What’s your mission?
My mission is to be a little more me every day and to inspire others to do the same. I continuously unlock new pieces of myself, good and bad, and I try to find ways to embrace and appreciate those pieces that make us unique and/or united.
If you could have a conversation with anyone - past or present - who would it be?
My Grandma Ruth. I feel that I was given the opportunity to live out her life and legacy. She was diagnosed with lung cancer around the same time that my mom found out she was pregnant with me. My grandma promised that she would live to meet me and would not pass on my birthday. I was born in the early morning on August 4th, and Grandma passed the next day. This is the greatest show of love and strength that I have ever known. I’ve been told that she had the brightest smile and made the greatest food, so no matter the conversation, I would just want to spend a day with her in the kitchen.
What personality trait or skill do you consider your greatest asset?
Optimism and my ability to build people up. I don’t toot my own horn often, but I make a great hype-woman!
What attributes connect you to your purpose?
My empathy. The person sobbing in the movie theater when the horse dies in war, the dog is reunited with it’s family, or the ant’s colony gets squished by a human, that’s me. Sometimes, I feel too much, but I always find beauty in being able to connect with people on deeper levels. Feeling other’s pain helps me to stay humble. Feeling their excitement helps me to love bigger and fear less.
What does success mean to you?
The ability to find happiness in every day. Happiness comes from gratitude, forgiveness, surrounding yourself in good company, and doing what you love. If you find happiness daily, you find success.
What is the biggest challenge or greatest sacrifice you’ve made in pursuit of your passion?
To put aside the stigmas that come with wanting to be a creator. I picked a career path at age 16 because I felt pressured to go the route of security and wealth. The next five years would leave a constant void and yearning in me to create instead of pursuing the education path that I was on. I kept silent, trekked on, and finished my schooling, but with regrets. After picking up my first “professional” camera after college, I have never looked back. My camera has given me the opportunity to create daily, run a side business, and landed me the chance to be answering these questions as a part of the Lake + Co. Team!
Is there a significant decision you made or experience you’ve had that has forever shaped your life?
When I saw the opening for a spot on the Lake + Co. Team, I remember commenting, “Someone is going to get their dream job!” My fiancé looked at me and said, “why can’t YOU get your dream job?”. The first thoughts that went through my head included my lack of education in the field, and fear. When those feelings turned to hope and excitement, I was all-in. I turned in a resumé, had an interview, and was hired. With all the changes that this job has brought me already within the last eight months, I have a feeling that this decision will be a big one when I look back in 5, 10, 20 years.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I love to sing when I am happy, but I also find myself singing most when I am down. Singing helps me to shut out negative thoughts, people and noises. Not going to lie though, my fiancé plays a huge role in helping to build myself back up. He has been the best support system that I could ask for.
What are you afraid of?
Turkeys.. Not kidding one bit. Might be shedding a tear of fear while writing this.
Do you have a motto or philosophy that you live by?
“You can be bitter, or you can be better.”
Is there a piece of advice you’ve received that brought you to who you are and the meaningful work you do today?
Changing your mindset changes everything.
What words of wisdom would you want to tell your younger self?
Learn how to play an instrument.. Specifically piano, guitar or mandolin.
What are you most proud of? Or what do you envision your legacy to be?
I don’t envision a legacy per say, but I want to do my best to show love and kindness to everyone that I meet in life.
What does the world need more of?
Well, ketchup.. on everything.
Favorite place? Why?
The first few miles of forest service highway 15 after turning off forest highway 11. I know.. Specific, right? Especially for a girl who prefers her directions in boulders, buildings and trees. But if you know, you know! The trees swallow the road, and with each twist and turn, I know that I am one mile closer to my northern solitude. It is here that I feel grounded and uplifted all in the same.