Living on Purpose

When I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to model and be in magazines. I lived to look at and study magazines. Some would say I was “daydreaming”—and that I should not be daydreaming!

At the age of fourteen, while shopping, I saw a teen-modeling search contest I wanted to enter. It was for a national teen magazine. At this time, I knew I wanted this career for my life. I shared my excitement with my mother, as well as the photographer who lived across the street. But my mother was a teacher, who didn’t understand the fashion world.

I had pictures taken. One full-body picture they requested required a bathing suit. I didn’t have any curves, though, and no one told me I looked OK, so I didn’t send that one in to the magazine. Later I heard back that I was one of the finalists.   The contest panelist still wanted a bathing suit picture, however, so I put a wig on and had the picture taken. I never heard from them again.

For years, I thought my mom should have helped me or guided me. Now, in looking towards a grand future in modeling at 51 years of age, I have let go of all that negative baggage in my life.

Still desiring to work in fashion, I did some modeling in my home town and then studied Fashion and Merchandising. My goal at that time was to work in the created part of fashion. Then I met my ex-husband. I thought he understood my goals and desires to work in fashion, but he wanted me to have a child right away. He couldn’t handle me working outside the home and enjoying my purpose and passions, so I gave up my dreams of working in fashion. I had forgotten my destiny and life’s purpose.

Then one day I woke up to my soul’s potential for ultimately realizing my life’s purpose. After twenty–one years of marriage, six children later and wanting more for my life, I ended the marriage. I went to massage school, skin care school, herbal school—and then, at age 50, I entered modeling school.

Modeling school at 50 wasn’t a cup of tea. It took a lot of determination, fortitude, and reliance to stay “on purpose” to complete my dreams. Being in a classroom with students younger than my children and teachers that were my children’s age was a challenge. I felt out of place. But though I couldn’t change the environment, I knew what I wanted and that I had to stay focused and true to the purpose. Walking on the runway after 31 years made me face my inner fears and question if this truly was what I wanted to do. Not only did I have tuition to pay, but I had things to buy and invest in, I had to practice to walk the way I was being taught—and my ego had to be checked daily. Why did I really want this career now at my age? Did I just want to say I am a Model? Or was it that I wanted to fulfill my purpose and destiny? I had to go within for those answers.

I entered a local model search for women over forty while in Modeling School. I was again one of the finalists. We had to practice, we had to perform in a fashion show, and we also had to endure the talent agent’s negative, ego-driven attitude. As badly as I wanted to win to get a free talent contract, I had to pray not to win because of this agent’s personality, which I felt would prevent me from living out my soul’s purpose. (I would have had to work for him if I won.) However, I still saw this as a test for me to see how badly I really wanted to do this performing art.

But then I thought there must be another way that Spirit wanted me to go to reach my goal. I prayed and was led to seek another agency after this first contest was over. My runway teacher had told me about another agent, and I went to see her. I got in to this new agency feeling like a person of talent! Later I started teaching runway and the introduction to the performance of the trade.

After this, the National Model search for my age group was held in New York. I entered, but didn’t get a chance to compete. My heart was crushed!

But my dreams were not dead yet. Within four weeks, my pictures were submitted to a large agency in the Atlanta area. I had an appointment! The director asked me to go home and take action shots to see if she could sell me. I did that, and she loved them. Her only hesitation for not giving me a three-year contract was the distance between Nashville and Atlanta. So I told her I was willing to move to fulfill my dreams. At this very moment, I am packing in preparation for a move to Georgia.
The dreams held in my heart for thirty-nine years are finally becoming reality. I am living on purpose!