Very surreal moment #1 – getting off the plane in NY and being met by a
driver in a Black Lincoln with the name “Candace Morton” on the card. Very Surreal moment #2 – Arriving at the Hearst Magazine Building in the middle of Manhattan. Rubbing elbows on the elevator with 7 ft models in flowing pieces of
How did this series of surreal moments occur, do you ask? It all started with a very typical Tuesday morning – one in which I sit down at my computer with coffee in hand to read some email. As usual, a couple of Oprah articles later, a little ad in the corner of the page caught my eye. “Tell Us How You Are Making a Better You”, it proclaimed.
I had no problem coming up with ways to fill the 1000 word essay. My personal growth journey started a couple of years ago when the economy came to a screeching halt. Since then I have been trying all sorts of new endeavors to try to find the province where my passions and prosperity collide.
Rewind 20 years. When my husband and I were first married, neither of us had finished our degrees. I conceded that focusing on his education made sense at that time, so he buckled down and successfully finished a B.A and M.B.A. I focused on taking care of the household and the children. Life happens and 16 years later I am still a stay-at-home mom without an inkling of what I want to be when I grow up, just a lot of volunteer hours under my belt. Unfortunately, volunteer hours in this economy don’t count for a hill of beans.
With one child successfully launched and 2 high-schoolers in the queue for college – obtaining funds for college for myself is out of the question. So I decided to create my own college or “college for Candace” as it has come to be called by the Oprah staff. Because of the poor economy and competitiveness of the job market I decided that I would look for opportunities that kept me at home with my children, but added some income and fulfilled my very eclectic interests.
Five years ago I joined a non-profit, The Center for Cultural Interchange, where I find and monitor host families and exchange students. It’s a very rewarding position and the experience has been great for my two teens, but due to the economy and the school budget cuts, a very tough business. So a couple
of years later I added my own Mary Kay business to unleash my creative side (I come by it honestly, my mother was a professional makeup artist). Learning about what it takes to own my own business has been enlightening. I also
started taking French and golf.
So that particular Tuesday morning I wrote about my family, how the economy
has changed our trajectory, trying new things and embracing change. A few weeks later, on my 20th wedding anniversary to be exact, I learned I was one of two winners!
Just a few short days later we were on our way to New York, NY for a photo and video shoot. I was completely convinced it was a scam up until arriving at SFO and there were in fact, flight reservations made in our name. It was really thrilling and bizarre to be the focus of so much activity. This shoot has culminated in a couple of magazine articles and some video footage that
can be found online at Oprah.com and in the magazine, page 73, on newsstands
I am hoping that this opportunity is the genesis to finding my perfect
intersection of interests, skills and commerce. My husband and I fly to Los Angeles later this month to attend O You!, Oprah’s yearly convention where she brings together all of her cohorts and mentors such as Dr. Phil, et. al and inspires us to be our best selves. I can’t wait.
Tune in for next week’s blog, inspired by the photo shoot – Tips for taking your best holiday family photo.
“Life is too short not to feel fabulous everyday!” - Candace Morton