I can’t tell you how many times lately I get approached and awkwardly asked “what are you up to these days?”
I figured that I would take a moment (or a couple of thousand words) to update everyone on where I’m at, where I’m going, and some changes that I hope to be making. Please accept this list article (in an attempt to gain readership) as an explanation.
1. I’m getting married in May.
That’s us, lookin’ all fancy at Casey & Kelci’s engagement celebration.
And I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it is a big change, and yes, it is a life altering one, but I know with certainty that marrying Nikki is an unbelievable blessing and I literally cannot wait to call her my wife.
*I know some of you will rejoice at that moment, because it will mean that I no longer get to refer to her as my “betrothed.” But fear not, I will begin looking for olde timey words for “wife.” (I’m taking suggestions now.) As I write this, I’ve been persuading her to get a new e-mail address using her new
unpronounceable and hard to spell awesome last name.*
For those of you who don’t know her: Nikki treats me as though I’m the most important person in her life; she talks about how much she loves me to her friends so often that they get sick of hearing my name; she’s the strongest person I know, who has overcome unbelievable obstacles in her life that have made her into a better person; she’s optimistic; she’s driven like no other; she’s a damn good writer (but a kind-of harsh editor…); she’s got a heart for people like you wouldn’t believe; she is devoted to her faith and hasn’t let the evil that she’s experienced firsthand shake her faith in God for one second; she can back up her political positions with experience and theory (necessary, but not a sufficient condition to being my wife); she challenges me constantly to do better; her mere existence at my side gives me confidence that I’ve never felt before; and I can say with full confidence and certainty that I love her with all that I have.
Oh, and did I mention she’s quite the looker?
2. I sold my camera.
She’s been with me to Thailand, Europe (3 times), Australia, my high school graduation, by my side the whole time… *tear*
The title is deceiving, but I’m just rewarding those who read beyond the headlines… I sold my workhorse camera. I’ve kept one around for my own fun and to continue an art that I love, but certainly do not want to make a career. I’ve known this for a while and decided to stop pursing photography as a full-time career during my first year as an undergrad. In short, just because I like photography does not mean that I want to photograph your events for free. Pardon me for being open, but I’m just being honest.
In other words, I’m pretty much not taking any photography work anymore. I’ve had an awesome run with it all, but that part of it that I really love the most, newspaper work, has crushed my soul. I’ll let you all speculate about the contributing factors.
3. I’ve been in law school and I’m now transferring to a school outside of Santa Barbara.
In other words, Nikki and I are moving away from Santa Barbara.
My first, first day of law school. My second first day of law school is coming.
I began studying at Santa Barbara College of Law in August 2013 and I cannot even begin to describe how much I have loved it, lest I shall…
Since beginning at SBCOL, I met some people in my class who I honestly love (to any of you who are reading this…I think you probably have influenced me quite a bit more than you might have thought). These people have encouraged me, they have been role models, and they have helped me see how important it is to make friends in school. Telling them that I was leaving was really difficult, but I have every intention of working alongside them in three years, after we all survive and pass the California Bar Exam.
*Side note to anyone considering the school – I recommend it very highly. I have loved my time there and the professors are some of the best I’ve had in all of my schooling.*
While I have planned on going to law school since my first year of college and then solidified that choice during my study of philosophy at UCLA, I was always worried that I wouldn’t like it or I wouldn’t be good at it.
I learned quickly that I love it. Law school is basically philosophy in a more structured format. It’s awesome and I’m going all in and devoting myself completely to it’s study. I’ve never done that – I worked while I was at Santa Barbara City College and didn’t officially declare a major until my second year, then I transferred to UCLA and was half there and half back home in Santa Barbara. I’ve always been a person who has too many interests and that has prevented me from devoting myself completely to one of them. Although I wouldn’t change any of it, I know now that I’m ready to devote myself to studying law full time. Plus, now I’ll have an awesome wife alongside me to keep me company, encourage me, and challenge me
and cook me some mac n’ cheese maybe!?.
That said, there are no full time, American Bar Association-accredited law schools in Santa Barbara. This is a blessing for me, because I am ripping myself out of my comfort zone to begin in a new city where I will have no choice but to integrate and grow in my new marriage and new life. Santa Barbara is wonderful and we have every intention of returning, but my lack of saying “no” to friends, family, and others in the community has been a constant difficulty throughout law school this year. While I love everyone around me, I know that we would benefit greatly from a new environment and a new adventure.
This brings me to my next point: as of this moment, I don’t know exactly which school I will be attending. Emotionally speaking (which I rarely do), I want to go to Seattle University. By the grace of God, I was admitted. I booked us a flight to go check it out next week. While the weather is not Nikki’s ideal, the city is loaded with opportunity. I am still waiting to hear back from two additional schools. At this point, any one of those three will make us super happy. The other schools I was accepted by so far have been wonderful, but I’ve now narrowed it down to one of these three (crossing my fingers they offer big scholarships). Nikki and I are hanging tight and waiting to decide after we have all of the decisions back.
4. Kids + Cameras will be under new management.
I’m the worst at maintaining order in a classroom.
I have absolutely loved running Kids+Cameras for the past couple of years. Given my changes, I need to pass it along to new management so the program can continue to run in Santa Barbara. I am working on setting this up now and will update everyone as soon as possible. Thank you to all of you who have contributed, supported Kids+Cameras, and helped to create an incredible photography program serving at-risk children in Santa Barbara. I am excited to see it grow and will remain involved to the best of my ability.
For those of you who didn’t hear, Kids+Cameras was recognized by the California State Senate for contributions to the A-OK Program.
That’s a fancy certificate from the California State Senate.
To stay up to date, follow Kids+Cameras at the website.
5. I overhauled my website to reflect these changes.
It’s new, it’s cool, it’s going to contain a lot more ranting and a lot less photographs.
I ditched my variety of photography-based websites. It’s a tactic to save some much needed money. Whether or not readers like the look of this new page is no longer my primary concern. However, if you have read this far into my blog post, I owe you a giant high-five and I’m super impressed that you care about me this much…or you are super bored.
Coffee-fueled rants and more life-type posts will frequent this new website. If you follow me just for the photos, I won’t be too crushed if you abandon me. *email subscriber number drops to 2*
6. Last, and definitely not least, I’m switching from an iPhone to an Android.
I thought so, too. Apple, you’ve been great, but you’ve stopped innovating and you’ve become a “me too” phone. Most of you know my love for Apple products, but that Galaxy s5 is awesome. I figured I’m making enough other big changes, why not throw another into the mix?
Watch out world, my Twitter is still up and active as well. If you aren’t on Twitter, we cannot be friends. You can find that feed on this website’s homepage. I’m sure you can’t wait to get there.
Thank you for reading!
Watch out…more posts to come…