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A year ago, everything I thought I knew about my life, my relationships, and the world in general was changed by arguably the most potent of all dramatic-life-change modalities: heartbreaking betrayal. I literally felt my eyeballs change that day . . . nothing in my life looked the same, and I know in my heart that my eyeballs will never function the way they used to.

Now, I get that this sounds melodramatic and awful. And, for a while there, it definitely was. However, I have now realized that anything that can cause that type of just stupid-crazy pain (and subsequent eyeball transformation) has the same equal and opposite potential to transform your life.

And transform my life it did.

In a word, one year ago I became entirely fearless.

I took a chance and moved to DC with no job and no home.

I then got a job that I am in love with, and see a future that would never have been possible with my old eyeballs.

I got on OkCupid and walked with confidence into each date, knowing that if I could get through what happened to me, I could get through anything. Including a bad first date.

My view on relationships changed: they went from something I wanted, to something I only wanted if it added to the awesomeness that was my life on my own. 

In a sudden realization, I decided that I didn’t know what I did and did not like, because all of those decisions about who I was and my preferences in general had been made in a past context. I decided that I would banish the “I don’t like” phrase from my vocabulary and try everything again to reassess.

Some findings from this experiment:

  • I do like oysters, but I do not like to slurp them from their shell. I also think this statement could also be phrased as “I do like horseradish, and I tolerate the slimy vehicle that gets the horseradish into my mouth.”
  • I still like boys with beards (although I have dated other varieties, just to be sure).
  • On a very nice date with a very nice boy, said boy offered me some of his squid pasta. In a shocking development, I do like the circles of the squid; however, I do NOT like the suction cups.
  • I like cold weather way more than I thought I would, and I make my staff tell me how “northern” I look upon arriving at work each day in every winter garment I can find and fit onto my body at one time. I also send my parents selfies of this particular look to show them how “acclimated” I am to my new home…because if you can’t send a selfie to your parents, who can you send them to?

Tara in hoodie

  • Contrary to my redefined feelings on cold weather, I do not like these things that northern people call radiators. It sounds like Ebenezer’s Ghost of Christmas Past is in my bedroom every night, and I miss controlling the temperature of my home with an actual thermometer and not this subjective death knob that hisses at me every time I touch it.
  • I do like that my long term career aspirations include becoming Olivia Pope.
  • I do not like tights. They are like suffocating leg coffins.
  • I do like snow. Like irrationally, enthusiastically love snow. Like Buddy-The-Elf-Santa-I-Know-Him kind of enthusiasm.
  • Strangely enough, despite all the evidence pointing to the reasons I shouldn’t, I like dating.

In this year, my voice has changed, my perspective has changed . . . and subsequently, the opportunities in my life have opened up in ways I never thought possible. 

Not to get all serious, but here’s the twist. These choices, this fearless-life policy, this redefining myself, my preferences, and reframing what I personally think I’m capable of was something I could have accessed at any time if I had had the courage.

Okay, this is me dropping the mic and stepping off my soapbox.

But hey, it’s my rebirth-day. So I get to do what I want.


Tara and her New Eyeballs

Note: This post was originally published in a longer format on Tara’s blog, Redefine Single.

Tara Sampson started out, as most do, with the intention using her Master’s degree in her career. She was initially successful in this effort working as a Child Life Specialist at the MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston, SC. After a few years, she left the gorgeous coastal town to return to Gainesville, FL where she serendipitously fell in love with the fitness industry while working in management with Gainesville Health & Fitness, and left the tangible application of her Master’s degree in the past. After four years in Gainesville, it was time to switch it up. Tara rented out her home, sold her furniture and moved a carload of her belongings to Washington, DC for a fresh start. This start began in the basement of her cousin’s home with his cat named Stinky, but quickly turned into her own apartment and a position as General Manager for VIDA Fitness. Through her time in the health care and fitness industries, Tara developed a passion for pushing boundaries in health and redefining proactive and preventative health care. Most recently Tara was offered a chance to join One Medical Group, an amazing start-up literally transforming the delivery of health care. Tara is now the Regional VP: Enterprise for One Medical in DC, and uses her diverse background in health care spectrum to integrate the One Medical vision into the DC community. Oh yeah…she also has this blog highlighting her generalized awkwardness specifically in relation to dating: Her sister has endearingly renamed the blog, “Tara Will Be Single Forever Due To Oversharing On The Internet.” read more about