It was September 2011, the start of my final year of University in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
For three years I had been dreaming about taking a ceramics class but it was always coinciding with a mandatory class up until my 4th year.
And I’m forever grateful for taking that specific class.
Because you see, there was a girl in my class that I know I was destined to meet.
Her name is Julie.
She is Danish.
From the first day we met, we became inseparable.
Julie was in Vancouver on exchange from her Master’s program of Industrial Design and had also always wanted to learn ceramics.
Turns out both of us fell in love with it and Julie even more so: she now runs a very successful business as a ceramist.
In addition to being a business woman, Julie is now also the mother of three amazing children and the wife of a talented carpenter, Soren. She’s a woman I truly admire and look up to in more ways than one.
When she came to visit me in Finland last year, she was struggling with the direction of her company. I made her website and we spoke a lot about what type of content she would put on her site.
It was a conglomeration of pieces she’d designed and while she really loved ceramics, she was afraid of focusing only on that. She had an underlying fear of not being able to make a living with it.
Julie couldn’t have been more wrong! Once she took the plunge, she hit success immediately.
It’s been amazing for me to follow her progress – having been at the beginning just learning ceramics to now doing it as a profession.
I think it’s a wonderful and inspiring example of the things we can accomplish when we follow that which we love to do, learn and study it until we master it.
And Julie is definitely a master in her art.
A lesson learned from Julie
When I say I admire Julie in many ways, it’s not only what she’s accomplished but who she is and how she approaches life and relationships.
Some years ago I was having an issue with my then-boyfriend while I was visiting her and she asked me one question: “Have you talked about your individual expectations towards this situation?”.
No, we hadn’t.
It was one of the biggest revelations for me – how can I be upset or hurt when we have never even spoken about what both of our expectations are.
When we don’t communicate in order to prevent upset and hurt from happening, we end up creating a direct road map to those very feelings.
We, as human race, tend to confuse communication with talking. We talk, talk, talk but we rarely understand or listen. How many conflicts could be avoided if we simply listened to one another.
A friend asked me a while ago: “Do you know anyone who’s in a happy marriage?”. I said yes, and thought of Julie.
Julie and Soren’s marriage is exemplary. I admire them individually and as a couple. I wish you could know them because they’d restore your faith in marriage / relationships / the opposite sex in a heartbeat.
Thanks Julie for trusting me with your photos!
You’re an inspiration.
Here are a few photos of us from last year and the beginning of our friendship:
JULIE AND ERIKA 2017
JULIE AND ERIKA 2011
I love you, Julie! Thanks for coming to my life. It’s much better because of you.
With so much love and respect,