How I Was Encouraged to Take the Leap
Not too long ago, I was out to lunch with one of my lifelong friends. Angie and I met in 1st grade, weathered junior high and high school together, parted in college and found our way back to friendship during adulthood. She's a wife, mommy, brilliant singer, treasured friend, and [shameless plug ahead] teacher of music classes to little ones from birth through age 5. If you're located near the south suburbs of Chicago (or know someone who is), please check her out at Miss Angie's Music LLC. <--- Yep, I just did that.
But back to lunch... as we caught up on life that day, the conversation shifted to me voicing my dream of opening an in-home studio that would focus on celebrating ladies from junior high through adulthood and showing them how amazing and beautiful they are. I remember feeling a bit foolish while I let the words stumble out of my mouth. This wonderful friend, though... her reaction was the catalyst in a line of actions that has led me to this point.
I can not even express how much Angie's support has uplifted me. Whenever I whisper a doubt, she is there to reassure me of my value and remind me how many girls and women will gain their own confidence from this experience. And that's what this is all about. I want to be a positive influence to the people around me. I want to help girls like my own daughter, wives and mothers like myself and Angie, and ladies in any other stage of life to experience this process of finding and displaying their inner beauty. Because I'm confident it is there.
We live in a world where too many girls and women break each other down rather than lift each other up. Angie is one of those kind souls who lifts me up and I am lucky to have her in my life. I can only hope to be able to pay this kindness forward with each person who crosses my path, especially when it comes to making portraits for them. If our experience results in a girl loving the reflection looking back at her in the printed artwork we've created together... if it results in a new mom remembering how beautiful she is versus how run-down she feels... if it results in a woman feeling confident in herself following a rough patch in life... no matter the situation, every minute spent with these ladies will be worth it. And I can't wait to get started.
Angie, thank you for the nudge and for your unending encouragement and help. You are a very cherished friend and a stunningly beautiful person, both inside and out. XO
Until next time,