Melba interviews me

Posted by Tammy

Melba was interviewed on her blog recently, and the deal is - you get interviewed and offer to interview other bloggers. I took her up on answering five questions of her choice for me. (This is gonna be a long post! I am long-winded when I get going!)

Her questions:

~ Sometimes families mis-perceive who we are as adults (especially in larger families like your own) What is the biggest misperception your family has about you?

I think in my case, this is especially true. Because I was born so much later than my siblings (15 years after the next youngest) I think it is harder for them to think of me as a sibling. My oldest sister had a baby only six days after I was born - my nephew. It seems to me (MY perception) that my sibs don't think of me as an adult even still. I don't know how old or what situation I'll have to be in for that to happen though.

I think that their mis-perception is that I'm a very weird, off the wall person. (OK - so they may be right in this perception!) But, what I don't think they see, is the real me. They haven't ever taken the time to know me as an adult, as an individual. And partially, I'm to blame for this as well. I have removed myself from many family situations because it is easier. I haven't put myself out there for them to know either.

Maybe my perception of their perception of me is skewed. I don't know... but that's how it is at least for now. I am very different in my beliefs, political views, ideas, etc. than most of my family. It is easier for me to not be very involved. It works for me. (The picture above is seven of the eight of us. Vicki wasn't there. It was taken about 3 Christmases ago. That was the first time I'd gone to a holiday gathering in about 4 years, and the last time. Top left to right - Joe, Tom, John. Bottom l to r - Connie, Rhonda, Mary - I'm on the floor in front. Check that red hair I was sporting!)

~ Does your family know you blog? Do they understand what a blog is?

Some of my family know - I know that they read my blog. My moms knows about my blog for sure. I know that two or three of my sisters and one niece read my blog as well. When I first started my blog, I was quite careful about what I said, where I linked, etc. because I wasn't sure about my family reading my words. It took some time for me to come to a point where I decided I would open up and be myself, even if they did read it, and didn't like it.

When I write now, it is me. I say what I want to in spite of the fact that my family might not like it. It has taken me years to get to that point "off-blog" and not quite as long "on-blog". (I like my made up terms!)

My mom even has her own blog now! She isn't writing very regularly yet, but I think she will. I helped her with some design - a header and a sidebar. It was fun to help her. I know that some of what I write about isn't what my mom would choose for me, but I think she's OK with the fact that I will live my life my way now. I know I am OK with that!

My sister Vicki is extremely supportive of me. (Some of you all helped me out by sending art and goodies to Vicki not too long ago! Thank you!! It cheered her up immensely. Her health is still very bad though.) She loves to read my blog and hear what's going on with me - see my art, photos, etc. It's fun when she does comment!

~I know you love animals. When did your love for animals begin? Did you have a pet growing up?

I did have a pet growing up. His name was Beau-Beau - he was a French poodle. We had him from the time I was 2 until about 13 I think. I loved Beau very much - he slept in my room - usually on the bed with me. We had to euthanize him when I was in middle school. My dad took him to the vet. If I knew then what I know now, I would have wanted to go too. But, I didn't. I remember crying at school. My mom was away - in Germany visiting my brother Tom when he was euthanized. (on the left - me age 2ish holding Beau.)

I had various other pets along the way - Hamsters, a bunny (I cannot remember his name!), and fish. I loved my hamsters! I had one named Theo that was so friendly. He died a tragic death though - he choked to death if you can believe it. So sad - even my dad (big softie) cried. (below is Theo in his ball with our friend's dog Hansi - I love Hansi too!)

I never remember not loving animals. Especially cats! My dad (pretends) to not like cats, so I never had them until I was out on my own. My sister Mary's cat Jethro was my favorite. I also remember my friend/neighbor Bobbie's chinchilla! I loved watching her take a dust bath!

Who knew that I'd wind up working in a pet related field? I never wanted to be a veterinarian - too much science! But, working at World by the Tail and being able to help people with the loss of pets, this is a good place for me! I love that what I do genuinely helps people through a difficult time! I have ClayPaws® prints of my own cats (Lissy and Bear) and I love having them!

~ I read in your bio that you went to art therapy. What was that experience like for you?

Art therapy truly changed who I am. I had "regular" therapy sessions for several years where I worked through a lot of things - nothing major, but a lot of stuff that had me stuck. When we happened upon a stumbling block I couldn't get past - my therapist recommended art therapy. The block was actually being creative. I knew the creativity was there, but I could NOT get to it. I was so hard on myself, that putting pen to paper to "draw" wigged me out. I couldn't do it!

I did numerous individual art therapy sessions to start with. I cried in the first one because Andrea asked me to draw a house, a tree, and a bird. I knew that I couldn't do it... so instead, we scribbled. No pressure when you're just scribbling! I don't remember a lot of what we talked about as I drew and scribbled... I just know that something broke loose at some point, and I branched out quickly. We did collage, painting, drawing, etc... Then, I was ready to try an art therapy group. (one of my first scribbles to the right.)

I did group sessions for over a year - every Wednesday night! It was always groups of 5-6 women - and we all just did our own thing each night - talking and working together. At the end of the group - we would all post what we had worked on that night and discuss. I learned SO much from the various women in the groups and Andrea. I have all of my work in a portfolio! Some of it is quite elementary, but that's OK - I like each piece. I tried to do another group with Andrea this spring, but not enough people signed up this time. I hope I can do another group - it has been over a year since I did one. I miss them! I do a lot more art on my own now, so I don't NEED the group setting, but it is a great place!

I highly recommend art therapy! Without it, I don't think I would be where I am! I certainly wouldn't be creating anything, and I doubt I would be blogging truthfully. This is a form of creative expression for me in many ways - and I couldn't have done it a few years ago!

~What is your creative dream for yourself?

I would LOVE to find a way to make enough money to support myself through art. I haven't figured that out just yet, but I think at some point I will. I want art to be my job. Many aspects of the job I do now are creative and fulfilling. I love that! (designing our website especially!) But, I want to be a Stay at Home Artist (not mom!) To create, and support myself by creating, is my creative dream!

Pshew!! That was long-winded!! Thank You Melba for such great, thought-provoking questions. Now, if YOU would like to be interviewed by ME - here is the deal.

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

2 Opinions:

Sacred Suzie said...

What a grew way to get to know you even better Tammy! I love hearing your stories, especially about the art therapy. Fascinating! I have never done anything like that. I hope you find a way to make art your career too, I know it would make you so happy and you're so good at it!

Melba said...

Thank you tammy for answering my questions.

I really enjoyed reading your answers; especially about art therapy. I feel like it is therapy when I am making my collages. Creating helps me think and work things out.