Have you ever been in the presence of someone who has found their passion in life? I run into people like that all the time. They light up when they talk about their day. They make you feel like you want to DO something…anything. They are inspiring and motivating and completely magnetic.
Well, it was an unexpected surprise to run into three people like that last weekend.
I mentioned in last week's post that my neighbor, Karryn, invited me to go on this scrapbook weekend with her. She has been going on these weekend retreats for the past 15 years, at the same bed and breakfast and with the same group of women. I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the thought of being the "new" member of the group. But as soon as I got there, I realized that was a silly thing to worry about. Everyone was so nice and so warm and welcoming.
The first person I met and connected with was Karryn's friend, Emma. She is currently a librarian at an elementary school so of course I was immediately interested in her job. (I have wanted to get my Masters in Library Science for years and just keep putting it off.) Emma got her Masters two years ago. In the course of our conversation we learned that we have tons in common. We both have teaching degrees, hers is from a Georgia university and mine is from Texas. She became certified in Georgia first and then moved to Texas and certified there. I started in Texas and then certified later in Georgia. She taught for awhile but then stayed home when her son was born. We are both music minors. We both love Maroon 5 and Mozart. We both play the piano. Emma and I had so much fun getting to know each other. She is a fascinating woman. During the time she was raising her son, she started a blog/website/company with teaching tips and strategies to help teachers do a better job in the classroom. She has written books and taught seminars, and a few years ago was contacted by someone in INDIA to travel there and teach their teachers to be more effective in the classroom. She went…all by herself…and spent three weeks on a speaking tour of the private schools in India. Unbelievable! I could not get enough of her experiences and I'm sure she was exhausted after all of my questions.
The second person I met was Karen, the owner of the bed and breakfast we stayed in. I was completely fascinated by the whole process of running a bed and breakfast, so I asked her how she and her husband came to find the place, what they loved about it, if they had previous experience with property and people and the hospitality industry, what was a surprise to them, and how long they thought they would stay there. She was absolutely delightful to talk to. Once again, she didn't mind my interrogation and she patiently answered every single question I had. I have never wanted to own a bed and breakfast, but after watching Karen and her husband come to life with a house full of people to cook for and entertain, a tiny little part of me considered the idea…just for a little while.
And the third unexpected person I met was a man named Darryl who was there taking pictures of the home and property to update the bed and breakfast blog. Emma and I got the breakfast a little early on Sunday morning, and Darryl was there taking pictures of the kitchen and dining area…with his iPad! What?? Of course, I was shocked and horrified that he wasn't using a camera, so I had to ask him all about it. Do you know that he is a professional photographer and doesn't even OWN a DSLR!? Since I had spent the entire day Saturday pouring over DSLR books and experimenting with camera settings, I had to find out the scoop on his business. And honestly, he talked so fast and shared so much, that in just the short time I spent with him, I felt like I had completely missed the technology boat. He exclusively uses either his iPhone or his iPad to take all of his pictures, and then he edits them right there on his iPad with apps like Photoshop and iVideo and IVeeJay. Amazing…he showed me how to take still pictures and turn them into slide shows, complete with a personalized soundtrack, in about 5 minutes. He showed me how to merge movies and manipulate music so that you can avoid copyright infringement (I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, but it was good to know what the boundaries are.) There really is nothing you can't do with an iThing. You don't even have to know anything about aperture or shutter speed. It's so fast and so convenient. I don't know if I'm ready to convert to investing in an iPad for all of my pictures, especially after falling in love with my camera all over again, but it was fascinating to listen to him tell me about this little passion for technology and pictures that has led to a thriving career.
I came home on Sunday bubbling over with all the new things I had learned and all the people I had talked to. Craig could barely stay awake late into the night as I told him about every detail of my weekend.
What I thought was going to be 48 hours of sleeping late and listening to women reminiscing over baby pictures, actually turned into a rejuvenating, inspiring and re-motivating weekend that ignited something in me to walk toward those things that make me light up. I so want to be one of those people who is magnetic and enthusiastic about life. I may not teach seminars or travel to India. I may not own a bed and breakfast or design websites. But there are things that I genuinely love to do and talents that I have been generously blessed with. And after this weekend, I realized that when we figure out what our super powers and passions are, we have a responsibility to use them to connect and bring light to those around us.
I am so grateful that Karryn was persistent about inviting me to this weekend retreat, and I am so grateful to have been in the company of those amazing people. I could not have planned a more perfect weekend.