Naturally, this time of year has us thinking of family and what they have given us. My grandmother, for instance, left me with many fond memories, a recipe for a killer lemon meringue pie, her scrapbook and a mystery. The book is a full account of her life in photos, complete with a last chapter. On the final page of the book she had pasted a photo of her 87-year-old self wearing a flowery bright green sundress. Under the photo she had written the words, C’est Moi, Vraiment! And herein lies the mystery.
Did her final statement mean that she was surprised to see herself as an old woman — as in: is this really me? Or, did it mean that this was really her — thinning gray hair, wrinkles and all. Either way, the fact that she wrote that inscription, in French no less, is intriguing, revealing, very endearing and an exclamation of individualism.
We all fear becoming a face in the crowd so we strive to be more. But with age comes acceptance. We get comfortable and stop making excuses. We’d like to think of our lives as a movie that is full of climactic moments. But in reality, it’s a series of small moments, not grand statements.
During my years of interviewing event designers and producers I always ask them what keeps them passionate about their challenging profession. They almost always say it’s that moment when guests walk into the room. While I know that’s part of it, I think there is more to that answer.
I believe that like anything else, it’s the connections made with others along the way, solving a tricky design problem, that first step into a refrigerator filled with flowers, the allure of a crate of juicy red strawberries, or the beauty of a jumble of ribbons on the floor during setup.
These are the small moments when everything is ripe with potential. Once guests walk into an event the creation is finished.
Perhaps that is what my grandmother meant to say when she sat down to pasted that photo in her scrapbook and write those words. Her event was her life, a creation she had finished. She was ready for the next phase.
As I live my creation, every day I ask for knowledge and that I receive it when I’m ready. I’m thankful for my talents and for being able to use them. I ask for new challenges, but I ask for peace of mind to accept myself as I am. I try to enjoy life’s small pleasures as well as its big dramas to reach my potential and to fill my own scrapbook.
My hope is that at the end of my created life I will also be able to look the world straight in the face and say: it’s me … really!
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