I have always wanted to be a cheerleader. I went to a performing arts high school that didn't have sports. They didn't even have gym class. The closest thing we had to cheerleaders were ballet dancers. Though it was an incredibly cool high school (a lot like Glee, actually), I really wanted a chance to be a cheerleader so I could cheer on my school and wear a cute uniform on game day. I mean, how can any girl resist a good pleated skirt, right?

In the competitive world of blogging and social media every day feels like a game day. I feel like my "game" is all about my photos and the score board consists of likes, repins and comments. A home run would be getting featured on a major blog or published in a magazine or working with a household name brand. So, where are the cheerleaders? Do they exist in this game?

A lot of days it feels like they don't. A lot of days it feels like people are waiting for me to lose so they have a chance of winning. But then there are some days when you get a super encouraging email from a reader or a text from one of your friends asking to collaborate with you and that feels like someone just did a cartwheel in my honor.

I love being a cheerleader for my peers, and I want to be even more of one this year. I will admit I have been the opposing team for some in the past, and you know what, it doesn't have to be that way. People can look at me as their target to beat, but I want to look at them and say, "Right on! You are such a lady boss!" because hopefully the more I do that the more cheerleaders we can make instead of opponents. 

My friend Latasha Haynes is a lifestyle photographer in a very competitive market, and she came up with this incredible quote that says, "Her success is NOT my failure." Isn't that the truth! Your success and my success really have nothing to do with each other. Just because you succeed at something doesn't mean I have failed. We all have our own paths to walk, and from a spiritual stand point, I believe that God has a special purpose for each person on this earth. No one is greater than the other even if someone has more followers than I do on Instagram. We are all equally as valuable and capable of doing wonderful things for God's kingdom and other people. Can I get an amen?! 

Handwritten artwork by Katie Sterbenz. And you can buy a t-shirt with this quote on it in Latasha's Etsy shop, click here.

Photography by Kym Ventola, Styling by Alex Evjen, AVE Styles; Dresses by Cleo & Clementine, Makeup by Stephanie, Neiheisel, SN Makeup Artist.