The Most Interesting Woman

Tasha Poduska
13 min readAug 13, 2021


It may seem rather arrogant to call yourself the most interesting woman, but after you hear my collections of stories, you can be the judge. Trust me when I tell you that I wouldn’t make this claim if I hadn’t heard this phrase so many times before when sharing my life stories, that I was the most interesting woman they had ever met. So it got me thinking, maybe I truly am one of the most interesting women in the world or maybe I’m just interesting. Either way, the stories are good and my life has been an adventure, so let the fun begin.

As in any good story, there has to be the premise, the background and some facts that led up to a lot of the situations I found myself in, so let’s start this story here, let’s call it a guiding force. What is a guiding force you may wonder? Well, I don’t really know. It could be a team of people in the afterlife guiding and moving pieces in my life to help me on my path, it could be a previous life I’m living again just not making the same mistakes, it could be more Buddha like, meaning I’m in the exact place that I need to be when I need to be there. Seeing as I’m not a real spiritual person, my guiding force is all of those things or I just happen to be a really lucky person, who happens to be in the right spot at the right time.

Since we are on a tangent about guiding forces and strange things, let me add at this point, that my father would have dreams of the future from time to time, and I later in life also had these dreams of the future or guiding dreams we will call them, but I’ll save that story for a little later. Right now, the facts about my father’s dreams were somewhat like this…

Dad would arrive at the breakfast table and say something like, “I saw our neighbor last night in a dream, he was waving to me, I should go over and say hi to him”. Then he would ask my mom what the neighbor’s name was, since he could never remember anyone’s name, she would tell him and he would forget and continue to eat his breakfast. We knew he wouldn’t really go talk to the neighbor, he wasn’t a really social kind of guy, he was a psychologist and teacher, so casual chats weren’t his thing. My day would go off to work as usual and then that night over dinner, my mom would informed us that the neighbor my dad saw in his dreams died last night. In any other family this would be strange and cause most people to freak out, but not ours, we just kept eating dinner and shrugged as if this was usual. Why was this usual? Because it’s happened so many times before. We would be driving in Canada and my dad would just blurt out, “Around the next bend there will be a whole bunch of animals”, sure enough, we drive around the corner and there would be all these sheep. So this is why we shrugged our shoulders and paid no mind to my dad’s visions.

So sheep in a field and seeing the dead neighbor aren’t exactly guiding forces or dreams, a guiding dream is one that repeats itself until you find this dream or image in your real life. For example, my father kept having a dream about a man holding two books, one was the bible and other other one he didn’t recognize. He would have this dream every few months and he knew it was a guiding dream due to the color and imagery, it was as if the image was burned into his brain. I guess in a way, this dream and this unknown book made him start searching for things in his life. He didn’t know his father very well, he knew he was a drunk that died in prison and moved from city to city a lot, so he thought he would start there.

During his search for his father and requesting records, the social security office reached out to my dad to inform him that he had the same name as someone else. My dad didn’t really have a common or uncommon name to say, but the office informed him that his first, middle, last name and suffix were the same as someone else’s, and on top of that, the same as his father’s name other than the suffix being Sr. instead of Jr. The social security office at first thought it was a mistake, but informed my father that this other person had been living a full life and paying taxes, thus it had to be two different people. They also informed him that he was not a twin as this other person was born 4 years before him. Now my dad was really curious and he started to track down this other person. Come to find out, my father’s father, my grandpa, had been married to two women at the same time and he named the first son of each marriage by the same name. Pretty ballsy if you ask me. Anyway, my father took us all on a road trip to meet this other person. Sure enough as we pull up to his house with a huge tree in front yard and a lot of acreage around it, my dad states in a voice of amazement, “This is the place in my dreams”. Once he saw his half-brother he realized that this was the man he saw in this dream holding the books.

My dad met his half-brother, they compared stories and some small chit-chat, remember, my dad is not a social kind of person, and then my dad asked about the book. The man went into the house and brought out two books, the one was the bible which everyone knows and the second was the Book of Mormon, which my father now knows very well. Yep, he pretty much became a Mormon overnight, so we went on a road trip as atheists and we returned as Mormons, quite the trip. Of course, it wasn’t exactly like that, my dad had to learn about the Mormons, stop drinking, smoking and a lot of other things, but he was a happy Mormon until the day he died. As for the rest of us, because my dad was a psychologist and a great father, he instructed his children to find their own religious paths in life, to learn about all religions and choose the one that best suited us. He taught us that you can’t have faith though another man’s faith. Thus, I did exactly this, and as of today, I guess I’m antagonist with a lean towards Buddhism, but since I’m the most interesting person as well, I’m also cocky enough to think that I have a crew of people up there looking out for me, placing obstacles in my path and sending me dreams to guide me.

So now back to me, that interesting person I promised you. I was a very talented athletic person who loved to compete, and was obsessed about joining the Olympic team for all the wrong reasons. Why the wrong reasons? That has to do with my birth mom, I’ve just told you about my father and some odd things in his life, now let me tell you a little about my birth mother. I call her this because she bore me, raised me until I was about 4 and then disappeared. The woman I call my mother, is actually my stepmom, but that name never really stuck, as she was the one that was always there for all the really hard parts of my life, so she got the title of MOM. Now tying back into the Olympic dream and my birth mother part.

I was really young when my parents got a divorce and I guess it was a bad divorce, but I just remember a lot of toys and trips to Disneyland, so I never saw the bad stuff. After my parents separated, my birth mom would come get me every other weekend and we would go do the fun things. I would come back to my stepmom and be a complete monster. Then one weekend I went outside to wait for my mom and she didn’t come, I waited all day towards the front of out 3 acre redwood yard on a stump and she didn’t come. As it got dark my stepmom kindly came out and asked me if I wanted to come in, she promised me that she would wake me if my birth mother came. So I went inside and quickly feel asleep. The next day I went right back out to that stump and waited again. This time in the evening my father came out and informed me that my birth mother wasn’t coming and she didn’t love me and she was gone.

Young Happy Me

These were are not easy words for anyone to hear, especially a young 4 to 6 year old (I don’t remember my exact age sorry, I was young, life was blurry). I cried and went inside. I was shocked, confused and dumb founded by what just happen to my world. When I woke up the next day, I was convinced that there had been a terrible mistake, no way in hell could my mother not love me, I mean look at me, I’m adorable. We had way to much fun together, my birth mom and I, I’m her favorite, she told me this on several occasions, even though I was only competing with my sister, but still, I was the love of her life. There is no way this person, especially a mom, just ups and leaves me without a word, something must be wrong.

So my little brain started to fill in the blanks and change the story to something that better suited me. Something like, my dad was lying or my birth mom couldn’t find me or get to me. I made up all sorts of tales and situations, all of which I was the hero or I helped her find me. About two years later, my stepmom wanted to legally adopt me, so they tried to find my birth mom. Now I’m being told that she died in the jungle in South America somewhere, so my stepmom can adopt me. What??? How did she get there, what is going on, why didn’t she take me with her? Of course she’s not dead, you’re just making this up so you can adopt me. That was what my mind created to cover up the pain I was feeling from what everyone was telling me about my birth mom. Everyone had to be lying to me, I knew deep down inside that my mom was still alive. But the adoption went through and we never talked about my birth mom anymore.

I tried to find out more about her over time as I got older, but it didn’t help that my birth mom’s father had a completely different story to share. I met him when I was 14. Then I met my birth mom’s mother, when I was 16, and she had a completely different story to tell me, my aunt had her version and my birth mom’s boyfriend had another. Her parents divorced when she was in her teens, which might be why there are so many different stories about her, everyone met her or knew her at different times in their lives. The facts surrounding my my birth mother’s life, what she happened to her and how/when she actually died is a whole other story that I will save for a later blog. At this point, the amount of information you have, is the amount you needed to tie this into my Olympic quest situation.

Due to all the confusion and emotional pain, I just stopped listening to stories about my mom and decided to just ask her the truth when I died. But, since I thought my mom was still alive at a young age and she just couldn’t find me, I decided that I needed to be famous so that she could find me. Since we didn’t have a drama class in school, being an actor wasn’t really an options. I didn’t know that politicians were famous at this point in my life, so I chose sports and making the Olympic team so my mom could find me. Thus, joining the Olympic team for all the wrong reasons. I got as far and the Junior Olympic team, my sport was volleyball. I remember being in Colorado Springs, watching our National Team train, I watched them do blocking drills for 2 hours without a ball. I remember this day so well, as it was the day I gave up on my Olympic dreams, I understood on that day, watching that practice, that the National Team was made up of the mentally strongest athletes and not the most psychically talented athletes.

So I changed directions from Olympics bond and decided to go to college. However, I didn’t really like school, so this was a hard pill to swallow. Since I was a good athlete, I was recruited by several universities. I went on my recruiting visits to Top-10 schools, but the beauty of the campus or the proximity to the beach made me realize I wouldn’t be going to school, I’d be out playing and I would fail all my classes. Since I wasn’t sure about the education part of the university experience or whether I would stay in school after my first season of play, I chose a local Junior college to attend. This was only a two year commitment and I felt ok about that level of commitment. I wanted to get out in the world and live, go to clubs, have fun, do all the things I missed out on while I was focused on sports as I youth. So off I went to Junior College, and sure enough, I dropped out second semester as soon as volleyball season was over.

I was done with sports, I wanted money and have fun! So I got a job or two, I got in trouble with the law, went to jail for 90 days and racked up close to $20k in fines, so that plan worked out well. Don’t worry, I‘ll write a story about those adventures in a later blog, but now you are getting the idea about how interesting I am. I’m not even 20 yet and I’ve already done a ton of stuff.

So no Olympics, no degree, not my greatest moment. I was able to get an ok job still, bought a cool red sports car and I was doing ok. Now comes the part you have been reading this far for… One day I was out running errands, I for some reason ended up at my parent’s house or I needed to go get something from them or pick something up. I don’t remember the reason, but in the mid evening I was there, sitting in the kitchen when the phone rang. I kept waiting for someone to get the phone since I don’t live there anymore, but no one was answering it. So I answered it, and this call changed me life.

“Hi, may I please speak to Tasha?”, I heard. “This is her”, I replied, while thinking to myself, strange, who is calling me here, I haven’t live here in over a year. It was the University of Alaska, Fairbanks calling wanting to offer me a full ride scholarship. The coach had seen me play at some tournament my junior year of high school, she knew I had signed with a Junior college, so by her calculations, I should just be finishing my 2nd year of school and be ready to transfer to another school to finish my education. I immediately said “yes”, this is one of my weird traits, say yes now and figure out how later. Not sure if it is a good or bad trait, but on that day it was really working for me.

What are the chances that I would be at my parents house at that time for that call? Five minutes earlier or later, I would have missed the call, if my parents would have answered, they would have told her that I’m not playing volleyball anymore. When you think about it, how many things needed to align in my life to put me in that kitchen at that moment. Or, is the opposite, how many things aligned in the coach’s life in Alaska so that she called me right at that minute. I have no idea, I had only been at my parent’s house for maybe 15 minutes when the call came in, so stopping to talk to someone, getting stuck in traffic, grabbing a bite, etc. All of these events would have changed my path, this one call set me back on track for my destiny or my guiding force.

But now what do I do? I hadn’t been in school, I’m not eligible to play ball, I don’t have the credits, I don’t have money and I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off. So off to my old Junior college to figure this out. Basically I need to take 24 credits in one semester and I would be eligible to play, could I do that? Yes! I could figure this out some how. But how can I pay for this, I’m not on a scholarship anymore and I barely pay my bills now. This was a harder problem to solve. On my drive back to my parent’s house I came up with an idea, what if I sold my car, moved back in with my parents and rode my brother’s bike to school? I would get in shape, get my classes and get eligible. Great, I have a plan. Unfortunately, I have one more problem to resolve, I need to check in with my probation officer (yes, I was on probation for 3 years, with check-ins and I can’t leave the state without permission, the whole “trouble with the law” thing). My guy was cool though, I hadn’t been a hassle, so he gave me the instructions on how to transfer, and how I would get a new person in Alaska, but I still need to pay my fines. Wow, I forgot about that part, ouch!!! So now I need to work, ride my bike to school and take 24 credits. There goes sleep, but here comes determination.

Speaking of determination, I have a lot of this. As you know, I trained for the Olympic team and just fell short, but was very self determined my whole life. I got myself up for training, missed family vacations, ran stadiums after practice to increase my vertical, I was determined. To prove this even more, I won a radio contest drawing to kiss a car, whoever kissed it the longest won. I kissed that car for over 96 hours in a competition just because I’m so determined and competitive. So can I do this? Yes, and I did. Finished school, road that damn bike in the rain, studied when I wanted to sleep, but I did it. Now off to Alaska.



Tasha Poduska

I bring to the table a unique and eclectic professional journey that spans continents and industries. Want more, go to