My Journey

This weekend was incredible. I learned more than I ever thought possible. Above all else, I pushed myself. I felt the fear. I did it anyways. So here goes . . . you're going to need a blanket and a POT of coffee for this one. 16 minutes.


Lauren @ Every Last Detail said...

Congrats on stepping outside of your comfort zone and thank you for sharing this with everyone! I definitely think doing so will help and inspire so many. You inspire me every day and I have no idea how you do what you do, and do it so incredibly well! You are amazing Emily!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this. After reading all the tweets about all the MTH stops, I always have the desire to know what happens, how it changes people. And seeing you on your vid blog talk about it lets me know that I want to get there one day and get to meet all the folks I read about on twitter.

And I always wondered, also, about everyone, seeing people on twitter or blogging or their site and dreaming how nice it would be to not have my full time job, and my passion, intermingled. How nice it would be to be able to dedicate my passion as my full time work. But seeing people like you, talking about balancing both, makes me not feel like everyone is doing their passion and surviving. That others have to have the full time gig to push our passions more into the forefront.

So thank you SO MUCH for sharing. :o)

Katie said...

Thank you for sharing Emily! Stepping outside your comfort zone is so incredibly hard mentally, but in the end, I think it changes you for the better and you learn that you can handle it. So many of us are going through what you are going through, and it is inspiring to hear you talk about it. You have truly faced that fear and truly live each moment for that passion in your heart. After today, I think I'm ready to take a HUGE risk, and I just have to have faith that my passion will shine even brighter. Thank you for your encouragement today, hopefully more good things to come soon.

Cloud9_Raquel said...

Wow, wow, wow, Emily! I watched your vlog right after you attended the MTH intensive in Watercolor and was so inspired by your passion, but I can't even put into words how incredible today's vlog was to watch.

I literally felt like I was going to fall out of my chair when you shared that you have a full-time job, because I felt as though you were speaking directly to ME. You aren't kidding when you say it's hard (extremely hard) to switch modes and stay up into the wee hours of the night working on your dreams and aspirations. I work crazy hours and then come home at night and stay up on the computer reading blogs and working on launching my business until I can't see straight anymore.

I was actually at the Get Married Soiree and am sorry I didn't have the chance to meet you, but I'm happy to hear you had an amazing time in Atlanta.

Congratulations on pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. I can't say I do that often myself, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to in order to really stop dreaming and start doing.

Thanks again for your honesty and authenticity. I look forward to seeing your new site soon and wish you all the best!


PS - I'm also on Twitter as @Dragonfly_Love and have a Boston just like you guys! :)

Renae said...

Dang. I watched that whole thing. There's something so calming about your voice. You are definitely a natural born leader.

I'm telling you ... we're going to write a book together some day. :-)


meant to be sent said...

thanks for sharing emily! i can definitely relate — full time job + following your passion equals a lot of work :) congrats on putting it all out there!

Kristen Steele said...

OOOooh Emily. What a huge huge HUGE encouragement you are to me & I know to so many others who have a full time job + are also pursuing their passion.

I just posted a vlog where I stepped out of my comfort zone after today's MTH2010 in Nashville:

I am exactly in your position & have tried so hard to maintain a "make my blog look like I do this fulltime" persona, when in reality I should just be genuine. Be my authentic me like you said and lay it all out there.

Thank you for all your encouragement.

Much love and lots of warm {{hugs}},
Kristen Steele

p.s. My in-laws live in Clearwater so I promise the next time we come to visit I'm tweeting you & we should grab coffee.

Lydia Yeung said...

i'm reaching all the way from the west coast and giving you a huge hug. thank you always always for sharing and stepping out of your comfort zone. love your commitment to stay authentic. and it's so good to know how much determination you have with emily ley paper and a full time job you have passion for. i'm in the same boat, except for no passion for my full time job sadly. but you give me inspiration and strength to fight through it regardless. so thanks!

awesomesauce boomsauce,


Stacey Halphen said...

Emily, thank you so much for your authenticity! As you already know, you continue to inspire me. I realize it was very difficult to put yourself out there. I have really enjoyed watching your journey!

Also, thank you for reminding us to take chances and risks. I am at a point in my life where I needed to hear that. Not just for my business, but for some personal decisions I am trying to make.

It was also refreshing to be reminded that everything is not always perfect and "tied up in a pretty bow". Our journeys in our business and life are what they are. But, if we continue to work at them and put our heart into them we will reach that goal we have in mind and continue to grow beyond our dreams.

Thank you again, for your amazing blog! I am so anxious for the launch of ELP.


Jenni Bailey said...

Emily, this video is amazing. To see the relief and light in your face at the end, to watch that change take place in just 16 deeply honest minutes, was truly inspiring. I feel so honored to have been present at MTH Atlanta with you.

And I CAN'T WAIT to see the new website!

Amy said...

Emily girl, thank you so much for posting this! I feel a little voice from all these vlogs lately that is telling me to do one! I feel like I have been hiding behind the computer. I have to push myself to go there! Thank you for reminding me that it isn't about the destination but the journey! That is totally hitting me right now. I have to learn how to appreciate where I am and who I am with NOW because that is me! I will get there someday, but I don't want to focus on that anymore and just let it happen!

DeNeitra Vincent said...

Emily - your honesty is refreshing. You'd be amazed by how many wedding professionals are in the same boat as you - working full-time jobs while still trying to pursue their passion. I appreciate and respect your honesty.

I struggle with being a full-time graduate student as well as a wedding planner who is wholeheartedly trying to make things happen. You've inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone as well. So glad I listened to this post.

God bless.

amber Housley said...

Hey Emily - the best words I can put together in response to your posting, "hey, me too." :) I have an extra element added to the mix - I'm a mom of a one year old too. I see so few wedding industry vendors around me who are successful and have a young child. I guess I'll have to be the first success story. ;)

MonaB said...

Emily, Thank you so much for your open and honest post.You have certainly helped many of us in your same shoes. I'm married with 3 young sprouts (who are in many activities),work fulltime, and work late, late nights on editing photos and growing my photography business and building a brand. Watching your vlog made me realize that this is a journey and not a race. However, I can relate to how darn hard it is to keep everything balanced, especially when you want to give your best and be fully present in everything you do. Thank you again for being a light!

Melissa said...

Enjoyed watching your video and was encouraged to know that we are in all in this journey together to fufill our passions and be authentic while doing so. I had put off watching your video for a couple days because I knew it would be a reality check for what I need to do and am afraid of. Thank you for having the courage to speak freely and from the heart! I wish you the best and look forward to your continued success on your journey. Have a great weekend!

zerimar said...


I applaud your transparency in this video you've posted about your journey. It's awesome to venture out into the unknown. What makes your statements even more inspiring is that they are applicable to so many people regarding their fears and overcoming them to be empowered.

I've always had a love for design and didn't have much exposure to this type of platform growing up. After going into English Literature as a field of study I wasn't content. Once I developed an eye for brand packaging I now know what I want to do.

I'm David, by the way. A big guy from California who you'd think would probably work in an industry of heavy labor such as construction, or a machine operator, or possibly play for the NFL. However, that's not the case. I've dedicated many years in teaching kids and pursuing my design desires.

I can't say I've kept up with your journey as I'm barely tapping into various blogs that deal with photography and the "do it yourself" type projects. However, I've been in leadership before and it's never easy to take the helm and steer in the direction you want to go in when contrary winds are against you challenging the decrees you've made to will yourself in making things happen.

When you found yourself under the barrage of questions, where you mention you were viewed as a source, I can empathize to some degree. It's not pleasant when you've worked your butt of and people want answers or a quick fix. Your desire to be a resource is spot on, but empowering, by teaching, is key, rather than handing out answers and getting the juice sucked out of you for someone's benefit. It's not to say others aren't out there kicking butt at what they do, but sometimes giving a presentation or speech can create this platform.

Although one finds themselves around people who "get it" as in other creative minds, not everyone is on the same plane, although in the same pursuit. When you stretch outside of your comfort zone it pulls at your inner strength to take, rather than you giving. Environments unknown can at times take, where one is accustomed to freely give when in one's own environment.

But keep in mind that to empower others, you cannot limit yourself to the parameters of what you've always known as this stops growth. In this experience, the heaviness can come due to the withdrawal made by the environment from the deposits you've made in your safety zone. You'll get drained, pulled, pounced, pushed, challenged, and yet overcome, find familiarity, replenish, restore, and reposition yourself for a greater understanding of growth. From what I've seen thus far on your blog, and your online influence you are undoubtedly on the right track to make it happen, and it will.

Set your face as flint on a daily basis and push for the prosperity of your passion, because in the end it isn't really what you produce, it's what you become. What you become is what you will give, not only to your viewers but to generations that come after. Keep doing what you're doing; you're doing great!

rhembein said...

Oh Emily!!! Good job on the website, on being authentic, on ALL your hard work!! I "figured out" as you were speaking that I do the same thing you do. I had to pause you at about 10mins in because I had to try and keep it together, regardless of being alone watching it. I feel raw and too close to "the edge" to "go there" right this moment. But THANK YOU for doing this video blog post!! So inspiring to do my own, regardless of not being at that completed point and no bow to wrap it all up when handing it to people to judge.


Laura Reaux said...

Hi Emily! You don't know me, but I met Lara and Jeff at MTH2010 Nashville last week. They are incredible and inspired me a TON. I found you through Lara, obviously. :) Just wanted to send some encouragement your way... to say that there are so many of us who are doing one job while trying to build a business. For me, it's raising my 5 kids! That is definitely a full-time job, and homeschooling them, while trying to shoot (I'm a photographer), edit photos, and run the business side of things. It's crazy but it is going to pay off for us both and we will have a wonderful REAL-LIFE story to tell at the next stage of our journey. Keep the faith and be real... people will LOVE you for your honesty! I already do.