Obligatory New Year Post

I was going to do a “2016 in Review” post, but after I wrote it, I didn’t want to share it. I learned and experienced both great triumph and heartache. Right now, though, I want to focus on what’s to come.

My theme for 2017 is Self-Love.

Every goal I set for myself this year will be geared toward becoming the best version of myself possible.

I’ve always struggled a bit with self-love and happiness. However, I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck (review to come) and one of the first points Manson makes is this:

The experience of seeking happiness, success, and a positive lifestyle is inherently negative. Mostly, it helps us internalize the fact that we (think) we are NOT happy, NOT successful, NOT positive people.

The moment I read that was the moment I stopped thinking of myself as unhappy. It was like magic! And along with that realization, I decided to love myself and everything I am!

BUT

That doesn’t mean I can’t improve some things or work on bettering myself and my life situation. It just means that I’m seeking all that from the healthy place of self-love, not the dangerous place of self-hate.

So without further ado, my biggest 2017 goals:

– #ArchitectBy25

– Be comfortable in my own skin

– Apply to grad school

– Be more creative and leave my comfort zone more often

– Buy a condo

These are some huge goals! They will require major focus, dedication, and perseverance, but I know I can do it

So you have a theme for 2017? What are some of your goals? Let me know in the comments!

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Adulting || Finding Your Purpose

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually found my purpose yet. 

I am quite unsatisfied with my job. My mom says it might be the place/location; spending around 2 mind-numbing hours in my car everyday can’t be good for my mental health. (Not to mention the 8 hours of sitting and staring at a computer screen.) I think I need to find work that actually makes an impact in someone’s world, and Beau thinks I should start the search for that work by figuring out my mission statement.

Can’t say that I’ve done that yet, BUT there is other stuffs to work off of.

I love psychology. Figuring out the way people work, why we do the things we do, even just observing others as they live their lives…

I minored in psych in undergrad, and now I’m thinking about getting a master’s in it. I found this program called Industrial and Organizational Psychology that sounds like something I’d be interested in. Basically it’s geared towards figuring out how people are affected by their environments, mostly with regards to the workplace. As I understand it, most IO psychologists end up going into HR positions or consulting roles for companies looking to up their efficiency or employee happiness.

Now, I don’t want to be an HR rep. I am WAY too opinionated and judgmental to be successful in that field.

arrested development lucille bluth jessica walter judging judgement

BUT I think I may be able to draw some connection between the things I learn in this program with what I (think) I want to do in architecture. I believe the beauty of architecture lies in the fact that people are shaped by their environments, and we as architects are responsible for shaping those environments. It’s a cycle through which I am theoretically able to shape someone’s experience at some point in their life.

evil laugh food bae i love food spongebon squarepants

No, I promise to use my powers for good.

I’ve always known I want to open up my own firm, but I’ve never been super clear on what kind of work I want to do. Generally community-based work like affordable housing projects and rec-centers have been my go-to’s when someone asks about my interests. Recently, I’ve felt those are too vague.

After a bit of research (in conjunction with my psych program research) I think I’ve figured out a more specific path. The firm that I eventually open will be typical in that it will offer architectural services, but I also want have a consulting side. Sure, architect-client relationships are always integral to the design process, but I want something a bit deeper.

Don’t talk to me about the materials you want to use in your kitchen or living room; tell me how you want to feel when you’re home. This strategy can also be applied to non-residential projects. Schools, rec-centers, orphanages, the list goes on. My point is I want my work to mean something to the people who interact with it. I want to make human-based architecture with an emphasis on the people in the space and how the space effects the people.

Image result for person interacting with architecture

This is more of an installation (in Boston) but the playful nature is clear, and the swings beg to be messed with.

I don’t know that my desire to create meaningful work necessarily constitutes a purpose (it might still be too vague), but I think pursuing that psych program (and relating it to architecture) will help me get closer to figuring out what my purpose is. The biggest thing I’ve learned, and that Beau has helped me see, is that I should always work towards something. Also, my overall mission (whatever that may be) should act as a motivator for almost everything I put my time and energy, too.

It’s okay that I don’t necessarily have an answer for any of this yet. I’m only 23 (for two more weeks omg), I’ve got time to figure it out. And honestly, it would still be okay to not have it figured out at 33. The most important thing about finding your purpose is that you are looking in the first place.

If you’re doing that, I’d say you’re in a pretty good spot.

spongebob patrick spongebob squarepants luck good luck

September Goals

Hello my lovely readers! Sometimes I strive for things. Here are some of those things for this month. *pleased with self emoji*

Career

  • gain ARE eligibility
    • ARE= Architectural Registration Exam, and I need to become licensed
  • stick to study schedule for ARE tests
    • 5 am wake ups! I’m studying for about 13-15 hours a week, and I do mornings because I typically don’t want to do anything after work.
  • schedule ARE test for mid-October
  • Take more initiative at work
    • I haven’t really figured out what this means yet, but it’s on the list, so I guess I gotta do it.

Personal Development

  • Meatless Wednesdays! Beau is on his way to becoming vegan because he wants to live a healthier lifestyle. I also want to be healthier. Beau and I hang out on Wednesdays (so we don’t go an entire 5 days without seeing each other every week), so this is the perfect excuse for me to make a change to my diet too! (Even if only for one day a week.)
  • Read the bible everyday, even if it’s only one chapter. I have the bible app on my phone, and I get a daily verse, but I think I need to really dive in and let the Word speak to me. I can’t force insight, but the chances of me learning something and becoming closer to God go up the more I seek that knowledge.
  • Read 1 non-fiction (preferably personal-development related) book
  • Work out 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes (dancing and acroyoga count if I can keep my heart rate up).

Financial

  • Save 30% of my income. *fantasizes about getting the keys to my own condo*
  • Learn about stocks.
  • Figure out ONE budgeting system that works for me. This will probably require more than just September, but that’s no reason not to really buckle down and start trying stuff right now.
  • Read 21 Days to a Better Budget, free from this website.
  • Learn about stocks!

I think that’s quite the list to tackle, but I’m up for it! The idea of becoming a better, more true-t0-myself me makes me so excited! And Beau motivates me, too, because he wants it for himself as well! It’s nice to have someone who shares the same headspace as me. (Is that a thing? It is now.)

Adulthood is hard, but I’m learning my way around. ūüôā

What are your September Goals?

My Job is Boring

My job is boring.

My job doesn’t pay enough.

My job is unfulfilling.

But I do it.

I slaved away for five years because I said I loved this. Architecture is what I want to do. An architect is what I want to be.

That’s not how it works, though. First of all, that last statement is slightly off. Architect is WHO I want to be. That’s what it should have been. That’s how I know that I’m not doing what I want to be doing.

Originally, when I decided to pursue architecture, my goal was to open my own firm and work with communities to create affordable housing that was sustainable and beautiful. Now I’m not so sure. I dread coming to work, I feel my mind turning to mush while I work on CAD all day, and I stress knowing I’m not getting the experience I’ll need to open up my own place one day.

I have to remind myself that I’m still new, though. Yeah, I’ve been doing “architecture” since the age of 12, but I’ve only been doing it professionally for three summers. That’s not even a full year of experience! But I’ll get there, and maybe as time goes on I’ll begin to fall back in love with architecture.

Maybe all I need is a little something to spark my passion again. A particularly beautiful building, or a trip to somewhere like Italy, or Greece. Maybe I’ll start sketching again, reconnect myself to my favorite part of the process. I have to do something. Adulthood is tough enough to get used to without also doubting my career choice.

Until next time,

Severn

Almost Falling

Today after work my mom took me for burgers at this great place near our house. Aside from the delicious food, we had a great conversation.

It started with me stumbling over almost every sentence out of my mouth. (“I can’t speak words!”) When she asked why not, I said it was because I spend the majority of my day not talking. That got us on the topic of the culture at my job, what I like and don’t like about work, the communication styles of the people in my office, etc. I didn’t want to admit it, but I’m not a fan.

It feels like I’m not¬†allowed to not like my job. And I mean, I’m sure there are various reasons I feel like this: I’ve only been there two weeks, so I don’t have a true idea of what it’s like; my desk isn’t ready yet, so (as my mom pointed out) not having my own space is taking its toll; I’m lucky/blessed to even¬†have a job.

It’s not just my job, though. I just don’t feel… happy, I guess. My mom pointed out that there are so many new things going on my life–no more school, I got a car that I drive to and from work everyday, I have a permanent job (even if I don’t have my permanent desk, yet)–and it’s normal for me to feel a bit lost. She wants me to take charge of my life because “You shouldn’t be old and bitter at such a young age!”

I know that she’s right.

But.

I feel myself almost falling.

Today my eyes flicked to the time on my computer screen every five minutes until it was time to go.

I didn’t even attempt to pack my gym bag in case I had time to go after work.

I was going to cook dinner today, but the thought of it exhausted me.

I find myself wanting to keep my feelings inside because it’s just easier that way.

But easier for who? I obviously don’t want to worry my mom. She’s already sort of there, but no need to make it worse, right? What I really need is another therapist. I didn’t realize how much I was missing Bristle (and therapy in general) until this conversation today. After a rant, I said, “I feel like I’m talking a lot, sorry.” And my mother replied, “That’s okay, I think you need to talk!”

She’s right.

I think I might need a little more than just talking, like a routine, and general purpose/things that make me happy in my life, but talking is a start. My insurance doesn’t kick in for another 2.5 months, but I think I might look for a new therapist anyway. I can pay out of pocket for the first few sessions until I’m covered.

When I started writing this post, I planned to make it positive, with a lesson about growing into your adulthood, but really I just convinced myself that I’m not actually okay.

Hopefully I will be soon.

Adulting || My First Day

Today was my first day working for my first post-graduate job. After discussing with my mother, I have determined that my first day experience clocks in at a 9/10.

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Things I did today at work:

  • Went on a field visit and measured stuff
  • Worked on the plans for that project
  • Started some construction document sheets
  • Visited the town’s city hall to drop off permit corrections
  • Sketched some townhouse units for some guy in Texas
  • Rode in a car with my boss twice

Mistakes I made (oops!):

  • Misread a tape measure (out loud to my boss)
  • Forgot to dimension a drawing (that I sent to my boss)

Things I feel good about:

  • The people in my office are nice, if a bit quiet
  • My boss’ dog¬†loves me
  • My boss seems to like me
  • I get to sort of design a hair salon
  • I didn’t make any huge or embarrassing errors!

See? Overall a pretty great day. I did find myself missing my old firm. It was bigger, brighter, and in downtown, but really I think it’s the familiarity I miss the most. I’m trying hard to remind myself that this place has just as much, if not more, to offer me. There are only six people at my current firm, which means there are many opportunities to learn and gain experience I wouldn’t otherwise get. Change helps us grow. (It also helps knowing I won’t be here for more than, like, 3 years if I stick to my 5 year plan.)

I still feel a little weird. Probably some combination of nerves and fear, but I’m sure it will go away by the end of the week. I just need to establish a routine, some flow for my life. I know I sound a little mellow, but I’m excited!

And I’m glad I’m not dealing with depression on top of all this stuff.

I’m glad my life is going well.

Toodles!

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I’m Back

I’ve been gone for¬†forever, but I’m trying to get back in the game. I don’t have WiFi at home (yet), but no excuses. I’ve been attempting to get my life together before I start work next week, and honestly it’s been tiring, but great.

Graduation was two weeks ago. Yay me!

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It was surreal, it was wonderful, it was annoying that I didn’t have my normal phone to take the million pictures the occasion warranted. There is evidence, though, it definitely happened. Also my degree is huge (I’d post a picture, but that would mess with my anonymity).

I have spent the past two weeks completely redoing my room. Since I’ll be living with my mom for the next year, or so, I thought I would update my bedroom, liven it up a bit. It’s been pretty bare the last five years, bare and simultaneously messy, but now it is exactly the haven it’s supposed to be.

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Aside from my room renovations, a lot of time was put into the graduation party my mom threw me. Such a lovely party! My mom and I hand made the party favors: individual cotton candy bags, and bags of Swedish Fish (because we always say “I love you more than a million Swedish Fish”). Not only did I get lots of money, but I felt so…¬†loved. Everyone there was genuinely proud of me, interested in the next steps of my life, and happy that I am happy.

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No, really, I’m super happy! That’s just my face.¬†

And finally, my general adult life. Like I said, I start work next week, and I’m so excited! And extremely nervous. “But Severn, you just graduated from one of the best universities in the nation, you’ll be fine!”

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Yeah, I don’t care. I know¬†architecture school is great and all, but I don’t believe it does a very good job at preparing us for the real world. So I’m nervous, and it’s probably really normal, but it doesn’t make me feel good. I’m honestly just hoping I don’t screw up. I’m sure I won’t screw up… I just have to be confident.

Okay, I’m gonna go now, but I hope to be back soon! Wish me luck my first day?

‚̧ Severn

Reasons I Haven’t Blogged (A List!)

  • I was working on a presentation for history of sustainable architecture that was due last week Thursday, and which involved a lot more than I was ready for.
  • Dancer’s Symposium was this past weekend, so I had tech and dress rehearsals, as well as the actual show on Friday and Saturday.
  • My studio final review was today, so when I wasn’t dancing or completing a late assignment, I was finishing drawings of the park and housing complex my partner and I developed (or stressing about it, at least).
  • I got a little really drunk Friday after the show and slept over at Dapper’s.
  • I kept falling asleep whenever I had any bit of free time.
  • I scheduled those Haikus for Tiger, so I thought I could get away with the no blogging thing.
  • Therapy didn’t feel very¬†super insightful for me the other day.
  • I’m a bum.

 

P.S. Fun fact: If you google “busy woman” a majority of the images involve cooking/childcare, but if you google “busy man” it’s almost all work and money.

The Severn Goddess

The River Severn¬†is the longest river in the UK. According to the trusty wizards at Wikipedia, Severn¬†was drowned in the river and became its goddess. If legend stands (and by legend I mean some chick who commented on babynamewizard.com), “Sabrina [translation] lives in the river, which reflects her mood. She rides in a chariot and dolphins and salmon swim alongside her.” I think that’s beautiful. I think it fits me.

I have drowned in the deep waters of depression. Sometimes it still feels like I’m drowning, but I am determined to reach the stage in my life where I glide along on my chariot.

On this blog you will find posts about:

  • My depression
  • Inspirational things
  • Current happenings in my life
  • TV shows I watch/books I read (typically related to a greater idea)
  • Random Thoughts

In the form of :

  • Prose/Narratives
  • Lists (in case you can’t tell, I love lists)
  • Poetry

Some facts about me:

  • I’m 23
  • I’ll have my B.Arch in May so
  • I’ll be joining the “real world” soon
  • I have a slightly dark/dry and quite sarcastic sense of humor
  • I recently shut down a blog I’ve been running for three years, and I’m trying to rebuild both it and myself

Alright, I think that’s a sufficient introduction. Please like and comment! I promise not every post will be this dry!

‚̧ Severn