I had a very fun childhood. I have so many vivid memories of playing with my friends outside, until it got dark, climbing trees, finding new hiding spots… I had a REAL childhood. The kind I want my kids to have.
When I got a little older I started dreaming of what I wanted to be when I grew up, and so one day I asked my dad: “daddy, can I be a singer?” And I remember him telling me “of course,” and that the moment I had enough songs for a cd he would help me make a record. I was so excited about it!
Then I started writing like crazy. And reading hundreds and hundreds of pages every day. I finally wrote a short story and I asked my dad: “daddy, I think I want to be a writer, can I do it?” And he said: “if you write a book I will publish it!” I consider myself a writer to this day, although I never finished that book.
Then I became a teenager and started drawing dresses, and getting very interested in becoming a stylist, and I went to my dad and asked “daddy, do you think I’m good enough to be a designer?” And he said: “of course you are good enough, you can do, and be, whatever you want in life!”
When it came to my dreams my dad made me feel like the sky was the limit, like everything was possible, if I just worked hard to get it. He never once put me down or told me what direction to go. He gave me wings and told me to fly.
When I was 23 I lost my corporate job. I remember crying and feeling this awful knot on my stomach. I fell asleep and when I woke up I called my family. I remember asking my dad: “daddy, do you think I can do photography full time?”
That was 6 years ago. I put in the work, and I’ve been full time since then.
I wanted to share this because I want to be like my dad when I grow up. I want to empower my children, I want to give them my time and attention, I want them to feel they can come to me for advice, I want them to know I’m their biggest cheerleader, I want them to know they can do it. Always.
Our words carry so much weight in them. For a child who’s just learning hot to grip the world, I want to encourage you to use your words wisely. Help your children grow to be strong and feel capable. Help them see they can go far, if they just believe they can. Show them that YOU believe in them. Always.