39 things you probably didn’t know about me


A propos of nothing, this is either massive over-sharing or an intriguing insight into the person who’s always on about art and going to the beach. I’d love to hear something we probably don’t know about you in the comments!

1. I used to be a Montessori teacher. I’ve always adored kids and loved the job for nearly six years before feeling I needed to try other things.

2. I climbed Ayers Rock when I was eighteen. I’m not sure if you’re still allowed to do it. I loved it when I reached the top and there was a book to sign.

3. A part of my body has been cast in plaster along with hundreds of other women for an enormous piece of art.

4. I have had a comforter since the day I was born; it has changed its form over the years {they just wear out!} and is called Slooky. I don’t suck my thumb, I just love the seams on the fabric.

5. I abseiled 100 feet into a cave full of glow worms in New Zealand. When I got to the bottom I collapsed because the blood had stopped flowing into my legs and they literally felt like they were made of clouds.

6. My flat was featured in an interiors magazine, a dream I’ve had since I was a teenager and obsessed with moving my furniture around.

me in the kitchen7. My dad taught me how to do cryptic crosswords and I love all word games that make you think or play with words and their meanings.

8. I ran an online business for three years selling ethical gifts, before every man and his wife was doing it, it took three years to just break even, and then I decided it was time to move on.

9. I have three tattoos; a seahorse on my back, six stars on my right arm and a Pisces symbol on my left foot. I like to design them myself and am always planning the next one.

10. I dropped out of university after a year and a term in the throes of a major depression. I hated everything about being a student apart from the learning. {The opposite of most of the students I came across!}

11. I love languages and dream of being at least bilingual. I relished learning Latin at school, love French but find it easier to understand than to speak, and have recently become enamored with Spanish. I tried learning Italian in Italy but after struggling through the first lesson I dropped out to spend time with a boy. :)

12. I can’t eat spicy food {it hurts!}, but give me a platter of Mediterranean food and I’m in heaven.

13. I did some brief work experience at a Conde Nast magazine, which was not at all glamorous and mostly involved making scary phone calls and tidying up the filing system.

14. I’m an extreme introvert. I can’t bear small talk and prefer solitude over everything, but I also deeply love genuine connection. I don’t believe it’s necessary to be in the same room as someone ~ or even in the same country ~ to have that.

15. I hate chick lit but love romcoms.

16. When I was younger I wanted to be an author, a journalist, a poet, an artist, a social worker, a shop owner, an interior designer, a teacher, a hermit, and probably many other things, but the one thing I always wanted was to help people.

17. I hold a qualification as an interior decorator, although I haven’t used it in years and don’t remember much of it. But technically I could design your rooms for you right down to the electrical wiring layout.

18. I’ve been misunderstood quite a lot in my life! People have often said I seem cool and aloof and like nothing bothers me {!}, but then when they get to know me they realise I’m not cool at all! I’m warm, funny and non judgmental {so I’m told}.

19. I love to research, gather and store information. I’m like a magpie for learning.

20. I’m fascinated by metaphysics, energy and the unseen. I wish I could astral travel and see auras, but my most dominant sense is feeling, or clairsentience.

21. I wouldn’t call myself a poet but sometimes words come storming through me in poem form and I am compelled to write them down. My poems used to be very angry and angsty; these days they’re all about light and truth.

22. I practice Tai Chi {long form} and have done {almost} daily for nearly 5 years. I still feel like I’m right at the beginning and not making progress and yet so much has changed since I began.

23. I’m a Reiki master. I’m not currently offering in person sessions but I do love to send distant healing. I also use Reiki on my food, my plants, my home appliances, and even my car!

24. I’m frequently told I’m brave, which I find hilarious. The things I do that seem brave are usually something I feel compelled to do and know very little about beforehand, like starting my own business, writing a book or zip wiring over Costa Rican cloud forests.

25. I jumped out of a plane in New Zealand at Lake Taupo {with an instructor!}. I cried when we hit the ground; there were no words for that feeling.

26. I am absolutely obsessed with travel, seeing new things and absorbing other cultures. I’ve been to quite a few places and travelled alone a lot, but it’s an ongoing hunger that never goes away. I think about it every day.

27. I’m a Pisces, an INFJ according to Myers-Briggs, and a Horse in Chinese Astrology.

28. I express myself by far the best in writing. I’ve been writing since I was little ~ stories, poems, journals and more recently my self published book and this blog.

29. I remember my dreams every morning. I’m currently learning to decode them, which is fascinating.

30. I have a secret obsession with swings. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to them. So not that secret really.

31. I have an ongoing love affair with the sea. Since moving to live right by it, I can be found down there communing with the waves almost every day. I talk to it, photograph it relentlessly, and collect heart stones and photograph those too. I’m more or less convinced I was a mermaid in a former life.

32. I have a brother and a sister, both younger; we didn’t used to get on but we do now we’re all grown up. ;)  Also a niece and nephew, both of whom take up a lot of space in my heart.

33. I have a secret and growing obsession with the USA, having never been. I pore over maps, and list and imagine all the places I want to visit and the things I’ll do when I’m there. I don’t know when it’ll happen, but it’ll happen.

34. My name means ‘star’ in Sanskrit, also ‘carrying across’ and ‘shining light’ {depending on where you’re looking}, and rather less romantically, ‘hill’ in Irish. Tara is a Buddhist goddess of compassion, which I rather love. I was not named after the house in Gone with the Wind {which is what people usually ask me}.

35. I dream of living in a house on the beach with a wrap around porch, wood floors and plenty of light. There would also of course be a swing and an art studio.

36. Made up job names really annoy me, but somehow that has not prevented me calling myself a ‘creative encourager’, at least for the time being. It’s the best term I’ve found so far to clearly describe what I feel called to do.

37. I love to paint. You did already know this, but in case not, have a poke around my website. :)

38. Like many introverts, I LOVE books and always have several on the go. My favourite genres include historical fiction and spiritual/metaphysical books.

39. I believe we are all creators, that creativity takes many forms, and that with a little guidance and encouragement we can all embrace our creative selves and enjoy more fulfilled lives because of it. Yay!

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  • malini says:

    You’re a fascinating piece of art, Tara Leaver :)

  • Louisa Northway says:

    Lots of things I didn’t know about you! Many to do with things you have done while travelling. Lots of the more personal ones; I agree with and remember well. I enjoyed doing part of 24 with you, and yes; you are very brave and I love you lots and miss you always. Lou xxxx

  • Anne-Marie says:

    What a lovely [and interesting] list. I too am an INFJ.

  • Jacqui Avery says:

    I love your list, Tara! I find it amazing how many things we have in common, but not all the travel stuff because I’m a real home-bird – hate going anywhere I can’t get a cup of Earl Grey just as I like it… Very impressed by number 3 if it’s the piece of art I’m thinking of…!

    • Tara says:

      It’s funny, I’m a hardcore homebird too Jacqui, AND a travel obsessive! It’s an awkward combination. :) Possibly you are thinking of the right piece of art – I’m interested to hear you know of it!

  • Jasna says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us! I enjoyed reading it, although with a few days delay. You are a very interesting introvert, and I definitely understand you better now (the picture has become much more clear). :-)

    I keep my fingers crossed for you and the USA! :-)

  • Cecilia says:

    I loved reading this beautiful Tara. All of my closest people are extreme introverts. It takes a long time to get close to them, but it’s so satisfying when I do.


    p.s. Will you come to Canada when you do your US tour?

  • Sherry Smyth says:

    Very interesting indeed. We share many similarities!

  • Tara, Hugs and little skippy dances of joy for sharing your Divine attributes and helping others of us quirky introverts to fluff our feathers, spread wings and not feel like the spare balloon in the party of life. Yes, so many contradictory apects, loving to be home, loving the inspiration of travel… Hooray for the internet where we can meet other pilgrims. With Best Wishes, Mairim

    • Tara says:

      Mairim I love that you got this from reading the post! I am certainly a study in contradictions sometimes, but then I guess we all are.

  • Patti Brewer says:

    Tara, I loved getting to know more about you through your list, also love the connection I feel through the many similarities that we share. I have just recently started to paint and I am loving it. You have already been a huge inspiration to me in so many ways. Thanks for all of your tips and encouragement. I will take one of your classes soon. BTW Richmond, Virginia is a very artsy place. Let me know when you are coming to the US and I’ll show you around. My husband and I would welcome you to stay in our guest room.

  • Lynne says:

    I’ve been following you for awhile via FB, email, your website but I never read this list! Wonderful! Even though I trained as a registered nurse and worked in it, I relate to your inclinations quite a bit. (INFP) I enjoy alternative education (Waldorf, Montessori, homeschooled my girls) and some alternative health practices, including Reiki (very helpful). I am attracted to art, creativity and writing too, in all its forms. Half my ancestry comes from the British Isles, and my name means waterfall or pool below a waterfall (Welsh). Never been to Europe myself, but we’d love to visit the UK and Normandy/Paris. We live in Sacramento, 2 hours from SF, so you’d be welcome at our house as a hub for your travels in Northern California.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Lynne – lovely to hear from you! Sounds like we cross over in several places. :) And thank you for such a kind offer!

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