What Comes First?

If you know me, you know that I’m an active person. I almost always have something on my schedule, and I’m just about always doing something. Most of the time, the people who see me only see me when I’m going to or coming from different events. Student life is a busy life, and working two jobs, three if you count photography, can certainly keep someone occupied.

Because I haven’t published a blog post in a while, I’ll put the stories of creating and exploring on hold for the next post. (I promise I’ll have that done in the next two weeks.)

I am a student, a staff member, a program coordinator, and a photographer. My priorities are my school work, my hall work, my program work, and my photo work. Squeezed in there wherever it fits is self-care. The reasoning behind that is simply that I am at CMU to be a student, and I’m doing other things to earn money and gain experience while in school. Self-care keeps me on top of the things I need to take care of, and it also keeps me from falling behind on any of my work. My photography is currently my main creative outlet and a facilitator for the majority of my social activity. Finally, last on the list of priorities is keeping my social media updated, like this blog or my photography Facebook page.

Let’s talk about self-care. Many people hear those words and think “bubble baths and facials!! Happy things!!” That’s one way of doing self-care, but at its simplest form, self-care (at least for me) is making sure I complete the responsibilities of my roles and take time to reflect on how I do what I do, how I interact with others, and how I can continue to positively impact the world.

Part of that self-care is the act of creating.

First and foremost, I am a creator, and without the capacity to create, my motivation to do anything withers away and shrivels up. How do I create? I create connections. I create what visual art I can, both for personal enrichment and the enjoyment of others. What do I try to achieve in my creations? You guessed it. I try to connect to others through shared emotions and experiences, communicated by symbolism and intentional choices regarding elements of composition.

I’ll leave the rest of that discussion for another post (not the next one though, the next one is bound to be full of stories) and leave you with some concluding remarks.

I appreciate the engagement, I appreciate the continual support, and I appreciate every bit of help I receive from people. For some numbers, I completed over 70 photoshoots last year from May to December. I took over 50,000 in about 7 months. I was highlighted as a featured photographer on an arts appreciation blog! I had 7 photo sets accepted for publication in various publications, including Volant, Prolific Quarterly, BLouder, and Imirage, and Consign (the cover image is my photo)! I was able to meet some spectacular people through Instagram (upwards of 20, unsure of the exact amount), and made friends with the people I worked with. I saw places I would have never seen otherwise, I tried so many new things, and I learned so much more about the world.

That’s all thanks to the support and assistance of all the people in my life – including you.


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