I’m Kate Kirk, a photographer and blogger residing in Sacramento, California. Right now, my life is spent focusing on healing from a trauma disorder (think Complex PTSD, but a little different) and managing chronic illness, so when it came time to write this bio I realized something important. I’ve had so much growth over the past few months that I don’t actually know who I am anymore.
However, this presents a conundrum, because if I don’t know who I am, how am I supposed to introduce you to me? I’ve opted instead to let you get to know me first through the words of my loved ones.
- “A fussy but incredibly endearing mom friend with a penchant for solving mental health and sharp artistic inclinations.”
- “By turns, weirdly precise and strangely humorous, but always kind.“
- “A literal squirrel.”
Now that my peeps have finished describing me in their own unique ways, let me tell you about how I got here. Life is not a linear path, and anyone who tells you otherwise is likely selling something. My trauma disorder began young and manifested in part as a series of “character flaws”, but I wasn’t appropriately diagnosed until this past spring, at the age of 26, after a false bipolar diagnosis and a rocky previous decade.
In high school, I attended Bowling Green State University as a full-time PSEO student, studying architecture along with English literature, critical theory, and creative writing. From the beginning, I was always a storyteller. After graduating, I attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, but at that time of my life I was not in a position to succeed in college and ultimately had to withdraw. My goal is to return to school this fall and work to develop my skills in visual storytelling and complex worldbuilding while deepening my formal knowledge of psychology. Education, too, is not a linear path, and I anticipate that I will have a great many encounters with the ivory tower in my lifetime.
As a photographer, I love exploring a variety of subjects, but my passion is abandoned buildings. I have an ongoing photography project, called “Things They Left Behind”, wherein I explore abandoned properties with my camera, focusing on capturing the things, tangible or otherwise, that are left abandoned in spaces as well as the reclamation of these spaces by nature.
I am also an advocate for trauma-informed care and to that end I study the interplay of trauma, dysfunction, and chronic illness. The more I study, the more I am convinced that we have a global public health crisis on our hands, and it’s become my tikkun olam* to be part of the change. On a daily basis, I have the most incredible conversations and make connections with people about their pain and ways to heal and I’m compiling a library of resources on this site. This is why I am furthering my education in psychology. I don’t know where I’m going to end up, but I will have a greater understanding when I get there.
I invite you to poke around my site and blog and, if you need anything, drop me a line.
*Jewish concept that everyone has some kind of specific, special role in “repairing the world”.