Monday, June 16, 2014

Never a Daddy's Girl

Yesterday was father’s day. I am a bit ambivalent about this day on the calendar. Perhaps it is because I don’t have a father. Of course I must have had a father at one point, I mean, I am a living person right? 

As I read all of the posts on social media, I stopped at most to read them; I viewed the pictures that were posted, because after all, I care about the people I am connected to via social media. I waited for the words to form; I waited for the ping that sometimes begins in my belly, the distancing of myself from the present moments so that I can go inward. I write everything in my mind first before it either escapes a pencil onto my paper or my fingers tap away on my ever annoying keyboard.

I waited, and nothing came. I got nothing. I feel nothing really. No anger, no hate, no sadness. If I had to think about it long and hard, I would feel loss. Not of a person, but of a role, a void of love, caring, adoration, protection that never existed.
I never understood the term “Daddy’s girl”. Never felt it and never witnessed it. Even through the raising of my daughter, an extension of me, she is not familiar with the term, the feeling, the reality. She is without it, and we are both deprived of her joy and happiness of being a “daddy’s girl”. I always thought that seeing a girl with her daddy was a beautiful, almost magical scene to witness.  Now, as an adult, I have close friends who have girls that belong to their daddy in that special way, and I am ashamed to say, I just don’t get it.

My own father died when I was nineteen, and much of my life was lived without him. When my life did include him, it was not beautiful, or magical, or kind. It was not a life, laced with family dinners, and teachings, and love. It was a life lived with uncertainty, cruelty and alcoholism. 

The recollections I choose to commit to memory, I keep in a locked box.  The loss and heartbreak, I keep in the empty part of my heart. The loss for my daughter, well that hurts more than I imagined. I thought that I could give her everything that she needed and wanted and desired. I realize that even to insert loving caring men into her life, be it a wonderful step dad, friends or male family members, nothing can replace the unbending love of a father. Some things are just out of my control, and to not be able to give my daughter certain things in this life, haunt me every day. The desire for her to know the comfort, protection and love of being a “daddy’s girl”, well that is out of my control. No amount of my love can replace that, equipped with that knowledge, I am sad for her. She is sad for herself, once admitting to me that she was jealous of the relationship between a father/daughter to someone close to us.

While she may not be a daddy’s girl, she will be loved, every day, fiercely, unbending, and she will never doubt exactly the love that breathes in me, for her. 

To all the great daddy's out there, and the amazing step daddy's, I hope you had a wonderful day, deserving of the dad that you are!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Art Journal Fun

I believe that all creative time is time well spent. Creative time making something just for me, is time I don't often spend.

I have been taking an Art Journal class and I have to tell you, I am loving it so much. When I am in class, I have a smile on my face the whole time and I just want to soak up all the information I can! Unfortunately, not enough information comes out of a class for my liking, so I know the best way to gain knowledge, is to get my hands dirty (literally!) and practice!

I have always been a creative person and have often moved from outlet to outlet when I get bored. While I am not bored with what I am currently working on, I have known for a while that I wanted to work with paints.

I bought myself an old book at the Goodwill store, and decided to put my love of writing, scrapbooking and journaling and combine it all with art journaling. I can't wait to teach a class on this!

This book is all for me, about the moments that have changed me.

Take a look, this is what I have been working on.

I plan on spending the whole weekend working on it, and I have to say, I am so excited to explore this new creative outlet. I love to look back and see the progress I have made and love seeing how I get better and my craft. I know a year from now I will look at this and wish I had done better, but for now, I am having fun. That's really what it's all about anyway right?

I hope that you will stop by and take a look around at my crafting blog A Pinch of Creativity and see some of my other projects and recipes.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Advice to my 21 Year old self.

I recently read a business article about successful entrepreneurs, and what advice they would give their 21 year old selves. It was an enjoyable read and quite insightful. Often when I read something like this, it makes me consider my life and sometimes, something weaves its way into my own adaptation of writing.
Image via Pinterest
I have been consumed lately with thoughts about my twenty one year old step daughter and where her life will take her, the journey she is on, and decisions she is making and will be making as she becomes the director of her destiny. I would love to give her advice, but I don’t! It all makes me wonder what advice I would give my 21 year old self. What advice will I give my daughter when she is old enough? I’ve done the exercise of what I would tell my 16 year old self, but let’s face it, at 16; life is all about hormones, emotion, first loves. We are consumed by trials and tribulations that make us feel as though our world is crashing in around us. At 21, at least you have usually survived your first break up, graduation, your first bona fide job, maybe post secondary school, but always the question of what you are going to do with the rest of your life.
So I compiled my own list of advice, and wow, I have a lot of advice I sure would like to give! It was great to write it out, because it made me question where I’ve been, where I am going, and hey, can I still use this advice, even if I am 40 something? It’s coming to me 20 years too late, but “better late than never”, isn’t it? What do you think?
Here goes, my advice, in absolutely no particular order at all!

1.       Read. A lot. Learn. I don’t just mean novels, read anything that interests you and read about things you may think will peak your curiosity. Reading keeps you sharp.
Image via Pinterest

2.       Learn something new. Don’t ever think you know it all or know enough, there is always something new to learn.

3.       Find a mentor. Find someone you admire for their work ethic, parenting style, life or professional values. Find someone who is at least ten years older than you, someone who is trustworthy and who will answer your questions with honesty. If it’s possible, have a personal and a professional mentor.

4.       Be curious. Ask questions. If you are genuinely curious about things, about people, you will learn to be a good listener. You will learn to value what other people say and you will gain knowledge from their stories.

5.       Keep a journal. I’ve always been good at keeping a journal and I’m glad I did. Write down your thoughts, feelings and goals. Record the events in your life. Then go back and re-read then every once in a while. When you go back two years and re-read what you wrote, it’s like listening to yourself, hearing your heart, your yearnings. Let it be your reminder.

6.       Be quiet. Be alone. Take the time to sit quietly, be by yourself. Listen to what you hear in the silence, what your body, your mind, your soul tell you. Don’t be scared to be alone, and know there is a difference between time alone and being lonely.

7.       Be single. Not forever but don’t feel that you need to be in a relationship. When you are never alone, you don’t truly know who you are. You only know parts of you. When you move from relationship to relationship, you only know who you are when you are with another person. You hear all the time to “love yourself”, but I want you to “know” yourself. Knowing who you are comes to you, it really does. Sometimes it takes awhile, but it does come. Hopefully you are always changing and growing. This may be at the top of my advice!

8.       Travel. You will find so many excuses not to go; you have no money, no one to go with, you’ll break your mom’s heart. Go. Go as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be far it just needs to happen. See the world from a different window not just the one where you work and live.

9.       Love. You will get hurt. You will never forget your first love, but love people. Friends, family, and lovers. Love them without fear. You will always survive the heartbreak; it won’t kill you, even when you are certain it will. Being jaded, cynical and doubtful, it will kill you inside.

10.   Be Healthy. You won’t always have your figure, maybe your looks will fade, so be healthy. Find an exercise that you like and do it. Try new ones, and do them too. Be careful what you put into your body, if it’s not good; don’t let it touch your lips.

11.   Hug and Kiss. Embrace your friends and family. Touch is good between those you care about. Hold hands. Place your hands on top of your friends hand, mom, dad, and lover. Place your hand on their face, their arm, their shoulder. Kiss and kiss well, when you find that love, never stop kissing. Kiss deep, long, and with conviction.

12.   Think about marriage, not your wedding. I was never one of those girls who dreamt about her wedding, what it would look like, what kind of dress I would wear or any of the other fantasies girls have about their weddings. I also didn’t have an example to look to of a good marriage and so I didn’t ever think about what a good marriage consisted of. You should! Marriage is hard, and it’s complicated. Spend more time thinking about what makes a marriage, what you want from a husband and what it means to be a good wife, and less time thinking of the beautiful dress. A wedding is one day, a marriage is not, so put your focus where it belongs.

13.   Make mistakes. It happens, we all make so many mistakes in our lifetime, and that is ok. Just take the time to pause and learn from them. Think about what went wrong and what led to the mistake. Then forgive yourself. Forgive and move forward.

14.   Be kind, every day. This is broad, I realize, but there are countless ways to be kind. Smile at people, in the grocery store, in the car next to yours, when you cross the street, to the homeless person. Let people into your lane when their signals are on, if someone drops something, don’t just notice it, and pick it up. Make cookies, just to give away, invite a friend to join you and another friend to the movie. Invite people to stay for dinner, not just to come over when plans are made. Offer someone a ride, volunteer your time, and pay for coffee for the person behind you. Just be kind.
Photo via Pinterest

There you have it, just some of the advice I would offer. I stopped at 14, but I could have gone on. I have a favorite quote that I love, by Maya Angelou...”when you get, give....when you learn, teach.” It is so simple. But consider how much better of a place the world would be to live in, if every day, we lived by that one simple rule, get...give, learn...teach.

I’d love to hear from you, what advice would YOU give to your 21 year old self? Share with me in the comments below

Thank you for stopping by.




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Word for 2014


There it is my word for 2014. I’ve never done it before, chosen a word.

Sure, I’ve set goals, had New Year’s resolutions, set intentions. This year, I chose a word.

One Word, which will guide my year.

Here I was mere days ago and I had two words. Somewhere, several months ago, a word was whispering in my ear, tapping on the windows of my soul. I could hear it, but I felt my heart was too heavy, my soul too dark to see. This word had me searching and wondering.

Oh she was driving me crazy, this word, as I pushed her away. I was not ready for her.


That was it. I was in search of beauty.

I questioned her, this word. What beauty? Mine? Wasn’t I beautiful? I thought I was.

It’s not that kind of beauty. Is it the beauty of my surroundings? Where I live? I don’t know, but I am certain she will present herself to me again.

My other word...Brave.

Brave. This word scared me. It made me cry, it gave me hope. It was a word that didn’t leave me wondering or searching.

It is the word that made me feel. As I sat with my dear friend sharing lunch, my eyes welled with tears. I felt as though I was going to burst, trapped in this body and mind and life that didn’t seem to even belong to me!

That is how I knew that Brave was going to be my word.

In and amongst all of my smiles, my goings on, my creativity, my new projects, my darkness, it was the word that helped me to “feel”. I have joked that I am dead inside, that my heart always feels broken. But it’s no joke, I don’t remember when my heart didn’t feel broken and I do feel dead inside.



I am not being authentic to myself. I will drop everything I am doing to help others I will help you with anything you want, need, or desire. If I help you, I don’t have to help me, I don’t have to take care of me.

Don’t get me wrong here.

I am not weak, I am strong.

I am confidant, I am smart, and I shine.

I have moments of bravery and taking chances. But they are only moments.

I am not meek or wimpy or frail.

I am a rock star inside. I am wild, I am artistic and creative.

But I only show glimpses of me and I won’t let you in unless I trust you.

I guard myself well.

When I do this, I don’t write what is truly inside, I don’t speak my heart, just my mind.

I remain trapped, and I don’t breathe fire.

So my word is Brave.

I have not been brave as of late. I have not had the important conversations, for fear of what will follow. I have procrastinated in the workings of my dreams, for fear of those that will get left behind.

Brave...I will dream BIG and spat fear in the face.

Brave so that I may let the artistic, creative me show every day and I will be ok with it, even when others are not, and I will be unapologetic.

It won’t come quickly and I am good with that. I am thankful for the grace given to me, allowing the word to resonate within me and my life.

Here is the wonderful part.

Two words, is what I started with.

I said to myself, “how can I decide? Universe, speak to me! What shall my word for 2014 be?”

And it came to me...”Brave” the universe said to me. “Tannis be Brave and you will find Beauty.” It wasn’t a whisper, it was fierce and loud.

One word, but in the end, there will be two that collide.

Brave and Beauty will crash into each other and the aftershock of that force will be me, and my life of 2014.
This particular version of this song reminds me to be free, to be wild, to live unapologetically, to sing aloud, “don’t fence me in!” to no one at all but myself!

Thank you so much for stopping by, for reading and I hope that you will come back.