December Reflections Day 5: Five Things About Me

December Reflections Day 5.jpg

Yes, I do realize that today is the 9th and I’m posting about Day 5 and skipping Day 4, but I am (nearly) current on Instagram and I’m being gentle with myself when I’m not able to 100% achieve my exact initial goal. I’ve been working on what will show up under #1 here this past week as well as have some fun and time to myself. Anyway, the December 5th prompt was “5 Things About Me” and I try to keep them both interesting and honest. There’s a balance point for me about being open and keeping some things to myself that don’t necessarily need to be out for the entire world to read. But here you go: 5 Things About Me.

(1) I feel like I have 3 jobs.  My full-time job is landscape architect, I'm a work-in-progress photographer currently focusing on families and documentary, and I'm the treasurer/financial manager/money-wrangler for a professional fraternity. 

I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with LA over my school and my career, never feeling like I was quite as good at it as many others and not sure if I really wanted to be. It’s a pretty broad profession that few people really understand - I work in transportation, environmental and park design. I help do the analysis of the resources on a site (like trees, vegetation and existing conditions) and then design the use of the site. This might be strictly landscape elements if it’s a highway site, or plants + hardscape + amenities if it’s a streetscape or a park and we can do everything outside of the building or road envelope.

If you are on this site you obviously know that I’m a photographer and I’ve been slowly growing my skill-set and range of work over 2-3 years. It’s been a slow process because of the 3 jobs thing but it’s one of the greatest loves of my life. I have 2 family sessions I’m editing right now and starting to plan some bigger goals for next year.

Finally, I do all the financially related things as well as make decisions as a part of the board of directors for a professional fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. While it’s a volunteer position, it easily could be a 20 hour a week part time job. I’ve had to learn about communication, leadership, budgeting and other financial aspects. Fortunately I have a great team to work with and really love seeing students develop into leaders and professionals.

(2) I'm very defensive about how much I travel.  It's something I love and I have friends and family across the country and the world so it's something that I've made a priority in my life. Pretty much since I graduated from college (or probably before) travel has been a major part of my life. I spent a semester abroad in Italy my 4th year and explored across Europe. Being part of the fraternity in college introduced me to people across the country and gave me the opportunity to attend conferences in different states. Once I graduated I moved to Maryland from Pennsylvania, so I had family at home plus my best friends moved to New York, Maine and Virginia. I get comments all the time about how much I’m on the go and I tend to interpret that as judgement. But this is my life and I love it, even though it can exhaust me. I get anxious if I’ve been in Baltimore for more than 3 weeks in a row.  

(3) I prefer winter to summer.  I hate the heat but love the snow and am more comfortable on skis than in the water.  Fires, blankets, scarves, furry animals all sound great to me.  I once heard "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."

(4) I've lived in a city my entire life, but city living is starting to make me anxious. Maybe it's just this city, but I've been feeling a shift on the wind for some time.  I’ve lived in Baltimore for over 10 years now, at least 5 years longer than I thought I ever would. I’m a bit tired of hearing my neighbors through the walls and get angry at the inconsiderate people I encounter daily. This summer I spent a week in the mountain west, including time in Idaho with my aunt and uncle, and I remember how much calmer and at peace I felt. I feel guilty too at times for wanting to move because if we ALL moved out to be closer to nature then there wouldn’t be enough nature left.

(5) I tend to follow through on things better when I make it a massive challenge.  This summer I challenged myself to do yoga every day for a month and I think I did 28 of 30 days. I tend to get more blog posts up if I strive to do one every day instead of just 1 in a week. Of course, it’s day 9 of this particular challenge and this is my 4th December Reflections post (5th blog post since December 1 though). I want to do all the things at once and then get overwhelmed so a solo focus can be a better way to accomplish my goals.   

(bonus) This photo was taken in Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming this summer during one of the happiest weeks of my life where I was hiking every day in the beauty of the American Mountain West.