Birdie James @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

I am not exactly what you call a “fashionista.” I’ve spent more money over the course of my life on fitness clothing, and some of my favorite and most-complimented pieces were found in thrift stores. As mentioned in my last post, I was more interested in a good deal (and elastic waistbands) than I was in making investments in fashion. To be honest, I didn’t think I was worthy of having “style.” I enjoy a little retail therapy and always aspire to look put together when called for – but if I can’t compete with the bevy of fashion bloggers who eat $12 bedazzled donuts washed down with rosé and still fit in Size 2 pants that cost more than my monthly rent, what was the point? (DisclaimerI know they’re not all like that… but sometimes it feels that way…)

Coastal Bliss @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

When approached to collaborate with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber for their inaugural Chamber Fashion Week, I thought there had to be some mistake. I went to the meeting anyways. When I met the initial group of women involved in making Chamber Fashion Week happen, I felt an immediate sense of powerful #girlboss vibes – and I LOVED IT. I may not entirely recognize the difference between vintage pink and blush, but dangit I know the smell of ambition and possibility. I told them to sign. me. UP.

After we sorted out the details and negotiated the what’s-what-and-wheres, I embarked on a two week adventure with the HHIB Chamber that included meeting with the boutique owners, learning about brands and trends, and taking a zillion pictures of the store interiors (while somehow winding up -in front- of the camera, which you can all rest assured my 15min of Instafame are up now). It was an intense and exhilarating experience… and I cannot tell you how lucky I felt to be a part of this experience. Every one of the owners and associates were so welcoming and attentive; each of the shops were so unique in their style; all the clothing and accessories were chosen to reflect our coastal community in some way; and most importantly, they each had a story to tell about why they chose and love Hilton Head & Bluffton.

Maluka in Bluffton // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

———-

Y’all, we truly have something special here in our little corner of the Lowcountry.

And if you think you need to venture to other big markets to find the latest in beautiful coastal fashions, unique accessories to go with your favorite pieces, or lovely finds for your home,  YOU CRAY.

Louette Boutique in the Village at Wexford // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

The best part?

Each of these stores knows and loves on their regular clients while always reaching out to new shoppers with a big smile and a handshake (or a hug, because huggers recognize other huggers). I felt free to wander and browse while knowing someone friendly was closeby to help when I needed it (and y’all know I NEEDED IT).

Seriously, it made me truly appreciate what we have here in terms of brands and variety; but also, as well as the hard work each of these stores does for it’s local and visiting clientele.

Overall? The experience was exhausting (you know, standing around trying to look beautiful) and a total whirlwind of putting all the puzzle pieces together (and wondering how I could afford all my favorite pieces and still be able to eat this month). But how magical to be around these hard-working, big thinking, down-right lovely people.

Suffice it to say I’m thrilled to know where to go to get my next ensembles, whether a waterside brunch or a fabulous soiree; and to do so knowing I’ll be greeted by new friends.

 

 

Traveling Chic Boutique @ Coligny Plaza // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

I’ll still most likely never be the called a “Fashionista.” And I doubt I’ll be able to eat expensive confectionaries and be able to pull off anything that doesn’t have at least a little elasticity to it (which is why Pure Barre HHI will forever have me on retainer as a client). But one thing I learned is that I am worthy of style. That choosing quality brands and supporting local vendors can be and very much is an expression of that. Because a true friend won’t let you walk out of store looking like a crazy person. And they’ll help make you feel beautiful no matter what.

Copper Penny @ Shelter Cove Towne Centre // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

—-

A very big THANK YOU to:

Dorothy, Hallie, and the whole staff at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Too Belles Boutique @ the Fresh Market Shoppes // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

… and the following retailers:

Birdie James

Coastal Bliss

Copper Penny

Gigi’s Boutique

Island Girl

Louette

Maluka

Too Belles

Traveling Chic Boutique

….. and…. 

Island Girl @ Coligny Plaza // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

—-

And an even bigger shout-out to my better half, John, for not being too upset when I maaaaay have come home with a new new finds… and for always telling me I’m worth the $12 bedazzled donut.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

Gigis Boutique in Bluffton // Celia G Photographie + Harbour Affair 2017

Follow:

When was the last time you really held something in high esteem? Or looked at a product or piece of art or plate of food and became incredibly overwhelmed by the time and thought that went into making it?

When was the last time you thoughtfully purchased something, truly considering the workmanship, production, and the careful selection of materials?

When was the last time you chose to support a company or store that supported its people and missions?

When was the last time you really honestly “valued” an experience or a product or person?

I’ve been contemplating all of these questions a lot lately as the concept of “value” has been a reoccurring theme in the last couple of months. Not only the value of worth but the values to which I want to align my business and the clients I want to work with… and personally for myself. It seems at every corner I can’t avoid the conversation, and more and more I’m in situations where I have to make decisions about what I value and be confident in explaining my worth to others.

Let me explain.

I have been that girl who scours the endcaps of Target hunting for that bright red clearance tag (the more layered on there THE BETTER). I used to “just go out and buy something” for events at fast-fashion stores and didn’t care it would fall apart because I could just go get a new whatever-it-was for the next thing. Cheap drugstore makeup? UH YEAH, you’re not getting me to pay over $10 for stuff I don’t even know how to put on anyways. Y’all, there are certain restaurants I’ve been to where I only go at happy hour because I could never wrap my mind around paying for the “real” food there.

I love a good deal and I always will.

But certain things are NOT worth the cheap price tag. And I’ll tell you, I’m paying for it in some ways now (pun intended?).

And not knowing how to articulate and speak up for –my own– value has cost me even more. Literally.

The concept of “value” has been on my mind a lot, but it really started to pick up steam when I attended a national photographers conference in Texas back in January. No matter what seminar I went to – technical lighting, posing, marketing, business strategy, etc. – each and every speaker spoke to some degree of presenting one’s business and being confident in your work so you are appropriately compensated at the highest level of your worth. For the first time since turning my photography into a business over five years ago, it hit me like a bird into a glass door: the business of photography is not the cutesy girl in the felt hat with her “retro” camera bragging about wearing sweat pants while she edits charming flower-field engagement pictures drinking her $8 latte. It’s a PROFESSION. And the people I was surrounded by and learned so much from wanted to make it crystal clear that yes, creativity is important, but treating your business with the same professionalism, customer service and value as any other career is what makes one succeed. While photographers all do things a little differently, when they do not value their own work and think they’re “lesser than” (e.g.: undercharging, giving away too many freebies, letting clients take up valuable time without additional compensation) because they’re not curing cancer, the whole industry suffers.

WHOOOOOA

Coming back from that experience has prompted me to explore other areas of my life needing a serious value audit. I suddenly found myself being more mindful when making purchases, checking to see if they were sustainably produced, quality made, and even if they supported local/semi-local/small shops. As I’d run out of beauty and personal products, I’d research safer, cleaner alternatives that aren’t made with junk or tested on animals (I am always on the hunt and welcome your suggestions). When choosing vendors to use for my business, I explored the companies that invested back into its employees and clients (people first, people!). I started, too, evaluating my time, assets, and education so I could communicate with my own current/potential clients what my work product is worth… and not let fear of “not being enough” let me undervalue the way I conduct business. (Because, y’all: I still have to eat and pay rent, too… and we all know I LIKE TO EAT.)

In doing so, it brought me to other people who are also supporters of quality goods and services. Seeing them so gracefully declare their work to be of a certain quality so effortlessly has motivated me to be serious about my work. To stop giving away time and talents to people who can’t seem to get past that red clearance sticker, demanding and expecting more but wanting it for less.

And it’s not easy. In fact, it’s terrifying.

But what’s scarier is knowing I’ll burn out and live in a space of never having/being “enough” if I don’t make that change (and I’ve lived in that space repeatedly… there’s only so much I can spend on wine to keep getting through it). And I risk putting the well-being of the creative/photography industry at stake when I cheapen it with my own ridiculous fears of people not respecting my work. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

Harbour Affair Small Business

via: http://whitneyenglish.com/

I share all of this because I believe the concept of “value” is rooted in bigger conversations of appreciation and respect. While I’m not suggesting to go out and wildly spend your cash on top-tier goods and services, I am suggesting that maybe the ability to truly value things and experiences has been lost because they come so fast and cheap these days, easily replaceable and momentarily appreciated because the next “latest & greatest” is around the corner.

As a business owner and someone who really wants to be part of our coastal and larger digital communities, I’ve come to realize what I wear, what I purchase, what I put on my face (no matter how terribly I do it), what I eat, and what brands/products/shops I choose to support has implications. I know there are a lot of people who make these decisions for a status thing, and that’s not what I’m suggesting – but rather, taking time to invest in things with a little soul.

Listen. I will always be the $5 bottle of wine & Oreo girl at heart. And I truly do believe in being a good steward of money and choosing the sensible options to support one’s self, family, and business. You have to pick and choose, I get it, and the price tag isn’t always the best indicator of the true worth of something (I’m looking at you, $5 fancy grocery store bottled water).

And you’d best believe I won’t turn down the cute Target endcap find with brilliant layer of 10 bright red clearance stickers on it.

But I’ve learned being truly enamored with a quality piece of clothing or product instead of buying several cheap ones makes you feel better about putting it on and more careful to maintain it. And getting that little hand-written note in your purchase when you  support a local/small retailer is a feeling of connection you don’t get when you wistfully buy something at a big box store. And working with clients who appreciate and LOVE on your work because you deliver an experience that gets you both extremely happy you took the chance on each other… that’s the stuff of an entrepreneur’s dreams.

And one of these days I’ll get to one of my other dreams: eating my Oreos with a crisp glass of Dom Perignon.

But until then, I’ll do what I can.

And I welcome your suggestions on ways to do so, products to buy, or places to support that provide heart and value.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

#seanlucagram

Photo of my chubby chihuahua, Sean Luca (aka, Shark Luca), because we all know this is #priceless.

Follow:

2017 is here. It’s already February.

And I’m not even mad.

Celia G Photographie

2017 came in like a big, squealy sorority girl hug: a little loud and questionably tipsy, but with a gaping mouthed smile – maybe a little ugly-happy cry – and excited to get things started.

How weird to be sitting exactly where I sat a year ago… I was wearing 2nd (maybe 3rd) day old pants, crying, praying, thinking I had made a huge mistake in moving to our new coastal home and trying to take my business full time all at once. I was upbeat and positive on the outside, but internally I scared and lonely. Lost. The place John and I had wanted to call home for so long felt so nostalgic yet foreign and desolate. That yucky floating head of social norms boomed with a voice that said to let go of my ambitions and ideas and dreams of owning a profitable photography business. It told me to settle… so I went to the job boards and started planning how to quietly close up shop, at least “for now.” Maybe I’d try again later.

Thankfully, the voice of “Lil C” was louder. Much louder. And more persistent. And she only got more intense the more I snacked on leftover Christmas candy.

{For those of you who are joining us here for the first time, “Lil C” is the inner voice of my younger days… she was fearless and bright-eyed and knew not the meaning of limitation. She guides me on the regular.}

So I took small steps in my business. I planned and I set goals and I kept key people in the loop. I asked for how I could help. I asked for help myself. I also took literal small steps on the beach or local trails – lots of long, quiet walks with my little fuzzy butt to meditate or pray or let my mind wander uninterrupted.

celia g photographie

Things began to happen.

ALL THE THINGS.

And thus began one of the most wild rides I’ve ever been on that was 2016.

I ‘effed up a ton ( and pretty royally at that). I lost a lot of sleep. I had to ask a lot of John in terms of patience and understanding. I said “yes” to everything for fear I’d miss a big opportunity. I felt overwhelmed but never knowing where to start. I let the Doubt Monster and the Comparison Beast take up space in my head and my heart. I learned really quickly that there are some people who only see through the perspective of what they get out of things, never truly valuing creative work. I found out there were those who didn’t believe in my goals or who said mean things. I noticed there were people I had constantly supported and valued as friends who suddenly went silent or became apathetic or became difficult to reach.

It was embarrassing and so, so painful.

BUT, I also scored a few key victories. I gained some incredibly valuable experiences and learned a lot through taking chances. John continued to highlight the progress and express support. I discovered some splendid, magical, selfless (often hilarious) people who want nothing but good, GOOD things for my endeavors and our new lives here in this special little island community… even when I had nothing to offer in return. Some of those people even came out of those screwed up experiences, which feels even crazier that it’s all part of the story.

More importantly, there were people who stuck with me and were the wildly encouraging, funny, and graceful beings who held me accountable because they knew I knew better than to accept defeat. Even when things got tough or scary or weird, they reminded me repeatedly why I was doing it in the first place.

I often feel so undeserving of these people, new and old friends, far and near, because I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay them for what they’ve done and continue to do for me.

But I do know I wake up every day motivated to live into – if not beyond! – the space of generosity and ambition they’ve created for me. And it ultimately led me to my Word of 2017: Responsibility.

I toyed around with several words and thoughts for weeks: Fearlessness? Intention? Gratitude? While strong words, they didn’t feel quite right. In looking ahead to my 2017 year and the fullness of things already well in progress or already in planning stages – things I couldn’t even fathom sitting in my 2nd (3rd?) day old pants a year ago – I felt it needed to be a big, more encompassing idea. And “responsibility” hit me, hard, as I sat in the airport on my way home from Texas in early January 2017, filling out my 2017 planner and making To Do’s and scribbling down big ideas. They were all things I was insanely excited about, despite the crazy amount of work they’d take; things that other people helped make happen and believed I was the right person to do; things that Lil C screamed GO FOR IIIIT! while running in muppet-flailing arm circles.

I have a responsibility to give THEM the biggest YES’s!, to work whole-heartedly and appreciatively for the chances they’ve provided, and to hold space for relationship and friendship (hopefully over bourbon or waffles… or both). To realize I have something and someone(s) to work for with no room for distractions is something I’ve prayed and worked and wished for, for a long… LONG time.

celia g photographie

I realize that 2017 so far for the world at-large has been tumultuous and disheartening and scary. I’ve witnessed fear and self-importance and mean-spiritedness in ways and on levels I didn’t know existed.  It makes me feel guilty when something good comes along and creates a lot of “what’s the point” feelings. I feel compelled to say something, but I can’t find the words. The noise is deafening.

I’m not nor will I ever suggest one should be blind to what’s going on. But I will say the digital mobs will distract us from what’s going on around us – and being blind to how we can truly BE is how the bad guys take control. Or so I’ve noticed.

Being responsible to my commitments and the people who have given me so much while also giving everything I have to what I really feel I should be doing… that’s the only way I know how to deal with what’s going on in the world. To continue to feel things fully. To start giving back to the people and organizations in my community. To hold others accountable to live into their best selves. To be fully and totally aware and appreciative of the freedoms and “ordinary” luxuries I enjoy every day. To stay excited. To be inspired by people who don’t hide behind angry social media posts and classless protest signs… but who trust the process, do the work, believe in themselves, believe in others, and who just darned NICE people.

But anyone taking time to read this flatulent musing of reflection already knows what they can do to combat apathy, suffering, and ignorance.

And know I’m here to support you every step of the way. Because the world needs your light and laughter and joy. It needs it real bad, y’all.

For the times that get scary or rough or hopeless, I’ve got a full glass of red wine and buttery soaked waffle with your name on it.

Let 2017 give you that big squealy hug and feed your inner “Lil” that leftover holiday candy… because we have work to do. And we’re literally just getting started.

Hugs & high fives,

C

Follow:

During a random scroll on Instagram during a particularly stressful week, I stumbled on this photo posted by the Girl Boss account (source unknown):

Don't Give People Your Hotdog

While I’m sure this was meant to be a funny quip about not dealing with people’s BS, for some reason it really hit me hard.

Why the crap am I giving people who are rude to me my hotdog?

Stick with me for a second…

How often do we give so much of ourselves to people who don’t deserve it, whether it’s our love, our attention, our brain space, our time, our affections… to people who in turn do not value us and our talents and our pursuit of what light us up. Who are so worried about their own projected worth and success and busyness they have little authentic gratitude for people who support them.

And then, how often do we find ourselves saying:

“Well, my work/activity/practice/sport/creative endeavor just isn’t as good as hers, so…”

“Oh, I just don’t think I’ll ever be at his level.”

“They’re already doing _the thing that fires me up_ so maybe there’s just not room for the two of us.”

Or,

“They’re successful and saying all-the-things I should be doing… so I should be doing all-the-things, or I’ll never be successful.”

How often do we hear ourselves – the voice we project on the internet, the tone we project through conversations, the booming, nagging chatter in our heads – and think, “Who IS that?“… because it just doesn’t sound like us, but rather, the “us” we “should be” because some “expert” said that’s how we need to sound.

And how often do we talk ourselves down or apologize for our successes. How often do we let others steal our joys and sense of accomplishment with a snide comment or lackluster enthusiasm for our victories. How often do we shove our feelings of happiness and contentment down into our butts and choose to actively be negative instead?

How often do we feel like we need more. To be more. To make others believe we can do more – even when we’re already burned the hell out.

Listen, I know Misery loves company. But Misery is also a sniveling little twerp who makes life empty and small, and it’s AMAZING how society would rather we be upset about our jobs, our careers, our relationships, our physiques, our talents, and our homes. Like, we don’t know we have a problem until someone points out theirs, making us think we need to reflect on our own.

mean girls bad breath cool mom

It’s ironic (don’tcha think) that my “Word of the Year” was/is Joy. I’ve had to fight a little harder than I thought to hold on to that; and I’m ashamed to admit how much I told myself how stupid it was to choose it. Like it should’ve been “Boldness” or “Drive” or “Hustle” or “Fearlessness” or “Tiger-Blood” — because how could a sweet, Pixar-cute character of a word Joy be powerful enough to guide me?

Early October marked our 1-Year Anniversary here on the island; we joke our “10 Year Goal” to move to the island and pursue the the lives we wanted to lead came 7 years early… but it truly is a big, tangible thing for us. Funny enough, we discovered when we reached that big dream, that’s when the actual work started. And I was NOT prepared for the lessons I’ve learned this past year taking my photography business full time, in a new community, while also maintaining the commitments in my previous market. All the while pretending I had my ‘ish together, because I didn’t want to let anyone down.

stressed out i'm fine

Admittedly, I let a LOT of people get to me this past year.

I’ve lamented over some harsh things and personal jabs people have said about my work. I’ve let people walk all over me because I thought they had my best interests in mind. I’ve had people ask “So, what’s your back-up plan?” or who give me the half-hearted, “Well, good luck” with the slow eye-roll when I talk about my next steps. I’ve had people flat out say, “Well, it must be nice John can support you so you can do ‘creative’ things” — and I have to bite my tongue when I want to unleash the tirade of how I contribute to this family and this is my JOB and the ‘creative’ component of my day is 10% on a good day.  I’ve had people who ask for and expect the MOON but refuse to offer any appreciation or compensation for my work. I’ve had people — grown-a$$, accomplished colleagues and ‘friends’ — who ask for my support and help, but when I need it… somehow are unavailable and oh-so busy. Or, worse, they make it actively clear how little it means to them.

And I still gave these fools my hotdog. Every time.

I had every right to refuse service, refuse energy, refuse the superfluous work, refuse enthusiasm and support… but I still let them have it, quietly hoping they’d see that I loving made and dressed that damn dog and steamed that soft bun… that they’d discover sharing our stories over those dogs would make the world a better place. That my day at the cool table would come.

Friends, I’m here to tell you:

You don’t have to give them your hotdog.

In fact, you guard that perfect, special hotdog with your life; and you save it for the people who deserve it. You truly only have so many hotdogs to give.  Chasing glory and perfection and attention from deified, negative, heart-in-the-wrong place people or groups will only make you run out that much faster.  The people who ARE there and DO love you and WANT to see you happy (I think the whippersnappers are calling it a “tribe” these days), the ones that would happily accept that slightly-burnt-on-a-falling apart bun hotdog because they value so much that you would share — those are the ones you need to save your hotdog for. And one for yourself.  That table will be so full of magic and you’ll happily accept anyone who’s on their journey to their best and brightest self; and then, the table will grow bigger and more vibrant and hilarious and enlightening and joyful. And it will feel so, so good when you can celebrate each other’s hard work and success, even if you did get a little mustard on your shirt.

To those of you continue to ride the wave of weird and excitement with me, who in turn allow me into your journey, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. To those of you who gave me the space to speak a million miles an hour about my ideas, who push me to go big and dream big; to the people who gave me their hotdog when I least deserved it; to the fabulous, amazing, brilliant friends and family who aren’t afraid of being different, imperfect, and a little vulnerable, and STILL manage to pull off spectacular things; to the people who are so wonderfully kind and grounded in what matters…. the world is a special of a place because of you, and I hope you know that. And I hope you know who you are.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

Follow:

Today through my random social media scroll, I stumbled on this Human’s of New York post (click the link to read the full caption):

Humans of New York_Harbour Affair

Pretty much every HONY post hits me with a sack-full-of-feels, and this was no exception.

However, I quickly realized after a scroll through the comments,
I was the one of the few who didn’t feel sorry for this young woman.

Empathetic? Yes… because I have been there. I know all-too-well what it’s like to feel like the Queen of Loser Town. To take big chances and feel like you instead become a big joke. To believe the notion that checking the boxes of what society tells us to do is enough to get us to the big thing that makes us who we are supposed to be. That we’re supposed to have it all figured out by the time we walk across that threshold and turn our tassels and throw that cap in the air.

But sorry? Sympathetic?

No.

Listen, I know I get “real” on social media and share my insecurities and vulnerabilities — but I also try to share my gratitude for the things, people, and experiences that lift me out of them and into a space of trying again — and with gusto! This gratitude is a muscle I’m always flexing; I can be sharp, judgy, and quick to dramatize the seemingly insignificant, and I have to often remind myself how freaking lucky I have it. And not that I live 10min from the beach, but that I have generally good health, family who loves me, a roof over my head, and food on the table. How, in essence, how lucky I’ve always had it.

Easy? No. My day-in-and-day-out is always a struggle in one way or another. But I’ve always had the chance every. stinkin’. day. to decide what I’d make of it. And the day that truth hit me, and hit me HARD, is the day I stopped feeling sorry for myself. And for others who also truly do have the opportunity each morning to make decisions for themselves to change their situation.

I don’t know this girl’s whole story. I don’t know what other issues she has or problems she has to deal with in her day-in-and-day-out (see? I’m judgy). But if she’s genuinely passionate about this “dream,” she’ll be the best damn grocery store employee that place has ever seen, and she’ll tear that internship UP and learn everything she can. She’ll do the work with a smile. She’ll fail a little here, earn a serious win there, and she’ll catalogue the important moments and people along the way so when she DOES make it, she holds on to that dream for dear life and works even harder. She’ll be tired and terrified, but she’ll trudge ahead, being grateful for every scrape, bump, bruise, hug, happy hour, crying session, and squealing OMG IT’S HAPPENING moment along the way.

But many people don’t want to do the work. Many people don’t want to be honest about their truths. Many people want instant success, instant gratification, and instant glory. Or worse, they want to wallow and make excuses and hide from their true selves.

Many want to fall victim to society and pressure from “other people” (newsflash: these “other people” are too preoccupied with their own dramas to fixate too much on others, at least for what I’ve observed). Notice this young woman is more concerned about the people from her past, several states away mind you, and what they think than she is with the host of possibility in front of her. She’s surrounded by people who are “nice and educated and [have] dreams.” Isn’t that a gift to have Life place people around you who can inspire and help and be your honest-to-God friends and trudge forth with you?

Again, I don’t know this beautiful, tender-hearted young woman’s real story.
I’m basing an entire hastily written blog post over an Instagram caption.

But that sack-of-feels Humans of NY keeps pelting me with sure gets me thinking of other people who are like those they interview. And for some reason, this girl stuck out.

I know, too, I am of the social media cohort that posts many moments from my “highlight reel.” I know I get excited and share my successes, lucky moments, and things that send me into full-on Kermit flail. And I’m sorry if I ever made any of you think it came easy or conveniently or magically. There’s a lot of grit and mud and doo-doo John and I had to wade through to get to where we are. A lot of cheap bottles of cabernet and nights of lost sleep and neglected friendships. I was FIRED from a “successful” position in a “promising career.” I’ve had breakdowns in public places.

And we have FAR from “made it.”

by Mari Andrew https://www.instagram.com/bymariandrew/

By Mari Andrew: https://www.instagram.com/bymariandrew/

But that’s what’s made life interesting. And real. And exciting. And worth getting up for.

The people in our lives are those who inspire us to live authentically and not be ashamed of asking for help or laughing really hard at the ironies of Life. Who let us know it is perfectly okay to experience yucky or negative feelings, but holding us accountable to the responsibility to work through it and come out better on the other side. Who get that Life is a fact but also never has to be dull.

So to this young woman, to all the people this girl represents: Please know I’m not indifferent towards you. I don’t want to see you fade away or lose hope. I want to give you a big squeezy hug; and even though you’re silently mouthing “heelllp meee” to the stranger next to us, I hope you surrender just a little bit. I want to take you to the nearest greasy spoon and order the biggest, butteriest waffle and unkink your twisted gut. I want you to realize that in the end the worst case scenario is not that the people from your past think lowly of you; but that you think that way about yourself… and you never allow yourself the space to succeed and to fail. And then I’ll hug you again.

And to any of you identifying with this young lady, know I’d do the same for any of you. Seriously. Email me if you ever want to talk, to vent, to ask about resources that have helped me along the way… or want to laugh really hard at the ironies of Life. Or better, to celebrate your own Kermit-flailing moments.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

PS. If you want a 2.5min pep talk for why it’s never too late to follow your passions, this clip from Weekend Update is perfection. Leslie Jones is so boss it ding-dang warms my cold, little blonde heart.

Follow: