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what’s left, I’m what’s right

December 31, 2013

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

This is hard. I can’t believe how much 2013 holds, how absolutely engorged it is with amazing best things ever. I have to say, though, proposing to Jason in the grass of the HighLine in New York between a sunset and a super moon pretty much wins it all. I never thought I would be so nervous, so electric, so full of blood rage at the sight of other people taking up our magical space before I found the guts and the money spot to make it happen; I never thought I could be so ridiculously happy, so electric, so light inside with love as to nearly fly apart and into the atmosphere as we walked the streets together for the first time as a pair of people committed to each other forever.

What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Math. Math was the single most challenging thing that happened, and let that not fool you into thinking it was by any means a single challenge. Nearly every bit of math was a challenge, it was the hardest I have ever used my brain in one class.

What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Myself. I was an unexpected joy this year. I can’t even begin to describe how many bursts of joy came bubbling up out of long forgotten corners of my heart and soul. I laughed more this year than I have in so many preceding years. I cut myself slack. I let myself be. I enjoyed myself. I rediscovered my joy, reconnected with it, revived it; and it continues to surprise me with its depth and buoyancy.

What was an unexpected obstacle?

The lack of hairbrush.

Did you have to learn any hard life lessons in the past 12 months?

I had to learn that cool guys don’t just walk away from explosions without looking back, they walk away from everything without looking back; and you can’t do that and love the love of your life at the same time. I had to learn to let go of the everlong constructed concept of badass that I brought into my life as a woman who believes she will love this one forever, and will battle any threat to that with both feet planted firmly – here I stay. I had to learn what badass means to me under these new conditions. I had to create a brand new concept of kickassery, based on staying with and working for what you love; based also on appreciating, cherishing, nourishing and enjoying what you love. I have to admit, I never would have thought it, but turns out that walking away the moment the hat drops is the way of the coward, whether you turn to watch the fireworks or not. You don’t really love unless you love with all the crushable bits right out on the front line.

Have you had any life-changing experiences in 2013?

I feel like all of my experiences this year have been life changing. Surprisingly, settling down and switching off the ‘new life at least every four months’ toggle perpetuates way more changes than just hopping ship whenever the going gets bothersome. Allowing myself to stay in one place has engendered such weird and unexpected changes in me, from the deepest depths of my psyche to the longest tips of my hair.

Did you do anything you never thought you would do?

I made a crazy quantity of poppies out of paper for Lauren and Brandon’s wedding. There is no way I ever would have imagined doing something like this, because I have never been very confident in my three dimensional art skill set. My success in this sector has spawned a new interest in hand building things, from wood burning to sculpting to (potential) dollhouse creation.

poppies

What is your happiest memory from the year?

Going swinging hand in hand down some sidewalk in New York City under the supermoon with Jason, our new huge placeholder engagement rings flying every so often from our fingers, feeling like every breath we took, every swing of our arms, was propelling us into something so great and so real that leaving the ground in a permanent sort of way really seemed imminent.

What was your most stupid incident?

Fighting in the hotel parking lot in Denver over who supported the other’s football team better. I cried real tears of rage. In our mutual defense, both of our teams had just lost unexpectedly and ingloriously.

Also through only fault of my own I wrecked my car and although that resulted in new struts for only two hundred fifty, it scared the shit out of me and sucked in general.

*Car wreckage and football fight in no way related or even situated close to each other in the year.

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

I spent so much time growing and evolving, basking in the glow of my own happiness, that I forgot more often than not about the rest of humanity. I have never spent an entire year so useless in terms of giving to the community and caring about the world…and I understand why, but I don’t want to go any longer so self focused and disconnected.

What was your proudest moment of 2013?

I GOT A B IN MATH CLASS. And I understood all the material, too. (eventually).

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2013?

I’m not sure. I said a lot of bad words in front of incidentally passing children again…I imagine I forgot a lot of people’s names and things I was supposed to be doing…I actually spent the year attempting to accept and get to know every little thing about myself, so there has not been a whole lot of genuine embarrassment. Watch, now I am going to go sticking my foot in it all over the place in 2014. Sigh.

Pick three words to describe 2013.

Safe.

Adventurous.

Splendid.

What was the best book you read this year?

Well I read some more Terry Pratchett and everything he writes is the best book I’ve ever read. But I also just finished reading Ready Player One, lent to me by Brandon, and it is absolutely excellent. Good, engaging writing, classic story arc mixed with blow away brand new concepts, smacking just enough of Ender’s Game, shot through with humorous well placed chunks of pop culture reference.

What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2013?

I am actually not sure. I watched a lot of movies this year, and there are all sorts of categories of goodness to choose from. Let’s go with…Tabitha’s foray into horror!

It appears that sharing a house with a strong man that I trust with all my heart and all my soul and all my understanding (sorry Jesus!) is all it takes to make me quite a bit arrogant in the face of terrors. Shit that I could not even begin to watch while living alone is suddenly no big deal, just another movie, now that I know that any nastiness that succeeds in making it out of the tv and into my house is going to have to deal with the fact that Jason lives there too, and is not afraid of it. Laughs at it, really, if it’s poorly designed or just stands there staring creepily for a really long time. The standing there staring creepily for a really long time still gets me sometimes, but not Jason. So, armed with this newfound conceit of safety, I watched horror movies for weeks up to Halloween in an unprecedented orgy of confidence and curiosity. I discovered that horror movies are actually just like every other kind of movie, except that they try to scare you more. There are lots of different ways in which horror movies try to scare you, and some do a good job and some do such a bad job you just feel kind of sorry for them. The rest of them are all just the type that pop things out at you and make you jump; this kind continues to be widely successful with me, because I continue to be a very jumpy person. So this was the great movie discovery of 2013. Here I have been destroying the fragile frayed ends of my little mind for years imagining that things in horror movies are so much worse than they are, and turns out a lot of them just involve a lot of staring creepily and chasing ineptly.

I RULE.

What was your favorite record from 2013?

I don’t know…I don’t keep up with the current trends. 😦

2013 has however been the year of reconnecting with one’s roots, which for me means creating a pandora station for each respectively: Goldfinger, Cake, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. It’s been more of a head banging year. It’s been a year of glee and gladness, of tearing down old shit while listening to old music and building up new shit while newly appreciating old music. It’s been all like spinning on that dizzy edge up in here this year.

What was your favorite month of 2013?

Oi. There was at least one thing so wonderful about each of them. I would say June because we got engaged, but we also got the worst food poisoning imaginable so…that would be a lie. I am actually going to have to go with October. Jason and I spent all month collaborating on mask making, stretching me way out of my comfort zone with regards to the aforementioned three dimensional art world, and we watched all those horror movies and discovered that I am very brave when in possession of adequate backup, and we went to Astoria and had a fireplace and pumpkin beer and everything was just flat fuck wonderful.

What was the best thing you bought?

ENGAGEMENT RING!

photo-5

In what ways did you grow emotionally?

This is still a massive work in progress, but I have been growing little trustlets out of my heart like baby leaves. I have a hard time trusting anyone or anything in the world, and I always have, since the beginning of my memory; my distrust of people runs as deep as the entire race, my distrust of situations extends from the comical to the fated. Up until recently I have always viewed my distrust as necessary, as a shield from the wounds of the world: if I’ve got my guard up and I’m already out the door by the time you hurt me, well. Here’s my back. Walking away. And not looking behind me. Now that I’m redefining badass, I’m forced to realize that my inability to trust is defunct. It doesn’t jive with the life I’ve chosen. It doesn’t help me out. So I’m learning to trust. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Getting a B in math has nothing on it. But even though it’s tearing the exoskeleton of my soul up, it’s worth it. It’s filling every growing pains crack in with solid gold, rendering each immediately recognizable and infinitely valuable in its new incarnation.

In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

I would say that my spiritual growth has been kind of in stasis this year. So much has been happening in other realms, real and raw and close to heart and home, that my spirituality, its code already hammered out and adhered to for years, has been mostly occupied in glad gratitude, breathing deeply, sighing with contentment.

In what way(s) did you grow physically?

Hmph.

Ask my butt.

In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

Learning that being a badass is not about leaving but instead about staying has made me more gentle of every relationship in my life. I am suddenly less worried about everything happening right and more about everything happening true. I no longer need people to realize their potential and their pain right away in order for them to be interesting to me. I can afford to sit in waiting with their pain, foster their potential with my own warm breath while it waits for their wings to unfurl. I am coming into my own as a mother heart. In losing my own need for distance and safety, I am accepting true vulnerability, presented not in words but in personal ugliness, from both myself and others. I am learning to love the crusty dishes and questionable bathroom sludge of people’s personalities. I have grown into a safe haven for monsters. (we are all monsters).

Helper-Power1

What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

So I have discovered cable TV. It is hilarious. It is terrible. It is hilarious.

What was the best way you used your time this past year?

I made so much shit this year. I know that I should say that steeping in the rich washes of my magical love was the best way I used my time this year, but eh. Let’s be honest. Steeping in my magical love makes me wispier rather than useful…and I have made so many things this year with my own hands and my own imagination and determination. This was an unprecedented year of activity for me. It was a solid, wonderful use of time. I almost always had a project going, and it was always something that I was proud of, something that pushed my boundaries, forced me to deduce and learn, made me realize that there is literally nothing I can’t figure out how to do if I actually have the follow through to study it. The saying is wrong: you can be anything you want to be. What I’m sure it means, and what it should actually say, is: you can be anything you’re willing to put the effort into.

What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

The bottom is not going to drop out of everything all the time just because that’s what the bottoms of things do. It takes real ingenuity to crumble something good and strong.

Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you.

I’ve been waiting a long time
For this moment to come
I’m destined
For anything…at all
Downtown lights will be shining
On me like a diamond
Ring out under the midnight hour
No one can touch me now
And I can’t turn my back
It’s too late ready or not at all

I’m so much closer than
I have ever known…

And I don’t care what you think about Greenday.

What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?

I shot an episode of MTV…it probably would have been way more interesting to me if I hadn’t been on the fourth or fifth day of intense food poisoning, but even dragged out as I was, it was a super cool experience. I got to wear seventy pounds of makeup, and have lines and a costar, and be under super hot lights, and be on camera. Other than the makeup, which totally scared me every time I saw my reflection, it was really fun. I felt very important and accomplished. Bringing sausage cloning to the masses, that’s me.

I RULE.

What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

I feel like this entire survey reads like a litany of things I have accomplished this year that I am proud of, so I think I will instead dedicate this space to a moment of silence for all the things I did not accomplish.

.

.

.

If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?

It would have been so nice if Benny and Lucky could have got along. It still makes me sad that that didn’t work out. However, Benny now has a totally great home with the big brother type she always had before, and Lucky comes into the living room now, so there’s that.

What are the three most important things you learned this year?

Stay out of that, it doesn’t concern you.

Get into that, it does concern you.

The difference.

What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year, but is easy now?

Fractions!

In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?

In my heart. It used to be such a tight little closed off bristly ball of wariness, always seeking another broken blender to toss itself into for new and exciting shred marks, and now it’s actually believing that someone can hold it the way it needs to be held. Carefully, gently, forever.

Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive it at the start of the year, what advice would you give yourself?

Clean the bathtub.

(This would possibly have resulted in my cleaning it more than one time in the entirety of 2013).

What was the nicest thing someone has done for you this year?

Jason continued to live.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

If you count falling in love over and over again, then yes. I know, vomit in your mouth. But it’s true, it’s one of the big surprises of a long relationship that starts off good and gets better. You go through cycles of just being, and cycles of being so incredibly in love that you might have just met and the energy that flows between you is just as electric as in the beginning, although in my experience not so clumsy. It’s like the best thing ever.

If yes, with who/do they know?

Oh. Um, it’s Jason. It’s still Jason. Surprise, right?!

If he doesn’t know by this point the fault is entirely with him. I make that man breakfasts and Cheifs paraphernalia.

Are you still in love with them?

So redundant!

Did you make any new friends in 2013?

Yes. Still a strangely worded, boring question.

What person has made the biggest impact in your life this year? Why?

It’s still Jason. He just lets me be. I get to be myself, and he thinks that is great. He encourages me to try new things and is not even surprised when I do well at them; likewise he does not judge me for failing, even at things he is already very good at. He listens to me bitch or worry about silly things and doesn’t make me feel stupid when I realize later that they’re silly. He gets me Broncos paraphernalia and he only makes fun of Peyton Manning’s forehead when I’m in a good mood.

With whom were your most valuable relationships?

All of the usual suspects. I had my old friend new man to have shots at Dots with, (although it’s looking like the Watering Trough is our new Dots), and long heated philosophical wrangles, and good simple times of hanging out. I had my girls to smoke and drink and giggle and cry with. I had my parents to talk to when my head needed sorting, I had my siblings to talk to when my heart needed laughter.

How were relationships with boyfriends/girlfriends?

See: entire preceding blog post.

Did you lose anybody close to you in 2013?

No. (knock wood cross fingers kiss elbow)

Did you (or anyone close to you) give birth?

Not this year! Everybody’s old now. There were some one and two year old birthdays.

Who are you most proud of?

Nitya and Becky, for going back to school, getting A’s, and burning bright the torches of ambition. Thomas, for passing the ASVAB under his own power and following his dreams.

Did you have any meetings that you find memorable?

Yes but as each of these impressed me unfavorably albeit humorously, it would not be gentlemanly of me to elaborate.

What was the worst lie someone told you in 2013?

No your hair totally looks great.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

We three rings of 2013 are…

So my two best girls ever and I all got engaged this year. And that merited a darn lot of celebration.

Furthermore, two other sets of besties got married, and there was much rejoicing. And libations. We all got cut off at Lauren’s wedding, and we probably would have at Marie’s if we hadn’t all been friends with the impromptu bartender(s).

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I was pretty upset that Benny and Lucky couldn’t get along. That was hard for everyone and I feel like everyone except for the two of them tried really hard to make it happen. Selfish damn cats.

Also it seems to me that every third driver in the Portland area is either so disabled it is to wonder how they even raise a fork to their lips let alone obey traffic signals, or such a dick they ought to be tied in a row with salmon colored ribbon along the Burnside bridge wearing penis hats, holding signs that say relevant things like ‘I gunned directly across five lanes of traffic and almost t-boned a totally terrified girl in a tiny MR2 that had the right of way and was only saved from the events of my catastrophic asshattery by a set of very good brakes (hers).’

Do you hate (strongly dislike) anyone or anything now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, I’ve pretty much always hated bad drivers and Seahawks fans.

Did you travel outside of your country of residence in 2013?

Nope!

How many different states / provinces did you travel to in 2013?

We went to Seattle, we went to New York, we went to Denver…I think just three. They all rocked, although we definitely established a pattern of somebody puking every trip we take. Sigh. I hope that does not extend to future generations.

How many concerts did you see in 2013?

I don’t know. I never know. This is not something I pay any attention to, unless Beck is supposed to be there or I fall in love with Neil Young for the first time.

However, this next year we are going to see Mike Birbiglia and I am super stoked! I know I know, standup is not a concert. Tell that to the ten thousand people laughing their butts off – Harold Weir

Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2013?

I drank a frequent amount of alcohol in 2013, but did I drink a lot? No. My tolerance is disappearing faster than a spit blob down a drain. It is a constant source of disappointment to me. At this rate there is not even a chance of me dying in a gutter from old punk rockness.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2012?

No.

What did you do last year that you’d never done before?

So. Much. Stuff. As I have gone on ad nauseam about every other category, let us devote this bit to the adulation of my culinary prowess. I made a pot roast, which my family only criticized a tiny bit, I made a face meltingly delicious lasagna the size of a standard feather pillow, and I learned how to cook tofu so that it is only slightly inedible.

What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?

Ease. Grace. Confidence. Faith.

This last year has been such a constant kiln of new purpose and lifestyle and beliefs and dreams that it has been kind of baseline chaotic all the time. Everything is good and getting excellent, but the rate of exchange from old to new, worse to better, has been definitely frenetic. So many changes so fast that I almost can’t recognize myself from this time last year to now. I’m hoping that the fundamentals will have been laid like floorboards and the shoots of trust my heart has been growing will thicken and firm into pillars, and this coming year I can just lie back in the space my love has created and enjoy the rest of the worthy.

What date from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 21st

(or 22nd , I can never remember precisely because of all the nonstop rib shattering puking that happened the whole week after)

I cursed every other living creature for breathing obnoxiously in this magical space like it was any other evening, and waited for the waves of them to die down. Eventually I realized that they were always going to be there, and devoted my time to finding a beautiful place. We came to some grass for sitting with the sunset sending tangerine rays across the river on one side and the supermoon looming large over the city on the other, and we sat. I pulled a little black box with pink insides out of my purse, opened it, and said all in a hurry, ‘baby will you marry me?’ He looked at the box, where the coolest battle beast I could find stood holding a ring made out of a Kansas quarter, and said, ‘is this really happening?’

Where did most of your money go?

Adventuring, engagement ring, tools, crafts…jello shots.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My B in math! Niall finally getting around to it! Going to NY! Getting engaged! Being on MTV! Going camping with Jason and the Cumingses! Marie’s wedding! Getting rings! Lauren’s wedding! Making halloween masks! Seeing part of the midwest! Mah burfday! Andy finally getting around to it!

What song will always remind you of last year?

Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?…thinner or fatter?…richer or poorer?

Happier. And I was happy as fuck this time last year.

Fatter. Sigh. I blame the happiness. That’s standard, right?

About the same; I work more but now I’m saving up for a wedding and a wedding dress.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working out.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating pizza.

What did you do on your birthday?

I made all the people who love me go to Oaks Park for roller skating! It was massively fun. And then we all went to the Bear Paw for like the first time all year and sang karaoke. Nitya brought silly hats as usual, and everyone pretty much wore them for a second or so without being told. I forgot to take my gallery of hats pictures though. This has just now occurred to me. Sadness.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Hair that was neither too short to go into a ponytail nor too long to stay on top of my head. Stupid all in my face hairs. I feel like a teenaged skater boy from the early 00s.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept for last year?

Shocking.

I have been roundly shocked.

As far as I can tell, feeling secure in the belief that I have a man who is good, a man who ultimately has my wellbeing and happiness close to his heart, allows me to soften to an absolutely shocking degree, and to enjoy being a woman in every way, in ways I didn’t even know existed. It is just absolutely shocking, all the hard edges and grunginess and skankiness and hoboness I no longer feel the need to frame my wardrobe around, just in case anyone gets the idea that because I look nice and womanly they can try to take control of me and push me around.

So this year, I looked nice! I looked shockingly nice! I reminded myself strongly of all the silver screen idols of my youth, with their nice hair and their nice lines and nice fabrics and nice colors. I just looked like a woman. I looked nice.

What kept you sane?

Jason. Girl talks. Getting some time to myself. Working out. Writing. Whiskey. Snuggling my bad cat.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I like still like Peyton Manning a lot. I also like Mike Birbiglia a lot. And Scully! I like Scully a lot.

What political issue stirred you the most?

This year I was so happy that they were all irritating to me. I had entered upon such good fortune that it was a damn annoyance that everybody else wasn’t just figuring it out in brilliant flashes of universal good luck also. I was bad at humanity this year. When I did care, I cared about bees, and fluoride, and GMOs, and episodes of political corrputness with petitions attached.

If you met yourself for the first time this year would you strike up a friendship?

Yes…it would be less exuberant self congratulation than in years past and I would not feel the need to sleep with myself…I would probably bore myself with stories about wood burning projects and bookkeeping practices…oh actually wait! Myself would love to hear about those things! Never mind, we would totally love each other.

Did you spend any time listening to yourself?

Yes. More quality time than ever.

What did you say?

The world is not out to get you. If it is, you can think about it when it happens. It is ok to be happy. Everything will not instantly fall to shit the second you admit that you are happy. Yes, this is a terrible tv show; yes, you should feel very bad for watching it; yes, you go right ahead and keep watching it, anyone who doesn’t find HoneyBooBoo hilarious is obviously taking life too seriously, which is something you’ve already done way too much of in your lifetime. Go HoneyBooBoo!

What did you do over the summer?

I hung out with my family and my family of friends; I grew morning glories; I went to NY and got engaged yadda yadda; I went to a couple of excellent bachelorette parties and their attendant lovely weddings; I rearranged the house like eight times; I saw One Direction the Movie.

What news story sticks in your mind the most from 2013?

The article about the study that links autism spectrum issues to gut bacteria. Fascinating!

What things do you appreciate most in your life at the moment?

My man, my home, my sweet kitteh (harrumph I mean my bad cat)…my feather pillow’s worth of lasagna, and some butterscotch fudge my mama gave me…my job, which continues splendid, my car, which continues to run, (knock wood), X Files, the fact that we will beat Seattle at the Super Bowl. 😀

Where were you when 2013 began?

Hanging out at Ro’s house, having my boobs discussed.

Where will you be when 2013 ends?

Hanging out at Holly’s house, airing my views on certain specific categories of pseudoscience. (I don’t really know. I just love typing ‘pseudoscience.’)

What are your plans for 2014?

Bitchez, I’ma get married!

And…plant my christmas tree at my grandparents’ house; get all my Quickbooks certifications; make at least one dollhouse; drink beer out of gorgeous big bottles; get a dog – an amazing dog; meet the rest of Jason’s family; care about the rest of the world; finish my math classes.

Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions of 2013?

Let us see…

AW yiss…!

I mathed well; I rollerbladed; I grew hairs; I visited my grandma; I made fudge.

Aw no…

I did not floss on a regular basis; I did not move somewhere new (but on the other hand I did not want to); I did not beat Keith at pool.

Do you have (a) New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2014?

Better posture.

I have spoke.

I am

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One Response to “what’s left, I’m what’s right”

  1. Chris Says:

    Welcome to being a complete human, Tab. Interestingly enough, it works different for different people, but you know that. I look foward to your very wordy expressions in 2014.

    Like


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