Emotional Morning

It’s 8 am and an inspector has already made me cry.

That project I had an on-site meeting for last week is a mess. He basically told me that the drawing I provided was really shitty and he can’t believe my boss signed her name to it.

He also told me it’s not the mechanical engineer’s job to design mechanical systems and layout ductwork. (It is, though.)

Finally, every time he mentioned “the architect” he said “he” before correcting himself to say “or she, you.”

So, I guess everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

No more crying for me.

P.S. If I knew for a fact we would never work with this inspector again, I would have been way less polite.

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Fears

Some of my biggest fears with work are looking stupid, unqualified, and/or inexperienced. To be fair, sometimes I don’t know things, I’m not licensed, and I’ve only been working for 2.5 years. So… my fears aren’t totally unfounded?

alicia silverstone shrug GIF

But, you know what happens when I center those fears in my brain? I actually come across as stupid, unqualified, and/or inexperienced. That doubt will likely never leave completely, but I am consoled with the knowledge that I’m only getting better at my job as time goes on.

Tomorrow I am meeting a client, her general contractor, and a mechanical engineer on site to discuss a ventilation issue without my boss. I have a basic understanding of mechanical systems, but this project is unique in that it’s a nail salon in a basement, and the fresh air intake location is unclear to say the least. My plan is to be clear about what I do know, ask questions, and look at the whole meeting as a learning opportunity!

Yay new challenges! Wish me luck and confidence 🙂

❤ Severn

What I am willing to give up.

“The most important decision about your goals is not what you’re willing to do to achieve them, but what you are willing to give up.”  


– Dave Ramsey (by way of Beau)

Normally, I would respond to this quote with a list of the “physical” things I’m going to give up. No more Netflix! No Twitter, Instagram, chips, eating out, etc. I’ve learned, though, that while those types of restrictions are effective at first, they never last. My social media use is not significant enough to be blamed for my stagnancy. Netflix is definitely a time-waster, but again, not detrimentally so. 

The problem is ME.

The number one thing I HAVE to be willing to give up to achieve my goals is my limiting beliefs

I’ve made significant progress this year with my mental well-being. Overall, I have less feelings of guilt and anxiety in my daily life but I know that I still struggle with limiting beliefs. 

These annoying thoughts are why I didn’t pass my last architecture exam, why I stopped pursuing my writing career so soon after starting, and why I give in to most of my unhealthy food cravings.

There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks, but the reason my breaks have been so long is deep down, I don’t believe I’m capable of succeeding. I don’t know when or why this idea burrowed its way into my psyche. It’s silly, really. I’ve proven to myself (twice) that I can pass a test, that I have the discipline to work out consistently and make healthy food choices. I don’t exactly have evidence that I’ll “make it” as a freelance writer, but so the fuck what?

I succeed at everything I put actual effort into, so why would this be any different? Answer: It won’t be. 

My approach moving forward is simple: believe in myself

This will look like constantly challenging myself to do what I say I can’t, consciously stopping myself from literally saying the words “I can’t…”, pushing back against the negative thoughts that pop up, and leaning into my fears.

I’ll enlist help, of course. I’ve got a solid, loving support network in my family and partnership, so why not utilize that? (You read that, Beau? You can push me a little when it seems like I’m not pushing myself enough. I won’t get mad 😉 )

Until next time!

❤ Severn

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Featured image source

November Goals

Three days late is better than never!

1. CHOOSE TO BE F*CKING HAPPY!

eric andre fuck yeah fuck yes fuck ya reactions

This is literally my only goal this month. Yes, I know it breaks the cardinal rule of goal-making: be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound). Okay, so it breaks the “SMA” rule.

BUT.

It’s the only thing that matters to me right now. My life feels so up in the air. The only thing in my life that makes me truly happy lately is Beau and our relationship. And that’s not healthy–I know that’s not healthy. It’s not his fault, it’s not anybody’s fault. It’s just the way my brain seems to be wired.

I don’t want to feel like this, unsatisfied with my life. Every time I start to feel myself falling I try to remind myself of all my blessings. And there are a lot! They are objectively really awesome, but I still feel like… like I’m not doing enough.

I’m not deserving, I’m not good enough, I’m not really doing my best. I keep listening to all these personal development books, having deep talks with Beau about what I want to do with my life, and praying (no where near enough, but still) in the hopes of making myself feel better. And that all helps in the moment, but it never lasts.

Part of the reason my relief is so fleeting is because I’m constantly thinking about what I need to do to get where I want to be, to look how I want to look, to live the life of my dreams. I need to stop spending so much money, to work out more and eat healthier, to study harder so I can pass my exams, to stop getting distracted at work. I just feel so unequipped for this life of mine.

Part of me knows it’s normal to feel this way because I’m a 23 year old woman, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I’m sick of feeling helpless, so instead I’m going to put all of my energy into being happy.

Image result for i stop feeling sad and be awesome instead

Easier said than done, I know, BUT I’m still going to try. Because I haven’t fallen so far down the depression hole that I can’t bring myself to at least give it a shot.

Okay, maybe one more “subgoal” if you will:

1a. Forgive myself when I need to, and remember that it is okay to feel things other than happiness.

Wish me luck, y’all. I need all the positive support I can get. 🙂

❤ Severn

 

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featured image source: http://quotesblog.net/hello-november/

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

October Goals

Create concrete study schedule and stick to it.

I’ve decided to postpone actually taking my exams until 2017. I think I would do best to spend the next couple months really learning all of the material. Then I can focus on specific test content and review before each test. I plan to start testing in late January.

Keep to a specific schedule/routine for dividing my time.

Barley (my new therapist) told me she wants me to have more me-time. I’m always trying to navigate between Severn-Mommy time and Severn-Beau time. Rarely does she ever hear about Severn alone time. She’s right, I don’t do it enough.

So I talked to my mom about picking a few days a week to designate “us-time.” I already have days with Beau. I think I’ll make the remaining days and nights flex days, where I can decide if I want me-time, or if I want to do stuff with other people. As long as I have one solid defined day to myself, I think this will be a good balance for me.

Bring lunch to work everyday, and only eat out for dinner once a week (where I pay).

This goal has multiple purposes. First, I need to save, save, save! If I succeed in bringing lunch to work everyday, I’ll save at least an extra $200 a month. I spend so much money on food, it’s terrible. Second, homemade lunches tend to be healthier! (Provided I don’t bring frozen pizza all the time.)

YAY

Those are my main three goals for October. Anything else I do is just extra, and that’s okay with me. I’m excited!

What are your October goals?

September in Review

Career

– Gain ARE eligibility.   DONE! I thought I had to send a transcript request to my school and have them FedEx it to NCARB and it seemed like a lot. All I had to do was get CMU to send NCARB an electronic copy! They had it for a about a week, so I called customer service. The guy approved my transcript right then over the phone, and the next day I was eligible to test! Yay for being proactive. 🙂 (Also shouts out to Fairy for all gaining eligibility #killinit)

– Stick to study schedule for ARE tests.   Sort of done? I still wake up at 5am everyday, but I’m not studying anywhere near 13-15 hours a week. Part of the reason I didn’t follow through on this goal is because I had a generic study schedule in terms of times to study, but nothing specific on content to cover. I’ve adjusted for going into October.

– Schedule ARE test for mid-October.   NOPE! See #2.

– Take more initiative at work.   Uhm… I still haven’t figured out what this means. I don’t think I did it.

Personal Development

– Meatless Wednesdays.   YES! Every Wednesday this month was a success! I almost caved once, but I stuck it out. I’m going to continue this one.

– Read the Bible everyday.   NOPE. I just haven’t made time for it. It’s that simple.

– Workout 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes.   NOPE. Once my personal training sessions stopped, I started slacking. We’ll see what I can do for October.

Financial

– Save 30% of Income.   Eh. I think it was more like 20%.

– Learn about stocks. NOPE. I honestly forgot about this one. Which is funny because I wrote it down twice.

– Figure out ONE budgeting system.   I… no not really.

– Read 21 Days to a Better Budget.   Read it… remember nothing.

So yeah! September has come and gone. I got at least one(ish) from each category–not too shabby.

I think what I need is to pick 3-4 main things to focus on. Maybe even cut it down to 2 or 3. I tried to take on too much, and that just led to lots of goals not being accomplished. And that’s lame.

Tune in in like 10-15 minutes (lol) for my October Goals!

❤ Severn

How did your September go?

Adulting || Goal Setting

One of the things I’ve had to get through my not-quite-read-for-adulthood mind is that my goals have to be realistic. If they aren’t, I’m not only setting myself up for failure (which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but I’m setting myself up to feel like a failure.

Image result for no good

Exhibit A: My original plan for post-graduation was to live with my mom for a year and then get my own place. I also set a specific savings goal so that I could pull from that fund for rent and utilities and stuff, while continuing to save from my income.

It’s not a bad plan, but giving myself only one year, at my yearly income, was not the right move. If I wanted to reach my goal I would have to put one entire paycheck each month directly into my savings, and that’s just not realistic.

I have other responsibilities: my car payment and insurance, phone bill, student loans soon. And since I don’t want to be a complete hermit until winter, money for going out/eating.

So I have to readjust my goal.

Image result for recalculating

And while it’s not ideal, I know that it’s achievable with minimal stress. My dream is still to be moved out by June/July next summer, but my goal is to be moved out by the end of 2017.

I’ve given myself some buffer time, and this goal now lines up with some others I have regarding my career. So my life at that point will be changing for the better in multiple ways.

Even if it takes a little longer than I first thought, I have faith that I am exactly where I need to be in life. I know that God has a plan for me, and ultimately He will reveal that to me and guide me as He sees fit.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own plan! It just means that you should trust that if things don’t happen the way or the time you want them to, everything will still work out the way it’s supposed to in the end.

Moral of the story:

Be realistic.

Have faith.

Live happy.

❤ Severn

 

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. 🙂

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