Feminine Talents & Our Childhoods
Hello and welcome back to the blog my Reader!
Today I woke up with a scratchy throat for the first time in TWO YEARS, and I was not happy about it, let me tell you! But since then, I've popped on some Christmas jazz, taken a shower, consumed some Airborne, and am feeling mildly better. Sigh. With the beauty of winter, so comes the hideousness of having a cold.
But I truly don't have much to complain about, now that I'm thinking about it, because today my toes are warm, my home is coming together, and I'm writing this to you as my feet are propped up on the recliner and Christmas jazz saxaphone is trumpeting "Let it snow" through my headphones as my husband is outside stacking wood. Ah, the beauty of homemaking.
And that, my friends, is the mental exercise I do every day. I take whatever is bothering me, recognize it, and then set to work focusing on what I am grateful for, all that I've been blessed with, and why I should be giving thanks. It works every time.
So, as I said, my house is coming together. And the reason it is coming together is because recently it was falling APART! I have just received a ton of bins and tubs of my possesions from my childhood, and I've spent a lot of time rooting through the bins and boxes, searching through the remnants of my memories, whilst leading down our house towards the path of organization destruction. Tsk tsk!
But it has not all been for disaster my friend, because I found a GEM buried with all my childhood mementos. Today I located the "magazine" that my cousin and I "published" when we were children. Over Spring Break, I visited her for a week and we used Microsoft Word and Google Images to curate and publish our own magazine, set to be distributed to high ranking members of our extending family: ie. parents and girl cousins.
Ahhh, "Fashion Forward," HOW CUTE! This was the cover, published to gather all of our tweeny opinions on fashion, celebrities, and life! We even had an "advice column" called Dear Daphne!
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that first section because honestly... I would still give that advice now, 13 years later!! It's so shocking to me to realize that a lot of the things I believe right now were already set in place when I was 11. Also, what 11 year old is out here using the word "inclined" !?!? LOL!
Next, we have my spicy opinions on celebrity hairstyles...
Apparently I was all about the "natural" and "elegant" looking hair even as an 11 year old! I distinctly remember being biased towards Selena Gomez because I preferred Wizards of Waverly Place over Hannah Montana, but either way, I would still agree with 11 year old Caitlin. You can tell that I read a LOT of fashion and beauty magazines as a girl because I'm out here talking about the "depth" of the hair. I mean... what!?
And then finally, we have a fashion face off.
Oh the sass! But yes I still agree, Heidi does look nicer, and I can't get over the justification we used to describe why Katherine looked better in the dress: it all came down to posture! And now, here I am as a 24 year old woman discussing "ladylike posture" on my YouTube channel. I can't even handle this, it's so CRAZY!
I had no idea that 11 year old me was SO similar to who I am now as an adult. If anything, rooting through these childhood artifacts causes me to want to give pause towards 11 year olds everywhere and perhaps allow them more credit than I currently do.
So why did I share this with you today?
Well, first of all, it's hilarious. And second of all, it really made me do a double-take! Today I realized that so much of my passions and talents were already revealed when I was a young girl! I very clearly loved writing, giving opinions, sharing my advice, and discussing the feminine issues of relationships, style, and beauty. And now, as a grown woman, I am doing all those things, just in a different form.
This revelation made me wonder about YOU, beautiful reader.
What did you like to do as a child or a young girl? What were your talents and passions? Did you love playing with dolls? Did you love decorating your room? Did you love reading? Maybe you've forgotten what you loved, but I know that if you root through your old pictures or journals, it will come back to you.
I think sometimes we can get caught up in the "real" world too much as adult women. We can allow ideologies or "hot takes" sweep us up into lifestyles, careers, or long term relationships that don't really fit who we are inside or what God has made us for. We can lose touch with our identity, our talents, or our passions simply because they do not fit the modern narrative for how a "strong" woman should be.
Who you were as a young girl is not silly, and it should not be ignored.
That pure and innocent time in your life can actually reveal much more about your identity and talents than a jaded and harsh modern outlook ever will.
I think it's sometimes difficult to look to who we are as young girls because we feel that the things we love (and maybe secretly still love) are silly and not modern enough. But the truth is that your femininity has always been innately within you, and as a young girl, it was just starting to bloom.
And that femininity is deeply entangled in your passions, talents, and your interests. That information, of what you used to love, is deeply important knowledge that can guide you towards your purpose in life. We would be fools to overlook our childhood interests and inclinations just because they don't fit the modern narrative.
I have a friend who was incredibly interested in babysitting, nurturing her dolls, and taking care of her "household," which included a play-set kitchen and all her baby dolls. Now, as an adult woman, her desire to be a mother is on the forefront of her mind, and I can see how she struggles to tamper it down to fit society's expectations of having a career before children.
I have another friend who was always incredibly talented at computer role-playing games and board games as a child. Her Webkinz, Neopets, AND Marapets always had the best outfits, homes, and colors because she was able to make money in the games and spend it wisely. While my online "pets" were designed immaculately, I never got up the drive to actually make money inside the games to propel me forward. But my friend? She was a MASTER of RPG, and incredible at winning. Now, as an adult, she is an independent and self-reliant woman, making her way in the world with hard work and her skills. I wouldn't expect to see her do anything else.
Another one of my friend's just fulfilled her lifelong dream of finding her husband and getting married. I am thrilled for her, and yes, I think it's okay to have a lifelong dream of finding a mate and settling down.
Society is too quick to tamper down the dreams of women and to force them into a box.
70 years ago, we used to all have to get married and stay home, but now society is pushing women to be masculine boss babes and not even DREAM about the idea of "needing" a man, or wanting children "too soon.
And if that fits your life, then I'm happy for you! I know so many driven career women who wouldn't trade it for the world. But I also know that there are SO many of us, particularly the women in our feminine family, who find themselves out of sync with societal expectations, floating confusedly through young adulthood, trying to fit themselves into the career-woman mold, all the while wishing that they were at home instead.
I want to encourage you to unleash your inner passions, desires, and to recognize that talents don't just come in the forms of school subjects. Femininity adds an entirely new element to how we are created, and means that we can find our talents in so many more areas than just language, math, or science.
Femininity can drop different talents into your lap. We can be talented in relationships, in being a good friend, or in being an amazing life partner. We can be talented at nurturing, baking, cooking, or taking care of others. We can be talented at volunteering, being generous, or creating a welcoming space for others.
In my case, I am talented in analyzing style and beauty, and I love writing! But I don't feel the need to use those in a societally accepted role in some sort of capitalist company.
You don't have to justify your talents or passions by making money with them or turning them into a formal career. It's enough to explore those talents as a woman and use them for your own betterment and the betterment of your family, regardless of whether or not you're making money off of them.
I encourage you to look back. Look into your childhood, root through your old boxes, and find out what you are inclined towards. And when that voice is telling you it's silly because it's not a "real job" or it's just "at home" I hope that you say NO!
If you want your life's work to be your family, THAT'S OKAY! It's not a cop-out, it's not lazy, and it's not a failure. It is your God-given feminine passion and talent, and it is incredibly important for our world. If you love creating a home, or baking, or simply nurturing, that is a talent and it is just as incredible as someone who is gifted at science or math. We need all sorts of talents to keep our world going, and feminine talents matter.
While I know that my interests in style, beauty, and femininity might now be as crucial as a doctor or an engineer, I still feel like I'm carving out my place in this world and using my gifts to help others.
So let's do that today: look back towards our passions and talents to discover who we are, what we love, and unashamedly pursue it, even if it doesn't fit the societal mold.