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        Somewhere between missing my connecting flight and getting the flu after the first night of the Rise Business conference, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this.”

        Before I go into details, the main thing I took away from this trip wasn’t what I expected at all, but in this season of life, just what I needed:
        Pursuing my dreams is hard, REALLY hard, and honestly, sometimes I doubt the big vision of the future I have in my mind. But every single person who stood on the stage with years of success spent time talking about how hard it was to get to where they are. It was a breath of fresh air, to have these insanely successful people say, “I failed a million times before a breakthrough. If I can do it, you can too.” I mean, THANK YOU AND HALLELUJAH!

        Being at this conference was exactly like trying to drink from a firehose, even trying to type a recap of the 72 hours feels impossible. I was there to work, so since that was my first priority, my mind tried to retain absolutely everything I heard without the luxury of writing notes down. Though I don’t have direct quotes remembered word for word, I have feelings.

        It was kind of like going to a party with all of my best friends without a phone to document it. What you may lack in actual footage of the party you make up for in memories and feelings. Do you know what I mean? It’s why you see signs at a wedding ceremony begging you to put your phones down, something happens when you are present, without the distraction or worry of saving every little detail.

        Having a job to do meant feeling the emotions of the speakers, the energy of the audience, and doing my best to capture the feelings as the only description. It was magic, pure magic. And it’s exactly what I needed.

        I’ve attended conferences and workshops where I wrote down every sentence, but walked away without a transformation of heart. This was different. When the audience jumped to their feet to dance and cheer, I felt my heart beat out of my chest with excitement. When a speaker made half the room cry, I was wiping tears behind my camera right along with them. I felt, therefore I was impacted.

        I felt like I walked away with something more precious than head knowledge, confidence. Not only did I get to photograph an amazing three days, I went from, “I can’t do this,” to “I’m going to do this.”


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