Making It Happen

It was still in my mind. That dream I had to follow.

But there was this fear… Fear of failing. Fear of what people might think. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of all the “should haves”. Fear of being out of my comfort zone. Fear of taking a risk.

But my biggest fear of all…was being in the exact same place I was months and years from now.

I had no idea where to start.

So I waited for a sign to come. A sign that would give me that extra reassurance I needed. I looked everywhere for it.

I was tired of waiting, so I decided to take a step and make a choice. This decision played in my mind a million times over. Maybe this decision will go well or maybe it won’t. It could be good, bad, a blessing or a major lesson. It was still in my mind and on my heart, so I thought it was worth taking the leap .

Some may know and some may not know…that I have always worked two jobs. For years now, I have been juggling what my heart wants and what my mind says to do. My mind was trying to survive in life, but my heart was really thriving for fulfillment . So I made it work….being a photographer by day and a bartender by night. It worked and it worked well. But the more days went by and the dream was still in my mind. It’s been my dream and my calling in life to be a wedding photographer. Not just a part-time wedding photographer trying to make my voice heard in this world, but a full-time wedding photographer where it consumes by whole being… a life lived on purpose.

So, in early January, I made the decision. To take the leap!

I promised myself that this was going to be the year to make my dream come to life. To make things different so I wasn’t stuck in the same place month after month. This was going to be the year to actually make it happen…a life filled with purpose. Then I told my husband. Together, we determined a set of monthly goals to build me up for success. And together, we made a plan for me to take the leap on May 25.

I was so nervously excited. Really nervous at first, questioning myself if this was the perfect time in life to make such a big decision. Then as the months rolled by, I became more and more excited that this was finally my time, my season, my year to make it happen.

My second job that I am saying goodbye to is Yardhouse. I was a bartender there and never knew when I walked through those doors 4 years ago that this “temporary” job all happened for a reason. I am grateful for my time spent there. I met many…many wonderful people for who I am forever thankful for coming into my life. And I am indebted to YH for sparking a lifetime passion for good beer. I will miss my YH family as they helped shaped me into who I am. Everything I went through there and experienced prepared me for what I asked for.

The past 5 months, I met every goal to establish me for success. I was so dedicated and driven to making my dream true. It was actually happening! And as May 25 got closer, everything was lining up the way I had always thought it would. I gave Yardhouse a 3-week notice on Friday, May 5. That was so relieving and made it feel like my decision to move on was solidified. It gave me 3weeks to say goodbye to my friends that I worked with and my regulars at the bar.

And just when you think you have it all figured out…life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes as a blessing in disguise.

Yardhouse and the Colorado Mills Mall suffered a severe hail storm on Monday, May 8 causing it to shut down indefinitely. It rained and hailed inside the building and continued to do so for days. All the water and a leaky roof caused serious damage. We all lost our jobs. I never knew that May 5th would be my last working day for YH, 20 days earlier than I had anticipated. It definitely caused stress because those last 3 weeks for me, were very important in building the courage to quit, reach my goal and move on to becoming a full-time wedding photographer.

With everyone under a panic of lost finances and not knowing what to do or what to do next. Darden came through with compassion for the people that worked for them and offered us a compensation package until Yardhouse in Lakewood gets back up and running. Hallelujah!! What a beautiful blessing in disguise. And such a wonderful company to have empathy for us and be able to give.

I felt terrible for all my friends and co-workers who were dealing with the unknown. I couldn’t imagine the fear they must have been feeling. I was there too…..dealing with the unknown. But I was forced into making it work. I had a plan to quit on May 25, but that plan was taken from me and I was forced into a situation where I can either keep surviving like I have been or make this the time to thrive. Sink or swim.

So with 3 extra weeks off of work, I started working heartily to make the mundane meaningful. I built a brand new website. I read books. I networked. I did things that fired me up to spark that energy and creativity.

Since YH was in such a limbo state, I never got the closure I was expecting. I never got to say goodbye and walk out those YH doors with courage. I never got to say this is it, this is my last day and I am stepping forward and moving on to make it happen.

On what was supposed to be my last day, YH decided to give back to the community. Thirty-something YH employees volunteered at Jeffco Action Center. We gave our time back to the community. We all came together as a YH family and helped sort food and clothing for the less-privileged. What a beautiful day this was…doing something for someone else when instead, we all could have had a pool day on our unexpected time off.

This was the closure I needed…making a difference in our community by all working together. It’s a reminder for me that this life should be about community over competition. And an even greater reminder that through the Jeffco Action Center, people who have less than I do are out there making it happen too.

As I said goodbye to my YH family today after volunteering, I surrendered my fear to take the leap and live my life on purpose.

So I am happy to share with all of you that I am living my dream as a full-time wedding photographer!




Photo Credit:

  1. Nelson Goodreau

    May 25th, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Awesome post! I love good-news stories.
    Good luck to you.

  2. rschrepel

    May 25th, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you Nelson!

  3. David and Renee Sogge

    May 25th, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Best wishes for a long and successful career. You know what to do and have a supporting family rooting for you.

    David and Renee Sogge

  4. rschrepel

    May 25th, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Awe!! Thank you Dave and Renee!! Thanks for cheering me on!

  5. Laura kinser

    May 25th, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Congrats Rachel! It’s making me see YH in a new light.
    You will be great!

  6. rschrepel

    May 25th, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you Laura!! Time to move on from YH and on to bigger and better things!

  7. Lynnette Schrepel

    May 25th, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Congrats! Ms. Rachel! We are so proud of you. You are a wonderful photographer and know that you will be a huge success. Best wishes as you embark on this new journey.

  8. rschrepel

    May 25th, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you so much Lynnette!! I appreciate you!!

  9. Virginia Snyder

    May 25th, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Congrats Rachel !
    I have no doubt that you’ll be very successful
    Love your style 👍🙏🏻👍

  10. rschrepel

    May 26th, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you Virginia!!

  11. Tyra

    May 26th, 2017 at 4:34 am

    You amaze me! You recognized that you needed to take a leap and you found the courage to do it. You are a great photographer and truly have an eye for capturing those special moments! I wish you all the best in life and in your career.

  12. rschrepel

    May 26th, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Awe Tyra!! Thank you so much!! I appreciate your love and support!

  13. Kelli Crannell

    May 26th, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I look forward to watching you live out your dream. So many are paralyzed by fear and live with regret. Way to go Rachel!!

  14. rschrepel

    May 26th, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you Kelli! Yes, I totally agree! I feel free now!

  15. Mom

    May 26th, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    What a beautiful story! I am so proud of you! You have always accomplished the most amazing things in your life, and you are about to embark on the next amazing adventure! Love and gratitude always overcome fear! And with those in your life, you will always succeed! Your photography is as beautiful as you are!

  16. rschrepel

    May 26th, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you so very much Mom! Thank you for being proud of me! Love all of your sweet words of kindness and support! xo

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