It was mid-September when, like every other day, I pulled open my e-mail first thing in the morning. Only instead of the usual junk mail, I had an e-mail from the editor of a local magazine. She told me they wanted me to be the cover girl for their Fall issue and asked if I was interested.
I was, of course, initially completely shocked. After shock, came excitement and honor. I knew I’d done some cool things and accomplished some unique goals, but hearing that someone else thought I had something to share was incredible to me. After I accepted, I briefly freaked out and hoped I would be “interesting” enough to be a good cover girl.
At the beginning of October I met with the photographer and the writer who would be handling my cover. The writer and I chatted for a while, and it went really great. I was just about to pack my things up and pat myself on the back for a job well done when she looked at me and said something that left me momentarily speechless (not something that happens often to me).
She asked me what I wanted people to take away from my story.
It was a question I’d asked others many times as a journalist, but had never really given it much thought about myself. After thinking about it I decided on this:
I want people to know that they can do anything it is they want to. I’m a regular girl from a small town in central Wisconsin. I’ve traveled literally around the entire globe, stood next to and interviewed sports stars like Derek Jeter and Robin Yount, and hosted live events with audiences of 15,000 + people. The only reason I’ve been able to do any of these things is because I let myself want it, worked really hard to get it, and above all else, I had faith in God’s unwavering love for me and his plan for my life.
I want you to know you are never not good enough for your dreams.
Your dreams, your goals, your passions, they matter. They are not dumb, or silly, or unrealistic. They are yours to go out and get. Light your life on fire and surround yourself with people who fan your flames.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in living my life on a daily basis, that I forget that my life is in fact a journey and a story. And that story can and should be used to inspire and help others. What we do day by day might not seem very special. In fact, as I sit here typing this in my sweatshirt from high school, a make up free face, and 3 year old slippers on my feet, I would beg to differ if anyone tried to tell me my life was glamorous or special.
I’ll be the first to tell you, my journey has not been flat, straight, or narrow. I’ve been confused, lost, depressed, and just downright miserable at times. I’ve made up my mind just to turn right back around and change it again. I’ve made the wrong decisions, and I’ve missed opportunities. I’ve done things the hard way, I’ve stumbled, and I’ve just plain face-planted into the floor (literally and figuratively).
But I’ve never let the bad times (or the good times) be the final chapter of my story. It is so hard to see it right now, as it’s happening, but each and every season of your life is important. The bad moments matter just as much as the good do.
There have been people along the way who have laughed at my dreams, doubted me, and just plain stood in my way. Every successful person has been through this. The difference is that they have risen above it. They have heard those doubts and they have proved them wrong.
I still have aways to go, and there’s a lot more dreams I plan to achieve, but right now, looking at this cover, I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come, and I’m pretty proud of the story I’ve written so far.