What I’m Grateful for in 2016
Every year, I take a moment on Thanksgiving to reflect on milestone goals that I’ve been able to accomplish and learn in the past year. Here are 5 things that I’m most grateful for this year:
1. Maintaining and improving my Health
When I graduated and entered the architectural profession, I was working full time at a firm and part time as a professor teaching a 7 credit design studio course. From all of the work and the constant traveling between the office and the university, I began eating hand held foods while walking from my car to the building. These foods would range from fast food burgers to sandwiches and an occasional soup that I’d drink while walking.
One day, all of the constant stress from overworking my brain and body and the bad eating habit caught up to me and I found myself in the emergency room. All of the junk food and eating on the go led to issues with my digestive track and my heart rate was constantly fluctuating. I was fortunate to have my good friend and professor with me who drove me to the emergency room and sat by my side. She kept me calm and reassured me throughout the night.
How did I end up in here? I thought as I was laying in the bed hooked up to multiple machines with a constant beep. How can I make sure that I never end up in this situation in the future?
Two and a half years later, I’m happy to be sitting here and telling you that my health has never been better. This past year, I’m grateful for being able to maintain and constantly improve my health. I’ve taken the time to learn and truly enjoy the art of cooking foods with fresh and organic produce, introduced a daily fruit smoothie to my diet, and walk everyday with my new companion.
We all want to do so much in our lives to reach our furthest goals, but we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves first. Pace yourself. Slow down and think about how you can best focus your time and energy to achieve tasks in the most efficient and high quality driven way. Most of all, remember that having good health and eating nutritious foods will significantly improve your focus and energy for the day.
2. Making steady progress in my Career
After passing my exams and completing the architecture experience program, I only had to meet one last requirement to get licensed as an Architect in New York State. This year, I’ve finally met the 3 years of experience hours to satisfy New York State’s requirements and received my license in the mail! It was a very exciting time in my life and I was able to meet one of my milestone goals for my career.
Along with getting licensed, I also started this blog, Journey of an Architect, this year to document my journey to design 30 projects by the time I turn 30. This blog has been keeping me motivated and I’ve been able to finish two projects with two more on the way.
Lastly, I’ve been taking on more significant roles in the local American Institute of Architect’s local Buffalo and Western New York chapter’s sub committees. We organized and put together a very successful event for emerging Architects called “Planning a Practice”, which brought together an Architect, attorneys, accountants, and a branding/strategic marketer to teach us the best practices for these particular areas of running a successful architecture firm. I’ve also joined the local AIA diversity committee and participated in discussions on how we can increase the number of minority and female Architects.
I’m grateful for being able to participate on all of these committees and to be able to share my personal projects with you through my blog. I’ll be working harder from here on to continue producing my 30x30 projects and sharing my ideas on professional practice.
3. Understanding the importance of Time
As I continue progressing in my career, I find myself getting better at using my time more efficiently and make time for other opportunities. I’m grateful for realizing the importance of my time because I used to think that I had to take on as much work at my firm as I could handle. This would lead to long hours in the office and phone calls from my team on major holidays like Thanksgiving.
Needless to say, my time was always dedicated to working on the architecture projects at my office. As I stepped away from these smaller tasks and took on more responsibilities at a higher level, I realized that I’m capable of producing a significant amount of work in a short time frame. This helped me free some personal time for myself and phone calls after work hours has stopped.
Now, I leave my work in the office and head back home to focus on my own personal endeavors, hobbies, and loved ones. I’ve been able to foster my relationships with my friends and spend so much extra time with my girlfriend. I also rescued a dog and I’ve found the beginning of a truly happy life.
4. Your continued support
As my first blog, Journey of an Architect started as a personal website to document my journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30. I’ve always hoped to grow my viewership, but my main objective was to catalogue my progress of designing these projects. So the blog was my way of keeping myself accountable of completing these projects within the next couple of years.
These days, I’m finding more viewers like you on my blog who are following my progress through my design journey! It’s an exciting feeling to know that you’re interested in the topics that I’m writing about on my blog and I’ll continue doing my best to share my progress and ideas on the architectural profession with you.
So thank you for your support!
5. Family & Friends
I’m most grateful for having my family and friends who I’m always sharing my ideas with and asking for personal advice. Without these people around me, my goal of becoming a licensed Architect or even starting my own practice in the future would’ve seemed impossible. Just having my family around who are always supporting my ideas and steering me away from the ones that they know will fail has allowed me to take on more opportunities in my life and focus my time on the important ones.
Most of all, I couldn’t have made so much progress with this blog or even with all of my business ideas without the help of my girlfriend, Andrea Martinez. I’m most thankful for having her continued support with all of my ideas and I’m looking forward to more!