We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Marquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laura, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks. Wow…where do I even start? I feel like a lot of my life has been driven by taking risks. To branch out of your comfort zone can be one of the hardest things a person can do. The fear of the unknown can stop a lot of people from pursuing risk. However, through time, experience, and an incredible support system, I’ve learned how to adapt and overcome different situations. Ultimately, I believe it’s better to take risks and fail rather than to not take any at all.

As for my background, I went to college in DFW and decided to get into photography during nursing school. It was my escape from stressful situations and my way to explore and enjoy the numerous things in DFW. My camera was my second set of eyes. Soon, people recognized that I loved taking photos. As a result, I had several people ask me to take their photos, but I often felt inadequate because I didn’t know how to use photoshop and I didn’t have any fancy equipment. However, I just had the desire to capture images that made people feel beautiful. After numerous people convinced me, I finally took the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and take several graduation photos. I used this as a side hustle throughout nursing school.

Another huge risk I took was pursuing a job as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse. Not only am I challenged by the huge learning curve of being in the ICU, but I am being the healer, teacher, counselor, middleman, and punching bag for a lot of patients and families. Despite these things, being an ICU nurse is extremely rewarding and it is worth the risk. Overcoming the emotional, physical, and mentally draining aspects of this job takes a toll on a person but I’ve learned to grow from this season of my life. I’ve learned so much about how to handle stressful situations, perseverance, critical thinking, and how to regulate my emotions better. After being an ICU nurse for about 1.5 years I decided to be a travel ICU nurse in the DFW area. I’m originally from Houston but felt comfortable to take this level of risk. I still thought about all of the ‘what ifs…?’ and a lot of worst-case scenarios but I decided to apply for a travel nurse position and just go for it. I knew that if I didn’t try, I might regret it.

I find myself being presented with risks every day. I really try to balance risk versus reward. At the end of the day, I know God has orchestrated things in my life and presented these opportunities to allow me to grow.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a nurse, I focus on patients in the critical care environment. I’ve taken care of patients with kidney and liver transplants, and patients that have gone under other huge abdominal surgeries. Currently, as a travel nurse, I’m primarily working with COVID +, septic shock, and flap/facial reconstruction surgery patients that require critical care. Because of working as a night shift nurse and my schedule varies I don’t take photos as much as I used to. However, when I travel with friends my creative side comes out.

I’m very proud to be part of a profession that can make an impact or difference in someone’s life when they feel the most vulnerable.

I wouldn’t say this path is easy, but it is definitely rewarding. Honestly, I’m still overcoming these challenges of feeling burnt out and tired but having a great support system has helped a lot. Surrounding yourself with the right people makes a huge difference.

I’ve learned to never give up. Take the risk. If you hate it, then just take a step back and reflect. Think, “How can I improve from here?” I want the world to know that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail and to feel inadequate. The difference is getting out of that mindset and moving forward despite those thoughts. I want to encourage anyone to pursue their dreams!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love taking my friends in my car, listening to music, and traveling around the city to take pictures and try different food! There are so many places I would recommend but this is what I can come up with at the moment.

Dansungsa (Old Carrollton)
LA Burger (Carrollton)
Legacy West (Plano)
85 Degrees Bakery Cafe (Multiple in DFW)
Velvet Taco (Multiple in DFW)
JOY Macarons (Multiple in DFW)
Margaret Hunt Hill (Dallas)
Reunion Tower (Dallas)
Botolino Gelato (Dallas)
Bishop Arts District (Dallas)
White Rock Lake (Dallas)
Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
Salsa Limon (Fort Worth)
Modern Art Museum (Fort Worth)
Trinity Trails Park (Fort Worth)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are numerous people I want to give a shout out to. I want to shout to my mom, sister and brother for being loving and supportive of my dreams. My brother also mentors me because he’s into photography too. I want to shout out to my friend John (IG @jhnjsph) who truly introduced me to the world of taking photos and exploring. He really challenges my creative eye. Ashley has been a loyal friend to me. Sisi has been an incredible spiritual sister in my life and someone I could always go to for prayer. Honestly, I’m just really thankful God has given me the vision to capture such images.

Website: https://linktr.ee/lauralarisma

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laura.larisma/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXIn9KRbDoQkic_IbcVP9VA

Image Credits
John Joseph Cubil

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