My niece is following her dream after a good bit of talking, explaining, begging and pleading on my part. She is going to cosmetology school. She has always wanted to do hair and makeup. She is an artist when it comes to that type of thing. I jokingly call her “Truvy” after Dolly Parton’s character in Steel Magnolias.
One day I was in one of those I don’t give a crap moods and I told her I needed a hair cut. She said I’ll cut it for you. I said Okay. So she did, then came the coloring. At that point, she had never taken a class. She has always done a fantastic job for me for free. That will change when she finishes school but I can live with that.
Her life took a profound turn when she became a mother. It was not expected but it was a blessing that we can’t be thankful enough for. She has three daughters now and they are all so very special in their own different ways.
Tonight Truvy and I got to spend some time together and talk. She is a wonderful mom and wife. She is one of the people in my circle and although we don’t talk everyday (and less now since she started school), she is one of those people who you just pick up with where you left off.
Sometimes I get her on my mind and worry she is stressing out over school and mommyhood and the balancing act she is trying to perform right now and I will just let her know she is on my mind. She is more than my niece. She is also my friend.
Tonight we were talking about my photography and she said I don’t know how you do what you do. I said what do you mean? She said when you are taking photos of people they can express emotion. You show emotion in things that can’t speak. You are telling the stories they can’t tell themselves. You see things that others can’t see or won’t take time to see. There is a ministry in your photography.
I just stood there. No one had ever said that before in those EXACT words. My person who is a much better photographer than I will ever be has told me that I am a natural born storyteller, that not only can I verbally tell stories but I also do so with my photography I do hear him and believe him when he says it. I just never thought anyone besides him noticed.
This young woman who I have encouraged to follow her dreams was telling me without telling me that I should continue to follow mine. I was stunned into silence. Which does not happen much you can ask anyone who knows me.
There are times when you wonder if what you do ever really matters.If you are making a difference, If you are just chasing your tail to have something to do, if you are getting it right. Sometimes you look within to see if you are just fooling yourself. At least I do. The negative committee that lives in my head always has seeds of doubt waiting to sprout. It seems like when they start to rear their heads and I am not able to weed them out, someone….my niece, my person, my best friend, a complete stranger at times will say something to make me shut down that committee and veto the ideas they throw out.
You don’t know how many times I have decided to give up on something and at just the right moment, the verification that I am on the right path comes along.
I know I don’t get it all right, I do try. I fail miserably and regularly, it doesn’t keep me from trying and enjoying the journey along the way.
The initial plan for my trip was for me to return today. Now I know why it ended early, I was supposed to spend some time with this remarkable young woman who after a 10 year break is now going after her dream. She will succeed. I have no doubt about that. She is very much like me in the fact that she sometimes feels lesser than but she is also like me that if she wants something bad enough, she will go after it and she will succeed. We may not take the most direct path. We may wander though meadows and over mountains but we will get there.