For this week’s installment of “Ask Away Friday” (#AAF), I am paired with Ilene from The Fierce Diva Guide to Life.
And if you don’t already know this about us, we’re “in-person friends.” I hesitate to use the term, “real life”, because all of you are very real, even if I haven’t met you. Yet. You lift me up when I’m down. You support my work. You comment thoughtfully on my blog. And you make me happy. I hope I do the same for you, and if not, I’ll get on that! With Ilene? I’ve seen her in person TWICE. So it’s safe to say that since there was a repeat of the first time, that it’s possible. You can become in-person friends with your blogging friends. True story. I’d like to believe I come across in person as I do on my blog, relatively, and she does too.
Only better. And more 3D and all of that. I took this picture! I’ve always wanted to post an #AAF photo that I took.
And without further ado, since I have a plane to catch today, and I’ll let the questions/answers speak for themselves, below are my answers to her questions. You can see her answers to my questions HERE.
To see who else is participating or to learn how to join the fun, head over to visit Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and/or Amber from The Bold Fab Mom. #AskAwayFriday is their beautiful and ever-growing creation!
1. I am fortunate in that I’ve met several members of your family in person. I loved everyone, and I was quite taken by your mother, as you know. What is one piece of advice or lesson from Mom that you hold close?
Ah, this one is close to my heart. My mom is mellow, in that way that you can confess to her your deepest fears/confessions and she may even say, “So what?” It would be nicer than that, though. I’m just saying that she handles news well. If I told her I was gay, she probably wouldn’t bat an eye. And therein lies the best lesson she has ever taught me/us. It’s about skin color, sexual orientation and religion. Open hearts and open minds, people. I learned that if you do care about other people’s lifestyle, it says a lot of negative things about YOU, and not the people you mock/fear/hate. As a little kid, I learned so fast to embrace those of different skin colors and religions. I had gay family members and I would have chewed out anyone in their defense. I also come from a world in which we don’t..fixate on the amount of money other people have. I can’t..imagine caring? Only hearts matter.
2. You and I can both get pretty intense with our blogging subject matter. When we got together on Christmas Eve, we both talked about this and how in real life, we’re both more light hearted than a reader may think at first glance. What is something about the real life Tamara versus the blogging Tamara that you think would surprise your readers?
People always seem surprised here when they learn how nervous I can get before jobs, and really over seemingly small things. And really, it’s even worse than you can imagine, sometimes. And other times, I’m really very calm in the face of crazy. There’s no rhyme or reason! Hmm..what else? Well I get really angry with slow drivers. And when I think someone I know is an..unsavory character, I don’t have the grace to tell them in a kind way. So that sometimes surprises people who think I’m all kind, all the time! (I do want to be) I didn’t have fun at my own wedding. I was too nervous. I really want a do-over one of these days.
3. You’re a blogging veteran, yet you’ve noted that it wasn’t until last year that you found your blogging community. Has writing to a community changed your blogging voice or subject matter in any way?
I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t changed at all, but not as much as one would think. Of course we change the way we write when people are listening, and I’d hope in my case, it was growth. You still won’t find a sponsored post from me unless it’s a friend or relative, and unless it’s something I’m pretty darn passionate about. WeMontage, anyone? And through community, I’ve learned to cut down my posts a bit. When I read long and rambling blog posts, my eyes tend to glaze over. So I make sure my powerful thoughts are not consolidated, but are better organized. And from all of you, I’ve learned to add more photos in between paragraphs! I love breaking up words with images, when relevant. In fact, I’ll do it right…now…
4. You’re a force in the blogging world. Gorgeous words, gorgeous photos, you have a great community behind you and you’re also a very loyal friend to all of us. What would you consider to be one of the downsides of blogging or something you sometimes don’t like about it?
Why, thank you!! I do love my readers, and each one? I’m one of their readers too. It goes both ways. So the biggest downfall that I see is when people aren’t gracious or..kind. I can get not wanting to connect. Maybe you’re a lone wolf blogger. Maybe you’re busy as anything. Maybe you’re serving the purpose you want to serve without having/needing too many blogging “friends.”. I totally get that. It’s not my way, but I get it. Stacey Loscalzo wrote a post HERE about how twitter etiquette is just like kindergarten etiquette (complete with milk and cookies), and I think it can be used for blogging too. And by all means, give credit where it’s due! If you take someone’s original idea, or just use an idea you saw on their blog, you link back to them!
5. “You have No Power Here” is my favorite post of yours and probably one of my favorite blog posts ever written by anyone. I mean, I can quote pieces of it by heart. (readers, if you have never read this post before by Tamara, stop what you are doing and click here to check out the brilliance that I am talking about). Do you recall what was going on in your life when you wrote it that propelled you wanting to share this message?
YES! Big time. It was a few days after Des’ first birthday and to celebrate, we made cupcakes and visited the hospital he was born at. We saw the doctor who had rushed him by ambulance to another hospital’s NICU. And gave him a cupcake. (obviously, what else can you do?) Two days later, I visited a NICU reunion at the other hospital he spent a week at. I saw the doctor who was assigned to his hospital bed. That doctor was kind and happy to see him all healthy and handsome and awesome. It was also a few weeks before Scarlet’s fourth birthday and that’s how old I was when my father suddenly passed. A few weeks before four. So my mind was all a-spin, but you know what? I handled it. I managed it. I grew from it. Sometimes..the past is the power under you and not over you, as I said then, and you so kindly quoted me. And I love the way you love my post this much.
6. It’s no secret that I felt kindred to you pretty quickly. Not to get all “new agey,” but when this phenomenon happens with people, I often ponder things like deja vu or past lives. Do you believe our souls are reincarnated or do you think it’s a one and done for us?
Hmm..that’s a toughie. I do ponder those things. I ponder most things. I think if I were hard-pressed to answer, I’d say that I think it’s a one and done. I think maybe I’d rather believe that because I like being who I am.
7. Time travel comes up a lot on your blog! If you could go back to one day of your life and either get to relive it or do it over, but in a way that would have no subsequent effect on your future, what day would you go back to and why?
Another toughie! There have been many joyous, magical and downright wonderful moments and days in my life. No doubt. Oh god. Meeting Cassidy. Meeting him again after two years of a broken heart. At an airport during a bomb scare, no less! People..really. Read my story. Anyway. Then there have been travels, and birth. And wow. However..I guess I’d have to say that I’d want to go back to 1984 or so. I’d love to spend a whole day with my father, from an adult perspective. I think I’d understand so much more about myself if I could have had that chance. And you say it would have no effect on my future, but I’d still try to warn him about his unexpected heart disease. I’d do it in vain, I’m sure, but I would do it.
8. I know that eyelashes are what motivated you to get into photography. What motivates you to stay in it?
Ah, making my mark on the world, and mainly – my family. The happiness I see on people’s faces when I do a good job. The cycle of new knowledge and then using that new knowledge and then enjoying the heck out of that new knowledge. Finally finding a way to physically show everyone how I see the world. I wouldn’t ever want to lose that.
9. You’re off to Disney World tomorrow! Tell me. Do you have a fantasy camera shot that you’ve though about trying to capture?
Not really, no! I haven’t given it a lot of thought except to say that my travel tip is that I’m just taking one lens. My favorite lens. I just don’t want to be swapping lenses during the fun, or worrying about them in my luggage. I’m sure many pro photographers would NOT recommend that, but I do most of my favorite work with my favorite lens. I suppose I’d like to photograph the looks on Scarlet’s face most. And the magic. And it’s a low light lens so inter-ride shots would be magical!
10. Where do you see yourself a year from right now? What’s that “best possible version” of the future that you’re envisioning?
Less anxious and more successful. Bravely successful. Successfully brave. So much of the work that comes to me is more about luck (and I’d hope, skill) than it is about me doing things I don’t feel comfortable doing – namely, sales. So I guess even when I know I deserve a job and I know I deserve a good paycheck for it, I still am so hard on myself. I still think that I have to do something drastic to get to where I’m going. I’m probably wrong, but maybe only half wrong. And I’d like more insight into the books I want to write. Oh, and I may even be published in another book by then! You just never know..but..SPOILERS.