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Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

Final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 

 



I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

Holy macaroni, it’s time to set our New Year’s resolutions again. What. The. Hell. Every year time seems to flow a little faster. It’s craziness!

 



Alas, it is what it is, and here we are. We have physically transitioned to a new year. The mental transition, of course, is a little slower (I promise you I’ll be writing the wrong year on everything until at LEAST June!).

Many of us have set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions. I know I have! I’m very excited about these changes! But I’m also a bit nervous. Let’s be real here (isn’t that what we do on this blog?). Less than 10% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

 

 

What can we do to increase our chances of ACCOMPLISHING our resolutions? Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate pretty easily into your daily life. These will help you to keep your resolutions important and up front in your mind throughout the whole year, and not just on day one. These suggestions are great for any kind of goal you set, not just your New Year’s Resolution!

 

Make a resolution/goal in the first place:

 

 

This may seem like a “duh!” suggestion, but there’s a reason I not only included it, but made it number one.

Less than half of people even set resolutions. You know what you can’t accomplish if you don’t set them? Goals. Yep, the first step to accomplishing something is actually deciding you want to accomplish something. It’s SO simple…

 

 

Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often:

 

 

The value of writing goals down has long been known by researchers. Here is a great article on The Huffington Post that discusses the benefits of putting your goals in writing.

Basically, if you write your goals down, you are almost 50% more likely to accomplish them. This has to do with you introducing these goals to your brain through thought AND vision. If your brain SEES the goal you’ve been thinking about, it gets the message that you are more serious about what you want.

The more your brain sees this goal, the more the importance of the goal is reaffirmed. So write it down often, and keep visuals in high traffic places in your home, such as by your front door, on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror.

 

 

Set several small goals:

 

 

Remember when Bill Murray taught us about taking baby steps in What About Bob? While Bob took this a little more literally than his psychiatrist intended, there is value in the analogy.

It is much easier to accomplish several smaller, more defined goals than a single big one. So once you decide on your resolution, try to break it down into two or three micro goals that all work toward the bigger purpose. Make sure these are S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

For example, if your resolution for 2018 is to be healthier, try a couple of small goals, like drinking more water, only eating sweets on the weekend, or taking a 20 minute walk every day. Those are much more defined and actionable than a general goal of being more healthy. This also makes it possible for you to measure your success.

Let me give you another example. Here is my resolution for this year:

 

 

I’ve broken my resolution down into three S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m going to go a step further and break each goal down into a couple of smaller steps to make them even more achievable. Notice I also posted them right there on my refrigerator so I see them several times a day.

 

 

Establish a reward for accomplishing your goals:

 

 

Set up a reward for when you accomplish each of your small goals. Let’s go back to our example earlier of being healthier.

Say you set a sub-goal of drinking more water. How about if you drink 8 glasses of water a day, every day for a month, you buy yourself a new water bottle (Enter our January giveaway to win an Infusion Pro water bottle here)? Or if your sub-goal is to walk more, after a month of walking 20 minutes a day, get yourself a nice pedometer.

Reinforcing your goals with a reward system significantly increases your chances of success. One big reason for this is that when you are rewarded, you release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Dopamine helps you to see rewards and work toward them.

Interestingly, anticipating a reward can be just as effective in releasing dopamine as actually getting the reward. This is significant because studies have shown that go-getters release much more dopamine than slackers do.

So reward your accomplishments, because science and shit!

 

 

Don’t go telling everyone:

 

 

Sounds weird, right? I mean, doesn’t telling other people about your goals create accountability? Not so much, according to research.

When we tell a person our goal, they often commend and encourage us for setting the goal. This stimulates something called Social Reality, according to Derek Sivers (Ted X speaker).

Sivers says: “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.” Learn more about this here.

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your goals with anyone. Just make sure if you do, that it’s a person who you have established mutual respect with, and who will help keep you in check.

 

 

The Takeaway

 

As you can see, setting and KEEPING your New Year’s resolution isn’t as easy as just saying you want to improve. If it were that easy, none of us would struggle with keeping our resolutions! No, this is something that will take time and effort. But it will be worth it!

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated! Remember, you wouldn’t be setting the goal in the first place if it wasn’t important. Aren’t all important things in life worth working for? Follow the tips above, and I guarantee you will increase your chances of your New Year’s resolution becoming a box on your life checklist you can finally check off.

 

Now go get ’em guys and gals!

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.