Do you know this chick Shelby Osborne? I’m going to tell you about her.
I met her two years ago and we’ve had an interesting journey getting to know one another. At first I thought she was intolerable and annoying, but as time has gone on I’ve realized that she’s actually far worse than I could have imagined.
Shelby is a real estate investor
Shelby is a perpetual optimist
Shelby is highly ambitious
Shelby is an obscene narcissist.
does this sound like anyone else you can’t help but to love????
We met because we both work in real estate in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She’s nowhere near as good at it as me but it’s adorable to watch her try. We hung out a few times at conferences but when I moved back to NC we started hanging out a lot more.
Shelby does this thing to people all the time where she will introduce you to someone and tell that person just how great you are. It might sound like an admirable thing to do but she does it in the most cringe inducing and embarrassing way possible. It’s an awful experience to be subject to but she thinks it’s just hilarious and you can’t get her to stop. Lately I call it “the behavior that shall not be named” and I would love for this post to be equally as embarrassing for her as she often makes me feel, but I’m not sure I can be successful at this because to an egomaniac like Shelby, all press is good press.
Shelby and I travel in similar social circles so I’ve been getting great shots of her at different locations for a while now. Here she is at the fabulous Gaylord Opreyland hotel in Nashville that we attended for BPcon2019.
She is always ready and happy to be photographed, so as a photographer this basically makes us inseparable.
Despite a laundry list of annoying qualities, a few of her personality traits are ones that I find to be so valuable and so sacred that any perceived flaws are forgiven.
One of them, which her and I share, is an insatiable hunger for knowledge and endless curiosity.
Shelby and I never small talk, and we never discuss the superficial or the shallow, our entire friendship revolves around our shared pondering of big questions regarding the boundless infinite.
If you like big ideas and big questions too then Shelby is your gal.
She has a level of confidence that doesn’t seem to have any ceiling. She never uses this strength to bring people down but she constantly uses it to bring people up. She’s never purposefully intimidating and she’s always inspiring.
This is the type of person you want to surround yourself with, someone who makes absolutely everything seem possible. Around Shelby you just feel able to “transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order” – Jordan Peterson
For two years I have called Shelby my arch nemesis and I do this for the only great reason to do anything: because she hates it. As our friendship grows and the release of this blog post I believe it’s the appropriate time to upgrade her status from nemesis, to friend-adjacent. Friend-adjacent is not quite a full friend but definitely more than an acquaintance, think of it like “assistant to the full friend” (Shelby doesn’t get that reference because she has never seen The Office).
Given that I see her weekly I’m sure there will be a follow up to this blog because I’ll have more awesome pictures to share as time goes on. I’m sure between now and then if she plays her cards right I can definitely see an upgrade to junior-friendship over the next few months, maybe even full friends some day but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
For 2020 I have been working on my video production skills diligently, one day I went to Shelby’s place to go for a walk and do a light workout. I told her I would bring my GoPro and just get some stuff filmed and see what we could make, we ended up with this really neat video that I had no idea I could have made when we started.
This was the first video I ever produced that made me think I had a talent for this that I could improve upon. This little workout video is just us screwing around but it represents the basis for my confidence that has allowed me to expand my skills and do bigger projects. I couldn’t have done this with any other human than her.
She loves nature and she’s a rule breaker.
You’re not supposed to climb on that tree but she didn’t even stop to consider that, she just scrambled up there.
Anyone who is a rebel at heart, has a place in mine.
After years of doing photography I have found certain people I love to work with, the people who bring the best out of me.
I don’t like the word ‘muse‘ because I find it to be incredibly cliche but after the last few months of shooting regularly with Shelby and her ability to help me produce fantastic images, no thanks to my talent and all credit to her enthusiasm, now seem like a perfectly appropriate time to use this word.
…but I know she would love that, so I will not.
Don’t try to predict me bro
She is quite accomplished in real estate. She has a brokerage with a fantastic team of people who work with her. She’s had tremendous success on the investing side, owning multiple short and long term properties, and she can build efficient business systems like no other. I have zero doubts about Shelby’s ability to manifest her life in whatever way she desires. A force to be reckoned with for sure.
Shelby isn’t perfect, she’s definitely mortal but what makes her so universally liked is that she’s easily relatable and yet you can tell she exists in a place at the very limits of humanity. Shelby is what Nietzsche would call the Übermensch, the next stage of humankind that lives beyond the confines of our old rules and creates a new world out of their shear will to power.
I may talk smack about Shelby to no end, but to those that know me, that’s a good sign.
I’m incredibly grateful to be able to share this bit of Shelby with those who have to live a less full life for not knowing her. You should wish to be so lucky.