During my initial undergraduate studies, I pivoted from majoring in Pre-Dental to English Creative Writing (because 10 years was too long but keep reading). I sat in one of my English classes listening to Junot Diaz as he read from the pages of his own work, Drown, his real life story coming to life right off the pages. At that moment, I saw each scene vividly as if I was a bystander and I wanted to know how could I captivate an audience in the same way.

I briefly shared with him that I’d recently ended a relationship (the one that inspired The Love Quest Foundation) and wanted to write a non-fiction piece about it, too. Junot told me I WAS TOO CLOSE to the situation and needed more time to reflect on the story — for at least five years.

Twenty plus years later (twice the amount of time it would take to be a dentist), I think I am ready to captivate and inspire an audience the same way he did.

Too close can mean a variety of things: a situation can be staring you right in the face, you don’t have room to breath, you can be smothered to the point you are not safe, and/or you can be at the brink of a pivot that can be a matter of life and death.

If you have to take one step at a time or take a leap of faith, whatever you do, don’t DROWN. There is always someone to save you or a resource to get you to the other side, even if everything feels too close…