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A new year. I typically don’t do new years resolutions for various reasons. Mostly because I try to think about this idea of improvement, goals, transformations, etc. throughout the year. But in this last month and even starting several months earlier, I have to say, I’ve had some pretty enlightening transformations. I didn’t necessarily plan them, they just evolved organically. I say this phrase and I don’t usually use it (because I don’t really like it), but it’s the best way to describe it. Transformation. I’m finding it actually exciting in some ways in my attitude shift towards looking at life a bit differently and seeking and craving new experiences, activities, and sensations. Because of this, I seem to have gravitated towards the butterfly. Its

transformative symbolism, its graceful flight, and its delicate temporal quality is beauty to me right now. Why do I discuss it here? Well one of the activities that I have done more of lately is painting. There is something about the process of painting that I have been longing for again. It is surprisingly very different than my work in academics. I love them both, but I have been missing this balance of the nonlinear, less rational, side. To me I wouldn’t want to do one without the other. At a few different points in my life I contemplated going to grad school to get an MFA in painting. But I didn’t do it. Instead, I went the other way and jumped into urban planning. There I savored the long-range design and strategic planning, the goal setting, and the organizing of groups to help with their various goals.

Yes, the butterfly…and no, I won’t be painting them, but it is revealing itself in other ways in my life.


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