Pervading The Threshold

I am sitting in the Portland airport after a week of working a conference and exploring the city.  I was going to just sit at my gate per usual, but I turned into the business corner that was on the way to use my laptop, check my e-mail and kill time watching some mindless videos before boarding a flight to return to the East coast.  It is here that I had a realization.  When I go back, I won’t have a home.  I have moved out of my house.  My friend is graciously housing my belongings in her house, and I will sublet her room for a couple of weeks while she is gone on vacation.

Then, I’m off.

A new chapter. A clean slate. The open road. Whatever else you want to call it.

I knew the day I would leave DC was coming for a long time.  Even with the date set and visible on my calendar,  it all feels so surreal.  It’s funny because I don’t think I am any closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life for a living.  I know that I have not encountered whatever it is.  Maybe it doesn’t exist and I need to create it.  Right now, all I want to do is just that- do.  Do everything that appeals to me. That challenges me.  That scares me.  That is unknown to me now.

That is my plan.  Thank you, Portland, for inspiring me.

Here’s to many future firsts, small victories, and crossing out of bucket list items:

August 5- I work as a staff for a conference.  Almost 5,000 ecologists in one convention center.  And I got a name badge. I feel so special.

August 7- I climbed a rock wall. In cowboy boots. Hardcore.  Even the Army soldier was impressed that I was able to lift my leg so high in stretch jeans.  Totally gave the public a crotch view in doing so though.

August 8- I ate at Voodoo Doughnut.  Too… much… sugar…. But hey! I was a tourist for a moment.

August 9- My friend and I walked through a drive through at 11pm.  The Wendy’s employee at the window was not happy, but we made the truck driver behind us laugh.

August 10- I got my first pat down.  Not as invasive or humiliating as I thought it would be.

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Happy (Unofficial) Earth Day!

Ok, Earth Day is not until tomorrow (the 22nd).

Image from NASA

BUT, in reality, EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY!!

Since I started working at an ecology non-profit, I have learned many details in evidence of climate change that go beyond global warming and carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere.  If we continue to live as we are and do not act now to stop our harmful routines, the planet will surely accelerate its progress towards a projection of dire Darwinian competition and struggle for survival.

In order to see change, leaders need to make the environment their top priority.  However, the lack of unified action, including a failure to reach an agreement for a universal plan at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, shows that leaders either refuse to acknowledge the issue or are preoccupied by politics, national security, and other legislative issues.  As Yann Arthus-Bertrand stated in his TED lecture that “we don’t want to believe what we know,” perhaps leaders are aware but secretly house a sense of helplessness or being overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the problem.  Regardless, climate change is real and is happening whether we observe or experience drastic change from yesterday and today.  Every moment of inaction is only allowing the problem to grow bigger.  

However, the solution is not all dependent on our world leaders and political officials. Stewardship of each individual, above all, is of utmost importance.  We, the people, have power in expressing issues that are of importance to us.  Through the public emphasis of concern over climate change, the movement may influence leaders to seek globally collaborative efforts and start addressing this issue that effects all life on the planet and aspects of society as we know it.

Activism and advocacy on the individual level can be done through protests and campaigns on the more formal end of the spectrum.  Alternatively, an easier approach is to reflect on the effects our actions have on the environment and do our part to minimize your negative impact!  (You know…Reduce, reuse, and recycle; turn off lights when not in use; use public transportation; etc)   Also, educate ourselves more in the ecological status of the world, and we will be alarmed by the urgency of the matter that is downplayed in society.   Then, we can educate our friends about climate change by including it as a topic in conversations.  The more people know about climate change, the more of a presence the topic has in the mind of the public as a collective whole.

So make Earth Day the beginning of our more environmentally conscious selves.  To get started, use this map to find an Earth Day event or volunteer project near you!