The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
- Albert Einstein
Photo Credit: Ronny Salerno
Curiosity. If I am anything, curious and imaginative would certainly describe me. Since the age of 8 I knew I wanted to see the world. By 10 I had traveled alone on a plane and by 12 I had my PADI Open Water diver certification. What an exciting new world I found! This is life for me. Discovery. Getting out from the TV and being there.
My first trip by myself at 21 to Brazil opened my eyes to how different the world truly is. When I saw, with my own eyes, how people lived outside the US and Western Europe it truly amazed me. My passion for language grew. My desire to understand others intensified. I've had a few adventures and come away with a number of stories. I've struggled to find, like many others, where my next step is.
When I entered the University of Cincinnati's Engineering program I was excited and full of hope. I was going to specialize in Environmental Engineering and at the end of my second year, I'd enter the International program that would allow me to learn German or Japanese and then send me there for 2 six month periods. Then, I'd use that degree and experience to travel the world and making a difference at the same time. That all came crashing to a halt very quickly. I just didn't have the passion for engineering and most of the engineers I knew were going into something else.
I couldn't do something I didn't love and I didn't understand the point in getting a degree I wouldn't care about. So I switched to Industrial Design. Again, full of passion, I came to discover I wasn't satisfied just designing stuff. I wanted to make an impact directly on people's lives. Photography, illustration, and pursuing what was then my passion of computers turned into a career. I lived a lot of my life afraid and sad. I probably missed out on a lot of opportunities because I couldn't get my head straight. You know what? I don't regret any of it though. To live our lives in the past or the future and not remember the only real moment we have is now, is to lose everything. I've learned from everything in my life, good and bad. Why regret it? I'm an artist, a teacher, filled with a Brazilian heart and an empathic spirit.
What I've learned through the years is to embrace your passion. It's your gift. Follow your heart. It may take time, but have the courage to follow your own path. I used to get lost in tall tales and mythologies. I dreamed of going into space. I wanted to see every part of this great big world. Now I use my photography to do just that. Meeting amazing people and seeing extraordinary sights. I only want to share my perspective on things. And just maybe I can help someone else discover something about themselves along the way.