We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Capalaran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think balancing work life is a skill that is constantly being sharpened. In order for me to balance out my work life I need to take the necessary breaks to reset and enjoy something that makes me happy. I tend to over work myself sometimes and it triggers my anxiety, stress and fatigue. I know once I get to that stage of stress I am unable to function correctly. I forget tasks that need to be done, I start to procrastinate, and I shut down. Over time I’ve learned to not only recognized when a break is necessary, but to schedule time for myself in between work days. There is always room for improvement I’m constantly learning, adapting and listening to my own needs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been a nurse for 14 years and a photographer for six years and even though they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum they have some similarities, like multitasking, adapting to any situation and helping others. One thing that sets me apart from others is that I’m a team player. I try and go above and beyond to help bring out the best possible outcome in any situation. Both of my careers were filled with many struggles, self doubt and failures but I overcame some of those challenges by being patient, working hard and learning to listen.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am not very good with itineraries however, if my best friend came to visit I would take them on some of my favorite hikes around Orange County California. Top of the world in Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove state park and Quail Hill are a few of my go to hikes. Then we would have breakfast at Stacks Pancake House in Irvine for some kalua pork benedict, island chilaquiles, or their famous banana macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup. If it was during the summer I would gather some friends for a beach day and possibly a bond fire. An LA day would be a must on the itinerary to go shopping and do tourist things like Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Hollywood, The Observatory, and LACMA just to name a few. After a long day of sight seeing we will wind down at one of my favorite bars called Apotheke Mixology with some unique cocktails.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My story wouldn’t be complete without those individuals who have given me the courage, guidance and support to follow through with my passion. Throughout my story, individuals have come and gone, leaving their mark in a paragraph in my story. Others still made a lasting impression, filling the pages of my story chapter by chapter, and for that I am grateful. Even though there are a ton of people that I would love to shoutout, this is dedicated to those that continue to push me to be the best version of myself. Shoutout to my immediate and extended family for the countless support, encouragement, and love they have provided me throughout the years. My close friends, Janine, Philly, Reach, Ralph, and Landon. Thank you for pushing me creatively, being my biggest fans, and loving me for who I am. Last but not least, shoutout to my mentor, my advisor, and amazing friend Sonia “Jenkins.” Thank you for helping me build a solid foundation that allowed me to grow into the person I am today.