Let Go of the Safety Net

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It’s always scary when you’re starting a new chapter in your life.  You don’t know what to expect and you’re not sure if you’ll be successful in this new phase.  All you know is that what you’re comfortable with is ending.  It starts with the first day of school.  You have a new teacher, new classmates, new lessons, and sometimes a completely new school.  You don’t know if your teacher will be nice, if your friends will be in your class, or how hard the material will be.  But then this feeling continues to jobs, relationships, and any other commitment you can think of.  It always means you’ve mastered the previous part of your life and are now graduating to a new level, a new grade.  Like I said, it’s scary, but, if you want to move on and progress, it’s inevitable.

I, recently, met a cartoonist turned essayist who spoke about his leap to becoming a writer.  He justified the always courageous decision of leaving a secure nine to five job for the opportunity to be a true artist by saying “sometimes you have to let go of the safety net.”  I thought this was funny because people always tell you the opposite.  They say it’s important to have a backup plan, that you need something to fall back on in case things go horribly wrong, but then here’s this guy advising you to take the crazy risk and then it all made sense.

If you have the comfort of a safety net below you, then you’ll never try hard enough.  It will never be a life or death situation for you, so you’ll never test your true potential.  You won’t commit to something for fear of struggling if there is an easy way out hanging below you.  Once that net below you is gone, life gets real and it is either you commit, putting everything you have into something, or you lose everything.  This is the only way that you will truly tap into all that you are capable of.  It is the only way that your true artist will come alive and lead the way.

So, although comfort zones are appealing for their easy-going essence and familiarity, the unknown is what is necessary in life.  Stepping into something where you have never been, but are drawn to, is when your artist will thrive and flourish like your life depends on it.  Who knows if there’s a safety net below you, but it’s better that you don’t find out the hard way, so you better do your best to be the best of your craft and succeed if that’s truly the path you choose.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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