Sunday, February 9, 2020

Balance and Inspiring Creativity

Hard to believe we're in 2020. I did about my usual with four posts last year and I always hope I'll do better. Things have been busy, but not in the way that I usually am. This year I am focusing on authenticity, balance and focusing on my long term goals. I do a lot of volunteer work and I get a lot of joy out it, but I don't want to lose sight of my personal goals whilst being busy, so I'm hoping this year to get a better balance on my time.

That being said, last month and the latter portion of last year were spent on NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers). We now have an active board, executive advisors, and are planning to attend our first National Conference next month. We put on several events that had a consistent turnout every time. I've made a really awesome network of black engineers and that is something I didn't know was possible given the lack of diversity I see in Portland and within my career field. I'm so proud of our board members and that my super sleuthing/networking/pestering to start a chapter paid off. Check our our new website! And, give us a follow on instagram @nsbepropdx

This last month up until February was busy with work volunteering as well, since the City African American Network (CAAN) always works hard to put on events for city staff in honor of Black History Month. CAAN started out as a small group of individuals and has grown significantly. It is so nice to be a part of a larger group now and take a small step back to see what others can do. My main task at our City Hall proclamation this year was to coordinate an art display for the month. I chose two artists to showcase, Sade Beasley and Hobbs Waters. I don't usually highlight other artist's work on my blog, but these two really inspired me to think about my original roots as an artist. I have been so focused on being an engineer, that I kind of neglected my creative side. I always craft - making jewelry typically, but it has been over 5 years since I made a piece of visual art. Organizing the art display made me think about my old portfolio and the type of work I want to put forth later. I hope after a certain engineering license exam is passed that I'll be able to focus on my creativity. Thank you to Sade/Hobbs for inspiring me! :) The proclamation event itself was lovely too - the national theme on 'African Americans and the Vote' allowed for some great programming. We still have a couple other events planned, so be sure to follow CAAN on facebook!

Outside of volunteering, work, and still managing my little vendor space at Found on Fremont, I've been enjoying travel and FUN. I went to Peru for my birthday in November and took a mini weekend in San Francisco in January to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Taking breaks for a fancy tiki cocktail, retro arcades, and weekends to coast are things I value so much lately. Finding time for a gym run, keto cooking, and journaling are also part of the balance of self care I'm incorporating to the week. It takes a lot of organization to juggle things.

Selfie in Machu Picchu, Peru!