HELLO! I'M JARED AND I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE.
CURRENTLY ENJOYING: HANA, MAUI
Professionally, I guess I’m a bit difficult to describe. For your purposes here, I’m a photographer and a writer, though my career hats have so far also included everything from executive assistant to elephant pooper scooper to conference organizer to Tesla babysitter. Beyond specific positions, I’ve come to know that my life’s work will focus on those we have pushed to the outside —those people in our human societies that we’ve decided don’t belong in the center, that we’ve created systems to keep from the center. We’ve got to bring them to the center. We are not whole until we are all in the center. I know that.
I’ve found that there is infinite power in story. I began telling my story with authenticity in February 2017 while at a conservative Christian university I came out as gay in a blog post. I knew I was right in the middle of that conservative Christian circle and I knew my story held the power to expand perception. And it did and is.
Since I’ve found that each of our lives exist in a myriad of stories. Each of those stories is important and worthy of being told and heard. Each of those stories when told further enrich our knowledge of what it means to be human. Most important to understand is this: The stories we tell ourselves affect everything about our understanding of the world. They are the difference between empowerment and hopelessness, rejection and acceptance, truth and bullshit. We need to tell better stories and be careful about the stories we let in.
I was born in Los Baños, California —a small farm town nestled in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley. I was active in the 4-H and FFA. I have a brother, a mom, and a dad. At age 8, I walked through the gates of Fresno Chaffee Zoo and my life was forever changed. There I found myself personally and professionally. I grew up attending camps, picking up poop with the keepers, and dreaming of one day being the bird show host. When I was 15, I became that bird show host, and went on to do a bunch of other fun things there.
I left the Los Baños to attend college at Pepperdine University, where I graduated with honors with a degree in Biology. Through my coursework, I traveled to five continents starting friendships and professional relationships with people all over the world. That has been my life’s greatest gift.
I know this life is about having fun so I try to do my fair share. I once crashed a wedding at Beyonce’s house. My favorite activity includes doing zip lines through the forest hanging upside down. I’ve so far done that on two continents.
Last year I quit my desk job to pursue some call, some desire, some dream to go out and be more present and more explorative in the world. I started with a 17k mile road trip around the US, then took a VW van to play with whales in Mexico, hopped on a plane to work for a safari company in Uganda, and am currently babysitting a house in Oregon.
I hope you find this world to be fierce and kind, fun and ever forgiving, warm and embracing of all parts of yourself. I hope your find adventure in your everyday. I hope you seek out the stories in others and come to know the story of yourself.