Ah my dear blog, I missed you.
I’d really like you to meet my friend Taryn. She is so beautiful in that short-haired, cute earrings, loud, athletic, tireless, full-time -working, gets tears-in-her eyes sentimental, f-bomb dropping, whipsmart, outgoing, wine-drinking kind of way. In other words, she is an original. We sat together outside at a local cafe to have our conversation over a glass of wine and under a blanketing blue sky.
Taryn informed me early in our lunch that when she first met me, she thought I was a bitch. This does not surprise me, I have always been a bit on the shy side which can be misinterpreted. But it does matter in terms of how I feel about Taryn. To my eye, she is fearless, a steak knife who slices through the tough stuff with skill and ease. As I have gotten to know her, I realize there is a softer side to her as well. But more on that later. Taryn says what is on her mind, simple as that. She is true and honest. She is no bullshit. She has no room for drama, mean people, and the turning over and over again of a problem. When she is done, she is done. The more forceful her opinion, the higher the volume and the more articulate the expletive. This woman is an artist when it comes to cursing, she is the Van Gogh of the four letter word. You can see why I love her.
One of the main reasons I wanted to talk to Taryn is the fact that she works a full time job and is a devoted mom and wife. I wanted to know, as with all hard-working moms, how she does it. For this conversation, we had to reschedule once and have some questions go back and forth by email. She’s busy. But first credit to how she does it goes to her husband. Let me say these things about him: He cooks (he has been known to whip up a dip to bring to book club), he gardens ( impeccable), he takes his two adorable girls to practices and classes, he grocery shops, he picks out clothes for Taryn (stylish and the right size) and he is very neat. You can close your mouth now, he really does these things and Taryn gives him props for all the above over and over again. But it’s still hard. She would love to “be there” for her two small girls more, she would love to have those two hours after work to unwind instead of running here to there, she would love to be free of guilt and beating herself up, she would love to have the house picked up better, she wants to be able to say no and not feel regret, and she she would love to escape the persistent feeling that she isn’t “doing it right.” I just heard all the working moms say, “Amen.”
Okay, now for Miss Softy. Behind the exterior is a mushy pillow of a heart. Few people I know have been bestowed with a heart as big and love as deep as Taryn. Her girls and her family are everything to her. When talking about painful past events or parenting or whatever she feels deeply about, her face softens and her head tilts. She looks at you with big eyes like those “Love Is” characters from the 70’s. Getting tearful is not uncommon and not something she is ashamed about. When you are with her, you are frequently rewarded with hugs, laughter and a twinkly smile. Sometimes those hugs even hurt. Girlfriend is fucking strong.
If you took a photo gallery of my friend Taryn, you would find, of course, pictures with her girls and husband. But then you would find many with lots of friends, smiling faces, wine glasses and silliness. You would also find a myriad of athletic snapshots including her covered in mud, hurdling obstacles, sleeping in strange vans during multi-day team runs, cheering her husband on during a cycling race or the simple run with her dog. It’s not rocket science that others keep asking her to captain running teams. She has an indomitable spirit, unbelievable energy and she is the ultimate in “rallying the troops.” If I were home on the couch with a gallon of ice cream and a remote, Taryn could get my ass up. She is a force to be reckoned with. She says that as she has gotten older and had kids, she has slowed down and is adapting to looking in the mirror and seeing a soccer mom. However, she adds, soccer moms are also MILF’s. In Taryn’s photos you would also see some older photos of her and her family. Serious love of birthdays. You would see her mom crossing picket lines, taking her to presidential rallies and an exuberant little girl learning to stand tall for her beliefs.
Taryn doesn’t understand why I get down on the ‘burbs sometimes, she thinks its cool here. Her motto is breathe in the good and breathe out the bad. We bond over parenting our girls and supporting our cycling-obsessed husbands. And I continue to learn from her the skills of cultivating fun, getting out there and doing it and unabashed love.