Our Community Blog: Tammi Hart, Guest Advisory Council Member, “Lose Yourself”

August 15, 2016

Tammi Hart - Mountains of NC“So, Tammi. What do you lose yourself in?”

That is the question a co-worker asked me this week, and I must admit, it brought me up short. I could only respond with, “Oh, I like to travel and see new things. I love history and that’s why I’m going to D.C. for my vacation. I want to immerse myself in history.”

While our conversation ended there, the question remained with me the rest of the night and into the days that followed. I realized I haven’t lost myself in quite some time. In fact, I can’t even recall the last time the hours flew by while I was engaged in an activity that truly swept me away. I regularly experienced such episodes when I was younger, so what happened?

In the past, I would lose myself in books for hours on end, particularly when my family and I were in the throes of poverty and could not see a way out. A book provided that escape. Wherever I went, the book would go as well, glued to my hand. I would put it down only when necessary. I would even sleep with it because I could not tear myself away from the world it offered. Fiction, nonfiction, autobiography—it made no difference. If the book was worthy, I would be enrapt; unwilling to let go, immersing myself completely in its alternate reality.

I continued to read voraciously while my family and I were guests in the local Family Promise Affiliate in Greenville, South Carolina. Reading offered solace and familiarity as we made our way from church to church each week, meeting wonderful, loving people who selflessly cared for my family and me. Oftentimes, I would converse with my hosts about our favorite books and the authors who wrote them.

Once we left the program and began to excel on our own, escaping life’s complexities became more of a challenge. I could hardly remember what it felt like to be so immersed in an activity that I could forget time, place, even self.

And I realized how much I missed that feeling. I wanted to lose myself again. I wanted to remember how that felt. And, I believe, a part of me hoped that I would find myself somewhere along the way.

So, I decided to go dancing downtown at the Main Street Friday event. This week’s band was one of my favorites and I was greatly anticipating the festivities. Just as I’d hoped, they did not disappoint. They were jamming! They played songs that had my body moving and grooving the whole time! I danced nonstop throughout both sets, completely drenched in sweat when the show was over. I’d forgotten how much I love dancing and singing. It was an amazing feeling!

Did I lose myself? Maybe. It sure felt that way. One thing I know for sure, I want to try to recapture that feeling again…and soon.

In fact, I’m leaving for D.C. tomorrow morning. Let’s see what else I can get lost in…

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