Death by Film and Spiders (For the Love of the Art)

Today was a normal day—I went to class, played some piano, and at approximately 5:37 p.m. I walked into my room and turned on the lamp. That’s when I saw him—

Speedy, the giant black spider. He was crawling toward me across the ceiling and he was about to change my world.

There are not many things I fear more than spiders on ceilings. Spiders on the floor are stompable. Spiders on the wall are level enough to whack. But spiders on the ceiling cripple me. They’ve got the complete advantage over me because I’ve got terrible vertical aim and on top of that I’m impaired by the fact I’m terrified they’ll drop on me at any moment.

Speedy stopped. I looked around the room for something hard, throwable, and within reach but all I found were fairly lightweight shoes. I grabbed one of my Nikes and analyzed the situation. If I threw the shoe and missed, Speedy might freak out and then I would be out of a weapon with a crazy spider on the loose, so I grabbed another shoe, all the while keeping my eye on the eight-legged creature.

I positioned myself, took aim, and completely missed, but now of course, Speedy was moving again and I was one shoe down. I thought about calling my friend, Amoni (who lives nowhere near me) to come and save me from certain death by spider but–

That’s when I spotted my camera. And in the midst of crisis, I thought to myself, “Speedy could be perfect for my short film!”

So I did the only thing a storyteller could do—I dropped the shoe and made a dash for the camera, passing dangerously under Speedy and sprinting out of the room to grab my SD card. I was back within a matter of seconds, ready to capture Speedy—

But Speedy was gone.

It’s been almost 6 hours since I last saw Speedy, and let me tell you–my world has changed. I sacrificed my safety for the love of filmmaking and now I’m living in fear. I have no idea where Speedy is now, but the possibility that he’s under my covers, in my closet, or curled up in my purse—these are thoughts that I now carry with me every moment I spend in my room.

Some of you might be wondering, “Was it worth it?” and to that I impulsively answer, “No. No, it was not.” But the thing is, I love my craft. I love being a storyteller. Attempting to film Speedy was a risky move and now I’m extremely uncomfortable in my usually very comfortable bed. But the past four years I’ve learned that filmmaking takes courage, and that I have a choice–I can be comfortable or courageous, but I cannot be both.

I may have been a little dramatic when I said that a spider changed my world, but I’m being entirely honest when I say that choosing courage changes everything.

This year I’ve decided that I value my love of storytelling over my uncomfortability with rejection, imperfection, and a deep dependence on others. I’ve decided that the gifts and dreams God has given me are more important than always knowing what’s happening and feeling safe. I’ve decided to choose courage over comfortability—in film, and in life and I’m excited for the first time in a long while for what God has planned in the days ahead.

I graduate from college in April and I have no idea what happens after that. What I do know is that I’ve decided to live life to the full–to spend time with Jesus every day, to make the short film I’ve been dying to make, to write a feature length screenplay, and to spend time with the people I love. It may sound silly, but for me, all of these things take incredible amounts of courage, and there’s just no way around it–I’m really uncomfortable.

But it’s worth it.

So I have a question for you. What are you afraid of? Are you holding yourself back from all that you can be? I’m saying this again, because I wish someone had told me this sooner–You can be comfortable or courageous, but you cannot be both. So I encourage you to “have courage, and be kind”—to make a choice to live life to the full (John 10:10)…and to send any prayers, stories, and filmmaker friends in need of an arachnophobic writer, my way (:

P.S. Here are 6 incredible ways to grow just a little more in the courage department 😉

  1. Read Brene Brown’s, Daring Greatly
  2. Watch Kenneth Branagh’s, Cinderella (2015)
  3. Read Neil T. Anderson’s, The Bondage Breaker
  4. Watch Dan Fogelman’s new tv show, Pitch
  5. Watch Damien Chazelle’s, La La Land
  6. Read 2 Timothy 1:7 and bury it deep in your heart (:



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