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The Dust is Settling

Week 120 – July 3, 2022 – Feeling at Home

It’s been 11-months living in Prince George full-time. Although I started work here 4-years ago, I spent the first two years living in 2 places (and commuting back and forth via plane), the next year I lived on the Sunshine Coast and taught remotely during the pandemic, and I finally moved to Prince George with my kid for my fourth year.

Oh my gosh, now it’s the summer term. I had a very full spring term. And, the fall and winter terms were the full immersion back to in person classes (but online meetings). Some meetings have transitioned to in person (which took some time to get used to) but conferences remained online (at least the ones I had attended). It was a full year.

Here I blog in my friend’s living room. I am house sitting, the kid is at work, and I’m doing the laundry. The simple things in life… post July 1, 2022. The pace of life has changed and I certainly enjoyed sleeping and resting during this long weekend. I am taking time for me and be deliberate with every moment I take. Ah… it feels great.

I moved my books that are work related and moved them back to my office at work. My office is undergoing a declutter, as well as my mind. As much as the pandemic has taught me how to be alone and enjoy my own company, it tampered with my notions of boundaries and time management. Work and life blended together too much.

Admittedly, I was not great at separating work life and home life during my formative years as a student and my young adult life as a K-12 educator. OK. Some habits will not change. I can accept that, but what I am recognizing is my priorities. Some things are non-negotiable and some of my priorities are changing. Guess what? That’s ok.

I’m just not willing to give myself away and compromise my values and integrity. I’m tired of betraying myself to please others. I’m not doing that anymore. It feels awful. I believe that I have a lot to offer and I can just be myself. That’s enough. It’s got to be. I am foraging to find my path where I can live in my values, learn/grow, and be happy.

What am I doing now? Aside from house sitting and doing (my kid’s) laundry, I’m watching “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix, blogging my reflections, and surrounding myself with my journals and coloured pens to doodle, imagine, and plan. I am in my joy-zone. My next step is to write and be in such a way that brings me joy. That’s it.

Moments of Gratitude

Week 119 – June 26, 2022 – Transformation is bumpy

What a beautiful night. Can you believe that I took this photo at 10pm at night? This is one of the things that I have noticed about living in the Central Interior of BC versus the Lower Mainland. The days are much longer and late night walks are viable. The evening remains relatively light outside and late night walks are back on my things to do. I loved walking along the waterfront when I lived on the Sunshine Coast. Now, it’s walking around my neighbourhood and taking the time to appreciate my location.

Today makes the first hot day of the summer in BC. It’s not the heat dome like it was last year, thank goodness, but it’s a couple of days of hot weather. I would say this is the first day of summer, IMHO. Just last month it was hailing and snowing in Prince George, so this hot weather is a nice change of pace. Thank goodness my apartment faces north, so it has been quite pleasant inside for most of the day. That said, I took out two fans from storage, one for the living room and the other for my bedroom.

As I watch the news and listen to the weather warnings, I am reminded that we have to be prepared for change. I was listening to a podcast the other day stating that one cannot control outcomes, but can control the process. Meaning, I can only control myself. That’s it. I can certainly take advice from others, but I cannot make something happen when the decision is not mine to make. I can only control what I can control and part of that is trusting myself, not betraying myself, and being true to myself.

It has taken me a lifetime to get here. I spent most of my life trying to please others, meet other people’s expectations, and striving to be someone else. This is not to say that I was not myself at times, but I often found myself trying to belong to others when the real lesson was to belong to myself. What I am saying here is very Brene Brown and it is very difficult to say that I been motivated by what I perceived what others thought of me and pretended to be someone who I am not (many times).

I was so grateful to go to Vancouver last week to take time for me (and work, of course) but also meet up with friends and family. Feeling connected and being in community are very important to me. Of course it is, as mentioned above, but I am learning what it means to do what’s important to me and feel good about it. I am developing a new habit and finding that I get caught in the old paradigm. But at least I am noticing and findings ways to remedy my feelings of regret and betrayal.

After a meeting last week, my colleagues/friends went out for dinner and afterwards shared with me the idea of “the path less travelled” and recited Robert Frost’s poem of “The Road Not Taken.” I appreciated their encouragement and insight. I’ve been pondering about it and wrestle with the idea that I am not going to take a direction that is true to my values and will not compromise my integrity. I need to consider myself in my next steps and what brings me joy. It’s my pedagogical journey to take.

Although it has taken me sometime to get to this place of being and understanding, I am thankful to have a series of events happen to me the way it did. I am not perfect. What I do know is, I am free. I can do what I want and now I know the rules so that I can play the game the way I want to. Again, I have control and agency of the process. I trust that in the end the product will be the same. From now on, I am going to listen to my instincts, feelings, and intuition. There is more than one way to get to my why.

Daily Writing Practice

Week 118 – June 17, 2022 – Self-Efficacy

Here we go again. I am reconsidering daily blog writing. It is not for the reason of blogging on a daily basis like my friend and colleague Ian Landy @technolandy does. It has been recommended to me several times to adopt a practice of writing. I want to write. At first, I considered blogging daily and I was unable to maintain that practice, but the WHY is different. When I blog, I am reflecting on my week and the big ideas for learning from that week. The content could be personal or professional. Now, the idea of blogging daily comes from the idea of writing academically on a regular basis. The thought of that seems daunting, so I return to my blog as a place of solace.

I started to blog years ago to build my confidence and efficacy to write. I wanted to get my ideas out there with some level of risk (thus going public with what I write) but not so risky that I have to publish what I was writing (meaning academically). What I’ve enjoyed and appreciate the writing process is the ability to construct one’s thinking into a series of words. As I write, new ideas emerge. Abstract ideas start to make sense and I feel a sense of accomplishment with each blog I write. Although right now I can only access my blog via an application (because I locked myself out of my own website with the 2-step authentication and MOVING (and losing passwords)), I am drawn to my blog as a way to work out some of my thoughts. It’s a joyful place.

Now knowing that I intend to write academically on a daily basis, blogging daily seems reasonable to me to build up my efficacy to write and my sense of self-efficacy that I am able to start, develop, and maintain this practice of writing. Much of what I wrestle with is my own fear of writing. I never thought I was a good writer. Why? I’m not a good reader. This belief is something that I have carried with me as a child. Much of my career has been to overcome what I cannot do. I thought I was bad at math even though I got a minor in math, a teaching concentration in math, and taught secondary math for more than an a decade. I would consider myself to be a math educator. This learning cycle continues with me and research. Part of research is reading and writing. I’m not sure why I do this, but research is my next challenge.

I don’t find the process natural, yet. I spent the last few years transitioning from my independent work and public service into higher education. What does it mean to be an academic? I am learning on the job. I am learning autodidactically with the help of a few friends and mentors. I feel very lucky to have people I can reach out to. I also have an academic coach too. I just started with one a month or so ago. It took some time to get things sorted and ask for help. I am so that I did. I feel more confident and willing. I am learning when my sweet spot writing time is and what am I willing to do to block out time to write. Autodidactism was at the heart of my dissertation (at least the beginning of it) and deliberate practice and expertise. I am also teaching that in a course I’m just finishing this term. So much is returning back to me in a good way.

It seems like the afternoon is a great time for me to write (pending that there are no meetings) and I really enjoy listening to Bridgerton as I blog. This may not be true as I write academically, but I am enjoying the pace of writing and listening to music at the same time. I find myself as I write that I overthink and want to edit at the same time. I really appreciate practice with my blog as a way to learn on my own. As much as I can get help from others, I need to find what works best for me as well. I appreciate the help though and I am grateful to have people in my life who I can trust and lean on. Having others in life to connect with as critical friends is rare. Cherish them. OK. This will conclude today’s daily blog and I will transition into my academic writing.

Feeling Settled

Week 117 – June 12, 2022 – Turned the Corner

Gosh. Look at this gorgeous night. This photo comes from my friend’s property. She’s on my curling team and she invited the team and a couple of her friends over for dinner. My other teammates offered to pick me up to go over to my friend’s house for dinner. We had an amazing meal. Most of it was vegetarian (for me). We had drinks on the deck and played several rounds of lawn darts (my team won). We ended the night with a fire and we had great conversation throughout. I had so much fun and I spent more time that night listening, appreciating, and enjoying. I feel very lucky.

Feeling settled is a big deal. Lots have changed over the last few years (and decade). Welcome to the midlife unravelling. I started when I was 40 and hasn’t stopped. At the time, I left K-12 education and embarked on a pedagogical journey that was atypical and unordinary. I was able to try new things, question self (many times), and challenge myself on what I was able to do (or not able to do). My sense of self efficacy needed a critical self evaluation and reconstruction. It doesn’t matter what people perceived (or what I perceived of others), what I thought I was able to do varied.

No question. I have completed a doctorate and I’m teaching at a university. I have published a few papers and presented at conferences. These are all good things but I never felt like I was enough because it felt like what I did was never enough. Gah. That was tough to say, but true. I look back and realized that I never savoured the moment because I was consumed by doing more so that I could feel like I am enough. If we are focused on Dr. Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability, I was swimming in a sea of shame. I needed to unpack those feelings and understand my worth.

For the the last few years, I have been finding myself and redefining who I am. I spent a good chunk of my life pretending and putting on a show for everyone else to see. On the one hand, I was myself, but on the other hand, I was hiding. I could not do that anymore. I moved myself, my life, and my kid to a new community. I drove a U-Haul truck (still can’t believe that). I sold my half of the house and getting a divorce. I sought help from friends, mentors, and coaches. I love being with my kid and grateful to have a community of people around me who are supportive, loving, and awesome.

I was chatting with a friend today and caught myself having a meta moment. I was sharing a lesson with her that I would normally share with students, and one that I was learning myself. As a high school math teacher, I would tell my students not to worry about the test or their marks, but to focus on the math (the learning). The grades will come. I learned that lesson from curling. Don’t focus on the win or score, but on the little things like your technique or communication. For myself, I need to focus on the joy, the passion, my practice, my purpose. The publications and promotion will come. Focus on the goods internal to the practice (McIntyre, 1984).

Appreciating Rest

Week 116 – June 5, 2022 – Sustainability and Joy

After almost working 4-years at the university, this has been my first May and will be my first June living in Prince George. I am mesmerized by the weather change, pollen from the Cottonwood trees, and sea of dandelions while the grass turns green. I’ve been settling in to living here full time and by August will make a full year. I am so glad that my daughter decided to move up north with me and live together with me.

For the past 10-months, I’ve been learning a new way of being and flow to life. It’s has not been a smooth or straightforward journey, but it is one that I am carving out for myself. This agency is new for me. I just finished the second season of Bridgerton yesterday and the first season last week. No guilt. No shame. Just joy. Watching those shows were just for me. It was much better than the short clips seen on Facebook.

Yesterday, I took the day to rest (even though I had intentions of catching up on work). All I did was sleep. My body needed the rest, not just my mind. As I remind myself but also the students I teach that REST is part of the productivity plan. I would not have believed that a few months ago, but the more time I take for deliberate rest, the more able and willing I am to get things done (i.e., email, reports, meetings, etc.).

Rest was a tough lesson for me to learn. I think that I spent most of my life trying to prove my worth and value without taking the time to pause and reflect on what I have to offer to the world. I am reminded from time to time, but unwilling to hear what’s being said. I don’t believe it, thus compels me to work harder, but for what? The harder I work does not get me closer to where I want to be, but actually further.

I take on too many things such that I can’t get anything done. It’s awful and feels horrible. Being in the service of others is great, but what about me. My mentors say, “research is me-time” and “be selfish” or “no one is looking out for you but you.” Gulp. I’m listening but trying to make sense of all of this. Much of my life, personally and professionally, has been trying to life up to other people’s expectations (so I thought).

What do I want for myself? This is a very good question, admittedly struggling to answer. I want joy, security, and contentment. I love what I do and want to keep learning. I’m not sure if I’m into material things, per se, but love stuff like Lululemon and Starbucks coffee. My friend shared with me a podcast about TOXIC POSITIVITY. Sadly, the podcast resonated with me because I think I lived most of my life that way.

I’m not feeling sad for me and I’m not regretting the self-fulling prophecy of failure or underperformance I lived for many decades of my life. In fact, I am feeling more happier than every. I can experience joy. And, I can see some of my strengths. I am learning how to create boundaries and set goals that are wholehearted and joyful. I want that for me, my kid, and for those I am working with. It has to be sustainable.

My kid just turned 19. I’m thinking about joining lawn bowling. And, I’m charting the next few months to write because it’s something I want to do. I want to write the book about my mom and I want to write about my practice and educational programs that are transformative and contributes deeply to the student learning experience. I will continue to learn and do what makes me happy… to rest… and find joy where I am.

Writing My Story

Week 115 – May 29, 2022 – My kid is an adult

It’s hard to believe that we are 115 weeks into the pandemic. It’s become the “new normal.” We are living with COVID-19 and finding ways to get back to regular life. I will admit that the pandemic offered me valuable time to reflect and understand what’s important to me. Last week I switched my blog from a reflection of what is to celebrating what I love. It’s still a pandemic reflection but focused on gratitude.

Today is my kid’s 19th birthday. She is and has been the best part of my life. I never anticipated on having children as a professional, but I had her when I was 32, a year after I got married and completed my master’s degree. I was so grateful to have her. She transformed my life ever since she was born. Giving birth to her was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life. It was humbling, scary, and rewarding.

I remember the day when we took her home, I wondered… who is this stranger in my home? She was 100% dependent on me and she has taught me so much as a person, mom, and educator. It’s been a journey, no question. I cannot believe it’s been 19 years together and I am so happy that she lives with me in Prince George and she is also independent. She has become a beautiful adult and I’m so happy for her.

My kid has made the last year AMAZING and I am so grateful that she is a part of my life. Having her here has helped me to settle in this new place, to start my new life, and write my story. It’s taken some time to feel settled and more like myself. I love where I am and I appreciate all of the people I’ve met and befriended. Last week was convocation and I was so proud of the graduates but I also loved seeing people again.

It has come to my attention that I love what I am doing and I am not defined by others. I have to define what I want to do and I am the maker of my next steps. I look back over the last few years and honestly, my life was crazy. I was uncertain and driven by extrinsic motivators that I felt were out of my control. Now I see that my drive is intrinsic and it’s in my control. I learned this from my EDUC 634 course.

I love people. I love my kid. And, I love the authentic relationships I am making. I am living the next chapter of my life and I am hopeful and optimistic. I understand that this journey will not be perfect, but I am able, competent, and wholehearted. That’s all that matters. I know that my area of work is judged and consumed by others, but the lesson I am learning is that I am part of the formula too. Do what gives me joy.

Focus on JOY

Week 114 – May 21, 2022 – Food and Travel

It’s time to pivot my blog posts. I’m going to continue with the weekly pandemic reflection, but I am going to focus on what I love. I know that many of my blog posts during the pandemic wrestled with defining what was important to me. I would like to blog about what’s important to me. The pandemic had offered many days for reflection and contemplation. For me, it’s been at least two years of transformation and self-actualization. I want to celebrate that. This pivot in my blogging approach represents the next step of my identity development as a human being. I am joy,

For anyone who follows me on social media, particularly Twitter, I love selfies, my kid, and food. I love posting what I eat, whether it be because of what’s yummy to eat or who I am with. I love eating. For me, eating reminds me of my mom, gathering, and connecting with those who you love. I loved going to dim sum on Sunday’s with my family or celebrate with a “double duck” dinner. That would be Peking duck. I am brought back to good memories. I remember my mom making homemade rice rolls when we lived in Prince Rupert, BC. Looking back, I am so amazed and impressed.

As you can see in the photo above, my memories are provoked with familiar flavours from frozen veggie potstickers. I live in the Central Interior of BC and somewhat distant from the Lower Mainland, I can see the value and convenience I had living on the Sunshine Coast, near to my mom and Asian cuisine. My mom has passed, I’m no longer with my partner, and I am on a new career trajectory… I am (re)learning how to find myself again. Moving here led me to search for authentic Cantonese cuisine in Prince George. Admittedly, I was not successful but I do find a few close options.

My daughter and I like the Chinese food at Flaming Wok at the food court in the mall. I should mention that we are vegetarians. Chinese food sans meat is challenging. My kid has been vegetarian for a few years and I’ve been for a few months. For me, it’s for health reasons, nothing more. It also easier for the both of us to be vegetarian. We like the green onion pancakes and rice rolls from Superstore and the veggie egg rolls from Costco. There is a place in Prince George to purchase frozen dim sum, but all of it contains meat. That said, when I went to Vancouver to visit my family and use my Westjet points, my brother took us to a vegetarian dim sum restaurant. Delicious!!!

What inspired me to write the blog post was from watching TV. On CNN, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, reminds me of Anthony Bourdain on CNN and Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. I just love the premise of these shows. The food connects you to place and people. There is history. The stories of food connect you to who you are. I just love the idea of travelling and tasting food from different regions of the world. I know of the memories that I have of food and to listen to the stories of others through their love of feed excites me. I am heartened to hear the stories about place and people. I am reminded by ideas of identity, love, and connection. I want to do this.

The Power of Connection

Week 113 – May 14, 2022 – Feeling Whole Again

The day after Friday the 13th. I feel rested and reconnected. I felt so lucky to be part of the professional development session in SD91 in Vanderhoof, BC hosted by KOH learning. I was able to go to this event with half a dozen teacher candidates as well. They attended this event on their own time, so learning together was truly a gift.

The primary theme and function of KOH learning is CONNECTION. They focus on the Nechako waterways and in doing so connect students, community, educators, and researchers. I just loved the day. It started with Dr. Peter Liljedahl with a virtual session on Building Thinking Classroom followed by outdoor learning activities.

It felt so good to be connected with others in person as part of the professional learning experience again. I loved meeting new people, reconnecting with people, and learning with teacher candidates. My cup was full and I was grateful for one of the Teacher Candidates who drove us to and from the event. It was good to connect.

Shall I say that I really enjoyed the egg sandwiches I had at the pro-d event? The sandwiches were delicious, vegetarian friendly, and reminiscent of the sandwiches my mom never liked. Not sure why? They are THE BEST… just like deviled eggs. Yummy. I’ll admit it. The sandwiches were a highlight to my day (and the swag too).

Wanting to blog on Saturday… I was pooped. I started to write this blog on Saturday (as noted above) but continuing it now on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. I would like to note that I love Saturdays. I had to learn how to take that day for myself. The day was filled with chores, parenting, and rest. Saturdays are sacred time. I was so tired.

Now I’m well into the next week and spent quite a bit of time preparing for today. I presented at a national conference with a folks from the university. I had a academic coaching session a couple days ago, and a fulsome chat with my sister last night. What I have learned is, I need to be kind to self, I love what I do, and I can do more.

Let me clarify… not “do more” to fill up my things to do list, but “do more” in terms of not underestimating what I am able to do. I can do this work and I watched a CSSE session this morning and inspired by the Governor General and thoughtful panel. Disruption is part of my work. I got clarity on my research agenda and I’m stoked.

Although I feel pulled in many directions, I had to make decisions that was best for me. Making that choice was very difficult for me to do because I rarely choose myself as a priority. Sounds strange, but I am learning what it means to prioritize myself and feel good about it (without being narcissistic or selfish). It’s ok to be first on the list.

Anyway, I chose rest and created some time and space for me to prepare for today’s presentation. I needed that time to present with my team in a good way. I am so proud of myself and my team. I am learning about learning and more about myself. After talking to my sister and discussing what she is learning, I feel transformed.

I have one more presentation to give tomorrow and I will spend time tonight to prepare for it, then I will return back to prep for the graduate courses I’m teaching and to the teacher candidates I am supervising for their 4-week practicum. There is no dull moment this month, but now I know I am able to take one step at a time.

Listening to My Story

Week 112 – May 6, 2022 – Pause and Choice

What an interesting week. I’m brought to a place of deep reflection and declaring what is important to me and why. Ah yes… MY WHY. Although Simon Sinek would say that your why does not change over time, what I’m realizing is that it’s taking me time to hone into my why. With more time, there comes more clarity. I would also say with more experiences and questions from critical friends also help to clarify.

This week continues the journey from last week. I was so overwhelmed last week and this week was a bit better, but I’m now in a place to question, wonder, and commit. I have been asked a few times this week… “What is your goal?”… “What do you really want to do?”… “What brings you joy?” In these conversations I was feeling validated and I needed to hear what each had to say from their perspective and expertise.

The spring term started and I am left running. I’m teaching a compressed course for teacher education, a spring intersession graduate course, and supervising a capstone project for Serena’s graduate students. What was I thinking? I love every moment with these students but my time is spread thin and I am presenting at conferences this month and papers to write. What do I need to do to get where I want to be?

I need to address those questions being posed to me. The irony does not pass over me knowing that I’m teaching a course on achievement motivation. In this course alone is enough for me to reflect and self-evaluate how things are going and where I want to be. As one person said to me recently… you have to be selfish if you want career advancement. That can challenging for me, but I do understand what’s being said.

Most of my career and MY WHY is in service to others. Much of what I do in my life is to help others. I do find joy in that, but I guess the question is, what I am I doing to help myself? What am I doing that is good for me? What am I working towards? I am so grateful for people who are helping and guiding. This honesty and integrity are so appreciated. It’s more than just what I am interested it, but what am I committed to?

DELIBERATE PRACTICE. This concept was part of my dissertation, but show up again in the graduate course I’m teaching as well as self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and attainment value. Goal orientation theory shows up as well as self-determination theory. We discussed in our class the term “amotivated” (low beliefs in one’s abilities thus one places low value in academic tasks). I can see how this impacts motivation.

I can see how setting a goal helps. In past, I have set goals for myself that seemed out of reach. More recently, I’ve tried to set more attainable goals, but they don’t seem to resonate with me like the big dreamy goals. The dreamy goals I set for myself in past, I have attained them. The question is, what’s next. I took much thought about this and this week has turned another corner. I have set my dreamy goal. I’m ready. Let’s go.

Asian Heritage Month

Week 111 – May 1, 2022 – My Mom Visited Me

I have a tonne of things to do. Some things are well overdue, but I’m getting to things one task at a time. I did not know that life could be so challenging at times. I feel like I’m getting to know myself all over again. Admittedly, it’s a bumpy ride. Keep you ego in check and open your heart to learn, forgive, and surrender. It’s a little weird for me to be writing this blog entry and it’s on Week 111. I say that because when I do see series of ones on my phone, for example, I think it’s my mom. So here we are at 111.

This week was a struggle for me for many reasons and it seemed like everything was happening at once. I was overwhelmed and had so many tasks to get done. Lots of what had to get done depended on the inside work I had to do to get the outside work done. I’m not talking about indoors and outdoors, but rather the work that I had to do with my mind and spirit. My heart was heavy but opted to enter the week with my chin up and tried my best to face what the universe had to offer. I was not envious or jealous. I was not angry or frustrated. I was feeling more uncertain and unclear.

You think that you can hide how you are feeling, at least, that’s what I thought I was doing. I was doing my best to be open and approach the world with a smile. It was so good to see folks from out of town. Some were familiar faces while others were new. I realized how much I loved connection and being with people. I had a huge need to BELONG. I even googled that to see what my personality type felt about belonging. Even though I have a rough or shiny veneer, deep down inside I need community.

I have community in different places, but more recently am acknowledging that I am not a part of a community in other places. I could be self-sabotaging or just hiding myself from the world, but belonging has been tapping my shoulder and in small ways have been receiving messages affirming that this might be true. It was a heavy week and I could barely keep things together. I even brought my computer with hopes of getting work done at the conference, but I never opened it up once.

Over the last few days, we had people at the university visiting my program. One part I participated in actively and another part took a step back and participated only. Both parts felt good and I have to notice and recognize that. In the latter part, I navigated the conference as a learner (carrying my laptop around). I felt like every conversation, presentation, and interaction I had was meant to happen. It was like people were talking to me, but about the same thing. It was informing and weird.

The common theme was mom. By the afternoon, I opted to go to another workshop that was different from the one I signed up for. We sat in circle and I just wanted to cry. I was smudged earlier in the day, but that afternoon I was called to be in that room. The right people were there in the circle at the right time. I could not let my sadness out. My inner strength (or fear) kept many of my tears inside. I felt like the person leading the circle was talking to me. The words hit me so deeply. Words around the circle caught my attention too. Kiwi birds, wings to fly, and belonging.

It was a powerful day for me and was affirmed by another person in the circle that they felt an energy around me. A positive force with lots of good to come. They told me privately that they were receiving messages and images that this energy was proud of me. There was a lot more said, but all I could say was, it was my mom. Still from the other side, she is trying to guide me. She is my biggest cheerleader. I am so grateful to those who are able to translate those messages to me. I really needed it that day. The event ended and my day concluded with lots of laughs and beading.

What I have learned is, you can’t hide. People can see you. My self-doubt was getting the best of me. It was winning, but with all those I chatted with in the last week (including my mom) has opened a door for me that I could not see. I am walking through that door. My heart is full and I can only do the best I can do. I need to belong and accept myself for who I am so that I can realize my gifts. Thank you creator and all those who were part of my day that day. It was April 28, 2022.

What a wonderful way to enter this week with celebrating Asian Heritage Month. I am so proud of my mom and the strength she gives me. And, I am so grateful for all those who are in my community. I needed your strength to understand my place.