I jolted awake, knowing the chill in my bones was not coming from the frigid December air. Sharp pangs shooting down through my belly and down my side, it was the beginnings of an unwelcome stomach bug.
I tried to stay in bed awhile, but finally succumbed to the restlessness and insomnia and got myself up and down the stairs — there was no need to toss and turn my husband awake too.
I cried silent tears into my laptop, some falling because of the stomach pain but mostly because this holiday season was feeling incredibly turbulent after losing Bella 3 months prior.
As I stared, glazed eyes, at the blank computer screen in front of me, I began to browse the only thing that was bringing me a bit of light in the dark: Photography
Tips, inspiration, blogs, galleries, images, reviews, I wanted to soak it all in. I was determined to start a business when the new year turned in a few short weeks. I wanted to build new bonds after losing the internal bond to my daughter. To rebuild connections when so many didn’t know how to connect with me in the face of my grief.
I wanted to feel again.
I wanted someone, anyone, to see beyond the smile I was pretending to plaster on my face and realize I needed help finding my footing again.
And then, in one of the lowest of low moments I can remember where sickness was piled on top of pain on top of grief, I found it. My beacon of light
All wrapped up nice and pretty in a blog post called: Encouraging You To Soar
Photographer, blogger, and teacher Me Ra Koh was offering a scholarship for moms to win the experience of a lifetime: receiving a DSLR camera and a slew of accessories, year of personal mentoring and lessons on how to use it, and learning to build a photography business from the ground up.
The tears halted. I didn’t even notice the pain in my belly anymore. I think a soft smile may have even graced my lips.
This scholarship was written for me.
I want to fast-forward a bit here, because technically this story doesn’t have the happiest of endings. I didn’t win Me Ra’s contest. I’m actually going to be really brave and share my 4 year old video entry for you here today.
I also want to remind you, that winning comes in many different packages.
I may not have won her contest, but I won an even greater gift. The gift to go after my dreams on my own, without carrying the ‘winner’ title.
I went on to make time for exploring my passions and embracing my new hobby. To seek out the perfect photography course for me and pinch my pennies to get there. To jump in to my dreams before I felt ready.
And, Me Ra certainly made an impact on me. It’s because of her that I’ve always wanted to be able to offer some sort of scholarship here too.
Today is that day. And it’s a big one.
Here’s how to enter:
- Record a 2 min. or less video answering the following question: How will this scholarship help you (or your nominee) love life more behind the lens of a camera? Moms may enter themselves, or you may enter a friend or family member you know would benefit. Bonus points for creativity.
- Upload your video to either: You Tube, Instagram, or Vine. Once it’s been uploaded, be sure you’re on a computer (not a device) and click over to the Beryl Ayn Young Facebook page. There is a special tab there for officially submitting your entries. Or just click HERE to submit.
- Good karma points will be awarded for sharing the contest and/or your entry with friends.
- Entries will be accepted through Thursday January 16th at 11:59pm. Myself and an advisory panel will review all entries and will make a final winner selection. Winner will be announced, and their videos will be shared here on the blog no later than Monday January 20th.
Ready to submit your entry? Click HERE now to be walked through the process!
Know someone who needs this and want to share it with them? Click the share button below to share the love on Facebook.
Curious to know more about the Momtographie Online class that our scholarship winner will receive? Click HERE for all the details.
I know the idea of video is scary. The idea of putting out your hopes and fears is even scarier. But I wanted to share my story earlier to let you know that it can be the first step to something bigger and more beautiful for your life than you ever imagined.
For you this contest may not be about growing a business or overcoming loss. That might not feel bigger and more beautiful to you. And that’s ok.
Your bigger and more beautiful may simply be capturing the life of your family more successfully this year.
I want you to know I see you even when you think no one else does. I know you’ve been hoping for someone to grant you the permission to go after this new hobby and give back to your family and yourself.
I can’t wait to see your video and how this scholarship could change your life.
My wish for you in 2014 is that whether you win this scholarship or not, that this is your first step into making this the year you go after your photography dreams because they matter.
Have you been taking part in my free week long mini class this week? We’ve been having SO MUCH fun, and it’s not too late to join in. Click HERE to get registered and see what you’re missing. This class is for ANY type of camera owner. See you there!