Who am I and why should you be my friend?
We should be friends because my name, Diane Tarantini, is easy to remember if you sing it to the tune of “Gary, Indiana” from the Broadway musical, The Music Man. That’s a pretty compelling item as far as friend-material goes but in case you’re not ready to commit, here’s more.
Diane Tarantini Past:
Daughter … sister … friend … constant reader … lover of horses and hamsters … Campfire Girl … student … piano player … incest-survivor … second soprano in the choir … debater (I went to Nationals when I was in high school!) …paper girl … cashier … peddler of biscuits and taste-tester of sausage gravy … advertising professional … Kelly Girl … aerobics instructor … office manager for an upscale interior design firm … disinclined, then enthusiastic, wife …reluctant, then passionate, mother
Diane Tarantini Present:
Daughter of the King … wife … mother … lover of words … coffee zealot … idea hamster … creator of (sometimes quirky) beauty … people connector … wearer of funky outfits … exuberant fan of animals and all things aqua … cooker of simple savory foods … ambivert … award-winning writer… late-to-life softball player (I’m known as “The Secret Weapon.”) … joy finder … volunteer ambassador for Best Virginia … storyteller … collector of old stuff … MFA in Creative Writing … information distiller … almost empty-nester …
Diane Tarantini Future:
Ever since finding my faith, I’ve wanted to know: “Why did you make me, God?” Then ten years ago, my husband (I call him “Tony Bear.” You can too.) and I read through John Eldredge’s Journey of Desire. Afterward, Tony declared, “I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to—raising a family, running a business, and officiating college football. What about you?”
“I think I’m supposed to write.” I’d actually known this ever since Mrs. Smith, my favorite teacher of all time, told me, “You’re in fourth grade and you used the word ‘blood-curdling’ in a story? You should be a writer when you grow up!” Her suggestion flicked my heart in a good way, and I accepted it as my future avocation. But then life—bright and busy, dark and bony—got in the way. Until John Eldredge quoted Howard Thurman to me:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive,
and go do that, because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.”
And right here is where I’ll hide one of my confessions: I was afraid to come alive. Heck, I’m still afraid. Why? Because I’m past half a century old. At my age, what business do I have pursuing a dream, asking people to read my words and maybe learn from my mistakes? Inevitably, I’ll remember Sarah in the Bible and how she was 90 or 91 when she pushed Isaac—the desire of her heart—into the world. And I’ll think, If Sarah could do it, why not me?