I could never thank the stars enough for aligning and bringing these two souls into my life. When I think of these two I smile, my heart smiles and I'm reminded of this quote,
" .. The Good Fight is the one we Fight because our heart asks it of us ... ".
It's from a much larger passage in The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho that speaks to me on so many levels and in fact made me cry the first time I read it last year (I was a little late on the Paulo Coelho train). In order to do it complete justice, I would like to share the entire passage with you:
" The Good Fight is the one we Fight because our heart asks it of us ...
"The Good Fight is the one that's fought in the name of our dreams. When we are young and our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven't yet learned how to Fight. With great effort, we learn how to Fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result or our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to Fight the Good Fight...
"The first symptom of the process of killing our dreams is lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to Fight the Good Fight ...
"The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don't want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wide and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, as we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what's important is only that they are Fighting the Good Fight.
"And finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams--we have refused to Fight the Good Fight. "
Although this passage can be interpreted in many ways, for me, Kristin and Sam are the epitome of Fighting the Good Fight. In their professional lives, in their personal lives and in their conjoined lives. It shows not only in their accomplishments but by the amazing people who surround them. They dream big, encourage others to dream big and are doing everything in their power to make that happen.
There's a supplementary connection I tend to gain when shooting destination weddings. It's the feeling of being one of the group. An attendee, not just a worker. It's an amazing high that resonates throughout my personal and professional life. But I have to admit, there was something more to this wedding. I could chalk it up to the stars and the universe working their magic or to the mere fact that Kristin and Sam are incredible individuals, but being a part of their wedding reminded me just how powerful and vast and beautiful this world can. I was not only a part of the group, I was a part of something bigger, bigger than myself and my profession. And, arguably, as of yet - bigger than my brain can comprehend, as the correct words escape me and I fear that I am not doing my emotions justice. But I walked away that weekend with more than just new friends, I walked away with kindred spirits and aspirations to do more and want more out of life. The desire to and reminder to "Fight the Good Fight" and listen to what your heart asks of you.
(a wee-bit of their professional background)
Sam is co-founder and CEO of Sandboxx, an app that converts texts, emails, photos into "physical mail" and delivers it to deployed service men and women who otherwise couldn't be reached by family members and loved ones (plus so much more). Kristin is making strides in her dedication to showing people how to be the best that they can be, promoting passion, commitment and support to the dreams that speak to your heart. As the co-founder and CEO of WYLD, an empowering retreat built to "articulate and architect the life and career we define as important and meaningful", as well as a consultant at Gallup and The Clifton Foundation, which "encourages the entrepreneurial skills among the District of Columbia's youth", she cultivates a passion, commitment and sustainability for people's dreams that may otherwise dissipate in the weight of today's world.
.Thank You Stars.