I can tell you right now this beautiful lady is going to kill me as soon as she sees this post. That’s alright. It will be worth it.
She’s worth it.
This was the day we visited Cut! by Cinemark to walk the venue to finalize the plans for our Chick Flick GNO next week. The plans for the site visit fell together at the last minute and Kim, our events assistant, had a previous commitment at that time, so I just jumped in the car. Meanwhile, Vanessa (our official HeartStories Photographer) wanted to come with me to scout out the space and lighting set up. Most anyone who has worked with me can attest that when I’m working, I’m looking for efficiency, especially in the summer. I’m passionate about what we’re creating in the world, AND when it comes to my to-do list, I’m all about getting it done. Vanessa is a dear friend and I knew we might get sidetracked in conversation, so I agreed while letting her know, I was on a mission.
We met in the parking lot and headed inside together.
Wouldn’t you know it, Vanessa jumped right in, helping me measure the room, think through the layout, the flow, and all the things. She snuck pictures of me working and talking with Dustin, the manager. She made me jump in front of the camera to share the space with our community. She saw needs and immediately filled them in every way we could. She sees what other’s miss and she takes action to do something about it. I didn’t expect to need help that day, but Vanessa was a lifesaver. That’s the thing about Vanessa.
That’s been her thing since Day 1.
We used to have a different photographer for our girls night out every single month and coordinating that was a huge lift for our team each month. Vanessa and I had become “mom friends” at school and she’d been attending GNO. Early on, she saw the vision and volunteered to be our dedicated “Headshot” Photographer for our members. Then one day, we got in a pinch, needing an event photographer at the last minute and Vanessa stepped up to the plate. Portraits are her thing, but she’s a get-it-done-girl who takes care of her people. She shines at capturing, beauty, strength, love, and connection through her lens. From that day on, she became our “official event photographer”, not because I asked her to, but because she has a heart of pure gold and she can see the vision. Even back then, she saw where we were going, and she wanted to be a part of it.
She’s been an exceedingly loyal member of Team HeartStories ever since.
It reminds me of that infamous scene in Jerry Maguire when he just lost his job, and he was losing his mind while exiting the building. Jerry was the get-it-done guy who didn’t need anything from anyone. He had a vision of where he was going, but he was the only one who could see it. Well, the only one except for Dorothy. When he stands in front of his entire office of newly ex-colleagues and exclaims, “Who’s going with me?!” and it’s eerily quiet . . . until Dorothy sheepishly stands from her cubicle, looks him straight in the eye and says, “I’ll go with you, Jerry.” He didn’t expect to need help from Dorothy, but she saw the vision and she reminded him of it, on the days when he couldn’t remember it himself. We all need friends like Dorothy on our missions. We need friends like Vanessa.
Even when we think we’re fine and we can do it on our own.
We need friends who stand up, maybe even with their knees shaking, not knowing exactly how it’s all going to go down. Friends who will look us in the eye and say, “I’m going with you.” Those are the kind of friends who help you replace that negative noise that inevitably fills your head, just like it does mine almost every day. They’re the friends who show up when everyone else is busy doing other things. They’re the friends who stick around when everyone else is tired and has forgotten where you’re going. They are the friends who fully see you. They are the friends like Vanessa. Hold them close. Cherish them.
Be one of them.
When you see a friend losing her mind, fighting with all she’s got . . . show up for her. Even when everyone else is looking around with a side-eye like she’s gone completely wacko . . . stand up, look her in the eye, and tell her you’re going with her. Remind her of who she is. Tell her that you can still see where she’s going. Most importantly, tell her you’re going with her and do it. Stick with her no matter what. Nothing in the world can replace the presence of a true and loyal friend. Nothing.
“I’ll go with you!”
Tell a friend today.
to more love,
P.S. Thank you for believing in me and going with me Vanessa. It means more than you’ll ever know!