I was lucky enough to stumble upon a great challenge on the Second Chances Girl blog the other day – the #30ThingsChallenge.
Why did I start blogging? I was looking for a new path, or paths, after a several year dry spell without the writing and photography that had fueled my soul for years. I had a Scarlet and a new outlet to write. So I started and I never stopped. Along the way, I threw photography into the mix! I had the title “Tamara Like Camera” already, after all. And it’s been a heck of a ride that I never want to stop. Also along the way, I got a Des. And I started to think about both kids reading my blog one day, well past the easily-embarrassed years. And it fills me with lots of hope, warm happiness, and a bit of queasiness to think about.
These two. All grown up. Reading my blog!
And that’s what attracted me to this challenge. 30 chances to tell my stories. And I probably won’t do them all in order, but I will tackle the #30ThingsChallenge on a case by case basis as the days go on. The first post of the challenge is to write 20 random facts about myself. The thing is, I’ve done this sort of thing in the past. I did the “25 Things About Me” meme on Facebook way back when, and I’ve done random facts blog posts. So I had to update this with a TWIST! What I originally wrote 3-5 years ago, and how it all stands today, typed in bold. After two births, moving to a new house, tackling new careers & more.
Here we go! 20 Random Facts About Me – the UPDATED Version. What I originally wrote on Facebook, and what I think about it all now.
1. My father died suddenly right before my fourth birthday and I have spent a large part of my life feeling marked or defined by that tragic event. Luckily I have learned that people can’t tell it by looking at me and that I can still have healthy relationships with men.
Well. Yes to the healthy relationships with men. I wrote this while pregnant with Scarlet, and Cassidy and I have had MANY ups and downs since then. Giving birth twice – to a daughter and then a son made me grieve all over again, but in new ways. Watching Scarlet approach her fourth birthday with her father still here made me grieve all over again, but also in a new way. Learning what I had lost through learning what she has gained. The cup empties and fills. It’s ever-evolving. I will mourn him in new ways throughout my whole life, and I will find unstoppable joy too.
2. I have a whole dresser drawer full of socks and with the exception of a few pairs of athletic or wool socks, there are no plain black or white pairs. They are all holiday socks, rainbow socks, democrat socks, and anything loud, colorful, or representative of my personality and interests.
Yes. Still goes! A whole drawer! Luckily, I have learned to throw out socks when they get holes in them. I can’t stand that feeling.
3. I wanted to move to the west coast since I was seven and watched too much “Full House.” I finally moved to the west coast at 26 and spent a wasteful amount of time there wanting to move back to the east coast. Now I’m back on the east coast and dying to move back to the west coast. I am clearly insane.
I’ve made quite a life here. I could do without winter, but it would hurt too much to be away from family.
4. Due to a hearty blend of neurosis, fear and stubbornness, I can’t, won’t or haven’t in over 20 years done any of the following things:
Gotten a Strep throat culture
Blown up a balloon
Ridden a roller coaster
Tried a recreational drug
Dived into water
Well, I guess at this point I haven’t vomited in over 25 years. Everything else is still true, but the roller coaster one is up for debate. I went on this (photo below) at Universal Studios, and they called it a “glider style roller coaster” on the ride sign. Does it count? Maybe, kinda?
5. I have actually fulfilled several life dreams in the last few years and have not lived enough in the present to truly let that fact wash over me. Shame, shame on me.
Hmm..I think I have fulfilled many more since then! And I’m letting them wash over me! I’ve since had two kids, been published in a book and started doing photography professionally. Went to DisneyWorld with the kids. Saw Bruce Hornsby live. Got a king-sized bed and I’ve been to Tanglewood. Twice! (it only rained for five minutes there)
6. My biggest goal in life (career-wise) is to be a published writer – the kind who uses words to change people’s lives, or at least make them sigh or gasp.
Woohoo! See above. I’m in a BOOK! And I’ve been featured in BlogHer and Bon Bon Break several times.
7. I suffer from extreme low confidence and occasional feelings of worthlessness. This has stopped me from trying many things. This is why I’m not yet a published writer. (see #6)
Well. I don’t think we need to discuss this published writer thing again! Of course it’s still out there. I do feel worthless and horrid every now and then.
8. My mom taught me mind over matter techniques at a very young age, and coupled with a high immune system, I often amaze myself. I can count on one hand the times in my life I’ve either vomited or had a headache. Most people have thrown up more in one night than I have in my life. I haven’t been truly sick in exactly 10 years.
Still mostly true, but I had two sinus infections before and after Des’ birth and they were HORRID! I just wanted to hang out with my squish and inhale his newborn baby smell. I couldn’t smell or taste anything!
9. Similarly, I have never really been physically hurt. I have never cut myself enough to need stitches, been very ill, broken a bone, or twisted, sprained or strained something. I am Unbreakable, by M. Night. Shyamalan.
Ack, no longer true! When Scarlet was about ten-months-old, I cut my ring finger while slicing an avocado. I had to get 3-4 stitches at Urgent Care.
10. I first remember getting truly high on life when I was 10. I was outside for a math project on a beautiful spring day and I believe I spiritually felt the immensity of life’s possibilities. As I got older, I even started getting symptoms of being high on life, like being lightheaded and having a pounding heart. It might be the best thing I know.
Abso-freakin’-lutely. And sometimes it’s just a bit too intense for me. I want to say to myself, “Get high on your own time! Des needs a diaper change.”
11. I have felt for the last few years that I would be happy to only have one child. Then I remember my own childhood and think about the fun I had growing up with four siblings and I think…maybe it would be ok to have two children.
Yes, it’s certainly ok!
12. I haven’t lost the last four or five pounds of my baby weight yet. And I’m fine with it and might choose not to. I was freakishly skinny before I got pregnant – skinnier than I’d been since high school. That’s what cross country road trips can do to a person.
Well I have since lost that original baby weight because I was a low 109 at 5′ 6″ when I was first pregnant with Des. So I’d say at this point, yes, I’m back to being four or five pounds over that. And I really don’t mind it much.
13. I will always and forever think that farting, fart jokes, and anything fart related is hilarious and never gets old.
This will always, always be true. What can I say?
14. I hereby swear that I’m not a picky eater! I’m what scientists call a “Super Taster.” I call it a sensitive palate. There’s nothing wrong with having an extra strong sense of smell and taste…until you offend hosts of dinner parties.
Sensitive Palate! I stand by it.
15. I am obsessed with TV shows and books aimed for pre-teen and teen audiences. It’s very strange. I like adult things too, but I can often be found watching “Gossip Girl” or reading “Sweet Valley Twins.”
And now it’s stuff like… “Hart of Dixie.”
16. I believe I was born with anxiety and I’ve never chemically medicated it in my life. And I think I probably should have at times.
I’ve learned to cut myself a break more and more. Everyone is born with a little anxiety! What I was remember about anxiety was having occasional nightmares and being afraid of loud noises. Well.. I was three. So there’s that. I think I’m just a super feeler and it spills over into my writing/photography. Since nothing is really enough to contain it all, I can feel physically sick or jittery too. I’m still not medicated. I take deep breaths, get air, listen to music, play with the kids, pray for steadiness, laugh a lot and hug a lot.
17. I use doing crossword puzzles the way other people might go drinking, do Yoga or have a cigarette. Crossword puzzles soothe my soul and take the edge off.
Man, I haven’t done these in ages. I think it’s time to start again.
18. I am so atmosphere sensitive that I usually walk into a room, house or store and instantly feel right at home or desperate to get away. It has nothing to do with cleanliness, feng shui or anything physical. I just get these feelings. This makes me either a very good and discriminating house hunter, or a very bad one who cannot see hidden potential in fixer-uppers.
Forever and always. Our house has good bones.
19. I learned to read at a very young age and I have a voracious appetite to do it constantly. Most times I would rather eat my meals with a book than with other people. I even read while I blow dry my hair. When I was little, my parents wouldn’t let me read at the dinner table so I would read the cereal or pasta boxes that were on the kitchen table. I fooled them!
Yes, I think I have even mentioned lately that I read while I blow dry.
20. I am happy to eat cereal with breakfast every day of my life, although I need more than that to get me through the day. It is my favorite companion food.
I’m sad to say it doesn’t hold the same appeal anymore. Most of it is utter crap. If you look at the ingredients on many breakfast cereals, you’ll see some pretty horrible chemicals like BHT. And it’s mostly very high in carbs which doesn’t work for me in the mornings. I’m all about the protein. That said, I do find cereal to be utterly delicious. I just use it sparingly.