Be A Believer, Dream Big & Prepare To Work Your Ass OFF!

We all have goals, aspirations, hopes and dreams. Sometimes they get suffocated, pushed away or drowned out from: fear, frustration, set backs or merely we run out of time…to make time…for them. I grew up in a family of realists…and though they were not: the paint the world as a rosy picture (kind of people) my parents did encourage us to have goals and dreams (however they should be pursued during our non-work…hours…its important to pay those bills and not just chase dreams with aimless hope). I appreciate how my parents raised us. And I raise my daughter similarly…BUT: I try to add little more rose color to the picture…I actually like the color.

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I had this crazy idea several months ago that I wanted to make a book about our local Charleston food community and culture. I expected it would happen several years from now (if ever). I’ve always been an idea person…my head is filled with them all the time. The idea I had for the book is somewhat different from a regular recipe book or cook book or picture book. Its kind of all of those things mixed up and told with the tone that I write my blog articles. I wanted to share the stories about who is actually growing our food, raising the livestock, fishing our coastal waters and making the food we order at restaurants. I could see it all come together. Not only did I want to write the book but I wanted to photograph the entire thing (I am not a professional photographer…but I have always had a knack for framing content well and for taking photos). But there were some obstacles:

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BIG PROBLEMS LIST:

  1. I don’t know anything about writing a book!
  2. I don’t any longer have any proper photography equipment!
  3. I don’t know how to start a project like this!
  4. Who am I to think I can write a book?

SOMETIMES THE TIMING OF LIFE AND SITUATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT A CLEARING IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR FEARS, FRUSTRATIONS AND LACK OF SELF BELIEF. IT IS IN THAT SMALL CLEARING IN THE THICKEST OF FOG…THAT WE EITHER: CHARGE THROUGH THE CLEARING OR STAND PARALYZED AND THE CLEARING DISAPPEARS. 

Due to a series of small events and a odd culmination of timing…I saw a clearing. I saw an opportunity. I choose to charge through the clearly and attempt to reach new places. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing but I was going to figure it out! The time was now, and with the help of my support team (good friends that are believers, doers and extremely inspiring people that I surround myself with…and am fortunate to have in my life, known as: “my core”) helped me to put together a plan to make this idea a reality.

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December 8th I texted one of my life long best friends (Krystal Meisel) who is a professional photographer in Portland and I wrote: “I have some cool projects coming up, I’m really excited, but I have got to figure out how to get to the next level….I need help brainstorming.” And help me she did…(BIG THANKS TO KRYSTAL AND VAL…this project never would’ve happened without you)!!!

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Dec.12th I went in to a studio and had a professional KICKSTARTER video made by the very talented: Keith Bradshaw and a sweet friend (Miss Travis Dew…also a photographer) helped me to compile a script to help me express in 1 minute and 30 seconds: who I am, what I’m doing, what I’m trying to achieve and how I need the help of my friends, family and blog/Instagram followers to make it happen.

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Dec. 14th: My KICKSTARTER project went live and I had 20 days to raise $10,000. I was excited, nervous and on the edge of my seat! Fingers crossed that this would work and I could use the funds to get the tools I needed to make this project happen! The following days were incredibly stressful…its hard to ask everyone you know or have ever met (through emails, texts, phone calls) to please check out my campaign page and please consider making a contribution. It wears you down little bit…but the thing that kept me going was my goal. Each day new contributions were posted and gained and I saw it getting closer and closer to happening…

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Dec. 31st: My project received full funding on KICKSTARTER and it meant I was going to be able to do the following: acquire the photography equipment, new laptop and editing software that I needed to begin my book. People have asked: if you needed a camera, why didn’t you just go buy one? Well that would’ve been nice. But I couldn’t. I’m a single parent (and while we have a great life that I’m able to provide for, there’s nothing left at the end of the week). I have purposely never gotten a credit card (because I have tried to keep debt to a minimal). I literally was never going to be able to acquire the equipment I needed to do this book myself. But this project…allowed me to get to the next step. This was a great and monumental way of ending the 2016 year and beginning the next. 2017 is going to be a busy and great year!!! 92 people contributed either with spreading the word about my project or by making contributions. I appreciate every single of them and know each of their names and will be indebted to them forever. They each made this project possible. They each are the creators of the next part of my life that I’m about to tackle. I am grateful beyond the ability of words ever being able to express.

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The project and purpose of the book is to outline and feature a yearly overview of our local food community and showcase each season…which meant (being in the middle of winter now) the project was going to need to come together ASAP!

January 8th: To date I have 15 farms, fishermen, chefs and product producers on board! There are countless supporters in various areas of expertise that have offered to help and assist me every step of the way. I am very appreciative about how receptive and excited everyone has been about being part of this project. I see it coming together….and its one of the most amazing feelings in the world to be making this happen. I have had numerous meetings each day since getting funded (hard to believe it was only a few days ago…because so much has happened already). I have 18 more meetings in the next week and then this thing is going to begin to roll. WOW!

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I have always believed in HOPE & HARD WORK. But this takes it to a new level. In 1 month, my life has taken on a whole new dimension and purpose. Of course I’m still working (all the normal hours of my regular job) parenting (which has no breaks…and I wouldn’t want one anyways) and balancing my own health…those things are staples in life. But all the other spare time…has new purpose and direction and I’m really excited!!! Thank You to everyone that has made this possible. I couldn’t have done it without you. Not only are you helping me, now…you have become part of a life experience that I will share with my daughter when she is older and I will explain to her that anything is possible and it is important to:

BE A BELIEVER, HAVE HOPE & PREPARE TO WORK YOUR ASS OFF…

(because the possibilities are limitless)…

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