Sunday, May 18, 2014

Well, this reminds me of someone....

Kind of hits the mark, doesn't it?

"There's a reason I said I would be happy alone.  And it isn't because I thought I would be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone because what if you learn you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage, it's like dying.  The only difference is, death ends.  

This?  This could go on forever."

Then you have to counteract that thought with this...

"You don't need another human being to make your life complete, but let's be honest.  Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn't see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to pour their love into is the most calming thing in the world."
-Emery Allen

I'm a hopeless romantic sometimes.  Makes me gag.  ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


So, I've started doing yoga again, for a few reasons.  One, I've gotten too chubby again and I need to do something about that.  Two, exercise helps migraines and mine have gotten ridiculous.  Three, yoga is good for stress reduction.  Stress causes migraines, see above...

Now, I am aware that I could lose weight faster if I did something more...cardio, I guess.  But, here's the thing, I don't like to exercise.  When it comes to that sort of thing, I am LAZY.  All that huffing and puffing and strenuous effort?  No thanks.  The problem with this is that it makes a person chubby and out of shape. But yoga?  It's the same as dance, there's not so much perceived effort.  Or maybe I just like the type of effort better, who knows?  I mean, I am perfectly willing to expend large amounts of energy on something I enjoy doing.  Exercising just doesn't happen to be one of those things.

I do love yoga, though, and have been trying to do it at least every other day.  So, yesterday, there I was, on the front room floor with the Small Daughter, doing downward facing dog.  I had the front door open, because it was a beautiful day and none of the windows in the front of my apartment open.   Downward facing dog,  butt in the air, wearing nothing but a sports bra and a pair of yoga capris and suddenly I hear a tenor voice at my door.

"Hi, we're looking for Tara?"

Up comes my head, down comes by butt and I find myself staring into the faces of two young gentlemen from my church.  Heh.

"I'm Tara."

"Hi Tara"  Eyes looking everywhere possible, except at me, small smiles flitting across their faces.

"Hi!" I say brightly.  I'm not overly modest, to be perfectly honest, but it was a smidge awkward.

One of them started talking and I asked him to hold his thought for a moment and I went in my room and found a shirt to put on, then came back out and invited them in, at which point they both laughed. Probably finding a semi unclothed woman on the floor in an awkward position was not what they were expecting.   But, hey, makes for a good story.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Today is Mother's Day.  I am alone today, Small Daughter is at her daddy's house for the day.  I know, I know, it's Mother's Day, she should be home with her mother, BUT, she hasn't been able to spend time with her daddy for a week, you think I'm going to tell her she has to stay home with me on the one day she can be with him? Nope.  Welcome to being a mother.
Look at this face.  Could you resist it?  Not if it were yours, you couldn't.  She's less than a day old in this picture and I was already completely in love with her.  I was worried that I might have a hard time bonding with her, since my pregnancy (and delivery) were so difficult, but no, it was instant. 

This is my girl in her blessing dress.  It took me 3 years of Sundays to do all the embroidery on it, which you can't really see in the pic.  Yes, I started on it long before I was pregnant.  I knew what I wanted if I ever had a girl and I knew it was going to take a very long time to do it.  Look at her face, it kills me.  She is so done with your shit.  

She loved (loves) to  have her back scratched.  She's a mini me.  Look how tiny she is!!  She's around 2 in this picture and she fits quite nicely on my thighs.  

I love this pic. There aren't a whole lot of pics with me and my girl, since I was the one generally wielding the camera, so I am very grateful for the few that there are, because she is my heart and soul.

Look at that sweet face.  People used to comment on how sweet she looked, how pixie-ish.  Yes, she was a pixie and still is.  But, she's like those naughty fairies in Labyrinth.  They look sweet and lovely, but they will bite you as soon as look at you.  She has her own personality and opinions and this face is how she gets away with things!

I love this pic so much.  She's a kitty.  I don't remember why.  I suppose 4 year olds don't need a reason to be a kitty, do they? A kitty with attitude.

And this, this is my most recent picture of her.  I took it a week ago, today.  She's seven years old and the light of my life.

She looks like me, and bless her heart, she is very much like me in personality and temperament as well.  I love her.  I love every part of her.  I love her freckles and her gap toothed smile and her bony, skinny body.  I love that she is not yet too big for cuddles and for sitting in my lap. I love her intelligence and strong will and sass, though it sometimes frustrates me.  I love what she is becoming and am very cognizant of the responsibility given me to help her become everything she can.  I hope I am doing it right.  I know I will do things that will hurt her and damage her, because that is the nature of being a parent, but I hope I can keep those things to a minimum.  I want to guide her to her full potential, without being a helicoptor mom.  I want to teach her to make her own decisions and to understand how to do that.  To use her brain and her heart together.  I want her to be happy on her own terms.

This child is my reason.  For everything.  I love being her mamma.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, to all those with a mother's heart.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I have a feeling I am going to regret my previous post.  That's a little too...raw.  A little too visible.  I may delete it later, or at least remove it from public view.

My friend has declared that this year is her year, and she is killing it.  She is strong and brave and motivated, and I envy her.  I am treading water, a bit fearful of...everything.  Change scares the holy crap out of me.  I am not an adventurous soul all of the time.  I am happy to go adventuring when I have a stable base from which to leave and return, but I don't seem to have that base at the moment.  I am the one who creates that base, so what is my problem?  Who is this fearful woman who has taken the place of the badass I used to be?  I don't like her.  I want the badass back.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"I love the person I've become, because I fought to become her."

When I look back at the past 15 years or so, I sometimes can't help but wonder where I went wrong with myself.  I mean, consider the fact that I didn't date in high school, I hardly dated in college, and I didn't date much after college, either.  There were guys interested in me off and on, and that remains the case, but the reality of it is, that interest rarely lasts for very long.  Why is that, I wonder?  Am I fundamentally flawed as a person?  So fundamentally flawed that no one wants to remain with me for an extended period of time? Now, when I am single again, it comes even more to the fore.  On paper, in theory, I am something desirable, something guys want, for a variety of reasons, I am discovering.  The past few months I have had adjectives applied to me that I don't recall having applied to me before.  Pretty, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy. When this is said to me, I feel like I should be looking over my shoulder to see who is standing behind me, that they might be talking to.  I am not used to being the pretty one.  I'm the wingman.  The character actress. The best friend of the lead.

Don't get me wrong, I am not fishing for compliments here.  I can look in the mirror, especially when I have makeup on, my hair done and the right clothes, and I can see that I am pretty.  I can see that there are things about me, my face, my hair, my body, that are attractive.  But, I look the same, more or less, as I always have.  There are an extra 20 lbs on my frame that weren't there last time, that I wish weren't there, but that just seems to add to the appeal, somehow. In fact, I discussed this once with a man I was seeing.  He mentioned something about it, and I said I didn't like it, the softness, the squishiness of my body.  And he said that it suits me.  The softness and the smoothness suits me.  I wonder how that is, because I don't feel like it does, really.  I feel like a firmness suits me better.  Tough and strong is what I want to be, not soft.

But, back to it.  In theory, yes, I can be appealing.  Pretty, curvy, red haired, intelligent, funny, strong willed, hard worker, honest.  All these things sound good, right?  And quite a few people seem to think so.  Until they actually have to live with it, spend time with it.  I am not stupid.  I know I am a pain in the ass, sometimes.  I know I can be difficult.  And then the perception starts to change.  An intelligent redhead sounds sexy.  Until she needs to be right most of the time.  A strong willed woman is appealing, until that strong will seems to be more stubbornness and an unbending attitude than anything good.  A hard worker is something everyone wants, until she demands the same hard work from you.  Then it gets annoying, and the payoff of those things no longer outweighs the demands they create.  The passion that everyone expects from a redhead becomes too much.  Too hot of a temper.  Too moody.  Too demanding.  Too....everything.

For a long time I tried to be not be so much all of those things.  Not so overwhelming to the person I was with.  And then, after my marriage ended, I realized that that is what I was doing and that it maybe wasn't a good thing.  And so, I tried to stop.

Then I tried dating again and I discovered that yes, men still think they love "redheads" in the all encompassing term.  And the same and other adjectives were applied to me.  You are fiery.  You are distinctive.  You are rare and honest and strong.  You are clever and intelligent and beautiful.  And are too much.  You want too much, you demand too much.  You are too raw and too honest, too discomfiting. You call people out on their harmless lies, you don't play the game.  You are too much to handle.

And, I thought, well, maybe I am too much of all these things, and I need to be less.  But maybe I don't want to be "handled".  I don't want to be put up with.  I like these things about me. And then, I started dating someone who did like all of those things about me.  He wasn't afraid of my intelligence.  He wasn't afraid of honesty and stubbornness and strength.  Perhaps because he was all of those things as well.  And it was going well and I was enjoying it so much, discovering that there was someone like that.  Not so much that he wasn't put off by my "me-ness" as much as that he was equally himself, and unapologetic about it. He was brilliant and clever and funny, he was kind and caring, he was motivated and driven and opinionated and a smart-ass.  He was well read and well educated, loud and silly and passionate.  Not to mention that we had a lot of similar tastes, in food, in reading, in politics, so the conversation was always good, always sparkling, always fun.  At least, from my point of view. And he challenged me, constantly. Not in a bad way, at least, not always in a bad way.  ;)  He made me think, he challenged how I viewed things and pushed me to reevaluate what I thought and why I thought it.  It wasn't something he necessarily did on purpose, that would be a bit condescending.  It's just what happened when we talked about things.  And I loved it.  When you have a personality like mine, a "redhead" personality, people don't challenge you much.  They mostly just get out of your way.   Don't misunderstand me, he had flaws, just like anyone else.  But, part of being in a relationship, whether it is a friendship or more, is finding someone whose flaws are bearable, and sometimes the flaws in a person make them even more compatible with one.  I don't want someone perfect, that wouldn't do at all.  It would give me an inferiority complex and make that person insufferable, really. When we were together, it was fun, it was lovely, but mostly, it was just GOOD.

And then...I was too much.  I wanted too much time.  I was too much of a risk.  And, it ended.  He ended it. And I was (and am) sad about it.  For all selfish reasons, if I'm honest. I think I got much more from him than he got from me and I am sorry to lose that.  I miss the stimulating conversation, the easy way we would lay together while he read me poetry, the debates.  And, I admit it, I miss who I was when I was with him.  I felt real.  I felt more ME than I have felt in a long time.  And, you know what?  It is a glorious feeling to feel like oneself. To be free and to feel like there might be a point at which you need hide nothing, and that it will be ok.   Of course, it never got quite to that point, but the possibility was there.  I don't doubt that our brief relationship had far less of an effect on him than it had on me.  I hope that it had a positive effect on him, but, I know it is nothing like it had on me.  I wonder why it did have such an effect on didn't last that long, really.  But, oh, I am not sorry it happened.  And, I think God puts people in your life, in your path, in MY path, for a reason.  And I am grateful.

And now?  I do not know, as I said in another post, if this is completely a good thing or a bad thing.  Because my standards have changed.  Not only my standards of what I expect in a partner, I want that level of intelligence and social responsibility.  I want that passion and motivation.  I want that...unidentifiable something...that Je ne sais quoi, that there was.  And, I don't know if I will find it again.  But, that's ok.  Because, I had it for a minute. And it changed my standards about how I want to be loved.  Cared for. And it opened my eyes again to what it is like to have it, to be me.  All me.  Real me. Loved as me. And real me is good.  And I did fight hard to become this person. I know I have flaws and I try to overcome them, but many of the things that others might consider flaws are parts of me that I fought for, and love.  I don't want to shut that me up again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This and That

I love my job...most of the time.  Maybe a more accurate phrase would be, I love what I do.  Because I do.

Piano dress for the opera was last night, which is the first time we see all the costumes on stage, mostly with lights.  I sat in the dark theatre with the crafts technician watching rehearsal (we do an MST3K sort of thing during rehearsals and it's hilarious), and at one point she turned to me and said, "Sometimes, I can't believe this is my job."  And, I knew exactly what she meant.  And, sometimes, neither can I.  There is a certain thrill to what I do,  I love the process, although it can be inordinately frustrating at times.  But, the idea of starting with a sketch or rendering from a designer and moving through the process of talking with them, researching the period, patterning the gown, doing a mockup or toile, tweaking things here and there and then building it in the actual fabric down to seeing it onstage?  It's magical.  There's no other word for it.  And, I think knowing what goes into making the magic makes it even more magical, somehow.

So, sitting in that dark theatre, waiting for the principal ladies to come on stage in something I created is a lovely feeling, and when they come out and it WORKS?  Glorious. It's pure delight to see a performer use something I have made to get even further into their character.  When what I have done just enhances the performance.  And, let's be honest, I do love to make pretty things.  And opera is a good venue to get to make epic, gorgeous, over the top things.  I've got a lovely series of pictures to post one of these days, showing how the process happens.

As I sat there, watching these lovely things that my hands made, marveling that I get to do things like this, it occurred to me that I may not get to do it for a whole lot longer if my plans come to fruition.  And that, dear readers, is dreadfully difficult to come to grips with.  Not only am I contemplating leaving the only career I've ever had, I'm contemplating not having the kinds of moments I had last night at rehearsal, the kind of moments that I am blessed to have fairly regularly in this field.  I know that there will be moments in the new career that will have similar sorts of feelings, but...ugh.  Giving up the pretties, giving up making someone's vision come to life?  It's sad.  Those kinds of moments are why I do this.  And at the pathetic wage for which I do it.  These kinds of moments are why the arts are important, why what I do is important, because I know that my work is part of what will transport people away from themselves for a time.

We did Turandot previous to the opera we are doing now, and it was the first time I actually attended a show as an audience member since I started working there.  The show was epic and it sold out the entire run.  It was pure spectacle, and gorgeous spectacle at that.  The music is beautiful, the tenor was spectacular and the sets, costumes and lighting were grandiose and beautiful.  The best part of it, though, was watching how the audience was affected by it, how moved they were, and knowing I had a hand in it.  It's quite something, honestly, to give people that kind of experience.

Giving that up?  Ouch.  But, I have to remember my priorities.  Which daughter.  It's very difficult to support a child on a theatre technician's salary.  Clearly, the money is not the reason I do it.  ;)