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Home » The Gift of Tough Times: Tara Igoe (Transcript)

The Gift of Tough Times: Tara Igoe (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Tara Igoe’s talk titled “The Gift of Tough Times” at TEDxLaJolla conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Hello, La Jolla. I love that I’m following the food talk because I have been popping sprinkles cupcakes downstairs like Tic Tacs. So, if I jump off the building at some point from the Sugar High, come find me; I’ll be down there. Or I could wash your car after this. I have a lot of energy is what I’m trying to say to you. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

In April of 2003, I traveled from my hometown in Massachusetts across the United States to where I was living in Los Angeles. Not for fun, not for some wacky adventure, but because my dad had just died. I was overwhelmed by the grief. And I became afraid to fly. I thought the plane taking me back to Los Angeles after his funeral was going to crash in a ball of flames.

And what were the odds of that? My dad had just died of stage four colon cancer. And like the plane’s going to crash too. But somehow that made sense to me at the time, because that’s how I lived. I was afraid to live. I was afraid to die. I was literally afraid to fly.

Facing Fears

I was used to stuffing down my feelings to try to create a false sense of certainty within myself, and it wasn’t working. But there was something about the loss of my dad, and I’m sure those of you in the room have lost someone at some point, and if you haven’t, you’re lucky. It broke me open and it made me want to feel things in a way that I had never felt before.

I wanted to feel the pain of the loss because somehow it connected me back to him and it connected me to myself. So I felt the sadness, I felt the anger that I felt toward his doctors for maybe not saving his life. And by feeling all of that, it opened up something inside of me. And it made me look at my life in a different way. And I started to look at some of the things in my life that weren’t working out right.

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