She instituted this great idea of a "Button Swap" and I've been sporting her great button on the side bar for the whole month. (Go ahead, click on it; I know you want to!) Thanks, Molly for swapping buttons and posts with me!
Here's the post she's sweetly written for Of Such is the Kingdom today...
Whenever I think of Olivia, I always flash back to a conversation we had about opening a dance studio. You see we share (among other things) a passion for dance. Though the conversation couldn’t have lasted more than maybe ten minutes, it burned its way into my heart and has found a permanent spot there.
We stood in an almost empty class room at the YMCA. We were sweaty from having just finished a class and our bodies were pumped full of exercise endorphins. We dreamed out loud together. We imagined where our studio would be. We talked about opening it up to the community and offering all different kinds of dance for a variety of age groups. I silently imagined stretching myself as an entrepreneur and making a living doing what I love. We were fearless in our dreaming. Olivia pushed me and encouraged me and because of her I believed it was possible. We were dreaming with abandon. For me, it was a special moment.
It shouldn’t have surprised me that Olivia and I might have that sort of conversation. She has a history of making my seemingly impossible dreams a reality.
I first met Olivia several years ago when I was working at a Non-Profit Pregnancy Care Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It had been my dream to create a class for the expectant mothers (and fathers) that we served. I wanted the class to provide practical infant care information. I longed for it to not only educate but to create community for these girls; many of whom had very limited support systems. I wanted the class to offer quality information without feeling super academic and stuffy.
But because I wasn’t a mother, I knew I didn’t want to teach the class and it would be very difficult for me to write the curriculum. I wanted it to be taught by real women in the community with real parenting experience.
I knew from the moment I met her she was a force to be reckoned with. In no time flat Olivia wrote the curriculum. Then she and one of our board members gathered a group of their friends, convinced them to volunteer their time to teach the class, and made it happen.
She took my dream and made it a reality. It was amazing. It was inspirational. It was a total gift. Olivia created a hands-on, hearts-open environment for our clients. They learned together, built relationships and in the process lives were changed.
You see, dreaming together is a powerful thing. But watching a dream come true is even more powerful. It is a true bonding experience. So you can imagine that while Olivia and I don’t get to spend time together now that I’m in Chicago, she will always occupy a special place in my heart.
Sometimes I wonder if I had stayed in Chattanooga would that 10 minute conversation about the dance studio have grown into something more? Because if I’ve learned anything in the short time that I’ve known Olivia, it is that she is a fearless dreamer who turns those dreams into reality.
Do you have a friend that encourages you to dream?
Molly is a social media junkie with a thirst for life long learning and an appetite for cupcakes. Currently she can be found falling madly in love with Chicago and chronicling the whole affair at her blog A Foreign Land. (http://www.aforeignland.org/) She also tweets up a storm under the guise of @mollypg. (https://twitter.com/mollypg)
Though she doesn’t have that studio we dreamed of yet,
your little ones do have a chance to cultivate a passion for dance with Miss Olivia.
Learn more on the Miss Olivia’s Ballet (http://missoliviasballet.blogspot.com/) blog.
I'm blushing. : ) Thanks so much for all your sweetness, Molly, dear! I hope everyone will promptly hop right over to A Foreign Land and check out Chicago. Oh, and if anyone else is interested in guest posting on Of Such is the Kingdom, please let me know. This is fun!