Perfectionism Starts Early

2015-10-13 22.56.59 copy


FIRST SHIRT SEAMS (1)

Girl Against Machine

The young girl sitting at the sewing machine could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. It was girl against machine. She was frustrated and impatient. Her fingers were stiff from arranging and rearranging them into position. Her mother had shown her exactly how she should hold her tiny fingers.

She kept thinking, ”Don’t run the machine too fast you so you don’t sew your fingers together. Don’t hold on the fabric to tight. Let the machine do the work.” Her mind spun as she went over the instructions in her head.

As she guides the fabric through the feed on the sewing machine she can no longer hold back the tears of anger and frustration. She is trying so hard but the seams are not as straight as she wants them. She breaks into tears, “My seams are not as straight as yours momma”.

Who was that 5 year old?

I was the 5 year old in this story. I remember wanting those seams to be perfect. I was determined to have a garment worthy of praise from my mother. My mother tried her best to reassure me that I was doing a good job and that I would improve over time. I heard the words but the picture in my head was imperfect, not good enough.

The shirt pictured above was my first sewing project. The second picture shows a zoomed view of the seam I was working on when I was so unhappy those 63 years ago. By the way that is a “French seam” pictured. My mother saved the shirt for me. When I pulled the shirt out of storage to take the photographs for this article, I remembered exactly which seam I worked on so many years ago.

I had been watching my mother sew my entire short life. I would stand by the sewing machine and be right at eye level with the top of the sewing cabinet to watch her work. I knew what a perfect garment looked like. In my mind I knew mine was not.

My birth order is the middle child but I am also like a first born because my younger brother was only 2 years younger and my older brother was 7 years older. As far back as I can remember I have set my personal expectations high. Just another way of saying that I was a perfectionist and a typical type “A” personality.

You are probably thinking; “Why would a mom teach a 5 year old to sew”?

You are probably thinking; “Why would a mother teach her 5 year old to sew”? My mother was a seamstress. The sewing machine was always open so she could work whenever she had a few minutes throughout the day or night.

At the age of 4 she found me at her sewing machine pulling scraps from the trash and running those scraps through the sewing machine. That day she decided to teach me to sew. She was afraid I would sew my fingers together.

Launch of Speaking-from-the-heart.com

The reason this is the first story re-launching the website: Speaking-from-the-Heart.com (sfth) is because it has taken so long to get here!

Let me give you a short synopsis. I started networking shortly after I launched the original website. I was never happy with the site. I had content but not enough. My own insecurities kept me from writing more content. I then asked a few women to partner with me in my efforts. To my surprise they all said yes, but there we were back to my discontent with the website. Again, I was the problem.

My reasons were many but the main reason was fear. What if no one liked what I wrote? I wanted a perfect site. Does that sound familiar?

I created the site several times in different programs but was not happy with any of them. Finally, I took the website down and worked on what was holding me back. I made a list of reasons why I wasn’t finishing. The main culprit was me and my fears.

Finally, I reached out to Christina Tervey of CMT Dezign (http://www.cmtdezign.com) to develop a new website.

It’s Finally Here!

Welcome, take a look around. Don’t expect a lot of bells and whistles. One of most difficult things for me has been keeping it simple.

Check out the “About” and “Who We Are” pages. Read the biographies of the ladies that are partnering with me on this journey. I look forward to them sharing their stories, gifts, talents and abilities with you.

I am excited about the “The Journey”. Let us share our hearts with you. Please feel free to share stories and your heart with us.

In His Service, Rome Berg

Speaking From The Heart

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