Here is what I want you to get out of my story…you can’t suppress your full self nor can you run from your reality.  Embrace and accept your dreams, quirks, abilities, and disabilities!

I’m Marcus Tappan and when I embraced my full self, I saw my life change. This is My Crystal Stair.

One of the things that defined the home that I grew up in was this feeling of Faith and Positive thinking.  My parents made me step outside of my comfort zone and hone difference crafts.  They invested themselves heavily in me and my siblings’ development, planting the seeds that piqued our curiosity.

In middle school and high school, I loved drawing, comic books, and creative writing, but I didn’t want to imagine a future with something that seemed so…childish.  I suppressed that love for the arts and forced myself to focus on something more technical: math, history, economics.  I’d suppressed them so well…that is until I got to college, where I was introduced to my first photography class.  All of those feelings of guilt about art being my future subsided and my creativity FLOODED in; I couldn’t get enough.

I started college at the University of Pennsylvania off as an Economics major with an emphasis on International Affairs.  I pursued it because I thought it was the best decision, although it didn’t feel like the right decision.  There is a stigma that many students fall prey to, and that is to go into a profession that you feel will provide the most security—be it financially or socially—and that you feel will bring you the most success or the most joy.  We’re pursuing something that we like but don’t love, or perhaps you don’t like it at all. 

I am now a proud Film, Cinema and Video Studies major.  I’m focusing on writing, producing and directing and I couldn’t be prouder and in love with what I do.

My advice? Go for what your gut goes for.  The worst thing you can give yourself is regret.

In embracing my full self, it’s worth mentioning that I suffered from Grand Mal seizures as a child.  These seizures are a form of epilepsy – it’s a series of muscle contractions that can sometimes result in a loss of consciousness.  They were prevalent in my childhood and then all of a sudden, they disappeared for 10 years, before resurfacing again in college.  I was so embarrassed and I didn’t want to be labeled as handicapped and thought my college career would be quite difficult.  I would have seizures at parties at brush it off as having blacked out from too much fun. Crazy right? 

It wasn’t until I opened up to my friends to educate them about my epilepsy that I found out my condition didn’t make a difference to them, and now they know what to do if it ever happened again.

Don’t shy away from what makes you, you…

You’ll thank me later.