Last fall I read The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna. After I read the book, I put it down for a few months. For some reason I kept coming back to the beautiful illustrations and the message that it was sharing for me. I’d tried to write a post but the right words wouldn’t come so I tucked the book away and moved on with my fall doing normal life things that Elle calls SHOULD. “Should is how other people want us to live our lives…. It’s all the expectations that others layer upon us….” p. 29 I also signed up for ALT Summit (a design blogging conference in Salt Lake City) and lo and behold Elle was slated as the closing keynote speaker. I’ve attended ALT four times and this year really was a turning point for me and my business. At the keynote, I sat in the front row and throughout the speech I kept nodding in agreement to everything that Elle was saying. As a speaker, I know that when you find someone in the audience that connects with your topic you have a tendency to continually look at and focus on that person. Elle was looking at me in the front row and I was nodding! Alt Winter 2016 Closing Keynote with Elle Luna from ALT Summit on Vimeo. Here is a link to her speech in its entirety. Its really worth a listen and something to come back to over and over again. After ALT I came home and again pulled out The Crossroads of Should and Must This time I absorbed the meaning behind it in terms of my own life and career. I've been incredibly lucky in choosing MUST…and having such a great network of support all around me has definitely helped along the way. According to Elle: “Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self.” p.31 I knew I wanted to be an interior designer as a senior in high school and I followed that path. Once I got into the business of interior design I followed my PASSION for 13 years working in Chicago for Fortune 500 clients. Along the way I learned how to project manage, design and made some of the best friends in my life. But ultimately I was missing some piece of my own creativity. I could never quite put my finger on it until I had my first child and then my second. After both their births I had come another crossroads and had chosen a different MUST - raising a family. This has been the most important MUST of my life and one that I have treasured every step of the way. I have shared art, design, photography, creativity and a love for the world with my children and have helped them grow into who they are today! (Thanks to my dear friends Aryn and Lisa for reminding me of this recently) Now that my kids are older, I am once again coming to those crossroads. Elle’s book reminds us that we come to this over and over again in our lives and this really isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m excited what MUST has in store for me now and have been exploring what it means for me…Photography, painting, writing, books, music, theater, film and travel. With these passions I always thought that they must be my career but I have come to realize that they are now just an extension of who I have become. I am lucky enough to get to share my passions with the world through my business and in this space. But I also get to savor some of the MUSTS just for myself and that's the best part of all. For those of you out there who are unsure of where your path is leading, look at where you are and you will find that you are actually right where you need to be on this journey. Enjoy the moment! Elle says it best at the end of her book: “We each have a unique potential that was given to us at birth, but whether or not we cultivate it is entirely up to us. In its purest sense, Must is why we are here to begin with, and choosing it is the journey of our lives.” Special Thanks to Rebecca and Jenny of Workman Publishing for providing photos from the book, ALT Summit for the Keynote Address, Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth photography from ALT and Elle Luna for creating such a beautiful book and story about choosing MUST. You can follow Elle on Instagram: @elleluna Have a great Wednesday everyone!