Avoiding Gray Areas

This email showed up in my inbox this week:

Tracy, avoid gray areas. 

There, the illusion of safety is guarded by the lies of "maybe," "sometime," and "I don't know." There is a truth. There is a way. Life is absolute, and its principles exacting. If you put it out "there," it has to come back. Ask, and it must be revealed. 

Think, speak, and move with your desires, and nothing will ever be the same.


     The Universe

side note - per recommendation from a friend, I've been getting these automated e-mails daily for about 2 years now. Some days they are JUST what I need to hear!

Reading that really got me thinking. Remember that time I told you about how I quit? And about how I totally don't regret it? Well, that part is definitely true. I don't. But I will admit that since I made that decision, I have been in sort of a "gray" area in terms of my professional life. My gray area exists in the fact that I'm a full-time student. Let me tell you a secret about student life: it's safe. It's secure. It's not going anywhere. As long as I keep showing up, the train will keep moving along. I like that. But it creates a gray area in my life.

The gray area here is my indecision, my hesitance, my lack of confidence about getting an internship. I'm not going to rattle off all of my insecurities but the biggest one is that I have never really had to try to get a job. When I interned (i.e. student taught) in college, everything about that experience was set up and decided for me. I got my full-time teaching job through a connection from my university and through my mom. It wasn't a guarantee by any means and I still had to go through all the formalities, but there wasn't a lot of competition (Latin teachers are kind of a niche group, in case you were wondering). I've never really had to put myself out there, professionally. Engineering jobs are still foreign and a little intimidating to me. I'm excited to get an internship, but I keep seeing it as some intangible thing off in the distance. A "maybe," "sometime,"..."I don't know." A one day. A some day. But not a today. 

Reading that email was the kick in the butt I needed to get it together. I realized that my insecurities had turned into excuses that were holding me back and keeping me in the gray area. Where it felt comfortable, and safe. I'll tell you one thing, writing a resume and cover letters until 11pm wasn't the most comfortable thing either. Sending them out did not feel comfortable or safe. But now that I've done it, now that I've moved out of the gray area, I know that I'm better for it. I thought and moved with my desires. I found some really great opportunities that I am really, truly excited about - something I have never really been able to say about a job prospect before. Researching different companies and positions opened my eyes to the world that's out there waiting for me whenever I'm ready to embrace it. It's exciting! Maybe absolutely nothing will come of these applications, but at least I know I tried. If I put it out "there", it has to come back. Maybe the "it" I get back will be totally different from the "it" I put out there. And nothing will ever be the same.


  1. I love that you wrote about this! I frequently just hang out in the gray areas. I'm physically active, but don't push myself too hard-- because what if I fail? I do enough to say that I do it, but not enough to be great at it. Someone close to me once said that I was a jack of all trades, but a master at none. And the sad part is up to a point I have to agree with them, I let myself be bogged down by those little niggling doubts. Even though I do it with lots of humor, I still do it.

  2. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the gray area. I'm a creature of habit. I don't like feeling uncomfortable, yet I realize that some of the best things that have ever happened to be came out of being UNcomfortable.

  3. I've had a lot of similar thoughts lately. I've been at my job for 3 years and it's just okay.. I definitely feel like I could get a better one, I just lack the motivation to really apply myself to find a new one. Coupled with the fact that we may be moving for my husbands job in the next couple of years, I'm not sure if it would be worth it at the moment. It's easy to be comfortable but it's not always what's best for us!

  4. This is really inspiring. Sometimes I want to make life changes but I'm intimidated by leaving my comfort zone to achieve my new goals.

    And with engineering: I applied to a lot of jobs before I found the one that was right for me (and that wanted me ha). Luckily engineers are high in demand, so I'm sure you will find a great job. I hope you like it! It's definitely challenging and you learn something new almost every day :)

  5. This is such a great post idea. I'm pretty sure everyone can relate about grey (I'm in the UK) areas. They are safe and secure and easier than making an effort to change things. Plus change is hard and unknown. So well done you for stepping out there. I really need to follow your lead though! Fingers crossed that something comes from it, and if not at least you know you've started something. xx

  6. I swear that on the outside, I seem so confident at work and being a career oriented person... but in reality, I am sorta insecure! I have NO reason to be, so who knows. Best of luck to you :)!!!


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