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My Close Up Trip

I’ll never forget the day my AP US History teacher told the class about a program called Close-Up, which was the opportunity to travel on a week-long educational trip to Washington DC to tour the nation’s capital and historic sites.  

A few years prior, I had moved from Virginia to Utah and the idea of traveling back there, with all of my friends, was, well…magical. I just knew I had to be on that trip! The only problem was, at the age of 16, how was I to pay for that?  I had a job but made only $5 per hour and the trip was $1200!


I rushed home that day and told my mom all about it.  With the wisdom of a loving mother who wanted the world for her child, when asked if I could go, she responded emphatically “yes, of course you can.”  

Then followed up with…”but you’ll just have to find a way to do it.”

I knew what that meant, and I had braced myself for her response.

You see, my mom was raising 5 kids on her own, with very little support from my dad.  Finances were tight, and she definitely couldn’t dole out $1200 for an unnecessary trip to Washington DC. But, she said I could find a way, and that’s exactly what I did.

Now, you could think the magic of this story is how I raised the money.  

And, that was an accomplishment I’m proud of, but I will save that story for another day.  The magic I want to share now, is in the gift my mother gave me.

Her response, while a little frustrating at the time, was an empowering gift that has served me throughout my life.  

She said YES!

She didn’t rain on my parade and give me all the million reasons it was unrealistic for a girl with no money to think she could attempt such a trip. Nope, she just believed I could find a way.  Her belief in the possibility of my dreams is exactly what propelled me forward, to find a way, and make things happen.

You guys, do you realize you can do whatever you want to dream up?  

Truly, you can!

Not only did I find a way to raise the money in a short period of time, but I actually ended up with a few hundred dollars extra spending money.  

Yup, it’s true!

When there’s a will there’s a way….that cliche statement has become a way of life for me. I, without a doubt, learned from my mother that I can do anything I set out to do.  

And I want you to believe that too, deeply, and put it into practice.

Let’s start today!  

What dream have you been putting off because you thought you lacked the funds, or time, or any obstacle that has stopped you in your tracks?

 I’m going to give you the same gift my mother gave me and tell you right now, the answer is YES! You can go! You can do it! You can have what you want.  

Just find a way.

And guess what?

When you want something bad enough, you WILL find a way. I promise, there’s always a solution to those willing to go after their dreams.  

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