Free To Succeed Tour : Boston

think the closest thing to it could be summer camp. When I was a kid, I went to camp and spent the hot summer days jumping in lakes, going on hikes, and singing around the campfire. I’d make new friends and we’d pledge our eternal devotion through braided friendship bracelets or homemade neon keychains. By the time we had to say goodbye, we’d share tearful embraces, exchange addresses with the promise to write, and wave until the large yellow transportation bus disappeared, leaving only dust in its place. Yes, I think the closest thing to it would be summer camp.

Last night in Boston concluded my stint on the Free to Succeed Tour and it was a lot harder to say goodbye than I expected. During the last month, the tour bus—complete with its hodge-podge family living inside—became home for me. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept amongst my friends and while I was quite dubious of its power, the tour has changed me in so many ways. Too many and too personal to list here, but suffice it to know I’m a better person because of the many people I’ve encountered. I’ve shared stories, hugged, and even cried with an abundance of photographers around the United States and I’m so blessed.

Yesterday, just a couple hours before my last presentation on the tour, I sat with my legs dangling over the Mystic River. There, on a tattered New England dock, I closed my eyes and let my hair whip across my face and thanked God for allowing me to be a part of one of the most amazing experiences. Still now, sitting in my living room—reeling over what feels like the longest travel day of my life—I’m incredibly thankful. To David Jay for inviting me on this incredible tour. To my husband for picking up the slack, never complaining when I brought home piles of laundry, and for being my rock. To my family for their support. To my friends for their patience and understanding.

And though I didn’t have a friendship bracelet or neon keychain to give David Jay, I tearfully embraced him and said goodbye. When JD and I got into the taxi today, I looked back at the tour bus where David was once standing, and saw only dust in his place.

A special thanks to Kenny Kim for these photos…you can check out a complete slideshow on his blog! And a special thanks to Bob Pattison for bringing me a uber fab Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt...I LOVE it! :)

I made the last minute decision to wear my read shoes last is just better when you're wearing red shoes!

DJ's girlfriend, Allie, surprised me with a lovely bouquet of flowers after my presentation, so in true I-cannot-keep-it-together-form, I cried...

I'm back in full swing this week and have a busy few weeks coming up, so this blog is now back to its regularly scheduled programming. Hollllla!
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Blair - I love that Cupcake tshirt!! My boyfriend bought me the same one awhile ago!! =)  10.21.09 - 4:15pm
Jill - Jasmine..... It was great seeing you in Chicago and listening to your story of determination and passion. I guess it is just all about K.I.R.!! :) Thank you for sharing your tools of success with all of us!   09.02.08 - 10:49am
Rachel - I LOVE this post and I LOVE your photography and outlook on life!!!  08.29.08 - 8:47pm
Paula Emery - So sad you won't make it to Nashville. I was hoping somehow plans would change. But I'm glad it was a fabulous experience for you and that you are home safely again!  08.29.08 - 9:28am
chris - welcome home jasmine! time for another one of your photographer lunch's to regale us with the details!  08.29.08 - 8:35am
Tony Yu - As DJ already said:"It's only the beginning". Thank you for your DETERMINATION!   08.28.08 - 8:06pm
Karin Dailey - Soooooooooo glad you made it to Boston, Jasmine! You truly are an amazing person! WE LOVE JASMINE!!! WE LOVE JD! J STAR FOR PRESIDENT! LOL.   08.28.08 - 5:36pm
Kristen Dawn - So awesome to finally meet you! Thank you all so much for coming out to Boston (I know you wore the shoes to rep' the Red Sox, duh) Don't ever change Jas and keep up your amazing work.   08.28.08 - 5:29pm
Robin Dini - once again, you've put it all into words beautifully. i love reading your blog! i know i am thankful for you doing this tour too :) You changed my life on Monday and I can't wait to see you again so I can share stories with you. Thank you.  08.28.08 - 5:13pm
Crystal - LOL!!! Red shoes... and Red toenails. :) loves  08.28.08 - 4:50pm
Lydia - I'm so glad you got just as much out of the tour as we did!  08.28.08 - 1:56pm
jennifer - Hi Jasmine! I will be attending the Free to Succeed Tour in Orlando next week and I'm super excited - but a little sad 'cause you won't be there - bummer. You are such an awesome photographer and person - what a blessing you are.  08.28.08 - 1:39pm
Janey - OMG! JD cracks me up! So cute!  08.28.08 - 1:16pm
Furious Photographers - mmm..cupcakes! Cupcakes > War. Wedding Photography > Cupcakes > War  08.28.08 - 12:06pm
Heather Kincaid - I was so bummed I miss you guys when you were in LA! And yes, life is always a bit better in red shoes... especially fierce red pumps like those!  08.28.08 - 11:49am
Grace Liu-Anderson - Oh I feel you! I can feel those "summer camp" goodbye memories tugging at my heartstrings! Your post put it so well! I always look forward to visiting and reading your blog! It brighens my day. Thanks for sharing, giving, and K.I.R. I know that so many have been inspired by your genuineness and personality - especially from this tour!  08.28.08 - 11:44am
Paper Monkey - I have to tell you that there are some days (like today) that I am burned out from working my 2 jobs and trying to keep up with my business. I know that I can come to your blog, read your stories, and feel more motivated to get on with my day, bite the bullet, do what I need to do today. Hopefully someday soon I can quit my other jobs and focus on Paper Monkey, and I'll continue to come here to stay motivated. Thanks! :)  08.28.08 - 11:19am
Christina - You are amazing, and I know so many of us were inspired by you in life-changing ways! Thank you (and JD!) for sharing yourself with us!! *PS-I have a photo of those red shoes on my (new) blog!  08.28.08 - 10:45am
Mike Romeo - I was reading on DJ's Web site that you might be rejoining the tour? Is that True? If so in what state?  08.28.08 - 10:45am
Maureen - You did an Awesome job telling your story and getting so many of us re-inspired- Thank You!!!   08.28.08 - 10:17am
Bobbie - Aww. It's over. Well, I know it was a great experience, and we can't wait to see all you will be blogging about now that you are back home and back to life as normal!  08.28.08 - 9:55am
wale - you mean you're not coming to DC :( i do have to admit though, i'd rather see the regularly scheduled programming  08.28.08 - 9:30am
Will Tangorra - It was thrill meeting you after all this time...and your presentation was amazing! Thank you for your constant inspiration and for reminding us that being DETERMINED is what will help us get to that next level and beyond! P.S. Thanks for the little video we made explaining everything to my wife. She loved it. ;)  08.28.08 - 9:28am
Catie - Welcome back and congratulations on the uber successful tour! I know I had a blast 2 weeks ago in SF, and it really did change my life. Thanks for sharing and giving so much of yourself to the community. I truly appreciate all your work! Take care and keep it rockin'!  08.28.08 - 9:18am
Jane Chung - We're glad to finally get the J* back to where she belongs. Now onto the most important thing ... update on Polo, please! =)  08.28.08 - 8:54am
Brandi Tejeda - Jasmine! I had so much fun following you through your blog. I cant imagine how many lives you changed on this tour. I know that night in Houston was an important night in my life. One of the best. You are such an amazing person and if anyone deserves to be a part of such an awesome group of photographers (and people) its YOU!   08.28.08 - 8:34am
Tira J - Summer camp memories are the best. I still remember going to Forest Home and making friendship bracelets with leather and beads. I sincerely appreciate you and DJ for being so open and honest with all of us on this tour. It has been life changing for us as well. And a special thank you to all of your families for allowing you to be away for extended lengths of time. You all ROCK! And I love that you are back to the regular scheduled programming. HOLLLLA!!!!  08.28.08 - 8:32am
Ana Contreras - Jas, it has been great to follow you on this incredible journey........Thank you for blogging even when you were made me feel like I was right there with you......Take care and...SLEEP!!!  08.28.08 - 8:29am
Mary - No pictures of Boston?? Super bummed, was looking forward to seeing how you "saw" this place. Would love to have met you b/c I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. Glad you had a wonderful experience, thanks, as always, for sharing.  08.28.08 - 8:26am
jeramy - what an amazing journey! the ripple will still reveal itself for awhile i think. thank you for sharing yourself on this has changed my life. take care and god bless...  08.28.08 - 8:05am
PW - Your reflection on summer camp was so vivid, I can imagine being there myself and it makes me sad for you. Following you and your experiences on this tour really made me feel like I was there right along with you. You are such an inspiration and know that you have motivated so many people with your brilliance. I missed your tour in SD, but knowing that you are only a city away I hope to cross paths with you, but until then, I will continue to anxiously jump online to view your amazing work.  08.28.08 - 7:50am
mike Larson - looks like you guys are having a blast, I'm so stoked for you. sweet updates...`  08.28.08 - 7:37am
Krista Photography - It was so great to hear your story the other night - and to meet you in person after having read your blog for a long time! You are as funny & genuine in person as you seem to be online - which shouldn't surprise me, but still kinda did. Now I can see why Shyla gushes about you all the time :)  08.28.08 - 7:10am
ksen : ) - j* looks like you had a blast... what an experience!! i don't know how you did it all though... just incredible! thanks for all the updates. :D  08.28.08 - 6:52am
deB perry - Love all the updates...I don't know how you got it all done with weddings in between. Amazing. Glad you are home now...but I am so going to miss you at my first meeting tonight in DC ...I will have to settle for the boys...JK ....hee hee...hugs!  08.28.08 - 6:34am
marlene - bummed also that you couldn't make it to DC. Oh wellz, i guess me and Susan are gonna have to embark on a road trip to Cali for fun, learning and Pinkberry :) Safe travels!  08.28.08 - 6:11am
Susan Solo - Jasmine, I'm more than bummed that you won't be coming to the DC stop tonight, but I'm so happy that this was such an amazing experience for you! Thank you for sharing your stories. Guess I'll just have to hoof it out to the "other coast" if I want to hear you speak sometime!  08.28.08 - 5:30am
Natarsha N. Wright - Awwww....*tear* it has been a pleasure following you on your travels. Thanks for being such a super sweet rock star!  08.28.08 - 5:04am
The Feds - We had a great time the other night. You story is so touching and inspiring for all. Don't knock me for the accent/spelling I still think it is CAMCORDA ;)   08.28.08 - 4:58am
Tunji Sarumi - Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing. :D  08.28.08 - 3:53am
DJ - We are the lucky ones to have been able to share the last month with you. Thank you for giving so much of yourself and for braving the Bus AND the planes to make this tour happen! Isn't it exciting to know that this is just the beginning!   08.28.08 - 12:10am