WARNING: This website may not be appropriate for kids under 18 (or for any of my family members for that matter!). I tend to keep my language clean but it’s more important for me to be authentic with my words and feelings than to censor myself for social approval. You might find a few f-bombs and racy photos scattered throughout these pages. If that’s your sort of thing: congratulations, stick around for your entertainment. If you find this sort of content offensive, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Hi! I’m Daniel,
I’m an ordinary guy with extraordinary dreams, and this is a story of ambition.
Born and raised in Erie, PA, the youngest of nine siblings, I’m the gay one–a free-spirited ENTJ Gemini. I find myself always trying to do the right thing, but not always sure what’s right for myself! Such is life, a game of chances; you live and you learn.
In my formative years, I learned the value of a dollar–earning a weekly allowance for completing chores around the house, in addition to helping my brothers with their paper route. I attended Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school, and participated in football, cross-country, wrestling, and student government.
When I was of legal age to work, I was hired by Gap as a Sales Associate and held that job until I moved away to Edinboro University to pursue my degree in Communication and minor in Graphic Design.
My college experience was rich and fulfilling. Aside from having a full time class schedule, I also worked at Abercrombie & Fitch. During the summer of 2002, I served as an Orientation Leader, and then became Building Manager of the University Center. In 2003 I was elected President of the Student Government Association.
I made some of the best friends I have ever known during my college years. And I had a great girlfriend too–she supported me through many major life events, not the least of which was when I came out of the closet in 2004.
Long story short: on our way to Florida for Spring Break, she found a string of text messages on my phone from my roommate’s brother. We both knew he was gay, but she didn’t know that he was also vacationing in Florida at the time, and that my intentions were to meet him there.
We never did meet up, but instead my girlfriend and I got to have a week of closure, complete with crying, shouting, and cuddling. By the time we got back from Florida, a new relationship with my roommate’s brother was blossoming. My first boyfriend!
During my final semester at EUP, I moved to Ohio with the new boyfriend to pursue a marketing internship at Geauga Lake Amusement Park.
After graduation, I worked as a manager at American Eagle–but that lasted less than a year. Shuffling between Pennsylvania and Ohio wasn’t as cute as could be, and I wanted to see more of the country.
So, I moved to New Jersey after I was offered a really cool opportunity to work for a GE mortgage company with my brothers in New York. It was my first “real” office job.
With hard work and good fortune, I was promoted and transferred to the company’s Southern California office.
Living in California was a dream come true.
I was young and successful, and meeting all sorts of new people.
For once it felt like I was really on my own, and it was fabulous.
But sadly, my fabulous lifestyle halted when I lost my job in 2007 after the housing market crashed. I was out of work and living on unemployment and my savings.
I could have allowed that layoff to crush me, but instead I decided to live it up and be thankful for what I had. I was able to support myself and do a fair bit of traveling while I hunted for jobs.
My passion for traveling eventually lead me to a job as the Community Organizer at VirtualTourist, a company which was owned by Expedia.
I made friends with some of the most interesting people in the world during those years!
In 2008, when same-sex marriage became a legal option for Californians, my ex-husband and I decided to take the plunge.
We got married on a cliff overlooking Santa Monica Pier, and settled into his apartment in Long Beach.
Then, feeling like it was impossible to move up the ranks at VirtualTourist, I went on to work at another mortgage company: Home Loan Enterprise. This time, a startup broker shop, as opposed to a seasoned lender. I figured this job would be an opportunity for me to earn and save more money but after a series of bad marketing gambles, the company could not afford to pay its staff and was forced to lay us off.
I didn’t really love working in the mortgage industry anyway. Owning and renting property is more exciting to me than lending money to people who really cant afford the home they’re trying to buy. So after that brief stint at Home Loan Enterprise, I started asking myself: “what’s the purpose of life if I’m not doing what I love?”
And that line of questioning inspired me to mold my passions together and live life by design. It’s what lead me to become the fitness coach, gay travel guru, event coordinator, project manager, and landlord that I am today. I aim to do my best at each endeavor, to be happy and complete, and to enjoy all that life has to offer.
I feel very fortunate for having experienced all that I have. I’ve been to 40 states and five countries, and there’s still so much more I want to see and do. I dream of traveling the world and making friends in every country. I want to make a positive impact and leave the world in better shape than as I found it. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll do that, but a wise gal once told me that positivity is like a domino effect and you can change the world one smile at a time.
So I keep smiling and following my heart.
My story continues as I blog about life here on DanielDiNicola.com. I have a variety of interests, so there are a lot of categories to choose from. Travel, fitness, music, sex, politics, religion: nothing is off limits. Follow yours truly for personal stories of failure and frustration, and a few of success and love.
Thanks for stopping by–I hope you’ll come back and comment often!
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STAY FABULOUS :D