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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Guess Who I Saw in the Houston Airport?

Just last week a few of us in the office were talking about what celebrity we would love to meet. I was a "doofus" because I couldn't think of anyone that would be "the" person I would want to run into. I drew a blank and had nothing to offer. I wasn't sure what it meant and I thought nothing more of it.

So last week I was changing planes in the Houston airport on my way back from Beaumont and I'm just sitting there having lunch waiting to board my plane. I like to people watch to pass the time. Then "he" walked in. He's the person I now know is the one celebrity I'd want to meet. And I left the Smart Zone momentarily!

Here's a hint about who it was...

He was sitting by himself less than 10 feet away and he knew I knew who he was. People who know me know that I love the show Survivor. And within my arm's reach was Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor.

He smiled at me and I couldn't feel my feet. I texted my Director of Patient Services, Tari, and I told her he was right there and I was trying to rack up the nerve to walk over. My kids would just die hearing that I met him. That I was sitting next with him at lunch and that we had conversation. They would just die!

"Go over to him!" and "You will regret it if you don't" Tari texted back. What was stopping me? I was so chicken. "What is the problem?" I asked myself. "I spoke to a room full of people last night and I was just on television this morning and I didn't freak out over that at all. What is my problem?"

I tell people to do hard stuff every day. I say to do what others are unwilling to do. By doing that you build skills for when the really really hard stuff happens.

It has been a hard year this last year with a lot of change for me and a lot of exciting business successes. My kids are growing up and I don't want to miss any of that as I juggle the responsibilities I have professionally and personally. I do hard stuff every day and I find out what I'm made of. I practice what I preach so "Get over there Susan!" So what was my problem? What was stopping me from just walking over there and telling him that I know he values his privacy and I'd like to get a picture if I could. I'd be brief even though I would act like a stalker and stutter and probably accidentally spit when I talked.

I chickened out. I choked. The mental theater in my head stopped me from walking over there. My flight was going to leave and I had to make a move or miss it. I missed it. I regret it. I'm a doofus. I do the hard stuff like I tell others to do but I wasn't ready for this.

So Jeff Probst from Survivor. ....Next time. I'll be ready.

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