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It took more than a small amount of courage to admit my faults publicly. I knew better than to post my personal life for public scrutiny and yet that is exactly what I did five years ago. I sat down in front of my computer and I began to write the truth about my life. Then I posted it on Facebook.

It was a horror by my telling. The details that I chose to share were chilling until those who were reading did not know what to say other than, “I am sorry.”

I’m sorry does not mean much to me anymore. It’s a pity. It’s a shame that apologies go hand in hand with apathy. It’s a condition to have empathy for and I do. I am sorry that there is reason to be sorry. Now on with it. None of us have time to be moping about feeling sorry for ourselves.

I’m sorry is not going to put food on the table. I’m sorry is not going to keep a roof over my head. I’m sorry is not going to ever make me happy nor will it ever be the reason I concede forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the gift I give myself so that I do not become a stone cold killer. Forgiveness is the grace that keeps me human when I would prefer to be savage revenge and justice at the same time. Forgiveness is the cure to my own bitterness. It is relief for a soul tattered from years of festering wounds long green and in need of amputation. Forgiveness is pain cut out and removed.

The only person that I have never been able to forgive in life is myself. I have no tolerance for my own short comings. I am disgusted by them. Asking me to love my flaws is like asking a man who has just been paralyzed to love life knowing that he will never feel his legs again or his manhood. You can rationalize adaptation all you want to but at the end of the day the truth is clear. If I accept my short comings as reality then that is what I will become: a man living life without an erection. Some fates are simply unacceptable.

When I am honest with myself I know that I am most unhappy about what I am unwilling to change. This is what I would like to work on today:


  • I would like to work on the book I am writing (accomplished)
  • I will create goals that are achievable. (accomplished)
  • I will have an amazing photo shoot this afternoon. My client is going to be so happy they chose my studio. The pictures are going to be amazing!
  • Workout at Lacey Ultimate Fitness Center. 30 minutes cardio. DB Curtseys (8lb): 3 sets of 10 each leg. Seated leg press 3 sets of 20. Wide and Narrow stance. Calf Raises. Lunges 3 sets of 10 each leg. Planks. Trikonasana, Pigeon Pose, Downward Dog. Bicycle kicks.
  • Design Campaign and Post Santa Promo
  • Yearbook follow-ups
  • Appointment follow-ups
  • Auction donation
  • Food Prep. Pizza is not an option.

TUMWATER HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2017 STUDIO MODEL: Carson Porter PHOTOGRAPHER: Amber Garibay #asmilelikeyours


Carson Porter was phenomenal to work with. He is a gallant and dashing young man, charming and sweet to his mother. I felt completely blessed to have had the opportunity to take his senior pictures. His mother called me to book because I took his sister’s senior pictures several years back and she loved them. When she called to book her session I offered her son the opportunity of being a studio model. I explained to her that my invitation was more of a gift to save her money on pictures than it is an obligation.

“We accept and invite a select few each year as studio models. Usually one or two students from each high school  If Carson is accepted into our modeling program he will earn a $150 credit towards an hour photo shoot. His yearbook photo will be included in that credit. That image will be delivered to his school by our photography studio. He also has the opportunity to earn studio gift cards for referrals that book photo shoots from his promotion. “



  1. Studio Models share their pictures on social media and when they do they make sure to let their friends know where they got their pictures taken. They include the tag #asmilelikeyours in their posts and they mention our website. ASMILELIKEYOURS.COM
  2. Studio models let their family and friends know that they will ALL get booking gifts  at a Smile Like Yours . Carson Porter’s friends and family will get TWO FREE 5×7’s with their package purchase and $10 off the session. USE OFFER CODE: #modelcarsonporter
  3. Studio models like our business page on Facebook and they follow us on Instagram. They support other studio models by liking and commenting on their pictures. They engage with people that comment on their pictures. By this I mean they take the time to type, “Thank you” to compliments given on their photos online.
  4. Studio models have self esteem and confidence. They do not say things like, “I look fat,” or “My face looks funny.” They look for the best in themselves and they bring out the best in others. Our studio models understand that they were chosen because they are the highest quality sort of people. They love themselves and they love their pictures.
  5. Studio Models represent our brand. Our brand is what we stand for. Our brand is what we believe. It is our morality. It is our ethics. Studio models represent our brand by making people smile every day as a goal. This is as easy as kindness. Studio models take time each day to make the world a better place. They hold doors open for other people. They stand to let the elderly sit. They are gracious and appreciative. They do not feel entitled. They feel honored. Our studio models are honorable people. Exemplary. They are the kind of people that make their parents proud.R7899.jpg


Muscle weighs more than fat. This is a fact. I like facts because they can not be undone. Facts are true. Facts are honest. Honesty is hard to find in this world of “fake it until you make it.”

What happens if you never make it? What if you keep faking it, while hoping that you will make it, only to wake up one day at the end of your life and realize that everything you lived was a lie? You never were the person you thought you would become. What if you die trying?

I have been many people in my one lifetime. I have been a skinny person. I have been a fat person. I have been a happy person. I have been a person that is morbidly depressed. I have been a generous person and I have been greedy person. I have been a loving person and I have been hateful. I have been a person that is intoxicated, elevated, high. I have been a person that is sober and it was sobering. I have been so many people that my identity could easily be confused. I am grateful to have a strong and introspective core.

“When it comes to keeping your body’s muscles fit, you often hear the expression “use it or lose it.”

Yet most people don’t know that your body’s controlling organ – your brain – is similar to a muscle, too. In fact, keeping your brain “fit” with plenty of mental stimulation is a great way to support your healthy cognition, mental function and memory throughout your life.

I value intelligence more than any other attribute until I compare it to health. I know a lot of really smart people who live lives and make choices that are super unhealthy. There can be no mind without a body. I am truly in awe of people who are able to master both; mind and body at peak performance and optimal health.

I have been neglecting my own health lately. Business is booming and I am building mine with sweat equity and a strict budget. I am able to account for every dollar but don’t ask me where the time goes. I live from deadline to deadline and right now that means I am glued to my computer, tuning out all life but work, until I realize that it’s eight o’clock at night and I would rather have a glass of wine and go to bed than find the energy to hit the gym.

I do not like to go to the gym in the morning because my mind is fresh at that time of day. I wake up ready to create, already thinking about what I would write, if I had time to write, and then I start working on what needs to be done. I have editing to do. I have books to design. I have slideshows to create and pictures to order. I have emails to answer and phone calls to make. I have photo shoots booked and clients coming to order. I have orders that need to be packaged and accounts that need to be settled. I have social media to manage for more than one business because that is another business I am building and then…


I do not like to go to the gym in the evening because I am tired and in need of wine. I am currently a fat person who has not been able to get into her jeans for more than a year now but that’s OK by society because LuLaroe leggings are trending and fat shaming is out. Muscle weighs more than fat so I don’t really need to bother with the scale. I know that my body composition has changed to reflect the sum of my choices. I know that if I invest in myself, in my health, I will have more time to live and I will be happier while I live them. I will be more attractive because I will be living the truth of a balanced and active life. I will not be a person who is glued to her computer working, always working, and then working some more. Who wants to wants to work all the time?

I do. I love what I do for a living. It’s like a good book I can’t put down. My business consumes me and I let it. It’s hard for me to do anything else and yet I get jealous when I see how happy and active other people are. I scroll through Facebook and see people on vacation. People at the gym. People spending time with their kids. People being lazy and leisurely.

I want to be those people and yet my choice comes back to this business until balance doesn’t seem to matter anymore and fitness doesn’t either. I know a lot of smart people who struggle with choice. I’ve been choosing to do what I love to the neglect of what I need to do in order to maintain the love. I have not been staying true to what I know about success. Success is a formula. There are rules to be followed. Pay yourself first. Pay you debts after that. Take care of yourself first. You are your best investment.


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