• SOAR!ing Revisited

    The question of the week from my friends, family, and coworkers has undoubtedly been:

    Have you found out about the SOAR! scholarship yet? Did you win?

    The short answer is the winners were announced last night and no I did not  “win”.

    But the answer I should be giving runs so much longer, deeper, and is much more meaningful so tonight I give you the full scoop on what this experience has meant and done for me.

    When I sat down only 3 short weeks ago to work on my SOAR! video I did not think I would win. For all I knew this was going to be the American Idol of photography (I actually think it is!) and I went in knowing my shot at fame and fortune was probably slim to none.  I almost did not apply for that very reason. I didn’t think I had the “it factor” the judges were be looking for. But if you never try you’ll never know so I did it. I told my story, gave it my best shot, and hit the submit button sending away my video and application. I put myself out there. And so did 260+ other woman. All just as amazing, open, and deserving as me.

    Then, an awesome thing happened, a community was built. And I quickly was so proud I had applied. I started to see the true benefits from applying:

    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had 6 pages of family and friend comments on my video cheering me on and encouraging me to live my dreams.
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had those same people publicly praising and affirming my work and my dreams.
    • If I didn’t attempt SOAR! I would not have had the opportunity to be a part of a rich community of SOAR! sisters from across the globe with the same passion and desire as me.
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have met the multiple SOAR! sisters who somehow found the time and energy to watch EVERY video entry and leave a comment of support. (way to go! and thank you!)
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had such a motivation and reason to restart my 365 project. Now we have a SOAR! group on flickr of 30 of us (and growing) committed to working our craft and taking at least 1 photo per day for an entire year.
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have been able to be a part of a 3 hour SOAR! Skype party where we all were nervously and excitedly awaiting results amongst a myriad of technical difficulties.
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would never have chatted it up with a fellow SOAR! sister who will also be attending the LAUNCH workshop with me in February. It’s such a relief that I’ll know someone there already.
    • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have received over 20 IMs and text messages last night from family and friends also anticipating the final results with support and excitement.

    I may not have won the “grand prize” but I firmly believe that all of us who entered  this competition have won something. New friendships. Networking. Encouragement. Ideas. Support. As cheesy as that sounds its true. And no matter what its because of all of you all that I know I can still do great things this year. With MeRa’s new SOARority assignment website and forum, classes, workshops, and support from my family, friends, and SOAR! sisters I am still fully confident that this year will be one of the best yet.

    Watch out everyone, it is still time for me to SOAR!

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    show hide 10 comments

    .kat.January 9, 2010 - 5:52 pm

    Although I have to say that I'm a little bummed that you didn't “win” I am still so very proud of you! For appreciating the beauty of what has happened for you since your decision to make your video, for all the beautiful things that I KNOW will continue to happen for you from here on out. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful inspiration!

    CarmenJanuary 9, 2010 - 7:13 pm

    You go girl! Beautifully written and I couldn't agree more. Can't wait to meet you Tampa for Launch. We're going to have a blast!! (and hopefully it gets a little warmer)

    Marcia SJanuary 9, 2010 - 7:43 pm

    Yes Beryl, it is amazing what 3 weeks can do. It was by reading your post on the SOAR sisters site about the 365 Project and I was introduced to Bella Rose Photography. Your blog spoke to me and your words of inspiration allowed me to embark on my own journey. So as you so eloquently noted, even though you didn't win the scholarship but you have gained so much more. I am looking forward seeing how much you grow this year just from embarking on this one challenging project.

    Patty ReiserJanuary 9, 2010 - 8:59 pm

    My heart is swelling with all the positive support that has grown since the announcement last night. This scholarship has touched our lives in ways we never could have imagined. And together, this community will SOAR even higher because we want to show them that we will not be defeated.

    Lisa KenningJanuary 9, 2010 - 10:54 pm

    I knew you would not disappoint, yet again, in written word and photograph!!! Thank you for articulating so well how much more exciting the journey ahead looks than it did two months ago.

    Nancy M.January 10, 2010 - 7:24 am

    Well said Beryl! I couldn't agree with you more! Best of luck to you this year. We all will be SOARing this year even if we didn't win the prize, because the rest of us won the GRAND prize of support, sisterhood, encouragement, new friends, and inspiration! Best of luck you! Keep on SOARing!

    Barbara LJanuary 10, 2010 - 10:55 am

    You said it, sister! We have gained so much by applying for the SOAR scholarship, speaking our dreams out loud for the universe to hear, that only good things can come from this experience! We will ultimately continue to cheer for one another, encouraging and working our talents throughout the year; And what a community of GREAT women we are!!! Your blog is wonderful, and I am fortunate to have met you thru this AMAZING experience!! We did win!!! 🙂 Peace.

    triciabouJanuary 10, 2010 - 11:47 am

    What a wonderful outlook, and such a blessing to have that kind of support in your life.Congrats!

    Linda BaylisJanuary 15, 2010 - 9:56 am

    Hi Beryl, I found my way to your blog from the comment you left on my first post. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story with me, and how terribly sorry I am that you have had to battle your condition from such an early age, and for your recent loss. It makes my heart ache to think of a child suffering so, not just from the pain, but in all the ways it will have impacted your life. I can see from this post you are a strong and positive person and I am so glad to be connected with you. I am still a little overwhelmed with this whole thing, and trying to get my head around blogging and the whole social networking factor, but once things calm down would love to talk more with you. I wish you all the best for 2010 and look forward to getting to know you better.

    bella rose photographyJanuary 15, 2010 - 10:33 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to seek out my blog and leave yourcomment! I am sure the past few weeks have been such a whirlwind for you.When things settle down please feel free to send me an email (bellarosephotographs@gmail.com) or connect on one of the social networkingsites (I am on both Facebook and Twitter). Or if you need help navigatingeither one let me know! (my day job is as a tech resource person in anelementary school so I teach teachers how to use technology ever day!)I am so fortunate that my JRA is well mananged now. I have taken weeklyEnbrel injections for close to 8 years and it has allowed me to maintainnormalcy and keep the flare ups at bay. I am definitely lucky that modernmedicine has come so far.Again congrats on your SOAR! scholarship. I can only imagine what amazingthings you're going to do with this opportunity and I can't wait to followalong!

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