November 2nd, 2018.
I received “2018 Associates Award” by AIA California Council from Britt Lindberg, AIACC President, and Ben Kasdan, incoming AIACC President.
It reads “With unanimous jury support, Meghana Joshi, Assoc AIA receives this award for her proven leadership, engagement, and support for women in architecture. From founding the Women in Architecture Committee to increasing social awareness of what an architect does, you have demonstrated a clear sense of passion and dedication. Your leadership skills will have a lasting impact on the profession, and many are now better enlightened and enthusiastic for a more inclusive world”.
I also received “Presidential Citation” by AIA California Council from Britt Lindberg, AIACC President, and Ben Kasdan, incoming AIA President. It reads “You have been highly involved with the AIA, demonstrating your strong application of commitment to service. You have been, and continue to be, a stalwart champion in your promotions of diversity. Your dedication of advancing the value of AIA membership and reigniting the Women in Architecture Committee has motivated other to become more involved both inside and outside the profession. The encouragement you give to young women who dream of entering this profession is inspirational, and we continue to learn from your engagement and involvement. Your enthusiasm for improving the professional lives of young architects exemplifies the influence made possible through selfless leadership, and deserves the recognition and respect of your man friends and colleagues”.
I am so thankful for the support and love I receive from Betsey Dougherty, Jana Itzen, Jeff Gill, David Molinaro, Debra Sands, and Megan Dougherty at AIA Orange County. Every successful man has a woman behind his success, but I am so fortunate to have a tribe that believes in me, and my vision.
This has been the most beautiful moment of my architectural career so far, yet the hardest blog to write. Instead of the journey, I want to share the moment that course-corrected my path towards my linear vision of “a life that matters”. When I first wrote this, I didn’t have a goal in mind, or a path. All I did was give my thousand percent to everything that I did, without seeking immediate rewards.
Journal entry from 2017:
The last year of my life has shown that the more I do, the more I can do. Renewal of that little fire in the belly that drives the dreams… that’s something I didn’t think I will light up at this phase in my life, where everything that happens next minute is anyone’s guess. It was one of the worst years of my life, yet one of the best years. There was so much heartache, and there was so much to celebrate, there came a point that I didn’t know how to process anything at all, and felt numb to all kinds of emotions. Series of occurrences, good and bad, triggered existential crisis that went beyond the regular questioning of meaning and purpose of life.
There is a quote by Margaret Thatcher (The Iron lady) “One’s life must matter, beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children. One’s life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing up a teacup”. I live my life by this quote. My life has to matter. I (We) have struggled when the children were little to have it all, or to try and balance it all, and eventually found my peace in the fine imbalance of life where we prioritize things by the severity of attention they require, and have embraced the fact that our cape is real, and it’s powered by the people that love and support us. Ideally, no one and nothing should stop you from being who you are, and what you want to be. It’s not easy being a hands on parent and child, and wife and still allot time to yourself for an enriching work life and personal interests. But you have to do it… Mostly because if you don’t, no one else will. You are your own agent, your own fire for your desire… Renew that vow that you gave you to take care of you among all the things you want to do…
When I was a little girl, my mother would teach me shlokas from Bhagvadgeetha and their meaning. One particularly stayed with me… loosely translated, it means focus on the action, and not the result because you have no control on the past or future. Focus on the present, and don’t dwell on disillusions of past or dreams of future. I don’t know what future has in store, but I do know that I can continue working towards causes that I believe in, and share my talents, and stories to help empower others. Being an immigrant archimom of color, mine is a unique experience – by sharing my struggles and triumphs with the world, if I can encourage one colored girl to be an architect, and if I can do my share to build an equitable future for her, my goal is achieved.