Welcome to my home on the Internet! My name is Maddie; I live in Tacoma, Washington with my husband, Dan, and our one-eyed rescue cat, Cammy. I’ve been sharing my stories and photographs here since 2009, though this space (and I) have gone through a few identity shifts over the years.
I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, so I spend my days talking about cash flow and asset allocation, but writing and photography have always been the way I’ve made sense of the world around me. My journey to becoming a financial planner—and reconciling my career choice with my creative identity—wasn’t a linear path.
In the fall of 2005, I moved from my suburban Chicago hometown to Washington, D.C. I spent the next four years attending Georgetown University, immersed in the minutiae of D.C. life. I attended President Obama’s first inauguration, on a morning so cold that it took the whole afternoon for my toes to thaw; I spent summers and semesters interning at the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Organization for Women. I assumed my first career steps would be through the halls of a federal office or NGO.
The global financial crisis upended my post-graduate plans—in 2009, I felt lucky to find any job. Two of my first roles happened to be in finance, where I started honing my quantitative skills. I brought equal energy to my personal finances, eliminating my five-figure student loan debt in less than two years. When each workday ended, I leaned deeply into creative outlets—namely, my nascent blog.
I moved back to Chicago, and found work that was grounded in human connection. For four years, I worked with MBA students and alumni, who’d rush into my office with infectious passion about their ambitious ideas. During this time, my own artistic passion was medium-format film photography, which I used to document my myriad adventures. Ultimately, the university setting inspired me to go back to school myself—to become a financial planner, so I could work with people and numbers.
Cut to today: I've put down roots in the Pacific Northwest, where I work as a CFP® professional. On the weekends, you’ll find me in the Cascade or Olympic mountains, camera in hand, recording my experiences on film (and, later, in words). My disparate, lifelong interests—personal finance; creativity and artistic expression; politics, feminism and social justice—now make sense as puzzle pieces I’ve finally snapped together. Because money, of course, is inherently political: who has it, who doesn't, and why? And art, as always, is the tool I use to explore big questions.