Being Tara (without pressure)

Tara Stella
3 min readAug 17, 2022

I feel that being Tara is a blessing sometimes. Nobody knows who I am, what my past was and my previous name. No expectations to fulfill. It’s just me, Tara, the shy girl who likes to be a geek and pilot a plane. The girl who likes to learn, listen to people, love, and get herself lost in the romance of a book. The one who enjoys linking arms with my friends and keeping hands, without the need to say anything, just willing to express my love and feel loved. Sans Souci.

I’m starting to realise how my life under my deed name has been affected by the expectations of others. It wasn’t me anymore. It was (and still is) just what others wanted me to be. I feel that my work, family, and wife were expecting more and more from me, raising the bar each time. A bar that I always struggle to reach. And, in the aftermath, a task that is impossible to fulfill.

I started liking computers when I was 7. It was my favourite leisure activity. But I like to learn as well. Experimenting and learning were so much fun back in the day. And I was eventually lucky to get a job in IT when I was 18. I had fun for the first few years. I started doing conferences and writing articles because I genuinely wanted to share what I discovered with people. Learning was fun. And I was good and respected in the community because I was just myself.

Until something has changed. People saw potential in me to make money and shine themselves. I was caught in this loop of my employer asking me for more and more because they got bonuses for what I did. And I had a good paycheck. Then I started being interviewed in magazines and attending conferences. The more I wrote and spoke, the more people invited me. I believe I was also somehow pleased to be famous and internationally recognised. Famous and money. You would say, lucky uh? In a way, I wouldn’t say you are not right. But this wasn’t the fun I had the early days. It was just fatigue. I wasn’t creating anything. I wasn’t learning anything new just to learn something I loved. I was learning because I had to speak at a conference or to a C-level. I had to get into the marketing craziness of buzzwords just for the sake of it. Worse, everyone in my former community was doing the same thing, showing up in the magazines. And this encouraged me more to do the same.

But the same pattern applied at work, applied at home with my family. I think I’m good at dealing with problems. So my wife started demanding more and more, giving me more tasks. My wife’s family, who is not rich, asked me to cover some significant expenses they had (and still have). And for this, I had to work more and more, fueling the above work loop. I commuted every week to a destination and dealt with the problems at home remotely. And I need to thank that we’re in this century, and I can do many things via apps/web sites. But this also had a side effect of being blamed for being absent from home. Strange game, Professor Falken: blamed for being absent because I needed to bring home the money they needed.

My biological parents, who I later in my teen understood were abusive and with whom I cut ties, spied on me via socials and magazines, sometimes through neighbours or relatives. They were envious of my “success”.

The pressure was soo high I couldn’t stand it anymore. And the pandemic was the breaking point.

But now, writing as Tara, I don’t need to keep up those expectations. I can write an article, like this one, just for the sake of it. Nobody knows me. Nobody I need to impress or please. Nobody will blame me tomorrow because it’s just me.

I can probably restart doing what I like, just because I like it. Maybe my passion for computers will come back. Or maybe not. But who cares? I don’t have anybody to impress.

With love, Tara

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Tara Stella

Seaplane pilot, in a crush with Airbus 320. IT System & Cloud Architect in real life. ❤️ Linux & OSS since '95. Need coffee. She/Her. 🇮🇹🇬🇧🇮🇪🇪🇺🏳️‍⚧️🌈