A coworker asked a few of us a pretty deep question at lunch last week. He asked what our hopes and dreams are… I didn't really have an answer right away, and here's why:

  1. Not fair, I was caught off guard.

  2. I think it’s a much larger conversation than a brief group lunch question.

  3. He actually got me thinking about a lot of things I want in life, so for that, I owe him thanks.

I wanted to answer the question mostly for me, but also for him if he ever decides to read this. TONY, If you’d like to have more of a discussion about it, I’d be more than happy to grab lunch with you one of these days.

My gut reaction/quick answer was about being a Creative Director. If my hopes and dreams were purely work-related, simply-stated with a label.. It would be just that. But you never know! Ask me in a year, that goal may change.

But after thinking about it, here's a comprehensive break-down to his question.


In somewhat of a nutshell…

I hope to stay in MN. My entire family is here. Family is life.

I hope to never stop learning, never stop doing. Freelance after work, freelance on weekends. When I’m not freelancing, I’m usually trying to teach myself new things (both digital as well as the more tangible crafts). I'd like to do more of the latter, because life isn't all about work, it's about learning for personal growth.

I hope to be a mentor. I recently mentored an intern this past summer (Kate Turner, AMAZING HUMAN BEING, works up in Engage). And it was one of the best experiences of my life (so far).

I hope to leave an impression. Whether people remember me or not, I hope to do something that changes the way people think, that challenges the way people create.

I hope to always be unique.

I hope to always stand my ground. I'm the quiet type (except with my mother's company). If I truly believe in something I WILL fight for it, I WILL voice my opinions, but I have to care about what I'm fighting for.


I dream to make an impact on the world.

One of my biggest dreams is to start a non-profit organization/project (on the side) utilizing my photography. I want to start with women’s prisons in Hennepin county. Offering the option to have their families come in to take a (for example) christmas/holiday/seasonal photo, and print a certain amount of copies that they can not only keep, but also send out to the rest of their family. Often times, the women that are held in Hennepin County Prisons are minor offenders that probably ended up in there because they were trying to support their family in the first place. I want to give families that can’t afford professional family photos (both shooting and printing) a method to have these family photos done.

I dream to make an impact on my family.

Another dream of mine, assuming I get married and have kids... is to be a stay-at-home mom and freelance while I raise my kid(s). My mom did this, and in return it has made me a strong advocate for this kind of childhood.

To be continued... I'll add more as I think through them more.


I hope to never stop hoping and I dream to never stop dreaming. Stay tuned for more thoughts on this.

Brooke Ekelund