I met my friend Tara through my forever friend Allison. Allison and Tara were college roommates during their undergraduate studies at Houghton College. When Allison decided to pursue graduate school at The College of Saint Rose, where I was enrolled, I was thrilled to have another dear friend in close proximity.
Tara came to visit Allison over the summer and we said a quick “hello” in passing. I had heard all about Tara, so it was great to put a real person with all the stories.
Tara and I saw each other again at Allison’s wedding a couple of years later. We ended up spending hours together after the reception, because Tara’s date was hitting on me. We decided to make him take both of us out to the movies and a diner. Trust me, that story deserves a post of its own.
The guy didn’t last long, but thankfully our friendship has survived for almost two decades.
Tara is a kind, compassionate woman. She has worked at various jobs for a number of disability service organizations and she is a strong advocate. Tara routinely calls or sends me a note explaining an advocacy success story, which makes me smile because I know there are many who would not be so passionate about the rights of the disenfranchised.
Tara is a visual artist who likes organization and order. As an artist who uses words and yarn instead of paint and canvas, I appreciate how she views the world differently than me. I learn from her whenever we travel together as we discuss art, sculpture and painting. I don’t think visually, so her perspective always makes me reconsider artwork.
When I wrote about Kelly the other day, I mentioned how important it is to find the right travel partner. Tara is one of those fun travel partners for me. Together, we have visited other states as well as destinations within our own state. Tara lives in western New York, and is willing to be my “regional Personal Assistant” whenever work or personal travel takes me there. Tara’s husband Dan is a musician so sometimes she comes my way when band gigs take them east.
Tara is always up for adventure and intuitively knows when I need some. Last year, when she knew I was nursing a broken heart, she called me to tell me she was coming for a girl’s weekend. Because both of us feel the activity is not as important as the people, we didn’t plan ahead too much. But we DID have fun. Together, we visited national monuments and historical sights up and down the Hudson River Valley, from Saratoga Battlefield to FDR’s former house in Hyde Park. We sat outside in the shadow of the Mid-Hudson Pedestrian Bridge drinking “big girl drinks” on a Friday afternoon while everyone else was at work, and then walked the bridge before heading home for movie night in our pajamas. It was just what I needed at that point.
Tara often provides exactly what is needed. She observes the situation, and then takes action to help those she cares about. She is selfless and considerate, patient and generous.
Last year, Tara was my partner in fun when we went to New York City to see the penultimate performance of Sting’s musical The Last Ship. I wrote about our adventure in this post. On the train trip home, Tara shared how proud she was of my ability to allow others to help me fulfill my dream of returning to Australia. Tara knows how difficult it is for me to ask for assistance, and understands my desire to be as independent as possible. As we rode the rocking train, Tara reminded me my job heading to Australia would be to accept assistance with gratitude. Then she told me to take that assistance and make good on the potential others see in me.
I hope I have started down the path to do that, Tara. I think of our conversation every time the voice of doubt starts to creep in my head. I hear you remind me to make good on the potential.
Thank you for always seeing that potential in me – and in so many others. My world is a better place because you are a part of it.