July 11, 2014

On Sweaty Palms & Stepping into the Arena

Happy Friday friends!

We are just wrapping up an incredible week in Seattle (but not before one last adventure to take the Bainbridge Ferry & channel my inner Grey’s Anatomy!), and then we’re headed down to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit! The WDS was actually the original reason for this trip out west & we signed up for it about a year ago. Every time we tell people that’s where we’re going, they ask us if it has something to do with Mussolini or Dr. Evil, lol! But it is actually this incredible conference put on by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Nonconformity & The $100 Start Up, and every year it sells out in a matter of minutes! And we were two of the lucky few who got seats!! So yea, we’re pretty pumped!

I’m in this really interesting season of my life where everything could just not be going more amazingly with the business & photography and all of these BIG amazing things keep happening. We honestly could not ask for more & I feel so incredibly thankful and grateful and just don’t believe most of it has actually happened most of the time, actually! Like I said, we couldn’t ask for more….and yet at the same time, I’m in this season where I feel like I’m being called to more.

See for me, the dream always started out with writing. I was that weird kid who would walk around thinking in her own narrative (“She picked up the toy & walked through the yard.”) And I’m lucky in that I get to do a good bit of that here on this blog and through things like The Guide. But I’m definitely walking into a season where I’m feeling called to have a part of my life where the writing stands on its own two feet, not necessarily photography specific. In truth, I think that part of the dream is to write business and/or motivation books and then to get to go around and talk to people about them. To look at them face to face and hear what’s going on in their lives. I want to give a Ted Talk. I want to have people read or hear my words and know that in, at least some small way, those words and that work helped somebody and made their lives at least just a little bit better. Basically, people like Brene Brown and Gretchen Rubin and Jon Acuff and Christine Caine are my heroes. And I’m feeling the call to take at least the tiniest “toe in the water” step into that arena. Whew. That just got real, really fast you guys. I’m sweating over here putting that out for the world to see! Talk about listing out some big ole’ hairy AUDACIOUS goals! Yikes! :)

Anyway, the WDS for me is the chance to get away for three days, not have the pressure of speaking at the conference ourselves, and just let people who’ve been there & are living the dream pour into our tanks for a while. It’s kind of a chance for me to take this dream of mine “to the mattresses” (not to go all Godfather on you) and see if it has legs to stand on. My hope is to do a lot of dreaming. And a lot of thinking. And come out of it with at least a vision for where to go from here.

Dreaming is scary you guys. Putting it out there & saying what you want for your life is super uncomfortable. It’s that sweaty palms, pit in your stomach, “who am I to say I want this” icky mire that all of the dreamers out there have to take their own turns wading through. Like molasses. It’s slow going and a lot of times it feels like you go it alone. But just know that you are not alone. If you are out there & there is a dream in your heart that kind of makes you want to throw up a little….just know that I’m right there with you. And honestly, I think those moments in life where we have the sweaty palms and the shaking hands and we want to throw up a little….those times when we stand right on the edge of the arena and then take that step….those are the times when we are most alive.

Let’s do this!

  1. Rebekah

    I can totally see you doing that! I am right there with you on your heroes. Love.Them. So jealous about the WDS, I am sure it will be life altering. Kudos to you for being vulnerable with your dreams with the great big internet. It makes me feel less strange for that seed of desire in me to have my thoughts and ideas mean something to someone else.

  2. Scarlett Lillian

    I think that’s so amazing that you are taking those steps to even first announce it to the world. Just saying it outloud is the biggest step of all to give ourselves permission to pursue that dream. And now that you’ve said it outloud, I just want to confirm for you that I recognize that gift inside of you and couldn’t imagine a more perfect path ahead of you. Go for it Mary! And I love Christine Caine too. I saw her once in person, she’s a hoot.

  3. Abby

    I’m so excited for you! You mentioned this very sort of thing a couple of years ago and I’ve been waiting to see it happen. If anyone should be giving made-from-real-stuff,-not-empty-fluff motivational talks, it should be you. Get. after. it. We’re cheering for you !

  4. Caitlin

    Yes! This makes me so incredibly happy. I have been hoping, waiting for this for so many years! Your images are stunning, and I love the way your weddings make me feel. But I have said "yes, exactly, thank you Mary" to myself hundreds of times over the years while reading your words. It is a gift and I am just thrilled that you are thinking of what these next steps could look like. Have an amazing weekend. Can’t wait for all that is going to come next for you!

  5. Jenny

    You belong on stage right next to Christine Cain & Gretchen Rubin…two of my personal favorites as well. You have an amazing gift with words, I can’t wait to see what this looks like for you!

  6. Lesley Stefanski

    I couldn’t imagine a better more motivational person to write these books and give amazing talks than you! So excited that you put it out into the world and are already starting to pursue it!! I’ll be cheering for you!

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