, and try to really enjoy those. And, if you are ever granted the miracle of a child, you will have also treasured the "before".

And, if you feel that I should have just minded my own business, I'm not insulted, lol! I have "thick skin". God bless!!!

Full Circle Creations said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I have not dealt with this in my life (I just decided at a very early age to not have children of my own but to adopt-which I haven't yet) but my parents did. They tried for 8 years before adopting my brother and than thankfully me. If and when the time is right, you'll know it. But I'm so glad you found your passion. I know exactly how that feels because I too found mine and haven't looked back. And I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who dances around the shop! But I do love the first name for the blog that you came up with..:)

Being Home said...

((((Hugs)))) Thank you for sharing something so personal about yourself. Those are the best gifts. :)


Julie said...

Mimi - thanks for being so brave to share your life. I have someone understanding of your situation. My brother and sister-in-law tried for almost 20 years unsuccessfully before going the in-vitro route. That wasn't without its major problems and stress. My sister-in-law developed cancer during the second pregnancy and it was touch and go a long time but they have 2 gorgeous girls who are healthy and happy and living out their dreams in university. For myself, I never married but learned in my 20s that I would be unable to have children so have lived my lfve single and childless but I have had a happy life even with my challenges. I don't regret any of my decisions.

Mimi said...

Resilience isn't about getting what you want. It's about forging ahead in new directions which is exactly what you've done. I appreciate your blog and your "voice" every time I read a post (even though I don't always leave a comment). Thanks for sharing your beginnings. Being a Mimi myself, I love the title "Mimi's Gone Mad"! After all, there's a method in the madness. So glad you were able to find happiness in who and what you have.

Crys Green said...

You are so very amazing. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes and lifted my heart at the same time.

becki said...

What a wonderfully transparent post! Someone out there needed to hear your Spirit led words! Good for you!

Gail Wilson said...

I know it was difficult, but you're so helpful with your DIY posts, and now you're going to help those who understand what you went through. MRL has been my saving grace as well. I needed a purpose in my life. I too dance (AND sing) around the shop when nobody's looking! LOL

Anonymous said...

I've only just started following you - because of your really cool talent! I am 50 and so I've lived a little life......I have no advice and no words of pity - only this: I am so proud of you (I'm sorry I don't know your name - just the nifty blue roof cabin)for being handed a crappy hand in one part of your life and yet coming out on the other side, stronger and more shiny that I assume you once were. I'm also proud of you for having the courage to say those words outloud - sort of - I can read the apprehension in your words, but then, you've already faced the devil and won, haven't you? No matter how your life turns out, you did not let it beat you - most days. On the days it does - so what? as long as you are the winner more than you aren't, things are going to be fine. And if they aren't, then it's not over yet!

Anne said...

Sending lots of love and big hugs. I know there are no words that can be said that truly help in situations like these. Maybe sometime soon, you'll discover why it was important that you live through that time. I'll bet there is something really wonderful waiting for you that you would never have experienced if you hadn't gone on that journey.

So glad we met.


Jill B said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal. You are not complaining...only sharing what is in your heart. You are an amazing person and I wish all the best for you. Your blog is a complete inspiration for me and I look forward to each and every post.
God Bless.

Jackie Ross said...

Mimi!! You are so awesome! Having seen you go thru some of your pain, I feel doubly proud of what you are accomplishing. Your creations are your "children" right now, along with Charlie, of course!! I see my little white shelf in your second picture! It looks so awesome in my bathroom! Keep creating and growing and following your passion and whatever happens in addition to that will be a true blessing. God Bless and Peace Out! Hugs!!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

You are awesome for sharing Mimi! I'll have to follow your lead and be more open myself. I never share anything, because I feel people only follow me for DIY, but I know I love knowing more about the lives of the people I follow.
I'm so glad we've been able to meet through all of this. I'll cross my fingers for some crazy job opening in Olympia or something, and if that doesn't least we get to go to Haven together!

anangloinquebec said...

I am sure this was not easy to write Mimi but I am certainly glad you did. I have dear friends who are unable to have children and as a result have suffered terribly as a couple over the last years. We have struggled with what to say and constantly gauging their willingness or desire to talk about it... but watching them has been hard.
I am glad to hear that you are dancing, and singing, keep it up Mimi, you have a great talent and I will never forget following your blog in the earlier days when you decided to go ahead and set up a business. You have more strength than perhaps you realize as that alone was a giant step that many dream about but never take.
You just keep going girl!!

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