January 2016 marked the beginning of a new period in the remarkable journey of this magazine. I had just launched the inaugural issue and the first copies were about to land on doorsteps across the globe. Once that thought settled in a bit, I started to get nervous. The kind of nerves one gets when pouring heart and soul into something, not knowing if others will share your enthusiasm.
I was living an indie publisher’s dream and I couldn’t wait to get started with the next issue. But where to start? How would I find quality content and more importantly: what would I do regarding the theme? I want the themes to have a personal touch, similar to the stories I wish to publish in each issue. In my launch issue, I was looking for safe havens. Places, objects or a state of mind that was comforting. This time around, I wanted to take it all a step further, looking for that which takes somebody out of their comfort zone.
The fact that I had a lot of decisions to make in this process, made me realize that I was constantly weighing chances, opportunities and risks against what my dream scenarios for LEM could possibly look like. And on top of that, this exploration of self brought back memories; good ones and extremely difficult ones. But it was a process that after several crossroads brought me immense joy. I knew what I wanted to do next, knowing (well, hoping) that in the end it would all work out.
We all have had moments in which we have to make a decision about our future; willingly or unwillingly, with a level of control or without any grasp on the situation at hand. What all these moments have in common though, is that the way we look at things changed or that something or someone triggered a change in our behavior. Eventually, this could result in taking a chance, a leap of faith and hopefully finding out there’s more than meets the eye, when you let your eyes be opened.
This issue is packed with a selection of astonishing stories about raw emotions, happiness, pain, struggle, chance and experimentation. The contributors stood at crossroads themselves and put their heart and soul into something they believe in, often not knowing what the future would hold. They trusted their instincts and approached their quests with an open heart, not judging, but experiencing and treasuring every single moment.