Reflections of a Sour Girl

My birthday is today. And like one does as she’s staring forty down two barrels, she starts to think back. Examining her life under the myopic vision of someone who’s lived long enough to realize she knows nothing, Jon Snow.

On Thursday one of my favorite performers, Scott Weiland former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots died in his sleep after a life long struggle with drug addiction. Every time I’d see a picture of him pop up, it would make me so sad. I could see whatever he was snorting, smoking or shooting up was ravaging him.

I didn’t know him. I never shook his hand. Only went to one concert. But there were times when I knew his voice better than I knew my own. When his words I could measure out and distill into the tiny drops of misery that a girl from middle of nowhere West Virginia could identify with that pain. I could feel it.

And now that forty isn’t just a distant age away, I think about what I want from my body of work. What do I want to leave behind? When I’m finally pulled out of this conscious and Tamara Woods ceases to be, what will be my calling card?What is my legacy? Has it happened yet? Am I working toward it and don’t realize it?

Is there a moment in someone’s life when they says,”This is it. This is the big thing. And I’m leaving the world a better place, because of it.”

I’m writing a novel set in the early 90s when I was wearing flannel, smoking Marlboros and listening to STP, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana like they could somehow help me find guideposts through life. Even though I could clearly see that they didn’t know what they were doing either.

And maybe none of us do.

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t grown past that girl in the flannel. I’ll have a moment of bewilderment, wondering when all of these hairs turn gray and  how did I get to Hawai’i again? Shouldn’t I be sitting on my mom’s front porch scribbling in my journal and listening to mixed tapes on my Walkman? I wonder if that feeling ever disappears completely.

I get maudlin on my birthday. Do forgive me. I’m just hoping once my heart seizes up and my last breath seeps from my lungs that I’ve done something that matters.

4 Comments

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4 Responses to Reflections of a Sour Girl

  1. Tamara, I’m so sorry that I missed your birthday. I hope it was a blessed one! Regarding creativity and one’s purpose: I think we all question the choices we make as artists, and hope that perhaps one day, we will leave a lasting legacy behind us, and that our works matters. God bless you and yours.:)

  2. His death really effected my husband as well. It’s a tragedy that so many of our artists have died too young, whether by drug addiction, suicide, accident, etc.
    I hope you had a good birthday, despite your meanderings about age, accomplishments, life, and such. I think hitting 41 was harder for me than 40, but now I’m 2 years (less than that now) away from 50, and to be honest I feel so much better mentally this decade than I did in my thirties. Maybe Oprah and the others are right, and the 30s are the new 20s, the 40s the new 30s, the 50s the new 40s…. I sure as hell hope so, because I’m approaching 5o sooner than I wished and I’m really hoping that things just keep getting better. 😀
    Personally, I think what makes us count, isn’t fame or fortune, but the willingness, the openness, to learn from our mistakes and to keep moving forward despite setbacks, trails and error and tribulations, and other things that knock us for a loop and make us want to quit (perhaps it’s to quit writing, or to quit artistic pursuits, following our dreams, to stay with a horrible job instead of taking chance on a new field, or whatever). I also think our connections: family and friends, are also what make us count.
    Just a few thoughts on the subject… LOL! I think it is completely normal to feel a bit maudlin on our birthday(s) as we get older. 😀
    Burgess
    Burgess Taylor recently posted..The WandererMy Profile

  3. Birthdays are a blessing it means we have survived another year and managed to dodge the crap people throw at us, a birthday is better then a funeral just saying
    Jo-Anne recently posted..Sunday at my placeMy Profile

  4. All is forgiven, if there’s even anything to forgive. Happy birthday.

    And I hope you figure it out – perhaps let me know when you strike on whatever IT is that makes us count.
    Considerer recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful 129 (on kindness) #10ThankfulMy Profile

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