"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Radio Star here!

You know those moments when you have a significant “first” and it could potentially be a pretty cool thing, but for you it usually just ends up being uncomfortable/embarrassing/awkward/all of the above? Yeah, so had one of those today… in my (just guess which class I’m going to talk about!) fairy tale seminar, we had the opportunity to go and do a little “radio show” together. It was for BYU’s program, the Appleseed. Sounds cool, right? We were going to talk about “defining moments.” And obviously a lot of defining moments of my life, I don’t really feel the necessity nay desire to share with random people on the radio… this made it even more difficult to find the right moment to share. I’m not really good at the serious/sweet/sentimental moments but I’m also not one of those like “funny people” that can share a story about a shoelace and be funny. I had to think hard about what moment was the right mix of clever, slightly inspiring, not too personal, but not too sappy. Finally, the right moment came to mind… a moment that I couldn’t believe I had almost forgotten because it was truly a ridiculous moment of my life. But the part that made it not-so-cool and not-so-great, is that I was the only person who wrote mine down… because apparently I’m that student. The guy at the radio place even was like, “So I can’t help but notice you wrote yours down… why?” I told him it was because I was worried that if I didn’t have some notes I would be too worried about A) reliving my karaoke days with the mic so dangerously close and B)waxing loquacious because I am an English major and we love our words..
And I feel a little guilty right now that I’m using this time to write a blog post… because I have a lot of “actual” writing to do. “Academic” writing or something like that. A lot of times when I have big writing assignments due (like every week), I find myself wanting to engage in various activities like blogging (or sometimes I read things for class because I tell myself they will help “stimulate” my brain… never works…). I always thought these were like “avoidance tactics” but this semester I have actually discovered that some people consider such writing not just avoidance, but as a legitimate writing strategy. All those years of guilt-blogging ended because suddenly, research has justified my blogging. Sometimes in order to write, you gotta clear the mind a little bit, get rid of distractions and sort out those cluttered boxes of the mind. And sometimes blogging just helps me do that. I write this to appease my guilty conscience… but I also believe it is mostly true. Which is slightly more positive than being mostly dead… I have also made some bold moves this week and removed myself from the dark and cold confines of the library and have taken to hunchbacking-it-up (and yes I did just make that a verb) in the nice weather on the top of the JFSB. Also a convenient location if the writing goes horribly… I won’t elaborate on that one, but if you catch the twisted humor, points to you. Perhaps your heart is as black as mine…
Enjoy it or don’t, but this is the moment I shared on the radio!
When I heard we were going to be talking about defining moments, I immediately went to dictionary.com, the fount of all wisdom and knowledge. Yeah, so I’m that kind of a person. You know, the kind that gets assigned some topic and then immediately looks up the definition. I speak for the other people like me in saying that I think we do it in the hopes that something we read about a word or phrase we have long-known will suddenly help our brain come up with lots of different and really awesome things to say. Usually, it does not happen like that, but as I looked up “defining moments” I did actually like what I read and being the type of person that looks things up in the dictionary, I’m also the type to share what I learned, which is the following, a defining moment is “a point in which the essential nature or character of a person is revealed or identified or an occurrence that typifies or determines all related events that follow.” 
I like the part that mentioned these moments often “reveal” who we already are. And as I think about all of that, I find myself remembering this funeral I went to when I was younger. It was the funeral of my mom’s second cousin, or second uncle or something like that. My fake uncle, perhaps. She promised we were related, but I wasn’t so sure, considering our contact with “Uncle ron” had been very minimal. Lack of depth in our relationship, however, did not hinder my mother in begging me to please go with her to this funeral. And as the ever-dutiful daughter, I went. And it is a good thing I did. Because partway through the services, Uncle Ronnie’s friend got up, guitar in hand, and sang a tearful version of “Wind beneath my wings.” In that moment I realized that there are two kinds of people in this world: those that sing “Wind beneath my wings” ά la Bette Midler in tough moments and those that don’t.
Fast forward a few more years and I was a junior in high school. Uncle Ronnie was long gone, and I found myself running for student body president. I was wearing a blue cowboy hat and dressed in as much orange and blue as you could possibly imagine (those were, of course, our school colors) and I was participating in an unusual form of torture called “the elections assembly.” This is a form of humiliation designed by the current student government to publicly haze the potentials for the future student government to see how far they are willing to go to win the election. After participating in a number of really inspirational skits and things, I listened as the current president announced to the entire school that the other candidate for president and I would then be given a few minutes for an impromptu speech. With my cowboy hat and all, I found out quickly that of those two types of people, I was the kind that sang ‘wind beneath my wings” little or no resemblance to Bette Midler in tough situations. I sometimes wonder if the current president has since had such a personal and public rendition of that song…
Just as dictionary.com says, these defining moments are those that “reveal the essential character of a person” and I had just revealed myself as the type of person that First) maybe has no shame and second) will do just about anything, no matter how ridiculous, to help me reach my dreams. Despite my awful singing voice, and that embarrassing display, I won the election and then had many more such opportunities to display my shamelessness. I will always be very closet proud that I helped capes come back that year. Don’t worry, the cape was a spirit cape. I think of this moment and the words of Sinbad, and that would be Sinbad the comedian, not the legendary sailor, “there’s no one defining moment that kills you or makes you.” And I look forward to a lot more shenanigans and absurd moments in my life, with or without a cowboy hat, as I try to dream big and reach for the stars….

And then I sat down so that (like I said before) I wouldn’t be tempted to start singing “Wind beneath my wings” in a very dramatic manner… Also, just a sidenote for those who didn’t know me in high school, I feel it only fair to clarify that I really did wear a cape, but it was TOTALLY COOL. If you don’t believe me, I have pictures to prove it. Though I probably shouldn’t admit that either… 


  1. Tara! I miss our antics in the basement of the JFSB! I'm glad that you are you. :)

  2. Tara, I'm going to comment on your blog and on the wiki because I loved your work, and if you are anything like me, getting comments on your blog validates you in a way that comments on a wiki just can't.

    Bravo! I loved this piece. Also, I was impressed at how you combined you comedic, yet still defining moment, with contemplation on the human experience. You truly are an English Major, or maybe we both are because I related to this piece really well.