I have many passions. There are so many things that interest me that I have yet to explore because I haven’t yet had the time. Passions to me are things that you care deeply about. They are the things that you’re excited to do, the things you can’t stop thinking about. When I made a list of all of my hobbies I looked for the deeper connections, the categories that I would call passions. Below are the things that I consider to be my passions, the things that I enjoy working on and try to incorporate into all of the projects that I do.
Engagement, Connection, and Community
I think one of the things that many people are missing is connection. People feel disconnected from the world around them and from the people who they see. A connection on social media is not a real connection, a text is not a real conversation, a walk in the mall is not a walk in the woods. I believe that in order to be happy and healthy we need genuine interaction with other beings, human and nonhuman. We need to feel a connection to place, a connection to the plants and nonhuman animals living around us, and a connection with the people that we interact with.
Many problems could be solved quite easily if people came together to share ideas and find solutions. I am passionate about helping people make these connections and increasing engagement with the world around us. Everything in life is about reciprocity. If you care for the world it will care for you. If you do something nice for someone, someone will do something nice for you. It takes each individual in a community to make the community a place that the people want to be. Increasing our engagement and connection with the world we live in will make everyone’s lives better.
Stewardship is one of the most important concepts for people to understand and live by. Stewardship means taking care of something. It’s quite a simple concept, yet many people don’t seem to understand it. Environmental stewardship is often discussed with regards to reversing some of the damage that we have done to the Earth. Much of the damage we have caused is not completely reversible, but we can still try to mitigate it as much as we can. I am passionate about protecting our environment because it is what allows us to live. Even referring to is as the environment, as if it is just a thing, is disrespectful, because the world is just as alive as we are. Like all species we have a duty to respect that which sustains us and to ensure that it is able to continue sustaining us and future generations of life. This is the concept of sustainability.
Stewardship applies to all of the things that we interact with. Too often I see people destroy and damage their own or other’s possessions. I see litter and waste as I walk along streets. Stewardship means caring for and valuing all of the things that we have, use, and interact with. It means caring about what we buy, buying only what we need, understanding where things come from and how to care for them properly so that they last as long as they can last.
Storytelling encompasses many things. To me, this appears in my love of reading and writing. I have always loved to read because, through reading, you can get to know so many people and explore so many worlds. Books tell stories and these stories teach us and help shape who we are and who we become. Writing is my way of telling stories. Writing allows us to express our thoughts, to put them on paper so that they can be shared with a multitude of people. My favorite genre to write is creative nonfiction, especially personal narratives. This entire website is filled with personal essays and it has brought me great joy to write all of this out. The thought that you are reading this right now is thrilling to me because it means that someone is hearing my story, someone is listening and someone cares. This is why I’ve chose to start a blog as well. It will allow me to continue sharing my thoughts and ideas, making my contribution to the world.
This passion also shows up for me as photography. I love to photograph the natural world: landscapes, close-ups, and everything in between. My Nikon DSLR camera was a gift from my father one Christmas and it is one of my most treasured possessions. Photographs tell stories, especially when they are grouped in collection. I love putting together photographs, reflecting on a memory or a subject depicted in them, that one moment in time made immortal. Throughout this website you will see my photographs. All of the photos on this website were taken by me, including my portrait.
I have always loved learning. I enjoyed going to school and I could never choose a favorite subject because I liked them all. In college I take extra classes because I simply can’t narrow down the list of what I want to take. Even taking five classes a semester instead of four, I could still stay in college for another four years. I am a life long learner. I am constantly taking in information, listening for the lessons all around us. There is always something being taught if you listen hard enough. Learning is the way we grow and change. Experiences teach us, people teach us, the world teaches us, and to become better we must be open and listen.
I collect skills like other people collect stamps. I love to learn how to do something new. I have done workshops on many different subjects and I would love to do more. If I had unlimited time and money I would get who knows how many college degrees and certifications. Since I don’t have unlimited resources, I often explore things on my own. I am constantly coming up with ideas for essays to research or projects to do. I am currently working on putting together my family tree, which requires quite a bit of exploration of historic documents. This relates to my passion for storytelling as well because I’m learning about my family history in order to be able to share that story with others.