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Be Your Own Hero

Back in grad school over a decade ago at Savannah College Of Art & Design I created a photographic story for a class project about everything I thought it takes to be happy. The assignment required me to list the ways I wanted to feel, as well as noting the main experiences I'd like to have, and things I'd like to own. Fast forward to a few days ago when I found this old list of goals and realized in stunned disbelief that I've checked off most of the boxes about whom I wanted to become one day.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion, so I used a mannequin for the class requirement of self portraits. The teacher approved my substitute self because, afterall, it was an art class. I’m still an artist today, and I can't change my basic nature. If you think it's weird that I named my mannequin Queen SuziQ Supercharge you're probably right. I might as well tell you that I name all sorts of things from my computers to my car. I'm writing this blog post on "Goldie," a late 2013 MacBook Pro, and I was driving a 2006 Lexus named "Harley" before I'd ever heard of "Harley Quinn" in the Batman universe.

Before you read further, let me make doubly clear that the following images were lifted from a graduate school project. (I didn't sit around and think up the idea to illustrate my list of goals with pictures of a mannequin. I was coerced by an art college professor who required that his students create something wild, tongue-in-cheek, and outside the box.)

With no further disclaimers or fanfare I present to you an excerpt from my list of yesteryear goals featuring illustrations of Queen SuziQ Supercharge:


This Queen is Humble, Empathetic, and Fair. But be forewarned that SuziQ turns into Bea Witch if she is treated with disrespect. She is nice but reasonable and guards her boundaries. If she is mistreated again and again oh hell no she won't turn the other cheek. She goes to war. (When considering how SuziQ Supercharge was prone to going to war, remember the source: It's not like you're reading a blog that was written by a calm, cool yoga instructor. While I have calm moments, I don't think "calm" is my primary personality trait.)


She knows it’s not money that’s going to make her happy. It’s the people in her life that she loves. It’s fashion. It’s travel. It’s the pursuit of creative passion project/s. That said she wants enough money to be comfortable without worry that she won't be able to pay her power bill …So far so good in that I've always been able to cover the power bill.


Sadly, This dumb joke was the result of me feeling sensitive about wearing the same outfits to class again and again. I wanted to own fancy clothes that I couldn't afford. Interestingly, I still don't own a lot of clothes, and these days that's by choice. I make an effort to wear what I already own more often and actually make a game out of buying as little as possible. I like the idea of having less stuff to clutter my house and my brain.


Half a check on this one because I can at least strum “Freebird” on acoustic guitar. But I don’t own thigh high red boots anymore. The ones in this photo were borrowed from my treasured graduate school friend Jessica Peltz. When she saw how much I was enjoying them she generously gifted them to me. We're still extremely close all these years later. Jessie when you read this, please forgive me. I lost the boots.


I married my dreamboat. If you haven't already, please check out my husband's blog at Tommy is the former editorial page editor for the Savannah Morning News. Now he writes about travel, food, and our life together on road trips. If you've been reading my work for a while you know that a few years ago Tommy had a stroke. Now he struggles with memory issues, and foggy thinking which causes him to make frequent mistakes. -- The mistakes cause mutual frustration and tension between the two of us. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to work harder at not losing my temper. Tommy is a deeply good man. He deserves the beautiful Supercharge Queen, not Bea Witch.

In closing I’m going to shift gears and talk from my own perspective (as opposed to telling this story through SuziQ Supercharge’s eyes).... Mama has explained to me that it changed the way she saw life to see how happy her parents were even though they couldn't afford a lot of luxuries. Grandma was a high school physics teacher, and Granddaddy was a traveling salesman. They loved one another and were content with their simple life. I remember a lot of laughter and kissing in my grandparents' home. This photo of them is a good representation of how they generally behaved. But I have vivid memories of Grandma getting fireball angry and pitching one heck of a tantrum with my Grandpa. That said, I never questioned that she was madly in love with him or that they were good for one another. I'm not going to lose sleep tonight about confessing that Tommy and I have conflict because at least we fight FOR each other. I get frustrated at all the post stroke errors, but I wouldn't trade him. Furthermore, I'm too old to pretend I'm perfect or somebody I'm not.

I just want to be the real me... XoXo Suzana

P.S. I want to know about you. Has your life turned out like you thought it would be 10 years ago? Please let me know in the comments.

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