Since I was 5 years old I have had a passion for weather, and today I am certified through the National Weather Service as a SKYWARN severe storm chaser/spotter. When I was 5 years old I was standing in my bedroom near the window and a loud crack hit my window cill and the lightning bolt went down the chimney and out the how water heater in the basement.
I was fascinated, and ever since that day, I have always turned my eyes to the sky! When I say I have a passion for weather, I have a crazy passion for weather; to the point of becoming excited when I hear "severe weather" is heading near.
I have radar programs and have a whole set up at home to help the National Weather Service during severe weather. I help communities stay safe and bring knowledge to counties in danger.
I track weather alongside some great meteorologist like "Mike Francis" and "Dr Greg Forbes". I am a sponge to all the wisdom and knowledge around weather.
This photo of me to the left is a shirt I received from the Spotter Network community "SKYWARN", but you wont see me wearing it much, and I say that sadly.
I don't talk about this much with anyone, in fact there are very few who know about my certifications and passion for weather because I have been made "fun" of in the past - to the point of being hurt and in tears.
I would have "grown adult friends" mind you - call me up saying "Hey Karen, look on your radar, its raining" to "Call Dorothy and see if a tornado is coming". Many people don't understand, and actually if people really knew much about weather, they would know that getting a degree in meteorology is one of the hardest degree's to get. You pretty much have to be a genius in Mathematics, physics and many other variables to even get close to a degree.
I have struggled with talking about this out in the open because of the very reason that people just don't understand, and to be made fun of because someone doesn't understand it hurts more.
No I don't have a degree in business, or Nursing. I don't have a PhD or have some high-end degree from some big named college to get credibility for what I do, but I do have certifications that were pretty hard to pass, and I feel sad that I have to hide that from the world to save me from being laughed at; a very familiar childhood feeling of being made fun of for being who I was.
A huge part of my childhood was being made fun of for who I was. I was quiet and reserved. I didn't pass many grades in school, but Science I ACED and I quietly kept that a secret from everyone.
I entered a Science Fair and won 2nd place for creating a color wheel and how the colors of a rainbow are created. Again something I didn't talk about once I picked up my ribbon and threw it in a box when I got home to hide - no one cares, so why should I?
So I became a photographer and did that for 15 years because I was proficient at it, and you don't see many photographer's getting laughed at or made fun of. I hid behind something I was great at and settled for to save face.
I have a whole room in my house dedicated to my photography! years and years of portraits that are displayed for all to see who come to my home - but my love for weather hides and I am sad about that because I am good at it, and it's a passion of mine.
I get embarrassed even talking about it unless I am around other weather geeks and then I feel right at home! but I hide behind it most of the time and it makes me sad.
My dream is to go with a group of meteorologist and storm chase in the midwest during severe storm season (tornado weather) and capture beautiful portraits and get to know more about this fascinating thing I fell in love with at age 5 - maybe someday.
I have struggled a lot this week with the many things I feel worthy of. Actually I have been quite hard on myself. I have been down on my blog, down on myself and all the things that make me (Me), and I don't know why yet. I imagine it's a part of the past bleeding through to the surface and I need to pay attention to it and where it comes from.
Writing this blog is a risk in itself. Posting it will give me some anxiety, maybe a little embarrassed and wondering how pathetic it may sound, but you know what? It's who I am, and I have to start seeing all the things that make ME who I am besides all the things I am just "good at".
Writing, photography, art and design are all things I lean on because those are all things important and looked up upon, weather - no one understands it and maybe that is why I love it so much, it's learning about the unknown and something so fascinating that I happen to be good at and love!
Once I hit the button "publish" everyone will know .. and maybe that is a part of my healing - to be vulnerable about something that is hard to talk about.