What an amazing experience.
I’m not going to lie; I was completely dreading this ‘job’. I had been following Fellow Flowers for a couple years, I knew what they were about, and at one point was really excited about being a part of the community. Last year, my goal was to run. To motivate myself I signed up for my first ever race: Crazy Legs. I’m so proud of myself for meeting that goal and Fellow Flowers was a group I would check out on Facebook every now and then when I was unmotivated. However, I totally injured my knee during that run and because of it, have completely fallen out of running again. And of course I feel like a failure in doing so. So as I begrudgedly packed my car up for Declare it Day, I gave myself a little pep talk that went something like this:
“Be grateful for the opportunity. Be confident. Be strong. Be brave. You’re going to kick ass, you’re awesome. Maybe the positive atmosphere will be good for you and pull you out of your funk. This is so you, Kaitlin, enjoy it. You’ve got this.”
Let me tell you how serendipitous this evening became. This particular day, I was in a funk. I was feeling bad for myself, I was sore, and I was grumpy. For many reasons, but keeping this related to business–I had just paid some of my taxes and was feeling like this little ‘thing’ that I do was all for nothing. Within 10 minutes of arriving to The Brink Lounge, where the event was being held, Mel (co-owner of Fellow Flowers) walked in. Nine months pregnant, but radiant as ever.
I had been taking some detail shots for a little bit–soaking up the atmosphere, and it was already impossible to be grumpy anymore. But after talking to Mel for a quick minute I knew without a doubt my angels had put me there for a reason.
To understand further, let me quick fill you in on the Fellow Flowers mission: “We are a women’s running movement that honors, shares and celebrates the reasons behind why women run…because we believe that every woman has a story and every woman runs with a purpose.” The event that I would be capturing is called Declare it Day, “a national movement encouraging and inspiring women to put words and dreams into action and declare a goal they are committed to working toward and achieving.”
So, this big event was all about goal setting. Stomping your doubts, declaring your goals, and breaking down any barriers in reaching it. (I felt like this night was made for ME.) Do you ever feel like your on the truman show? Like, you’ve been placed somewhere that your mind created and you were just being observed and controlled by some external director? Within a half an hour of arriving, I was TOTALLY looking for video cameras, or Ashton Kutcher to come out and Punk me. That’s just how totally right the evening felt to me.
This year, I only made one business goal. To shoot a birth. Within 10 minutes of meeting Mel in person, and joking about her being at this event on the day of her baby’s due date we had tentatively made plans for me to shoot her baby’s birth! WHAT!? I had just ‘declared’ my goal a few weeks ago on my blog, and within a month I could be fulfilling that. I couldn’t believe it.
The entire evening was awesome. There were a couple of inspiring speakers; one shared her story of triumph in-spite of horrible circumstance and heartbreak–another her story of constant optimism and staying happy, (her book can be bought here). Fellow Flowers also invited Her Madison half marathon whose charity partner is Girls on the Run this year. I loved hearing all of these awesome ladies speak and share their encouragement for women, and spread the word about their organizations!
So often we look to the bigger inspirations in the world: Maya Angelou, Dalai Lama, religious figures, the unknown, etc. But my goodness, just look around you! There are SO many amazing and inspirational people within our own little circles. Leading, inspiring, encouraging, and catching us when we fall. If you look, you can find them.
And if you let yourself, you just might bloom.