Navigating Life & Biz Post-Harvey

The past two weeks during Hurricane Harvey have been unlike anything I've experienced. As so many have lost everything, including their homes, we were lucky enough to make it out of the storm with only a flooded car. All of us Houstonians have seen firsthand how heartbreaking this destruction has been, and I just keep asking myself how am I to move forward now? I don't want to just gloss over what happened, but I don't know how to reconcile the need to continue with everyday tasks and business while not forgetting what happened to our community. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way in trying to find a balance as I move forward.

  Our flooded car at the airport

Our flooded car at the airport

The reality is that "normal life" moving forward will look different than the way life was before the storm. Moving forward means embracing this experience and letting it shape my everyday, instead of trying to fit it into what I think my life should look like. For me, this looks like embracing the the range of emotions I've been feeling -- heartbreak at the devastation but also hope in the people of our community. The past two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least, but I'd rather be open and talk about all of these feelings with friends and family, than push it all deep inside.

  We evacuated to Belton, TX to stay with my parents and their church, Memorial Baptist Church, sent us back with two truck loads of supplies and donations!

We evacuated to Belton, TX to stay with my parents and their church, Memorial Baptist Church, sent us back with two truck loads of supplies and donations!

Moving forward with this experience also means that volunteering and monetary donations will be a regular part of my life for many months and even years to come. Aside from the property damage we can see with our own eyes, unknown effects have continue to unfold, including health risks, lack of transportation, job loss, risk to education. I don't want to just do my part this month while it's fresh and then forget about it. The relief efforts will take some time, and I want to continue to stand with and care for my fellow Houstonians.

  We evacuated to Belton, TX to stay with my parents and their church, Memorial Baptist Church, sent us back with two truck loads of supplies and donations!

We evacuated to Belton, TX to stay with my parents and their church, Memorial Baptist Church, sent us back with two truck loads of supplies and donations!

Lastly, I'm moving forward with the knowledge that there is way more good in the world than bad. I've been following others on Instagram and Facebook and have been so encouraged by the overwhelmingly selfless and positive outpouring of support from our community. The hope, strength, and courage that I see in the people of Texas brings tears to my eyes. I've been especially encouraged by the church's response in truly being the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone, not just those in the church.

  I took this pic as we drove to Belton, imagining it was the last time I would see the sun in a while... haha so dramatic.

I took this pic as we drove to Belton, imagining it was the last time I would see the sun in a while... haha so dramatic.

So with these things in mind, this is how I plan to navigate post-Harvey life and business. I know it may not be perfect and I may stumble a bit, but we are strong together and we can rebuild together.

With the nature of my work, I have a great opportunity to use my talent and tools to help tell the story of what has happened Houston, but I was overwhelmed and didn't know exactly where to start. As I was thinking about how I wanted to use my business to help, I was contacted by Taylor Darnell of the Rick Anthony Athletic Foundation to help document the story of their Hurricane Harvey Fundraiser. RAAF is putting together backpacks full of supplies to give to students who have been directly affected by Harvey. Their story is so amazing and I'll be sharing more on that later, but I'm so excited to partner with an organization that is bringing positivity and hope to Houston.