Monday, May 23, 2011

Are You Stalling?

 Hi Everyone, I am in Boston, MA this week facilitating LeaderShape. We are asked to "unplug" for the week and have little access to the internet, so I have asked my good friend and fellow community college graduate and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar - Tiffany Mathis - to guest post for me. You will love her. Please feel free to share comments or e-mail me and I'll be sure she gets your love :) I will have lots of inspiration to share when I return! - Isa

“We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Anonymous
When Isa asked me to write a blog last week I wanted to say no... should have said no, but I said yes.

This week I had to come down to Miami Beach for a conference. Miami is really, really hot in May so I tortured my self by sitting by the pool, sweating and procrastinating, before I decided I should start writing the blog.

Then I spent about an hour laboring to find the perfect font; I went through all of the fonts on my Mac, found myself torn between Century Schoolbook and Helvetica, and then I read wikipedia articles for the topography tie breaker. In the end I decided on Helvetica, because it's obviously a super great font for blogging. 

But even after I was properly fonted, I wasn't inspired. So I got a giant doodle pad and I started sketching this huge cloud outline, not content, just really big clouds with lines. In the end, I just wanted to email Isa that I was throwing up all over my hotel room and couldn't write the blog right now.

And that was when I realized I was stalling.

So I grabbed a pen and forced myself to write because stalling wasn't option. 

In just the last few weeks my entire world transformed -- I graduated from UF with a degree in broadcasting, decided I didn't want to be a broadcaster, started thinking about jobs because I felt like every one else was, and watched all my friends pack up four years of memories and hit I-75. 

Everything around me started shifting and moving forward, but not me. 

I started digging my feet into the sand hoping not to get washed away with the influx of changes. I sat in my apartment surrounded by my roommate's boxed up things, stalling my life, because, in all honesty, I was afraid of the shift from college to real life because I didn't know what was next. 

Then last week, in the middle of my hiding, my phone rang and on the other end was my first real job offer.

Instead of peeing my pants with excitement, I stalled. I was suddenly straddling the line between before and after, old and new. All I had to do was step over to the other side to start the new chapter of my life. 

But instead of making the leap, I froze. I felt like I was having a panic attack.

And then in the middle of tunnel vision, it hit me: I have always been scared of these life transitions. 

Before high school graduation, my mom had to dress me in my cap and gown while I hyperventilated in a paper bag because I didn't want to leave high school. 

Before my first week at UF, I passed out in an Office Max aisle when I smelled fresh school supplies. 

But if I hadn't put on my high school cap and gown, I never would have been a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar or met my best friend Matt. And if I hadn't gone on to university I would never have stood on the top of the Eiffel Tower or co-produced a documentary. 

And suddenly in that moment, being scared was irrelevant. I had to move forward. 

Stalling wasn't an option. 

The transitions in life are scary - they are uncertain and force you to face new things, new people, and new places. But by being to afraid to take the next step, I risked not experiencing life.

In the short years of high school and college, the amount transitions are overwhelming and filled with growing pains. But if you find yourself afraid of crossing the threshold into the new stage of your life, remember that this isn't the first transition you've encountered and it won't be your last. 

You can't know what doors will open in life, but if you hold yourself back because you're scared, you'll never get anywhere. Being afraid isn't a good enough reason to stop yourself from experiencing things like meeting your best friend or going to Europe.

If you never let yourself find out what is next you'll never get to experience what's next. 

And what's next could be totally awesome.

So take chances, embrace changes. Because stalling just isn't an option.

PS: I took the job - I move to D.C. in two weeks. Wish me luck :)


  1. AWESOME Tiffany! You did a fantastic job, and I'm sure you made Isa proud!

  2. Tiffany - welcome to DC! When you get here - have Isa put you in touch with everyone at NSCS - we'd love to show you around! Great blog!!


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