In Which I Think About This Past Year and What It Means For the Future

It seems hard for me to believe that last year I was finishing my thesis, ready to get out of Charlotte and go anywhere else, and about to travel to Nashville for my five-year college reunion at Trevecca and also to talk to a faculty member there about my idea for a minor in architecture ( I didn’t like being in Charlotte at all, and I just wanted to go somewhere that felt like home because Charlotte didn’t.

Then I went to a Halloween party and met a few people, then started going to church with those people and met a few more, then went to a New Year’s party and was kissed by a girl at midnight, then got a job and started dating the girl who kissed me six months earlier at the party, and now I’m here a year later and everything has changed.

I was watching a video today at work about the 2006 TED talks, and one of the people awarded a TED prize was the guy who started Architecture for Humanity. It reminded me of my idea about a minor at Trevecca, and made me wonder what happened to the me who started architecture school wanting to change the world through design. I started school in 2007, and something changed between now and then.

I was telling The Girl the other day that I’d still like to teach in college someday, and it’s still a dream to teach classes that do creative architecture for poor communities. Maybe that’s a part of my “change the world” attitude that is still around. But as I thought about it today I realized I don’t feel called to do something on a grand scale like Architecture for Humanity or that kind of thing. I could see myself working for an organization like that, and I’d be happy doing it, but I don’t necessarily see it being a part of my architectural future anymore. If it isn’t I’d be okay with that. I don’t know if I feel “called” to even be an architect; I don’t know if I ever have. 

Once I saw a quote from a professor at UNCC about how he was an architect first, and everything he does is part of that. I was kind of put off by that idea, because I don’t feel like I am, or want to be, an architect first. I see myself more and more lately as a person, a human, a future husband and father, and a part of this group of friends I’ve fallen into here in Charlotte. And no matter if I stay here, or move to L.A. to work at my firm’s head office, or move to Nashville and do that design minor, that is the kind of person I am first. My identity as an architect comes out of that, not the other way around, and the most important thing to me is to love. My design life, however it manifests itself, has to be an outgrowth of that. Crazy how things can change in a year.

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