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A Leap Of Faith: How my first blog post took me back to Indiana Jones

I’m sitting down to write my very first blog post, and I’m reminded of a certain scene in a certain film I sat watching as a charmed fangirl in our local theater almost 30 years ago. I never realized when I started this process of writing and creating and putting myself out into the world that it required this degree of preparation … or courage.

To be clear, I don’t say this is everyone’s journey. I deeply admire those who create, write, publish and world-build spontaneously with a lion’s full heart and lamb’s tender step. I realized five years ago no matter how much I longed to be one of those ultra-creative blogging authors or content entrepreneurs, my education to date included deep training on caution and safety and anonymity and repetition and redundancy and tracking and morbidity and mortality. I battled my way to the world of expressive experimentation and transparent authenticity. I laugh right now at my cringe reading that last sentence. I felt after I wrote it that I betrayed life lessons and experience; I sold out scientific method for artistic ideals.

This is probably why this movie scene came to mind. To have this conversation with you here, in this blog post, I’ve had to connect-the-dots between who I’ve been trained to be in the past, and who I want to be in the future. I used my own deeply held beliefs to do the connecting, to help point the way. Taking that first step … this first step … publishing this … well, it helps to have someone who has gone before that feels the way you do, even if that someone is a fictional character like Indiana Jones.

Okay, so I’m not saying that this blog post is anything like the perils of hunting treasure or dodging bad guys, which seemed to be a-day-in-the-life for Indiana Jones. But where linking past, present, and aspirational identity are concerned, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade marks one of my favorite examples. If you love Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and River Phoenix, then you will find this 1989 action adventure a lot of fun.  Spielberg and Lucas hit the right notes showcasing how chasing our dreams shapes relationship and family conflict, all while revisiting The Holy Grail quest in a World War II backdrop.

If you have not yet seen this third installment in the Indiana Jones trilogy, then spoiler alert — don’t read on yet if you intend to dust off your DVD player or fire up your Netflix account and watch this flick!

At the time, I could not wait to see my favorite James Bond actor play the father of Indiana Jones. What surprised and delighted me was how the elder Dr. Jones aided and abetted the character transformation of Indiana at the climax of this film. Indy did something remarkable at that critical point, something he avoided over the first two films, and every minute of this film: we witnessed Indiana Jones taking A Leap Of Faith. A talented expert at assessing dangerous situations quickly and knowing whether to proceed or withdraw and live to fight another day, Indiana took one look at this last of three trials, applied his considerable knowledge and life experience, and knew it was impossible. At that moment, however, he made a character/plot/franchise-defining decision. For such a boyishly sardonic character, Indiana Jones taking a literal step into thin air on faith alone felt startlingly authentic.

Here is the movie trailer for a taste Indiana Jones and his father pre-cinematic climax:

Fast forward almost thirty years and I’m realizing my own Leap Of Faith is strangely similar. We both had decades of training on a variety of subjects, with every warning bell is going off in our heads at our moment of truth screaming, “Are you CRAZY?!? Do you realize how much you have to lose by doing what you are about to do?!?”

Indiana Jones had family and friends waiting for him, counting on him. I’m fortunate to have mine waiting for me, and it is a privilege to have them count on me. Five years ago, I didn’t have this kind of network, these close relationships, this loving endorsement. I’m grateful for each person on my team and in my life. I wouldn’t be here writing any of this without every one of them.

For Indiana Jones, I can’t see his Leap of Faith happening without the story including his father, friends, and past experiences. (Great characters played by talented character actors litter this film. I recommend it if only for the music!)

Here’s to the plot of my own ongoing adventure including an ever-widening group of my own family, friends, and supporting staff to delight and surprise my own audience and tribe! (Cue raising my morning cup of coffee and clicking my cup with yours.)

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About the author

Jennifer Brenton

If she isn't working at hospitals making the world a safer place for women's health, Jennifer Brenton can be found drinking coffee in the morning, saving the cheerleader in the afternoon, taking pictures at dusk, and bothering her workaholic daughter about bedtime in the evening. Check out her other projects at jenniferbrentonmd.com and drjennbrenton.com .