It’s time for some fun facts! Before diving into my journey of loss and providing countless tools and things to consider to navigate your way through, I wanted this post to simply be 10 fun facts about me so you can get to know me. See if it resonates… maybe we’re more alike than you think! Why dive into my saga before you even know anything about me, right?
You may be wondering why I’m remotely qualified to talk about loss, let alone create a blog and community about finding your gains and small wins throughout this messy, emotional process. The founding principle of Losses Become Gains is to make this as human-to-human as possible. Like you, there’s more to our stories than grief, loss, and finding gains. Let’s not let a loss define us, shall we?
So, without further ado, here are some tidbits. I’d love for you to comment with a few of your own, too, so I can get to know everyone around here! Be sure to follow our community on Facebook and Instagram, too. There’s a lot of support and guidance out there waiting for ya!
Fun fact 1:
I’m a happily married woman to my husband, John. Here are a couple of sneak peek photos from our wedding in June 2022, if you’re curious 🙂 But years before that, I was engaged and I broke it off. Oh, yeah… we’re getting deep quickly over here. I’m a really open book, and it’s all part of my story.
By the way, for anyone struggling with a relationship here… I feel like I need to interject and say my decision to end that relationship was a hefty one at the time. It felt like a loss, though one I ultimately brought on myself, one could argue. While I wish my ex nothing but the best, it turned out to be one of the biggest gains of my life. Clearly, I met the person I know I’m meant to be with (corny as heck, I know), but that decision brought SO much beauty and new opportunities into my life. Stay tuned for more on that.
Fun fact 2:
I have an affinity for Italy that goes real deep. Like, it’s not just a country I love visiting, but it cuts into my soul how much it feels like I belong there sometimes.
I won’t bore you with my study abroad story; but, long story short I fell in love with the country when I was 19. I visited again for a two week-long vacation in my mid-20’s, then after said broken engagement, I went back in 2017 and received my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification in Florence. Here’s a photo of 26-year-old Tara after I just passed my exam 🙂
Once that month-long program ended, I lived in Rome for five months teaching for the Ministero della Difesa (ministry of defense). Thankfully, my parents came to visit me toward the end of that trip. It was the last family vacation we ever had, albeit beautiful and so fun. Except when my mom broke her foot on the second to last day of the trip… sigh. She was so accident prone. Can anyone else relate?
John and I met very shortly after I returned home and when I told him I was trying to go back—hence the reason I said no to going out with him twice, and never lets me live it down. But on that first date, he told me he’d be open to going together. Three months later we moved to the countryside of Siena. I was virtually teaching English to Chinese children, and John worked at the winery we lived at complete with a villa from the 1700’s—and shoddy WiFi.
As of writing this post, we’re about a month and a half out from having our second wedding ceremony in September 2022. 20 of our closest friends and family members ventured out to the hills of Tuscany to celebrate with us. Pretty incredible full-circle moment.
Fun fact 3:
Speaking of Italy, my husband and I are working on getting our Italian citizenship. Both fortunately and unfortunately for me, he’s the Italian here. Though I wish I was–I’m mostly Spanish and Irish with some German and Swedish thrown in).
Fun fact 4:
I’m an only child and was born in New Jersey. We lived there for my first six years, moved to Pennsylvania for 5-ish years, then to California when I was roughly ten years old. I have my mom to thank for that, because she couldn’t handle east coast winters any longer. I could never see myself moving back, but do I love visiting family who still live there. It’s nostalgia and old stomping grounds and childhood happiness all balled into one.
Fun fact 5:
I’m a total true crime junkie. I swear I should have worked in forensics or something… but I’m a bit squeamish. Fun fact: my dad was a criminal defense attorney. Like a really good one, and I’m still very proud of him. Sorry (not so sorry) for the humble brag.
Fun fact 6:
If I wasn’t answering my calling with this blog and working full-time, my absolute dream job is to be an archaeologist in Egypt. Throw me in some pyramids with an excavation brush and I’d be a happy girl (that’s still on my bucket list to visit).
Fun fact 7:
I’m a wine lover… big time. In fact, my full-time hustle outside of this blog is digital marketing in the wine industry. I started my wine journey in a tasting room at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa, CA. I left that to work my six months in Italy, and came back into the industry for six months at Inglenook Winery in Napa (where I met John)—before going back to Italy again with him for those three months.
When we returned, I finally began using my degree in Business Marketing and worked at a wine industry marketing agency for about two and a half years. Once I left, I landed the job I have now as a Digital Marketing Manager and the rest is history. Point being, with both my husband and I in this industry, we have far too much wine in our house.
Fun fact 8:
Before all of this wine industry business, I worked for Gap, Inc. for nearly eight years. I still have a massive love of fashion, and I picked up some good tips and tricks from my time there. If I could work anywhere in the fashion industry, it’d be at Chanel. I’m fascinated by her story and have read several books about her life. And, I must admit I also love France. Gucci also fascinates me… who saw the movie?!
Fun fact 9:
I love food, nor do I deny myself food. My motto is “all in moderation”, as my mom would say. While I eat pretty healthy, I absolutely have some guilty pleasures. My all-time favorite foods are cacio e pepe or a good ol’ bolognese (but any pasta, really). Good ol’ cheese and charcuterie with a tasty glass of Italian wine, Caesar salad and french fries, and pizza with mushroom. Can’t forget about Ruffles Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream chips… I know, it’s a weird one, but they’re addicting.
Fun fact 10:
I’m a sucker for an Aviation (a cocktail made with gin, creme de violet, maraschino liquor, and lemon juice). It’s delicious, try it immediately if those ingredients speak to you. I also get down with an Aperol Spritz and French 75.
Okay, a few other random tidbits because why not… I love a good quality cappuccino and almond croissant, and interior decorating makes me happy. In fact, my mom had a career in interior decorating for several years.
Autumn on the east coast is one of my favorite places to be, and I love going on long walks. Super cliché, I know, but my mom was an avid walker so it’s something I inherited and enjoy. In fact, it’s often where I find myself most inspired and get lost in a podcast. Or, I’m blasting Pepas by Farukko or some other pop or dance music and living my best life pretending I’m in a music video. The pendulum swings both ways!
I’m highly organized and love a beautiful looking planner (I’m BFFs with mine). That said, I’m sometimes terrible about putting my clothes away and at least 2-3 times a week. I’ll let the pan from dinner soak overnight because I can’t be bothered to clean it.
Okay… now I’m done. I truly hope these fun facts allowed you to get to know me on a more personal level, because I want to be here for you. A friend and someone who cares, someone who sees you, and someone who hears you.