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Forget About the Past, Your Mask is Wearing Thin

“And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Just let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I’m waiting for my real life to begin”

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a garbageman.

When I was four-years-old, I wanted to disappear, which must have worked, because I didn’t even notice it when it started, but I lost an entire year of my life. And over the years, I think other people hadn’t always seen me. I’d reappear before I was ready, or too late. It’s ok. I’m here now.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

“Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
I’ll stand on the bow
Feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me”

At seven, I really wanted to grow up to be a movie star married to Uncle Jesse from Full House. I’d go so far as to say that I would have taken Danny Tanner and Joey as my consolation prizes. That’s how invested I was in this escape. Oh, to think of non-native palm trees and those Full House houses, all in their San Francisco row. High thinking for a seven-year-old? Perhaps. Or not. I always thought that my dreams had just the right measurements and rhythms. I still do.

Maybe it seems that they deflate or lose their sail, but I think really, it’s a slow burning and a slow building to sail full speed ahead. Fully in color, and fully inflated against the sky, having tested calmer seas and sturdier equipment, anyway. That’s the stuff. What looks smaller and duller is large and vivid from a new perspective. Watching under stormier skies. Or, safe. Ashore.

Seeing that horizon approach against the brilliant sky, from either perspective.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

“Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I’ll check my machine, there’s sure to be that call
It’s gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It’s just that times are lean”

At 13-years-old, I wanted to be a filmmaker – so surely – up until I took a film class in my junior year and I got to be the director. “You need to direct!” My teacher said. “You’re full of ideas and passion but do you want to direct?” I didn’t, and I’m still that kid in some ways. I don’t normally want to direct. I’m happy to be the tail, watching all the little ducklings cross, with me as the anchor. I’m happy in the middle, lost in my own thoughts, occasionally glancing back and forth and mentally counting. And I’m happy to go first, when I’m ready, for all my little ducklings to follow. It doesn’t matter if they’re unsure, as long as I’m sure. I’m sure that I’m sure, these days.

I’ve learned that I lead when I need to lead.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Always, of course, I wanted to be a writer, a photographer, a mama. I dig deep sometimes to find original visions and dreams, and to see how they have since played out – accidentally or on purpose – or none of the above. In and out of wavy lines, and set lines; destinies and magic. Who knows, anyway? I find my true instincts in the writing, the photographing, the mama-ing. Even when I think I won’t. It will come back. The ultimate journeys, and their scattered destinations.

It rises and falls, and all blends together. That’s when I think you’re doing it right.

“And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don’t you understand
I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin”

The loving is difficult. Not the falling, but the getting up again. The openness; vulnerability. It pours and seeps out with the littler ones, and is more quiet, reserved, and powerful for the older ones. And for him. He is my greatest journey, destination, and adventure, and the littler ones are extensions of how we once, tentatively and hopefully, first prepared to set sail. Here, there are many storms, holes, and patches, behind us and ahead of us. We’re standing under one inflated and colorful sail, big enough; small enough, to keep us from crashing completely in the wake.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore. And then I’ll think, “This has to be addressed, but when?” And I’ll push it off for another day. So many joys and demons. So many questions. Am I patient? Why am I trying to be perfect? How do I approach this differently? And, how do I keep the best parts of myself from the past now, with this newer and calmer me? How do I keep myself? My real life began when I did. Through baby steps and big steps; so many leaps and falls and safety nets. Through my father’s passing, my mother’s remarrying, and a lifetime (or two) of dreaming big. Hot with ferocity and fire, and cold with anxiety, fear, sadness. So much mileage.

“When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, up this cobbled lane
I’m walking in my old footsteps, once again”

How can I not think my real life has begun, post pandemic (sort of), with a deeper love and an appreciation for all things small and all things large? This delicious new baby, the softness of the puppy’s ears, the kindness of the older kids, and the quiet respect. Of this love affair I have with myself, indulging in relaxation techniques and whipped cream on my coffee. So, I stop. Breathe.

Assess. Appreciate.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

It’s the home renovation, the tip-toeing hardwood floors, and the coziness of an overstuffed bean bag couch. Fairies and fairy lights, lightweight cat paws, calling my own career shots, and the relative good health of family and friends, with a few hiccups here and there. It’s the rises and falls of the dances and demons. Don’t push it down or in, but up and out. Now is the time to confront it, admit it, own it. Rise up and fall down to meet it. Why wait, anymore? I’m no longer content to wait on these shores, while the boat is loading. I accept these unsettled waters. Even with the ache, the nausea, and the lurch of the rusty, ever-moving anchor, I’m ready to set sail.

To drink in the rises and falls of the sun, the moon, and the waves.

Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin. Just let me throw one more diceI Know that I can win, I'm waiting for my real life to begin

“On a clear day I can see, see for a long way
On a clear day I can see, see for a long way.”

“Waiting For My Real Life to Begin” was song #30 on our birthing playlist.

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5 Comments

  1. Love this and perfect song as tonight as you know my Lily gets to attend her 5th grade dance. While Emma last year pretty much lost all from her 5th grade activities. So, feel like we are most certainly waking up from the bad dream and re-entering the waking hours slowly and real life is beginning again, but surely here. Hugs ❤️

  2. Throughout this entire stretch of the pandemic, and l hope that we’re coming down the home stretch, the rises and falls of the sun and moon and the waves have remained unaffected, unchanged. Was Colin waiting for his real life to begin after the brief but lofty heights of success with Men At Work, or was he waiting for his real life to simply change? I hope he’s still not waiting for one or the other after all these years! As we move closer and really feel closer to the end of the pandemic we may ask ourselves the same questions. Our worn thin face masks have pretty much heard it all by now. Your family photos are so special and lovely as can be Tamara!

  3. Another fabulous, introspective post, Tamara. Life and love is what happens when we’re waiting for our life to start. The Rider pics are so yummy. Love that one of your mom, too. Have a great weekend!

  4. Hi Tamara! Look for Collin Hay’s new solo album of cover songs, “l Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” which should be out on August 6. You can listen to the title track on Ultimate Classic Rock now posted on You Tube. Hi Cassidy! I hope you’re having a great Father’s Day!

  5. It’s funny how at a time of rebirth so to speak, we find ourselves reflecting on things. I am feeling a new sense of outlook as we start the post-covid life. Your writing is beautiful Tamara and I think maybe in this new life you could be a songwriter?

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