Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

2018: The Year of Heart

laelene Posted in mba,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We humans are funny beings, ascribing arbitrary meaning to dates and seasonal periods. For whatever reason, we chose to celebrate the coming of a year at this time of the winter (I know there’s some convoluted history behind that but let’s not get into it now).

We get all excited about this transition that happens in an instant. Boom, it’s a new year. Out with the old, in with new.

I don’t quite understand the timing of it and its significance has waned for me over the years, but I can appreciate the value in closing a chapter on your life, reviewing what happened in the past revolution around the sun, and anticipating the next one.

2017 was a pretty monumental year for me. I’d say the one word I could apply to everything that happened was transformational. I explored what life in NorCal could be like, went on an incredible trip to Israel, got a chance to befriend my new bestie and travel work husband, experienced Taiwan, China, and Japan with classmates, had a fun summer interning at Cisco, lost my way when I didn’t get a return offer, began to question my identity and dreams for the future, struggled to get back into recruiting, began therapy, threw myself into building a tribe of friends, lost connection with Panda, got involved with an incredible startup and found some purpose, had an amazing getaway to Mexico, and came home to VA after a year to turn 32.

The first half of the year was so much fun and wonderful. I was making so much of the MBA experience and having a great time. The second half of the year was full of challenges that I’m still working through. A series of events triggered an identity crisis for me and I found myself drifting aimlessly, listlessly. I was still functioning at the surface level, attending to my duties as a student, eating normally, and enjoying everything I could about the social part of my program. But deep inside, I was often overwhelmed and uncertain. I clung to whatever I could that made me happy or kept me distracted. I spoke to some friends about it and eventually started therapy, but it’s a process I’m still working through.

In light of all of that, I’m looking to 2018 being the year I lead with my heart. I spent too much time caring about what other people would think, how they perceived me, and what the world expects from me. I’m trying to get out of my own head and let me heart guide the way. I want to do what feels right and good. I want to express myself authentically and vulnerably so I attract the right people to my side. I want to figure out what I need to love myself.

I’m really looking forward to two classes I’m signed up to take that I hope will help me on this journey: Fostering Creativity and Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion. It’s been a tough path for me to disassociate myself from others and learn who I am, what I am on my own. I always think in terms of how I relate to others, how they react to me, and what they think of me. So who am I stripped of that? What do I think of myself? Who do I want to be? I’m hoping that a dive into my heart will help me find these answers. It feels incredibly selfish and self-centered, but I guess that’s exactly what I need right now.

365great Day 203: 30-day challenges

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 203: 30-day challengesI’ve been doing a couple of monthly challenges as each month passes by and it’s been cool seeing all that happens within that time frame. Most recently I’ve stuck to photo challenges, with themes I’ve been choosing myself, but I think I’ll attempt more ambitious ones aimed at changing behavior, like walking half an hour every day or taking time to read at night. I did manage to do 30 days of using my Juice Beauty products awhile back and I definitely saw improvement in my skin from that. I’m taking on some other challenges that are less frequent, like cooking at least 3 days out of the month and applying a face mask at least once a week. All of these are a great way to systematically change habits and behavior patterns. It’s a nice way to tackle self-improvement goals!

Need for social connection

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Working from home is hard. Not only do you have to keep yourself motivated and on track despite all the distractions, you get isolated from people. I mean, sure it’s great to connect with people online, but nothing can truly replace sitting across from someone as you chat over cups of tea or share a delicious meal. That’s one of the reasons I’m rejoining the workforce, in addition to seeking greater learning and growth opportunities.

sitting on ground working on laptop

Just me and the laptop…

These days I find myself getting antsy around 4 PM – I’ve done a lot of my work for the day and I’m seeking a break, but nobody’s around. Sometimes I’ll have a snack but sometimes I kind of forget and just wait until dinnertime to eat. I start looking out the window as neighbors begin arriving home from their day of work and wonder when Panda will be pulling in. He’s pretty much the only person I am consistently in touch with and definitely the only one I spend time with in person. Sure, I’ll call my parents or email/text my friends, but I don’t really know anyone out here so there’s nobody to meet up with. When it’s just me and the laptop, I often wish that I had my cats with me – they’re always entertaining! However, they’d be a distraction so I guess I shouldn’t be playing with them. Instead, why not get the interaction I want by doing work together with others??

I’m really looking forward to getting back into an office so I can make new friends, get to know my coworkers, work towards a common goal of growing the company, and get more interaction overall. Nothing can quite replace being in the same physical environment (unless you have some complex video-chatting stream between all users, then maybe). Plus, it’s good to get out every day and move around. There have been days where I didn’t breathe a single breath of fresh air since I just stayed indoors on my laptop the entire time. It’s easy to start to get disconnected from the world.

Of course, I still love my online life and it’s so cool to be making blogger friends. I definitely plan on continuing with that, but it’s something that can easily be a hobby I do at night and on the weekends. I don’t have to work on it for 40 hours a week (though I certainly could) and I think it’d be a nice complement to the work I would do during the day at a workplace. I’d get a nice mix of interacting with people on the phone, in person, and online. I’m ready for that!


laelene Posted in general blog, relationships,Tags: , , , , , ,

I came across some bloggers who are in long distance relationships, writing about the challenges of it. It got me thinking about my own LDR.

sitting on plane in window seat at night with earbuds in ears

We spend a lot of time flying back and forth.

Usually it’s not in my conscious mind that I’m actually in a long distance relationship. Perhaps I’ve just been doing it for so long? The way my life is now, well, it’s all pretty normal to me (but it’s certainly not what I want long-term). Panda and I are coming on 5 years and at least half of that time has been apart, whether just a city or two away or an entirely different side of the world. Just months into our relationship, I decided to take an opportunity to work in Singapore. I was gone for about half a year and it was hard. Our relationship was actually fine the whole time – we got to chat on Skype and write long emails to each other to share our days. The strain was more in other aspects of my life, brought on in part due to the fact that I missed him so much. When I came back, we had some precious months together.

About a year later, he had moved home after graduating college and was preparing to start his working life. For another half a year or so, I only got to see him fleetingly whenever I could visit him at his house on weekends or days off work. And then, since March of 2011, he has been living out on the east coast. At first, I got to see him about one week a month. As that first year was ending, I was seeing him less and less (not as much travel for work) so I made a bold decision to quit my job and try out entrepreneurial endeavors. This gave me a chance to stay with him more frequently – a few months out of the year – and that’s where we’re at now.

I’m on the cusp of my next change: finding a job in his area so I can move there. Is it possible that our long distance days might finally be over? I dare not believe it yet. Not until I’ve secured a job and moved in and settled for a bit. It’s one of those dreams that has been following me for quite some time now and I’m really looking forward to making it come true. It’s been a long time coming and I want nothing more than a nice little home life with my beau. Oh, and I guess I want a house too. 😉

I think the greatest challenge in my LDR is the communication. It’s a lot harder when the sound quality on phone calls and video calls aren’t always that great (and things lag). It’s also hard trying to type it all since you often miss tone and true meaning. Panda and I will sit on Skype for hours at a time, both of us going about our days but being able to check in visually when we want, so we can feel like we’re almost in the same space. My favorite time with him is really the simple stuff in life – being able to sit next to each other as we do our own work, being able to go grocery shopping together, being able to take a stroll outside together… many plans have been put on hold just because we are not cohabiting and cannot do them just yet. Within the next year I plan on putting our LDR to rest! I’m sure it will pop up again over the years, but hopefully it will be less often (and certainly a minority of our time).

Are you in a long distance relationship too? What challenges do you find and how do you cope?

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