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My Authentic Journey: A Photo Offers More Than You Think

Courtesy of Jeannette Dardenne

Experiential stories that revolve around the importance of being authentic to not only yourself but to those around you. After years of never finding the time to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ Jeannette is unearthing many of her passions including writing, fashion, and thrifting through her online blog ‘My Authentic Journey’ (formerly called ‘The Vineyard Life’) – a creative outlet that allows her to share, learn, and grow with others. You can explore more of her stories at @jeannettepdardenne on Instagram or www.myauthenticjourney.com.

By Jeannette Dardenne

Dear Future Self and Friends & Family,Pictures often bring me back to reality.

Now that we all carry around these incredible cameras, it is easy to capture moments in time without much work involved.

After a day of whatever … I will find myself perusing through the photos and reminisce – even if I am looking at photos from moments ago. My kids are growing up <right before my eyes> and I feel so … many emotions.

I am so thrilled at the opportunities in front of them.
I am excited to watch them experience more
and … I am heartbroken at how fast it is all going.

The moment they were born, everyone would say, “they grow up so fast.” “before you know it, they will be off to school!”

Well, here I am, doing whatever I can to savor every <darn> moment, doing my best to stay in the present. Encouraging them to learn more, experience more, survive without the constant “watchful eye” of me …

Because at some point, they will go off and live … without needing my permission to cross the street, buy clothes, go out at night, travel.

Already, I am watching my middle-schooler engage in more activities that do not require my constant watch. She is so prepared, so knowledgeable, so ready … and I am so proud of who she is becoming.

My youngest is <luckily for me> still holding on tight to the hands of my husband and I. She still wants our approval and enjoys the closeness we can offer her.

So here I am.

Working hard to support my family.

Holding on to summer as hard as I possibly can … because before I know it, another wonderful season will come … and then go, and I will be left looking at pictures of now and what is to come.

Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne is an entrepreneur who started the popular Facebook group @eatinconnecticut – a community forum that connects foodies and the food and beverage industry for delicious conversations. She and her business partner now together run @eatinconnecticut and INGroup Creative – a public relations and marketing company that helps small businesses thrive. Jeannette is also a business advisor at the University of Hartford Entrepreneur Center & Women’s Business Center. When she isn’t helping others, she enjoys exploring the state and beyond with her husband and two children.

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