Fierce Friday | Dani Ford

What makes you a L I O N? “My first thought is because I love to sleep. Like, I LOVE me some sleep. I can totally relate the fact lions sleep 20 hours a day (that was google fact checked) on a spiritual level. Sleep is elusive these days because I have two tiny spawns that love to get up before the sun, le sigh.

Ok, but in all seriousness, lions are just the ultimate badasses aren’t they? I love everything about the fact how you chose a lion to represent this series and your blog. Besides their obvious sheer visceral strength, you don’t see them second guessing or being conflicted about if they are making the right life decisions, or sleeping less because they are worried about other people calling them lazy. They just rule the jungle, point blank. I like to think I can relate to that attitude somehow. Im not one to avoid challenges, in fact I feel like I go around and look for them. I feel in my element when I’m uncomfortable and scared, I love pushing my limits and learning what I’m capable of doing and always learning more about myself along the way. The opportunities that have came my way were the result of just saying ‘yes’. 99% of the time I had zero experience in whatever I was saying yes to, but I knew that I could handle it. Challenge always accepted. Living beyond my comfort level has taken me some pretty unbelievable places, and enables me to pursue a career that I only dreamt about being possible.

I feel like a huge part of badassery (is that a word? probably not but I’m going with it) is also in being vulnerable. It takes a huge amount of strength to say I don’t have all the answers or that I’m struggling and don’t have my shit together. We are all humans after all, not lions. 😉

The older I’ve gotten the more I’m able to sink into my own skin and inner badass. I’ve embraced her, gotten to know her, loved her, and my life loves me back tenfold because of it. I’ve gotten comfortable with defining myself rather than conforming to others definition of what I should be. Whether or not I actually am in fact a badass is relative, I FEEL like one.”

What makes you H U M B L E? “I am not special or exceptional. I am incredibly average and everything about me is, actually. My abilities, my problems, my mistakes; all of it. They are not privileged their measurements or severity. This mentality has helped me to always laugh at myself and my perceived self-importance, and even to set it aside.

Every day I am constantly humbled by my children. And before you roll your eyes and say, ok, boringggg, I think any mother will tell you the same and I don’t care if it sounds cliche. My heart was changed and inspired in the way they are able to love unconditionally. They don’t love me less when my hair looks so greasy I could make gravy with it, or when I have a giant zit on my chin, or dinner wasn’t a masterpiece and may or may not have involved a microwave. They care about the love that is shown to them and being able to express it in return. They don’t care about where they live or what clothes they wear. They just want to have fun doing whatever it is they are doing! That has opened my eyes to a lot, truly. I care less and less about those things now because I’ve gotten to see the world through their eyes and its been spectacularly enlightening.

I just hope to improve and study my craft for as long as I possibly can, to always chase honest expression, to love as deeply as I can, and be curious enough that I never stop learning.”

I met Dani when she photographed my dear friend’s wedding two years ago. She has a strong, confident presence and it’s invigorating. I followed her work (and life) ever since, and right after we moved back to Kentucky I was able to meet up with her for some sushi and laughs. This woman is fire. While her confidence and talent are enough to make you girl crush, her love for life and humanity were refreshing and humbling., yes, badassery is a word (in the urban dictionary) and a picture of your face accompanies it. Thank you for being my real life friend. It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more thankful. You are the kind of woman I aspire to be.

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