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Leap of Faith

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Susan LeeAs creatives, our lives are continual leaps of faith. But sometimes it’s hard to tell when we should leap and when we should just hang out and wait for the next chasm to open up.

However, I might be the wrong person to ask. I’m a big believer in leaping. I’d rather leap and fail spectacularly than never leap at all. All of these leaps have led me to some of the most amazing adventures in my life.

Leaping requires really trusting that voice inside that so many of us ignore. It’s that voice that’s under the crazy voice that says, oh, yeah, that sounds like fun, let’s do it! It’s the voice that is more reasonable, the voice that takes a moment before saying, okay, yeah, we can do this.

Why is this important?

So many of us get stuck in our “pay-the-rent” job, the job we hate, the soul-sucking job that takes us away from our creativity and that just does nothing for our souls. However, we do have to pay our rent and we do have to eat, so those jobs are necessary. But that doesn’t mean we need to sit in those jobs forever. You have to be aware of when it’s time to jump. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting here, ten years from now, angry and bitter that you didn’t take advantage of that one thing that would have been amazing.

How do you know when it’s time to leap?

If you’re sick of your job and you can’t create and you can’t find your joy, then it’s time to leap. But leap with intelligence. Really think about what you want. Think about what would make you happy. Figure out if you have the skills, the true desire, the passion to do it. Don’t worry about the connections, don’t worry about how much it pays. Just think about what you would do if money was no issue. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Now, I’m not a big self-help person. Those platitudes of “leap and the net will appear” and “when one door closes” just make me want to vomit. However, I do believe that if you dig deep down inside and listen to your intuition, you’ll know when you’re ready to leap.

I’ve been unemployed for six months now. I lost a job I had for almost eight years very unexpectedly. At first, I panicked and immediately starting looking for the pay-the-rent job. Then I took a moment and thought about it. I had six months of unemployment. That would give me time to figure out what I wanted. I thought long and hard about what I wanted my life to look like when I came out of unemployment. I decided that I want to really dedicate myself to making a living out of my art – selling my steampunk jewelry at fairs and swap meets, doing comic book conventions with my geeky artwork and my comic book and children’s book. Start finding more private students as a fine art teacher and as a comic book teacher. Commit to something I’ve wanted to do for years and just leap.

I’m not leaping blind. I have enough stock to be able to do the shows I want to do. I have enough connections to have good information for comic book conventions and how to make them work. I know marketing. I know my skill set. I have a plan for the leap.

But now I have to leap.

And as much as I hate platitudes, sometimes they come true. Maybe it’s that you become open to the possibilities and they appear just because you’re looking for them. The opportunities were probably already there but you weren’t ready to see them.

I decided to make this leap and suddenly, an incredibly amazing opportunity landed in my lap. As I’m writing this, I’m hours away from leaving to go to China for three weeks to teach comic book creation to elementary school children over there.

Would that have happened if I hadn’t decided to leap? I’m not sure. I probably wouldn’t have been looking for an opportunity like this. I probably wouldn’t have even sent my resume out because it may not have fit whatever other “stable” plan I may have had in place.

I’ll admit it. It’s scary. When I get back, I’ll still be unemployed and counting on my art to pay my bills. But I’m hoping more opportunities will come from this adventure and that this leap will result in landing on my feet instead of landing on my face.

I encourage you all to take a look around at your life right now. Are you ready to leap? Are you standing at the edge of the cliff and wondering if you’d survive the leap? I say, do it. Just make sure you have a parachute and a plan for when you leap. But…. leap.

I look forward to what adventures you find when you do.

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About Susan Lee

As a director, Susan considers herself Tarantino jacked up on estrogen. Whether creating award-winning theater projects or developing dark, twisted action films, Susan takes great pride in challenging the perception of what a woman “should” do. Her short film, “Mastermind”, world-premiered at Comic-Con and is currently online as a limited web series. Her fine art background has taken her into the realm of comic books currently, releasing her first comic book, “Wraith of Love”, a dark, noir book that explores abuse and redemption, which will be a feature film in 2015. More at home playing in the boy’s club sandbox as opposed to the chick flick realm, Susan hopes to prove that just because you have boobs doesn’t mean you can’t kick ass.