Running and Kumquats


Her voice cracked on the other end of the phone. I knew she was holding back tears and trying to keep the tepid surface of her emotions from rippling. I knew what she was trying to say, but let the silence punctuate her fragmented articulation. My best friend had–finally, after years of wishing–come to grips with the reality of her passion. She went to college, earned a Master’s Degree, then found a respectable job at a non-profit organization. Just like a good little girl should.

This past week she finally allowed herself to come to grips with the idea of her unhappiness. Just like a Monet painting, her life appeared to be beautiful and perfect from afar, but when you stand close enough, you see it’s just one big mess. She admitted to knowing what she really wanted to do with her life–an unyielding passion that’s been brewing for years–but just doesn’t know how or where to begin. I remained silent. When listening to a friend’s dream, fragmented articulation is just fine.

I wanted to shake her. The kind of shake you might do to a person twitching from a nightmare. Wake Up! I wanted to tell her to run, and not stop until her lungs felt like they were about to explode and snot danced in her nostrils. Run toward your dream and don’t stop until you can feel it on your on your fingertips. Quitting or, worse, not trying is the easy route and a path marked with convenient stores, all-night diners, and tow-trucks. Dust your ego off, and start failing. Yes, failing. Because you can only fail so long at something before you actually start succeeding.

When I first started my business, I dreamed of the day when I’d be able to do what I love; do what I thought only the best were allowed to do. To wake up, work, eat, and breathe at my discretion, away from timecards and watercoolers. Still to this day I’m running hard toward my dream. My lungs are on the verge of exploding and the snot…well, the snot was wiped on my sweatshirt sleeve. I hate the whole dancing in my nostril thing.

Yesterday, JD and Polo returned from a short walk and I looked up from my computer to see JD reveal what hid in the palm of his hand. Two kumquats were placed on my desk. JD picks them off a neighbor’s tree and brings them as a surprise midday treat, away from timecards and watercoolers. I picked up the kumquats and they felt like my dream.

Friend, I know you’re reading this. Please run and don’t stop chasing your dream. Life’s too short to stand by the watercooler.

**A special CONGRATS goes to Lauren Shaw of The Royal Engagement for being my 17,000th Blog Commentor! She’ll be getting a delicious iTunes card for spreading a little cyber love!**

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  1. nena

    November 21st, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I’m not a photographer, but this post feels like you’re talking straight to me. Thank you for reminding me (and your friend) to follow our hopeful tomorrows! =-)

  2. michelle

    November 21st, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you. I’m doing that now. It is a scary proposition to run after it and risk failure… but not running after it is the biggest failure of all. I appreciate your encouragement.


    November 21st, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    This resonates with me SO well right now: See, I just quit my day job last Friday. Yep, QUIT! No warning or two-weeks notice. Just up and quit. The very next day I felt 80% lighter; maybe because for the last eight years I spent 80% of my day/life working with miserable and terrible people. The same people that spent their days trying to throw me under the bus for whatever reason. When explaining my side to a manager [after being reported by those miserable people], I was told to "let it go" or "take the high road." Um, WHAT??? Yes, it was a scary thing to quit now that I don’t have a steady income; my husband freaked out! But, I was more than READY. My business is unlimited and so are my paychecks now; they’re not measured by the number of hours I work by the watercoolers. Here’s to FREEDOM!!!

  4. Shannon McFarland

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Jasmine, of course I am unaware of who you are talking to specifically, but that is the point, isn’t it?!?!?! There are so many of us who only "DREAM" of "ONE DAY….MAYBE" I wanted to take a moment to encourage your friend, (& anyone else in this situation) to tell her to "GO FOR IT…DON’T LET ANYTHING DIM YOUR DREAM….DON’T LET ANYTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY…..KEEP HOPING, KEEP TRYING, KEEP REACHING MY FRIEND….THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!!!" Your dream will come true, even though the way you thought you might get to it might change along the way, even if you take the wrong road, it will still lead you to your ultimate dream. Trust your heart!!! I applaud you, Jasmine, for following your dream, & I applaud JD for standing by your side with such encouragement….& Kumquats!!! Much Love, Many Blessings, & TONS of laughs, 😉 Shannon

  5. Photography By Shay

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  6. Jenn

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    This is my favorite post of yours…ever. I am in that place. (The "pretty from afar" promotion at work, new house, happy family…but look closer and you see me hating my job, wanting to be creative and free but still be able to support my family.) Without even meaning to you are speaking directly to my soul. I have no choice right now, which breaks my heart some days. I have to run in place to support my family, but someday, somehow I will break free of that and really RUN.

  7. john p.

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    yo yo yo…this is tight. i’m working two jobs right now and trying to make my photography biz take off to. thanx for the encouragement

  8. Candace Prokopets

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you for this post. It is such a great reminder. My husband and I went to your Free To Succeed Seminar when you and David Jay were in San Francisco. We had just started to go for our dream. Now we have a blog and are getting all these opportunities and its amazing. But its not easy and I can often doubt myself. I always try to remember what you said about determination and this post is just another reminder to keep going, keep moving forward. Thanks!

  9. Jane

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Are you stalking me? =) Like the others, this is my current state as well. Thanks for writing.

  10. deb schwedhelm

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Having received a Master in Nursing and done nursing for 10 years (with a daily stress headache), I SO GET THIS! Now, as a photographer, I’m doing what I love. What I’m so passionate about. What I was meant to do. Life is definitely too short. Thanks for sharing. Deb

  11. Bobbie Brown

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Wow. Thank you. Thank you so much for this reminder. This encouragement. Makes me want to run, right now, run hard! And to your friend I say: Hang in there, don’t stop and you will reach that place you want to be.

  12. Melissa Copeland

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    so i absolutely love this post. i didn’t quit my job or i don’t stand by a watercooler ever day wishing i was somewhere else.. but when i got back from my honeymoon in early august i was laid off. which at first i thought was a terrible thing.. but i know realize its the best thing ever. i get a chance to start over and instead of going to my 9-5 job everyday being miserable i get a chance to be me..and to know that nows my chance to do what i love…and now i’m trying to start my own business…. your post was awesome and i’m sure your friend will really appreciate it.. and i have no idea what a kumquat is….fruit or veggie?

  13. Dawn B

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    YO, HOLD UP! You cannot imagine how this related to me right now. I have been so miserable in my job for sooo long, and am so hoping to become a photographer of some sort one day! This post definitly gave me some encouragment….now I just need some direction (and probably a good swift kick in the butt). Thanks so much Jasmine….this was just beautiful.

  14. Jackie Beale

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I can’t WAIT for my day to come where I don’t have to call to punch in and out from work, only get a 30minute lunch break, and come home only to go to bed 5 hours later. It’s horrible. I’m slowly working my way up the ladder to success though 🙂 With lots of faith and patience.

  15. Christopher Bloor

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    When I look at your posts, I am not sure if I like the photos or the stories more!

  16. Tira J

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Okay Jas, this is perfect for this week! I got my annual review this past Monday and basically gave my 8 month notice. I can’t leave until a certain commitment is fulfilled here on June 30th. I thought JG was going to choke on her lunch yesterday when I told her. Gulp! You know what that means? I have spent the last 20 years working full time for other people and have also earned a BS and M.Ed. in that time Now it is my turn to make a mark in this crazy world!!! Thanks again for this post. Luv ya!

  17. Jessica Lynn

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    amen and amen and amen. and thank you for telling us that its ok to wipe our snot on our sleeves.

  18. Jeanette

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Jaz, I wholeheartedly agree with you!!! Dear friend, RUN!! Run like you’ve never run before!! There will be a solid group of people to help you dust off your knees when you fall, give you water when your parched and even doing some running right along side you!! Start running and don’t look back! Love you both! 😉

  19. levell

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    well said: "Dust your ego off, and start failing. Yes, failing. Because you can only fail so long at something before you actually start succeeding". thanks!

  20. Jessica

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Just when I thougt you couldn’t possibly be filled with anymore AWESOMENESS, you post this. You rock Jasmine!

  21. Dennis

    November 21st, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Jasmine you are fantastic! Not only a wonderful photographer but you should write books and be a motivational speaker. Look out Tony Robbins! Thanks for the push to keep going!

  22. Adrienne

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Jasmine, this entry gave me goosebumps!! Such beautiful and inspirational words… I definitely want to save this to read over whenever times get tough! Thank you!

  23. Lisa

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks you for saying it so eloquently! It amazes me that people settle for anything less!
    Life is TOO short to settle into something that doesn’t inspire you.

  24. Ashley Rose

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    This was beautiful, thank you for the Friday reminder of chasing your dreams! Oh and if you ever want some kumquats let me know my parents have a tree 🙂 there my fav!!!!!

  25. Nelly Chung

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Jasmine, that was deep! Thank you. We need to be reminded not to settle! I don’t want to settle. Thank you.

  26. moraima

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    i always like what you write but this one touches me pretty close…i am just starting to run..
    and although i am still carrying the water cooler with me while i run, it doesn’t feel to heavy. i am carrying it just until it runs out of water and i have reached my dream!!!!

  27. jola

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you!

  28. Regina White

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Taking a deep breath and wiping my tear…. WOW! I am not sitting far from a water ooler but when when I read this I felt like I can make anything happen and leave that stupid watercooler. Someday! Thanks you for making me feel closer to my dream of dumping this job and the stupid watercooler. To only be a cooler photographer.

  29. Fishgirl

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Jasmine you are as bless by God as your other half is(Your sister), you have no idea how much this post had helped me to decided wheter to continue with my business major or follow my dream to be a professional photographer.. i will chase my dream too!! God Bless you

  30. Alicia

    November 21st, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Dear Jasmine, get out of my head! I’ve been telling this to myself for like a year. Finally doing it. Wish me luck! Dear Jasmine’s friend, go after your dream girl! You’ll find the strength! Just always believe in yourself.

  31. Dana

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    What a sweet message for everyone and cute kumquats! Thanks for sharing =)

  32. Kristen Mallory

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    SO. TRUE. I wish I would’ve read something like this 6 months ago and started running then. Very well said, Jasmine, your friend is lucky to have you!

  33. Wendy M

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    At first, I thought I was reading another one of your stories about how two people met. Then I thought I was reading a story about a problem with a bride. When I finally realized (yes, it takes me a while) what you were really saying, I thought to myself, "How does she know what’s happening inside me?" I look up to you and admire you and your work. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I feel a little too fat to run right now. Can I just walk real fast?

  34. Katherine Bowman

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    First off, I LOVE kumquats and haven’t had them since I moved from California! The picture makes my mouth water! 🙂 Second, you have been such an inspiration to me to start my own photography business! After praying, talking to my husband and hearing you and DJ speak at the FTS KC stop, I put in my notice at my job! I have no regrets! I know it can be a little scary to step out into the unknown, but I really hope your friend does so! Following your dreams is something a person won’t regret!

  35. Heather Kincaid

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Here’s to no watercoolers!!! 😉

  36. Katherine Bowman

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    BTW, what lens did you use for this pic?

  37. Christina

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you. As always, you inspire me to no end! Thanks for sharing your "determination!" with the rest of us. I can’t tell you how encouraging these posts of yours are – when you talk about going after your dream! My little photography business is just starting, and it helps so much to hear encouragement like this. I happen to LOVE (yup – all caps) my day job as a medical interpreter, but I know it’s not what I want to do forever. Thanks for encouraging so many to follow their dreams. 😉

  38. Joan Solitario

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks Jasmine… this is definitely something I needed today :). This is my favorite line: "you can only fail so long at something before you actually start succeeding"

  39. Jenny Arnez

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    You encourage me – thank you!

  40. chrystal

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    it must be an awesome feeling to be able to inspire. i aspire to be an inspirer-er like you. 🙂 thank you!

  41. Jackie L.

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Jasmine, this is truly inspirational!

  42. Liz

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Ms. Jasmine I happened across your blog 3 days ago and since then I’ve been totally hooked – stealthily made my way from the water cooler and substituted the refreshingly toxic office gossip for your indelible insight . I was drinking up the wisdom of your archives when my computer froze on page 5 forcing me to reboot and land right back on page 1… only to be graced by this post! I cannot summon the words to expound on the impact of it’s words, any better than the preceding comments. So I’ll simply paraphrase: thank you for this blog – you teach those of us trying to navigate through the murky waters of self imposed impediments to drop the chains of doubt, shrug off the baggage from the naysayers and race with fearless exuberance towards our fantastical dreams (albeit bringing a snot rag in the process). So much ado about everything and thank you for sharing your wondrous talent 🙂

  43. kayla bosma

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    You have no idea how you have encourged me. your words are so insipiring..i feel like i was meant to read this. I always check your blog and just yesterday i signed a lease to what will me my new studio…it’s been a huge dream of mine and now it’s really happening. It’s crazy how one’s words from a few states away and not knowing them personally can still encourge you. Thanks!!!!! Keep up the amazing work

  44. Katie Trujillo

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Jasmine you have the amazing ability to "speak" to so many people through your writing and art. Eah person can uniquely say "wow, how did she know that’s what "I" needed"……thank you for your gift and your constant inspiration….oh! and PLEASE update us and let us know what your friend’s dream is!

  45. Ashley

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I’m so glad there are people out there like you who understand that sometimes it’s best to not do what everyone thinks is best for you. I’m in the same place she is, minus the job after college!

  46. Irene

    November 21st, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    What a wonderful post! I, like many many others, needed this today!!!

    I have just recently admitted to myself and others that I really want to pursue a crazy dream of actually being a photographer. I spent many years "by the watercooler" until I became a mom. Now, I can’t even fathom going back to my old career. I learned a lot, but I definitely wasn’t living life to its fullest. I discovered photography last year and, overnight, became completely obsessed. I love it and I can’t get enough.

    Thanks for your post and thanks for your amazing photography. You really, honestly, do inspire me.

  47. Lydia

    November 21st, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Jasmine, you have a way of writing that touches people’s hearts! When people ask me what I’ll be doing with my education/theology degree, I tell them "nothing.." I’m pursuing photography and doing what I love!

  48. You make me LOVE being ME

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    wow. God may have had YOUR friend going through THAT just to inspire you to write THIS so that people everywhere could be encouraged. Who knows. But that thought gave me chills.

  49. Marisa

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    jasmine…check out for a handy dandy little accessory to prevent your sweatshirt sleeves from getting nasty :). happy running!

  50. Lucia

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    The water cooler works for me. After being full time for 6 years, & shooting 80+ weddings a year I experienced burn out and got depressed. & a little resentful at photography. Not to mention I was always missing out on family functions and friends parties on the weekends .Working from home was isolating. Now I do something else I love while being more selective on who I shoot. & my photography is again my passion. I learned that balance is essential.

  51. Ronni

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    You are such an inspiration and you must be a wonderful friend to have.

  52. jeramy

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    well said. that’s inspiration enough for us all.

  53. Lindy

    November 21st, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I read your blog religiously. It’s the ONLY blog on my reader that I click over to the ‘actual blog’ from before reading a single word. I need to see your words and photos as you’ve posted them. I don’t want to spoil the experience by reading it on my reader. I love that you talk about your struggles and doubts when starting your business. I’m on the verge of taking the step toward my modest little dream. A dream I’ve always pish poshed aside and let ‘real life’ belittle. Well no more! I’m going to run until my lungs feel like they’re going to burst- life is too short!

  54. ksen :)

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    girlllllll! you ROCK! couldn’t have been said any better. 😀

  55. Sarah D.

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I am running, with all my might– toward my dreams, toward the God who gave them. Thankfully, they are in the same direction.

  56. Meghan

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Your words are so encouraging. Tell your friend she is not alone, I am in the same boat! I’ve only been by the water cooler for a little while but I always knew it would be temporary until I found something I wanted to do: photography. Hopefully we can all break the leash and go do what we really dream about doing. Thank you J* for being an inspiration!

  57. Kim Kalyn

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Jasmine, thanks so much for that post. Your honesty and articulation is so refreshing and pure and it always hits home with me. I think that following my dream has been a stuggle, not only because of the fear of taking the risk to try something completely new and foreign…but also because it took awhile to realize that I deserved to be happy doing what I love. I was vulnerable in absorbing people’s negativities and reasons why my dream was not realistic or achievable. I am proud of myself for gaining the confidence to see through their jealousy and own insecurities and continue my sprint in the direction of my dream. Hearing posts like this and other words of wisdom that you have shared encourage me and reassure me that I am in fact on the right path and shouldn’t look back ! Thanks again 🙂


  58. beth

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Beautiful words. So many of us can relate to your friend. Thanks for the inspiration.

  59. B

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I’m crying. And I don’t know what to say.

  60. Pascal

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    I am a strong believer of thesaying: If you really want something, you can always make it. I totally agree with you an everything you said. It might be hard for your friend to take that leap of faith but once she / he does it, she / he won’t look back one second.

  61. Rhendy

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Jasmine, this is my first time posting on any of your blogs. But you’ve been a complete inspiration to me for the past few months. I have a series of blogs I read. But yours I save until the last. Because I always save the best for last. Thank you for this post and making me cry at my desk. I’m running…..

  62. jacqueline fronters

    November 21st, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Jasmine. I comment rarely, but I’m wanted to leave a message of thanks. I’m crying and I can’t stop. Thank you for being the sign I was hoping for.

  63. lin

    November 21st, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Jasmine. Thanks for the encouragement. It is hard starting on your journey where it seems like no end in sight. I am on such a journey, just like you were when you left law school, trying to pursue my passion, and trying to move forward. Thank you for your inspiration.

  64. niccolew

    November 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 am

    With tears in my eyes, thank-you.

  65. Apple

    November 22nd, 2008 at 12:02 am

    <3 you’re amazing Jas!:D

  66. Yuka photo art

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Thank you so much for inspiration post! !!

  67. Adam

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Great post. Great example of friendship.. Just one question. What’s with the oranges? I mean great shot but … ?

  68. Dana Sipper

    November 22nd, 2008 at 3:07 am

    I am so inspired after reading this blog and such perfect timing. As I walk away from the timecard and watercooler this week…I feel like it’s gonna be okay because I am chasing my dream.
    Thanks J Star!

  69. risa west

    November 22nd, 2008 at 3:25 am

    this was great, for those of us currently running toward the dream, it makes me want to run harder…i guess that might make it a sprint

  70. Karinne

    November 22nd, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Im not that friend, but thanks..I needed to hear that tonight. I’ll keep running, the thought of failing without even having really tried scares me way to much.

  71. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    November 22nd, 2008 at 4:15 am

    "Dust your ego off, and start failing. Yes, failing. Because you can only fail so long at something before you actually start succeeding. " … wow … powerfully said, J*!

  72. Abra

    November 22nd, 2008 at 4:34 am

    You are SO inspiring. I am on that mission now to endeavor not to be afraid to fail in order to follow my dream. You are such a powerful writer and I can’t wait for the day I can have the honor of meeting you in person.

  73. clary

    November 22nd, 2008 at 4:50 am

    J* what a great friend you are!! I hope your friend takes the post filled with love and wishes from everyone as a great big sign to RUN!!

  74. Donavan Freberg

    November 22nd, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Thank you for this, Jasmine.

    Thank you.

  75. Mindy

    November 22nd, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Thanks Jasmine…I really needed to read a post like this today…I have been feeling the same way your best friend has…:( It has been a week full of tears for me too….lots of frustration and sometimes anger…sigh. I need a swift kick in the butt to start chasing my dreams…what am I waiting for? Life is too short….thanks for the words of wisdom…best of luck to your friend!

  76. Cathy Crawley

    November 22nd, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Well this posts leaves me with but one question, what is your friends dream? I’m sure she’ll achieve it with you cheering her on every step of the way 🙂

  77. Feuza

    November 22nd, 2008 at 10:09 am

    This is so wonderfully written! and so true, I am about to turn 30 next week and only found my dream 6 months ago, and it was because someone believe in me before I even believe in myself. You did a good deed by writing this piece. God Bless you, and I am running like Forest Gump.

  78. Marina

    November 22nd, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Jasmine, like many others, I’m a long-time reader but first-time poster. Just wanted to say YOU ROCK! Your spirit really comes through in your writing and your photos. This is a truly inspirational post for so many of us. Thanks for bring you! And for sharing a bit of that awesomeness with the rest of us! 🙂

  79. Cristen Clark

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Wonderful! I sooo needed that! My husband always reminds me that if having your own business was easy, everyone would be doing it!!

  80. Whitney Gray

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    And I’d like to add just one thing to your perfect post:
    I’m 44 years old, never thought in a million years that I would be a photographer. But in the past year, I’ve had the most amazing things happen to me. God has opened doors that I never could have imagined. I pinch myself everyday.
    Be open to possibilities, work hard, take risks- put your self out there!! If I die tomorrow, I can say I did it.

  81. Steph

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    LOVE this post.

  82. laura

    November 22nd, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    loved it. so great.

  83. Melissa Andries

    November 22nd, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    awwww….your writing is so wonderful. the subject was very touching but your writing is what always keeps me reading! you are very talented! great stuff! 😉

  84. Candice Lanning

    November 22nd, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    So true. Great advice.

    There is no payoff without the pain. Why? Because the process is the point.

    Good stuff Jasmine

  85. Meghan Stewart

    November 22nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    What pearls of wisdom! I find myself in the same place as your friend, scared, confused and excited all at the same time. I’m realizing that our dreams never seem quite as special if there hasn’t been some sweat and tears involved. Love your writing.

  86. Amy Wenzel

    November 22nd, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Amen, Sister! I felt the passion rising in me just from reading what you wrote. Plus, water coolers harbor a lot of bacteria.

  87. Roxie

    November 22nd, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Very inspiring! And seriously, who wants to stand near the watercooler anyway?!

  88. Anna

    November 22nd, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Great post.. very inspiring! Thank you 🙂

  89. Mark Z

    November 22nd, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    My biggest problem is that I see this dream of mine. I reach out , but I can’t touch it. There is this plexiglas that stops me from touching this dream of mine. It will bend and not break. I tried to figure out how can I break this plexiglas, so I can reach out and touch this dream of mine. So far, I have not been able to touch this dream of mine. I have tried many different ways. Still, I can not touch this dream of mine. Is there a way? Is there someone who can help me? How can I break this plexiglas, so I can touch this dream of mine?

  90. Michelle Henrick

    November 23rd, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Were you a writer at some point in your life? Reading your blog sometimes sets me back on my own because I want to be able to express myself in the same ways you do and I just can’t. It’s not me I guess but the pressure I put on myself to do so is a little ridiculous. ~M 🙂

  91. Marissa Rodriguez

    November 23rd, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Thank you. I’m chasing after my dream….but lately I have been feeling like I cant keep going, so this post was that push that I needed. seriously. I have been following your blog for a while now and this one just hit me deep. you are awesome.

  92. Nancy Ramos

    November 23rd, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Jasmine – Words like this help me go forward. Makes it a little more challenging when a child depends on me. But at this same time my little girl is the reason to press harder.

  93. Elena Hernandez

    November 23rd, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Very eloquently put. I agree whole heartedly. Are your sure you are not a motivational speaker in disguise?
    Everyone needs a reminder to keep going forward and not to stop dreaming. Thank you.

  94. Jason Drumm

    November 23rd, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    So far, 93 people have commented to say thanks Jasmine. I’m sure there are at least 93 others who didn’t comment. Let me be number 94, and also say – you are being used by God to inspire and encourage people. For a photography blog, this sure is a great ministry, huh? This post just lacked one thing. Philippians 4:13-14. Paul said exactly what your saying. "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

  95. kellybeane

    November 23rd, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    jasmine, you’re just so friggin’ amazing! thank you for your inspiration & writings, and especially thank you for touching so many in such a positive way! keep on keepin’ it real!

  96. amie

    November 23rd, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    That was A-MAY-ZING! Thank you!

  97. Naomi

    November 23rd, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Jasmine, it just amazes me how you always make me cry. Im glad Ive found your blog. Im a mum of four and my dream is to start my own business, as a photographer, I live in a small town in Australia and Im not sure how much money there is to be made. But thats not what counts.
    Im not as confident and outgoing my fear gets me all the time.
    Anyways your writing talks to me and Id like to say thanks.

  98. Thomas Frank

    November 24th, 2008 at 1:01 am

    2 words – You ROCK!

  99. michelle cunningham

    November 24th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    jas, you are always so inspiring. i say that with sincerity.

  100. Penny Sylvia

    November 24th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I had to agree so whole heartedly with you Jasmine … I too left the water cooler life to the dismay of my "do the safe thing" self and give the same advice as often as I can because life is too short and living your dream … even on bad days … it’s the BEST.

    I raise my fist in the air and tell your friend … seize the day … go for it friend! Live! It doesn’t matter what people think you should do … LIVE … feed your soul … you’ll wake up on a daily basis and be soo happy and glad that you did.

  101. Kimberlee

    November 24th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    YES! So awesome.

  102. Jasmin

    November 24th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Jasmine, LOVE your post!
    Six years ago I bolted as fast as I could from that dreadful watercooler. Everyone thought I was out of my mind! I was the "good" girl who had a safe responsible job for 13 years. In their eyes, I had it made. But I was miserable. So I ran.
    I started my own photography business not knowing where it would take me. I have been happily chasing my dream ever since. The road has been occasionally bumpy along the way. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! I LOVE what I do! How many people can say that? To your friend I want to say–do it now! Do it afraid! But DO it!

  103. Chris+Katie of GLP

    November 24th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you!!! It’s time to buy some new running shoes, mine have gotten a bit too heavy.

  104. Leah Charbonneau

    November 24th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    It’s posts like this that puts gas my engine! You don’t have to be this nice or encouraging but you are and it’s people like us that are typing from their cubicles that appreciate it the most. Thanks so much! With that boost, I’ll definitely run a little faster today!

  105. Michelle

    November 24th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I want to do this. BUT don’t know what the first step would be. 25 with bills and all and wanting to be a full time photographer is scary. PLUS I hate sitting at a cube all day, browsing through blogs of talented people who are doing just what I want to do =(

  106. Marina

    November 25th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I almost cryed. You are so so so right! I wish I had that strenth inside like you do. But I think all this I wish I could, I wish I had..ect are just excuses. Anw. Im reading your blog all the time and was shy to comment on any your posts…but now I just did it. Want to say thank you! And wishing you also never stop to run for your dreams. And I adore your photography, your doing something fantastic and give it to all of us, not only happy clients you photographed. P.s. Sorry for my English, Im Ukrainian, but soon Ill move to USA, Maryland to my wonderful husband:)) just wanted to share. Much love. xx

  107. Lawrence @ Tofurious

    November 26th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    That was inspirational! And dang, 17,000th comment! WOW!

  108. Pardeep Singh

    November 28th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you very, very much for this post.

    It was exactly what I needed to read.

    Thank you.

  109. Crystal

    December 2nd, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I read this once somewhere: Dreams will remain dreams forever if you don’t take action.

  110. Kari

    December 3rd, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Congrats to the lucky girl/guy who has a friend that rocks as hard as you do! I truly beleive your talent is a gift from God for being the great person you are on the inside! You rock as a friend and your images are nothing short of stunning!

  111. pascal

    December 8th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Amazing site and blog, congratulation for your work and photgraphies…

    Curator on

  112. Jamie

    January 22nd, 2009 at 5:16 am

    WOW, what powerfully motivating advice! Not only are you an exceptional photographer but you are a true inspiration. Like everyone else that has read this post and commented, those words shook me to my very core. So powerful!!! THANK YOU. Thanks for sharing.

  113. Kimberly Wilson

    April 24th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Your work and your words are like a blast of cool air on a day that is so hot, even Hell had to kick up the A/C. Seriously!!! After reading this post, I felt like I was that friend you were talking to on the phone – I was the one you were silently YELLING to run like heck towards what it was they really wanted in life and I have to say THANK YOU! For being you. For getting IT. For saying it in a way that others can totally relate to and take your words of wisdom deep into their heart, and fill that empty little hole they didn’t even know was there to begin with. I’m sitting at work, at a large corporation, in a gray cubicle on an equally gray day (okay, so it’s sunny and 90 degrees outside – but my mood is TOTALLY gray!) and all I want to do is get up and leave… run out the front door, pick up my camera and BEGIN. I’ve wanted the same thing for so long now I can’t think of anything else, can’t dream of anything else, can’t ache for anything else… but I’m TERRIFIED OF IT. I know you must hear this a million times a day – but make me the million +one… I…want…to…be…(shhhh…I’m whispering)…a… photographer. There. I said it. Yep. Me. I’m insane, right!! Okay – end of the LONGEST comment EVER. Sorry for it. BUT you rock my world, Ms. J* and I wanted you to know it!! 🙂

  114. denise folsom

    November 30th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I needed to read that! That’s it! I’m running as fast as I can….