My Ode to You… and Me

A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and MA in Higher Education Leadership, Lan Yang:
If your semester has been anything like mine, you’ll have experienced the extreme highs of moving to the absolutely breathtaking city of San Diego. You’ll have experienced the hint of nervousness from leaving those you love behind and leaving the familiar faces and places that you’ve spent so many years with. You’ll feel the lightness of a new journey, a new chapter and the darkness of loneliness and fear for new beginnings.
My dear, this semester, you will begin a professional job and be challenged in and out of the classroom. Many times you will feel like this guy on the right.Hanging Man Your ideas of professionalism will be stretched and your willingness to conform will be tested. How do you perceive yourself and how do others perceive you? What are you willing to give and what will you fight to keep? Your courses will ask you to dig deeper, to find the true meaning of the very essence of you. What is your purpose? Where do you find meaning in life? My advice to you? Embrace it. With open arms. Many questions will arise, cause discomfort, bring memories. Hold all of it. And hold it some more. It’s going to feel a bit like this…
As if new academic and work environments weren’t enough, you just may happen across this thing called personal life, too. There’s a chance that within your 1st week here, you’ll find a strong emotional connection with another human being. Yes, I’m talking about the romantic kind. Chances are one in a million, but my friend, do not discount it because it will bite you in the butt. So what happens then? I’m just going to tell you that the pressures of school and work are multiplied tenfold when you have a personal life as well. Let this be your warning. DO NOT HAVE A PERSONAL LIFE. Just kidding! Love or not, heartbreak or not, my best advice to you will forever be to embrace your life. Embrace the journey. See a trend? Seriously, give your all, be vulnerable, and share in the most authentic way possible. That’s what makes life beautiful and worthwhile. Also, love Brene Brown.
I’m realizing this Ode if much more for me than you, and that just sheds light on the constant tensions I feel throughout my life. Currently, it’s this tension of wanting to share my experience while wanting to share something more general that everyone may easily connect to. FaceplantWhat I have learned though is that tensions don’t have to be polar opposites.
I can share this piece about myself and my experiences AND this piece can be a space for others to find connections for themselves and their experiences. (Now, let’s hope you did found that connection and that the theory is true…). Don’t make me feel like this hippo.
In all seriousness, this semester has been a rollercoaster ride and so insightful. Yes, it brought about more questions than answers, and yes, it brought about more challenges than triumphs, but by golly, I could not be more grateful for each and every one of those experiences. For example: I am currently sitting on my bed IN THE LIVING ROOM typing this because San Diego can’t handle rain. Legitimately had to move my bedroom into the living room so they can replace the drywall that is no longer dry. So, this semester? It’s been everything. But hey, I was never able to watch TV from the comfort of my bed before, so hellooo New Girl!
I’ve never really been into the New Year resolutions thing (minus 13-year-old Lan) and was invited to participate in choosing a word as an intention instead. What better word than EMBRACE for the year of 2016. 2015 was all about change and growth, and I want 2016 to be a practice in embracing all of that more fully. To embrace myself and others more fully. May that be my gift to you. Embrace yourself, others, experiences, and everything in between to your full capacity. Life’s going to throw some funny things at you, and life’s got good aim. But so what? You have this awesome blog post, an amazing SOLES community, and a pint of ice cream to get you through. 😉

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