Your Dirt is Beautiful

peaks of otter trail with butterflies

Funny story, I wrote this on my drive home from DC where I attended The Event! Don’t worry, I pulled off the highway & put my car in park. The Event was a full day of 10 speakers talking about wedding photography business topics & also just their hearts & what they beat for. On my drive home, my mind was racing & bouncing from idea to idea, memory to memory, dream to dream that I felt like it was going to burst! That is usually when I write, at times in my life when the words feel like they are spilling out of me & cannot be contained any longer.

So here I sit pulled over, writing, on my drive home! Okay, okay! I did stop to get gas because I needed to fill up my tank, BUT I did it a lot sooner on my drive home than I needed to because of this urge to get the words down. My pump is actually starting to beep at me now because it’s been done for awhile, I guess if you take to long to put the pump back in its “nozzle” it starts to beep at you as a warning. I’m also pretty sure that there is a line forming behind me now of other travelers eager to get home. It is now 2016! We have an entire year ahead of us, but before we say adios to 2015 lets all enjoy the positives that came out of it. Take what you loved in that year & keep it with you! Back at the end of 2014, I stumbled upon this writing, that as I read the words I knew the exact person I should be sending it too, one of my dearest friends.  I think the article was actually on ! This friend needed to be reminded of the meanings to these words at that point in their life. In fact I think we all need this writing at any given point in our lives. I needed it years prior, for several years in a row, but never came across it. Not until someone so dear to my heart needed to read them.

I’ve kept that writing to ourselves, almost sacred & have never shared it because at that time something in me felt that it was only to be for her. That me finding it & wanting her eyes to scan over those words & take them in would lose meaning, if I shared it more publicly. Well, now she is on fire & taking her life by storm & doing all of these amazing things for herself & for others. Any words I tell her or she tells me I feel in a way are sacred to us, but because of this I feel that I can share these with the world now. Share them with whoever else might need it because let’s face it, life is hard & unpredictable. We all may need to read these at some point & take them in for reasons of our own. I don’t want someone else to find this years later & think, “I really needed this two years ago,” because that’s what happened to me.

I want you to stumble upon it when you need it & be able to take it with you along your life’s journey. I want you to be able to remind yourself that the dirt under your fingernails took work, it means that you made it through, that you are making it through! Our hard times can make us into better people, more passionate people, but that doesn’t mean we deserve them at all! Our hard times aren’t beautiful, I will never say that to you or to myself, but the dirt we get under our fingernails is. Be proud of the dirt under your fingernails & be proud of how far you have already come. The kind of person we learn & grow to be is beautiful. In the words of Mary Marantz yesterday speaking at The Event, “You are doing… just fine.”

This writing that I am talking about is long, but I promise you it is WORTH IT! I never found the writer, but hopefully they know how grateful I am to share this with the world:

Because 2014(2015) was hard for many, many people. For you, it might be going down as one of the worst years you can remember. For you it may have brought you to your knees more times than you could count. For you, it may have left you breathless… hopeless … tired & weary.

But before you eagerly slam the door on 2014(2015), I ask you to look down at your hands. See that dirt under your fingernails?

My friend, that is beautiful. That is remarkable. That is significant. You could have let go. But you didn’t. You could have given up. But you didn’t.

You hung on. You hung on. And here is what I believe:

I believe 2014(2015) was not your worst year, but possibly your greatest. Your year of greatest strength. Your year of greatest hope. Your year of greatest patience. Your year of greatest risk. Your year of greatest determination. Your year of greatest courage.

Just look at that dirt beneath your fingernails. That is what you are made of. Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it remarkable? Isn’t is significant? 

It was your year of greatest survival & you lived to tell about it. Thank you for holding on. Let us celebrate. Let us celebrate. The light overcame the darkness.

You hung on, quite possibly you crawled or climbed using the dirt as a foundation for your hands to grab onto. Because of that, it’s under your fingernails & that my friend is significant. In our lives, in our business, in our minds that always like to second guess ourselves, lets take time to acknowledge the dirt & don’t be afraid to celebrate that work you put into getting it. Your dirt is beautiful & significant.