As a kid I was fascinated with nature. I spent whole days exploring the woods, searching and finding different plants and animals. I would pour over books and learn the Latin names for the indigenous species I found. At the age of five, my mother gave me my first orchid and I was hooked. I joined the the North Eastern New York Orchid Society as the youngest member ever and officially became a full on child-nerd, growing orchids outside my bedroom. Of course this was all a well kept secret from my friends at school. Captain of the varsity soccer team, and flower-grower didn’t seem to mix well. Luckily playing piano seemed pretty cool.
(Senior year photo shoot at Tamarac High) and (Most likely trying a smile to get orchid discounts)
Once I began getting interested in music, my botany obsession faded and turned into a casual hobby. I occasionally seek out exhibits, and when my friend mentioned the Thailand themed orchid show at the NYC Botanical Gardens Yajayra and I headed down to check it out.
Once at the gardens we found that the conservatory was split into several different ecosystems with thousands of orchids
There was a system that divided the orchid environments, planted with only cacti, succulents and arid plants
Now years after my introduction to orchid growing and various other hobbies I am grateful for my varied interests. By surrounding myself with those who love me for who am, not who they think I am, I feel more secure, happy and connected than ever before.