There are two kinds of people in the world…there are the “dreamers” and the “doers.” I realize one must be the former to become the latter, but it’s kind of like a question on an IQ test. All sloops must be slorps, but not all slorps are sloops. There are dreamers that like planning phases, and wishful thinking, who are really good at collecting dreams that never come to fruition. These are the kind that keep a shelf of ideas they might dust and care for, but never actually use. Then there are dreamers that hit the ground running as soon as they feel that little spark. They feel a sense of urgency when inspired, and allow result-driven effort to become part of their lives. These are people often simply deemed “lucky” by onlookers or naysayers, but are actually rainmakers who fight everyday for the limelight they look so natural standing underneath.
Jaime Huffman is a sloop, a doer. At first glance she seems like the kind of girl who just manifested from a drop of sunshine that fell into the little ball of energy that she is. She has long blonde hair, bright ocean-toned eyes, a fit physique, and charming gifts that seem dropped on her by nature. Not to mention, her resume` includes starring on the longest running reality show on television, penning numerous successful blogs, winning an $80,000 wedding, and mothering a gorgeous son. It can appear like one of Charleston’s favorite social media queens just has that “it” quality because of a happy accident by the universe. However, this is far from the case.
We can’t deny that Huffman was blessed with genes that are equally brainy and beautiful, but the rest is no lucky strike. When I sat down at Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery with the former CBS Survivor contender and area photo-journalist last week, I found anything but a privileged girl with a rabbit foot in her pocket sitting across from me. Instead, I met a woman who worked to get a college scholarship to pay for her education, then worked her way through school for spending money. I learned about a girl who was a tenacious athlete from childhood, and had to fight off the “Barbie” stereo-types her looks yielded to prove herself on the field and in the classroom. Perhaps it was during her up-bringing where the new girl from Florida had to demand her place in the cronyism of a southern high school, that a charismatic competitor suited for the high-stakes tribal council was born.
Jaime is probably too nice and too much of a lover of other people to label herself a competitor, but she is one. She is one because she gives her all to everything she does, and has high expectations of herself, thus setting the bar for those around her. She just keeps pressing in until she reaches her goals, an attitude that makes winners and medal-wearers in spite of themselves. Even after an initial denial from the powers at be for her television spot, there was something about her that they couldn’t shake. She still had to fly back to California multiple times, take time out of her school and work schedule, and fight for her spot. She then went through periods of waiting, and playing touch and go until she got that coveted call. She finally got her time in the spotlight on Survivor, and not due to luck, but perseverance.
Though she didn’t win the million dollars, she did start wheels in motion that would propel the next decade of her life. She met the love of her life, Erik, who would become her husband and father of her son. She met an audience that would help her achieve her dreams as a blogger and brand-builder. She met a world of possibilities, that would naturally mean more work and grind, but more time in that warm spotlight she still just can’t seem to escape.
The thing I want other women of Charleston and beyond to see about Jaime is that it’s ok to have seemingly bizarre and outlandish goals. It’s ok to go for the narrow chances, and bigger dreams. It’s ok to pull them off of that neat shelf, and get them messy. But it isn’t going to be luck…but you must be ready to WORK. You can have it all… the career, fame, family, loving relationship, and happiness. But you must be willing to look behind the curtain. Jaime isn’t just a bright smile with a rainbow falling on her shoulder. She spent time studying, sweating, playing breadwinner while putting her husband through med-school, and building personal platforms in every spare moment. She’s gritty…she ate bugs on national television for crying out loud!
Jaime Huffman is a writable woman because she gives 100% of herself 100% of the time. She doesn’t complain or wonder where her moment is…she makes her moment, whatever the moment. She actively seeks it, and creates it. She made me realize that we all have time for our wants and our needs alike. We have time to give back, to collect toys for kids at Christmas (which she did), raise a family, and have fun while creating our own audiences. We have time for all of our priorities, and can have a fun positive energy while pursuing all of them. It’s just a choice.
There’s a reason so many of us watched her on tv, or still follow her on Instagram today. She spends just a little more time building what is quality from photos, to business, to life in all it’s glory. She shows us something to be emulated…and that my friends, is effort…and some of the best I’ve seen. ~
*Be sure to follow Jaime on Instagram and Facebook! @charlestonblonde
*She is also launching a brand new blog, Charleston Blonde: A Southern Lifestyle Blog, coming soon!!!
by Lorna Hollifield