Emma knocks on the door with three little “tap, tap, taps.” I answer, she smiles, exclaims, and laughs. She steps right in for a hug as my house begins to fill up with her bubbly presence. She’s an avid coffee drinker (I know this from a previous visit), so a full French press is ready for us in the kitchen. We are barely in the door and she bursts into cheerful chatter, interspersed with endless proclamations of, “I’m so excited! I’m just so excited!” She’s almost cartoon-like in her excitement and speedy thoughts. Some know me as a talker, but I’m no match for the delightful speed and positivity with which this woman expresses herself. We chat a bit, pour our coffee, and sit down at my kitchen table.
Emy: “What is your full name?”
Emma: “Emma Jane Lilburne Baskir.”
Emy: “What should we know about you?”
Emma: “Well, when I’m not shy I’m crazy.”
She laughs with sunny confidence behind child-like eyes.
Emma: “I’m a little bit motherly, as well. I love little kids and I love taking care of them when I have the chance. I treat my pets like they’re my kids! I really love theater. I love to sing, I love to dance, and I love to act, of course. I also love learning new skills. I guess one of my skills is actually keeping positive when a dark tunnel comes along. There will be days that I feel a dark tunnel coming on, and I always try to fight it back. I guess another special skill is organizing! I really love to organize. I also love to clean. I never get bored of cleaning! Oh, I am a choc-a-holic! I absolutely love chocolate. I just crave chocolate all the time, even when I’m not hungry. It’s just my favorite sweet to eat. Even if I order an apple pie, I won’t have it with vanilla, I’ll do chocolate instead. But, then again chocolate and cinnamon go really well together!”
She laughs and seems almost transported to a place with pie and chocolate, as her eyes twinkle with glee. I really can’t get over it. She reminds me of a 50’s cartoon character like Little Audrey, or Betty Boop…with a little more class than Betty, though. She’s adorable.
Emy: “What are your life goals?”
Emma: “I have to be honest: because I’m someone who loves to try everything and learn new things every day, I feel like I have too may goals, so I as I keep making goals I’m not sure where I could end up. Like, right now I am doing aerial silks and I want to keep doing that, but I also want to learn other things fitness-wise. I would also like to start learning Irish Gaelic! I was actually an Irish step dancer at one point, but I stopped because I got overloaded with school, theater, and other commitments. So, if I could go back to Irish step dancing I would. But, then I also want to visit London, England and anywhere in Ireland. I have plans to travel! I’m actually hoping to take a trip to London this fall with a few friends of mine. If it works out I might be able to stop in Ireland for a brief time!”
Emy: “Where do you work right now?”
Emma: “I currently don’t have a job, but volunteer-wise I like to work over at the Little Theater of Alexandria. When I’m not performing there I like to work backstage, either doing makeup, or props, or even set painting! I absolutely love to paint. In fact, I actually painted most of the walls in my apartment by myself.”
Emy: “Are you acting a lot currently?”
Emma: “I’ve actually been on a hiatus for about two years. I went to beauty school and got licensed as an esthetician. Then, my parents moved to Texas, so I’ve been working on getting my living situation together. Now that that’s done I’m really focusing on getting myself back out there. I really love acting, auditioning, and comedy is my favorite! I love to make people laugh, that’s my favorite thing I love to do. I am still so passionate about makeup. I love to look at all the different colors and use them as art. I see someone’s natural beauty as my canvas. That’s actually one of the reasons I love Verity Vareé! You not only give every special woman her dream photo shoot, but you also show the other side of her natural beauty. You show that she’s beautiful inside and out. I feel like that helps even other women in the world.”
She went on to expound on her love for Verity Vareé and the message of truth it carries. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t just make my day. Not only is this an incredible compliment to me and my team, but it is also obvious proof that Emma’s care-free, beautiful attitude is deep-rooted in this truth about women. She is beautiful and she knows it. Her beauty is inherent, she is not reaching for it, or asking others to verify it for her. There is such beauty in confidence, in claiming the gift you’ve received, and expressing it in your own unique way.
Emma: “I actually had some self-esteem issues when I was a kid. I wasn’t into makeup. I wasn’t really into any of the fashionable clothes that other girls were wearing. I never did anything with my hair, just sort of woke up and put it in a bun, then went off to school. I actually got bullied all the time and that’s one of the reasons why I left for home schooling. I want to bring out the confidence in whoever I’m doing a makeup design for.”
Emy: “You really love people.”
Emma: “Yes, I do!”
She laughs and smiles sweetly.
Emy: “Who are the closest people to you in your life?”
Emma: “Well, obviously my mom and dad are the closest people to me in my life. They’ve put up with me for the last 21 years. There have been good times, there have been bad times, there have been sad times, there may have been some really angry times, but in the end we all love each other and we try to stick up for one another. In the end, both my mom and dad have done so much for me. They think I don’t know it, but I really do appreciate everything they’ve done. When I wanted to start dance classes as a little girl they gave that to me, when I wanted to start singing classes they gave that to me, and when I wanted to start acting in the theater, they gave that to me! When I started getting bullied at school they stood up for me and did what was right for me, what was best for me.”
Emy: “What do you look forward to in your day?”
Emma: “Well, when I first get up I always love to see my dog’s happy little face! I always look forward to hearing my bird chirping in the morning, as well. I also look forward to a cup of coffee. I love the taste, I love the smell, and it’s just invigorating. I always look forward to seeing my friends, going to dance classes, and going to the theater. I’m very crazy.”
Emy: “Where would you like to see yourself in five years?”
Emma: “In five years? Living on my own completely, not worrying about whether I should move back with my parents or not. I definitely see my dog and my bird with me. A little more on the fantasy side, I hope to see my Prince Charming! In five years I’d like to wake up in the morning and love my job. I want to be able to enjoy what I do, to wake up and say, ‘Hey, I’m ready for the day!’ Anything that makes me happy is what I see myself doing in five years. Whether it’s nannying or makeup, I just want to enjoy the work I’m doing.”
Emy: “Is that why you are taking your time to find a job now? Because you want to settle on a job that you love?”
Emma: “Yes. Right now it’s just me, my dog Bella, and my bird Lîmone.”
Emy: “What makes your heart sing?”
Emma: “On Mondays I’m very excited for my dance classes! I just want to get up, get out, stretch, and get fit! I also love meeting new people at the class. I think the other thing that gets my heart singing is being out with my friends celebrating, or just hanging out for fun, catching up with one another. I love meeting new people and making new connections! I am a people person, but one thing that people who are close to me know about me is that I can also get so shy that I not only feel self-concious, but I also don’t even talk. I know that may seem a little shocking.”
Emy: “Does that happen often?”
Emma: “Only at big parties. I go in, my heart starts beating faster and faster. I just need to mingle and actually get to know someone, then gain that trust. Then I’m okay.”
Emy: “What are some other things people don’t know about you?”
Emma: “I really love sarcasm!”
Emy: “That’s surprising because you’re so sweet.”
Emma: “Well, it’s sort of like cutesy sarcasm! I like Helen Keller jokes. Umm, I love to decorate. I love going into home decorating stores and see what I could to decorate any type of home, whether it’s finding a sofa that matches a nice table, or finding quilts to put on a bed. I watch a lot of home decorating shows on the HGTV channel. One of my favorite shows is house hunters!”
Emy: “What are your favorite things?”
Emma: “One of my favorite things to do is go to Texas and visit my parents. Recently my mom got a new puppy. His name is Mr. Fluffy and he is the most adorable dog, besides my dog that I’ve ever seen.”
Emy: “How would you describe your personality?”
Emma: “Back and forth between like a puppy and a preying mantis. I can be super happy and all over, or more calm and subdued.”
Emy: “What is your dream vacation?”
Emma: “I would say definitely London, England. One thing I love about London is that it’s overcast and it rains. I absolutely positively love the rain. If I could I would live in a black and white world with pops of color.”
Emy: “What is your favorite color?”
Emma: “I actually have two favorite colors. Blue and green!”
Emy: “What is your favorite activity?”
Emma: “My favorite activity right now is organizing, moving furniture around, and redecorating a bit. My friend Jack comes over sometimes and I’ll just randomly go looking for new-old furniture with him. There’s a place in our apartment complex where everyone just drops off old furniture they don’t want, so sometimes I’ll go looking for new things there. One time I found this sofa I thought would go really well in my dining room, since it isn’t really a dining room right now. So I said, ‘Jack let’s take this upstairs!’ So, we go through all the hard work of getting it and putting it in the elevator, then setting it up. A little later he got a little annoyed at me because I didn’t like it anymore and said, ‘You know, let’s put it back!’ I just do that sometimes!”
She laughs loud and proud, like this is something she enjoys doing.
Emma: “I also enjoy pulling all-nighters every once in a while since I am a night owl!”
Emy: “What do you like to do through the night?”
Emma: “Well, I’ll turn on one of my favorite British comedies as just background noise while I’ll do cleaning up. I’ll dust a table, or reorganize a closet, get rid of the things I don’t need…let’s just face it, I love organizing and cleaning right now! If I could I would really love to just go into any home and decorate it.”
Emy: “You love making things pretty.”
Emma: “Yes I do! I love making people and things pretty!”
We each sip our coffee as I look back over the notes I’ve taken, and she sits patiently awaiting the next question. She is adorable, in the most 50’s-cartoon-character-way you can imagine.
Emy: “What is your favorite food?”
Emma: “That’s a tough one! I really am a foodie! I’m going to admit I really am a picky person with desserts, but when it comes to dinner foods I really like anything. I guess all I can say is chocolate is my favorite thing. I’ve been making my own flavored water recently, though. I’ve really been enjoying that. I’m thinking my next batch will be a sort of mango-orange flavored water, then possibly add in some mint leaves. It’s very refreshing. I love having it! It’s not that I can’t just buy flavored water from the stores, but I don’t like all the sugars in those. I just want to taste the natural sweet of the real fruits.”
Emy: “That does sound refreshing. That sounds delicious!”
Emma: “Come on over to my place some time! I’ll give you some!”
Emy: “What else should we know about you?”
Emma: “I love to sing in the shower, when I do my makeup I make really random funny faces. Hmm...I am a huge fan of British comedies! I’m really into the British world.”
Emy: “What was the inspiration behind your styled shoot?”
Emma: “Well, the rings I used because they’re really special. I’m into antiques and unique looking items. The ring on my right pinky finger has the initials RGZ. It was my mother’s ring when she was a little girl. That’s her full name, Rene Gizelle Zan. The ring set on my ring finger was bought by my grandpa and given to my grandmother when he first became financially successful in the United States. If I do get engaged in the future I actually don’t want an engagement ring, I want to use this set from my grandpa. I don’t like all the rings that everybody else has. I’d rather use these since I like to stand out, to be unique. One thing I like about this ring set is it’s not only vintage, but it is unique looking.”
Emy: “What was your inspiration behind the peacock idea for your shoot?”
Emma: “I guess the style says that I like uniqueness and I’m into outrageous stuff! It also shows that I’m sweet and kind. I may like to hide my personality once in while. So, I think the peacock dress really shows all of that. I’m loud and friendly, but sometimes quiet. Sweet and innocent. Although, I won’t lie to the world, I can be a bit sassy at times! Just a tiny bit. I also love the fantasy world, so I wanted to create that magical, whimsical world by bringing out my inner peacock!”
Quirky, sweet, kind, positive Emma laughed as we finished and chatted about how wonderful the day was. I’ve never met a peacock before today, but I must say it was a lovely experience. She is generous in friendship and authentic in spirit. Her cutesy conversation and child-like innocence are refreshing and encouraging. She has chosen a positive attitude no matter what life throws her way. This practice is evident in the way she talks, the way she looks a person in the eyes like they matter. She is a jewel who has practiced seeing the jewel in others.
With a flair for the dramatic, and a hint of shyness I introduce to you, the Peacock Queen herself, Emma Jane Lilburne Baskir.