A few years ago, I was on this YouTube tv show. It was a challenging experience for me, because I have awful stage fright. No matter how calm I feel mentally, no matter how deeply I breathe, my body betrays me. When a group of people is staring at me expectantly, my heart pounds and my throat tightens and my legs tremble. (I much prefer to be behind the camera.)
But even though it was a bit uncomfortable to lay myself bare in front of internet strangers and a live studio audience, something lovely came out the experience. And that was connections.
Audience members spoke to me the filming about their losses and loves. Strangers sent me sweet, supportive DMs on Instagram. Commenters wrote about how much my dreams meant to them. And somewhere in Massachusetts, beautiful Julie was watching too.
She reached out to me about her engagement to Jesse and their wedding and the conversation alone was a gift.
Even though they didn't have a venue yet, Jesse and Julie knew who they were and how that would carry through their wedding day. They told me how their wedding would be a celebration of every guest's love, not just their own. Generosity, presence, and joy threaded through every idea. And while the form of the day shifted as they solidified their plans, those core intentions have stayed strong.
For their engagement shoot, we met at Governor Ames Estate Community Park in North Easton. When she described it, Julie told me "The whole place is a dream," and mentioned the "huge ass amazing trees."
Her description was spot on. It probably sounds ridiculous, but the whole experience felt magical. The space had the grounding, rooted power of an old forest. The trees felt like additional characters in the story we were telling, not just the frame.
But our jokes and conversation brought a lightness too. An ease and connection. Thinking back on that summer day fills me with a warmth I can't fully explain.
Maybe I'm more of a romantic than I even realized... But the YouTube show that brought us together was all about how we find our way. Sometimes to the things we know we want and sometimes down a path that's unexpected, meandering, and wild.
Even if my other dream hasn't fully solidified yet, I'm so grateful for the humans, the meaning, and the connections - like this one with Jesse and Julie - that keep me moving forward on this beautiful path.