When creating the vision for this site, I wanted to be something different, someone different. I wanted to be colorful like Stacy Julian, funny like Lain Ehmann, organized like Aby Garvey, artsy like Elsie Flannigan, design-savvy like Ali Edwards and Cathy Zielske, fabulous like Jasmine Star, confident like Me Ra Koh, the list goes on but you get the idea.
I wanted to be them because I admire and value who they are and what they contribute to the worlds of photography, design, and scrapbooking. But the truth is, that’s not me and the real woman in me just won’t let me fake it.
So, who am I and why does tasra mar exist? It’s a question i’ve been trying to answer my entire life.
A few ideas emerged like a butterfly from the chrysalis. The first idea comes specifically from my name and is the reason for the name of this site: tasra mar.
Tasra – pronounced TOZ-rah – is creativity embodied. For most of my life, whenever I was asked what my name meant, I said it meant nothing, a vast void of nothingness. No meaning. And it pained me because I saw the value that people derived from the meaning of their names, whether on cards or plaques that defined who they were, it gave them something to live toward. It’s the reason I chose my kids’ names with such care. I wanted them to have meaning.
That all changed one night at a writing conference when someone asked me that fateful question, “What does your name mean?” On cue, I gave my pat response, “Nothing.” But this writer saw it differently. “Your name means creativity. You are creativity down to the name that defines you,” she said. What a shift that made in my perception of my name and who I was. I embodied creativity. What an amazing concept and realization.
The second transforming moment in regard to my name is my middle name, Mar. I use it on this site because of what it represents. Mar defined in English is a mistake, a flaw, a disfiguring mark. These are the definitions straight out of Webster’s…
to cause harm to; spoil or impair
a disfiguring mark; blemish, defect
a mark or flaw
It was a definition I was made painfully aware of in junior high, a time when I was already struggling with self esteem issues, an eating disorder and thoughts and attempts to take my own life. I was a nothing mistake and honestly believed it deep in the core of my being. I even stopped using my middle name for a few years and told people it was Marie instead, hoping that I could erase the mistake that I thought my life was. And it didn’t stop with junior high.
I believed my very existence caused harm to others and that I didn’t even deserve a place in this world. I believed that I didn’t matter, what I did, said, wrote, believed, everything, it didn’t matter. I would dream dreams and let them die because it didn’t matter. I wrote poems, songs, and stories and put them in a drawer for no one to see because I believed it didn’t matter. I lived a life of fear and hid behind a mask because the real me, the truth of what I thought I was, a flaw, a mistake, a defect was too much to bear.
I spent the next decade of my life overcompensating and working tirelessly to prove that I deserved the air I breathed and the space I took up in this world. It was an exhausting effort that led to more pain, broken and abusive relationships, and physical and emotional exhaustion.
But there is hope. If you know Spanish, you know the definition of mar is wholly different than the English. It means the sea. With the Spanish heritage of my grandparents, I claimed that definition as my own and redefined who I was from the inside out.
What a discovery. I’m not a mistake. In fact, I am a sea of creativity. So as I embrace this new identity, I’m asking you to embrace a new identity as well.
- What areas of your life, deep in your core, have you accepted as reality?
- What perceptions and messages have you taken on as fact when they really are just chains keeping you from stepping forward in courage and confidence?
That’s what tasramar.com is all about. It’s not just about me, it’s about an ocean of creativity that we are uncovering and mining and discovering together. Let’s dive in deep and discover ourselves in the depths. Are you with me?
It won’t be easy, old habits and patterns die hard. But it is entirely possible to transform, to change, to completely melt down and become something wholly different. Don’t believe me? There is evidence in nature. And not too long from now, there will be evidence in you…and me.
Let’s get started.