- RECENT EVENTS, TIPS, AND OTHER GOODIES -
April 24, 2014
April 1st began a series that will allow me to be transparent about the people that have influenced my personal and professional growth. When I look at where I have achieved success, I can honestly say that I never did it alone. There was always someone there that believed in me, motivated me, encouraged me, or pushed me to continue. This series is dedicated to those people!
I can’t recall the year that I first read the poem- A Reason, A Season And A Lifetime by Brian A. “Drew” Chalker, but it has always stuck with me. I can’t recite the poem from memory, but when I look at the people that I’ve met thru my career, travels, the places that I’ve lived, the schools I’ve attended and my photography circles, I always think back to the first part of the poem:
I am comfortable in my own skin and I accept who I am and who God has called me to be, so when people are in my life for one of these reasons, I know that they are here to either teach me something or to learn from me. I always hope for lifetime relationships with the people that I meet, but I accept that it’s not always going to be the case. I am a firm believer that all things are designed for a greater purpose, which brings me to Day 14 of “Watermarks on my Soul”.
Day 14 is dedicated to 4 of my closest friends- Monica, Farrah, Christie, and Kara! I have known each of them since college, we crossed Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at the same time, and our journey since college has been so different but together we balance each other out. I had a small circle of friends so I was in touch with these ladies frequently but not as regularly as I am now. Prior to Memorial Day 2011- Kara decided to plan a spur of the moment trip to Atlanta. I was included in a string of Facebook emails asking who wanted to join and within an hour of the email going out- the 5 of us responded and our plans were made and flights were booked. I love organization in my professional life but I thrive on spontaneity in my social life! Christie and Kara were coming from Charlotte, Monica was coming from Pennsylvania, and I was coming from Virginia. Farrah would have been coming from Virginia as well but she was in North Carolina on business, so she came with the Charlotte girls. This trip was the comedic relief I needed after a busy work week and created a stronger connection to a group of women that I had individual connections previously. This small group dynamic proved to be really special and this trip proved to be epic! This trip found us on a rooftop in the middle of the night one night trying to solve life’s problems, searching for “Doug”- our missing friend, being locked out of the place we were staying in at 4am and trying to figure out how to get thru the security gate and eating at some of the best restaurants Atlanta has to offer. From this last minute trip, I have a group of women that I talk to, laugh with and encourage daily.
Each friend is special in their own way. Farrah is the Ph D. toting couponing queen that finds excitement in the small everyday things life has to offer and always wears a smile, Kara is the comedic relief that can sum up any situation in 3 or 4 words, Monica finds the positive in every situation or person regardless of how bad it may seem and she never seems to sweat the small stuff and Christie is our spiritual voice of reason that keeps us focused on the bigger picture. Christie also possesses a great deal of “street smarts” since she works with kids. And me, I am the goal-driven busy body that is usually running from job to job sharing my adventures along the way. I am so thankful for these ladies.
Watermarks on my Soul came as a result of a trip that we took this past March to Raleigh- another random place with little planning that left us with great memories. This year, we have taken turns putting out challenges to the group. For example, Monica challenged us to take 5 dishes that we normally prepare and create a healthier version of that dish. I think I’m still working on this challenge…don’t judge me!! Prior to the trip it was Kara’s turn to issue a challenge. She wanted us to write a letter to each other and bring it on the trip, so that each friend would leave with 4 written letters that could have been about anything. She made us bring the letters to dinner and we read them in the restaurant. After reading each letter, we were all in tears so much so that the guys at the table near us asked if were were okay! I never knew how reading what someone admired about me would make me feel so special. I knew I had a connection with these ladies, but to read their words of appreciation left me speechless. I cherish those letters and as I drove home I thought about all the people that have been so kind to me that may not understand just what they have meant to me and my business, thus Watermarks on my Soul came to life.
Originally, I was going to title this series something else but it just didn’t sound right. The five of us chat on GroupMe daily so I told them how I wanted to do something similar on my blog with people that have helped me. I had several names and I wanted to use the word ‘Watermark’ because it’s a photographer’s stamp that usually goes onto the photos they’ve created. I had my list of names of people that I felt have placed a stamp (or watermark) on my business, but the title just wasn’t coming to me. The girls tossed around a few names and Kara gets the credit for coming up with “Watermarks on my Soul” and with her permission this series came to life. Thank you Kara!
I look forward to making many more memories with these ladies in the days, months and years to come and I hope everyone is able to find a group of friends as awesome as mine! Thank you Monica, Farrah, Christie, and Kara for leaving Watermarks on my Soul! I love you!