The Art of Resilience


Let me begin this story by taking you back to October 2011. I was 24 years old and shamelessly approaching what many can relate to as a quarter life crisis. My friends and I had all graduated from college and moved back home, desperately trying to hold onto our carefree college days while also tepidly adapting to the fluidity of adulthood.

The recession was in the depth of its economic downturn as we found ourselves drowning in the turbulent waters of personal uncertainty and economical fear.

What made the transgression more tolerable was the reminder that no matter how misguided we felt at the time, we weren’t facing this hopeless transition alone. I found solidarity in this and wanted to document this time of our evolving identities to give our current selves a glimpse of hope and our future selves a frozen capsule of humility.

Part one of the plan was to recreate a photograph of the famous image of 11 men eating their lunches hundreds of feet above New York City Streets, during the construction of the Rockefeller Center in 1932; recreated from female perspective during today’s economic recession.


Being covered in nothing but a blanket out in the middle of the ocean on an extremely windy afternoon was to symbolize our vulnerability. The height of the pier was meant to represent our age in which many believe to be the peak of our lives and yet the threat of stumbling down from the pressures of society.  The backdrop of Sullivan’s Island, a mirror of a community in which we were all so deeply rooted and bound.

The unexpected challenge of getting everyone onto the ledge was not part of the plan, but it can be a testament to show just how far we will go for each other to help one another succeed.


Part two of this shoot was inspired by a story in Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles where he talks about the “Come as You Will Be” party he was invited to attend where everyone was encouraged to dress up and act out the lives they wanted to have in five years. “When you spend an evening living out the lifestyle you want and deserve,” says Jack, “you lay down powerful blueprints in your subconscious mind, that will later support you in perceiving opportunities, creating powerful solutions, attracting the right people, and taking the necessary actions to achieve your dreams and goals.” The people who attended this party, including Jack, all became the best-selling authors, millionaires, and cover models they impersonated that particular night. If it worked for them, why not give my friends the same opportunity?


So after the girls all risked their lives for this shot above the old Pitt street bridge, we went over to Shem Creek bridge where my friends all dressed up as the person they wanted to be in five years.  Serendipitously, this October is 5 years since the photos were captured and every single one of these women have become the fearless leaders they were always destined to be.

Each of their journeys has had its fair share of pot holes, detours, and deviations, but these roadblocks have only helped to lay the foundation of their beautiful individualities with stronger minds, softer hearts and unstoppable souls.


About Aly Murphy

Aly Murphy is an international etiquette consultant based in Charleston, SC. She previously lived in Manhattan while she studied the history, social psychology and neuroscience...

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