Today is the day we fly to Austin, Texas to embark on our SXSW journey with the College of Arts and Media. It’s all becoming very real that this is happening. I think I have everything, but I feel like I’m bringing too much and forgetting something at the same time. Nonetheless, I’m here, sitting at DIA sipping on iced tea and writing this blog, all the while marveling how I got accepted to the program just a few weeks ago, and am now sitting here waiting in the terminal.
While this experience is brand new, and I’m teeming with anxiety and excitement, I realize that these feelings are the starting point to growth and opportunity. A while back, I received some great life advice from a former teacher, Sean Gillespie. I had attended the school, Ricks Center, for 9 years, so I had many feelings of anxiety and excitement for what was to come in the next chapter of my life. Sean told me that wherever I went, or whatever I did, to “jump in with two feet.” By this he meant don’t be shy or timid to experience something new, go into the experience wholeheartedly and fully committed. This concept was life changing, because it showed me that my unsettling feelings of anxiety and excitement were really the point at which change could occur. From this point in my life, I’ve done my best to follow Sean’s advice, and since then I’ve had numerous experiences that have bettered my professionalism and personal growth because I made the effort to engage. Sitting in the airport, I recognize the same feelings I felt 7 years ago, however, instead of feeling unsettled, I recognize that these feelings are important and necessary to reach my full potential. After all, if you’re never uncomfortable, where do you actually go in life?
Upon arriving to Austin, the streets are already crowded with people from SXSW. We checked into our hotel, and headed over the convention center to set up our trade show booth. The trade show room looks amazing, and already I can’t wait to spend some time there to see all the innovations people are bringing. Between the speakers, panels, and people I will have the chance to meet, I’m simply overwhelmed by how much there is to do, and how much I will experience in the next few days.
Thanks so much to all my friends, family, mentors, instructors, and the wonderful donors for their support and this amazing opportunity! Follow me on twitter @smithENIGMA for updates throughout the day!