I’m going to Comic Con next month! And not just attending… I’ll be on panels (plural!). I’ve never had a desire to go, but I’ve been slowly wrapping my mind around how big this is. The average attendance is 150,000 people. For illustrators, it’s equivalent to the Oscars.

I was originally going to turn it down because… I’m not prepared. I have other projects going on that need my attention. But I know those are just excuses, because deep down, I didn’t (and still don’t) feel worthy. And there are practical things I’m afraid of, like driving in California. It took some wiser friends to put things in perspective: tens of thousands of talented illustrators will never get a chance like this, let alone have it be handed to them. So as terrified as I am, I would be stupid to pass it up.

Recently, my spiritual director asked me about my thought process as to why I decided to go. What I said surprised me: “Younger Me waited for opportunities to be convenient for me. But now I realize I need to seize the opportunity when it presents itself, even when it costs me and is inconvenient.”

And this is the perspective that separates the kids from the adults. I related it to being a bit like dating. Like a rare, golden career opportunity, a self-respecting woman sends “green light” signals intentionally and presents herself for a time, but doesn’t wait around forever. (High value things don’t stay on the shelf for very long.) Boys wait around and pass her up; a man sees her value and asks her out. At the crossroads of making this decision like a boy or a man, he needs to ask himself, “What is being with this woman worth to me?”

Obviously, I’m not a man, but I had to ask myself something similar with going to Comic Con. I decided to go because it’s a major investment into my future. And to me, my career isn’t about trying to be famous or making a lot of money, it’s always been about helping kids feel seen and contributing to the restoration of the family. That is the cause that’s worth everything to me.