Part 3 of 3:
Two Days after the Inspire Photo Retreat I left on a soul seeking journey to Ecuador for 10 days. I traveled with a group of people to work at an orphanage in the Amazon. ( This will have blog posts all of it’s own I promise ) It is here where my journey, my purpose, my NEED to live life came to light. Upon returning from my trip to Ecuador I took a couple days to unwind.As I was sitting in my bed I started thinking about my future goals and plans in my personal life as well as my business. The list started looking like a scroll of the 10 commandments except there was A LOT MORE then 10 on that list. My business ideas started rolling out and I could feel this sense of excitement coming over me as I realized how much clarity I suddenly had. In that moment I slowly dropped my head back, peered up to the picture on my shelf of my friend Eric , smiled behind my bitten bottom lip and then whispered , ” Congratulations Nicole……. You’ve found yourself again ! ”
I wasn’t just a wife and I’m not just Christian and Carson’s Mom , I’m SO MUCH MORE and Christin’s tattoo was right… ” I AM ENOUGH! ! “
- I’m a cheerleader for the underdogs, the timid, the reserved, the broken, the lost ones.
- I’m a believer in the quality of life. Enjoying the simplest beauty that it has to offer including the ray of light that escapes through the small break in the clouds. I seek adventure. Life is BEAUTIFUL. I want to Enjoy it! I want to Live it !
- I believe in tight hugs and uncontrollable laughter. They are calming and healing. I hold a self earned PHD in both. Just ask my friends and family. I turn non huggers into huggers.
- I own a successful business doing what I love, meeting new people, capturing their moments, sharing their stories through my eyes and reminding them of their own beauty, vulnerability and loving connections.
- I’m a humanitarian. I do not believe slavery, abuse , torture or hunger should be deemed acceptable in ANY culture.
- I’m an advocate against Domestic Violence and for Women and Children’s rights because I am a survivor of Dating Violence and a voice for the voiceless and defenseless.
- I believe ALL women are beautiful, fearless and strong. That we should lift and empower each other. Be supportive, courageous and never be afraid to let our voices be heard. We are more powerful then you can imagine.
- I believe in giving yourself permission to be a child , to let go of seriousness and just BE for awhile. Blow bubbles, use crayons , giggle until your sides hurt…… DO IT!
- I don’t believe in judgement. Everyone has a story and you’ll never know all of it. The only shoes you’re going to walk in are your own and nobody knows your full story, so eliminate the criticism of others.
- I’m a lover and a fighter. I love people HARD. I know no other way. I fight to help others. I fight for me. My children. My beliefs and to be fearless. I fight in the ring. Muay Thai has been my outlet for many years and I’m owning it.
- I love children. Not just my own, but in general. Their laughter, their innocence, their imaginations, and often times, their own fearlessness. When given the chance children teach us more about life then our own experiences can.
- I am BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY. I may be a mixture of heritages and lack exotic features but I am BEAUTIFUL because I am ME. Enough said.
- I believe in always seeing the best in others. Pay a compliment to someone every day no matter how much they may get under your skin.
- Most importantly, I love milk chocolate, baked brie cheese with raspberry preserves. I love Indian food to the point where I think I was Indian in a past life. I sing in the shower and the front seat of my car like I’m on stage at Madison Square Garden. I am ticklish and LOVE to laugh, I play with my hair when I’m nervous , I freak out at spiders, I hate public speaking but do it for my causes and my passions and the civeche made by the tall Ecuadorian man at the Panacillo in Quito is refreshing and to die for. ( I am dying to have some of it RIGHT NOW actually)
I could go on and on. Though this post isn’t really the end….. there’s certainly more to the journey as my life isn’t over. It’s just the fact that I realized It’s OK to be ME. Which we all know already but sometimes we let our insecurities control more of who we are. Even though I’ve lost so much that I’ve worked hard for along the way, I’ve gained something that NO AMOUNT OF MONEY can buy. And Being ME, a wholehearted me, lets me know that I’m alive and happy. For years I have lived for others (who can’t relate to that? ), with the exception of my children , who I still live for. But I live BECAUSE of them. I live to show them that life isn’t just about big fancy houses, expensive cars, clothes and exotic trips ( though I do work to take them, I won’t deny that ). It’s not about the exterior beauty or the superficial things in life. It’s not about impressing anyone and it’s not just about you. I live to show them what happiness is.
Happiness lies within you, and when you have it, you share it with others and the riches, the success, however you define it, the rewards…….. that follows.
I’m a mother, a photographer, an adventurer, a seeker of joy , a free spirit. I love to enjoy the simple things of life and work hard within my passions to do it. I’ve rediscovered WHO I AM ……. I am Vivid and Brave…….. I am ME !
I would love to hear about who you are too …….
If you missed the first 2 parts:
Part 1: What Happens when the Rock Shatters?
Part 2: Vivid and Brave: Rediscovering Who I am
photo by : Anthony Decarlo