Go with the Flow

I am exhausted.

On the eve of my first ever Chinese language class, after a weekend of working with an amazing group of Asian American Scholar-Educator-Activists, after launching and getting incredible response for a study of Asian American educators, after running 5miles at 5:30 am and tucking in my children, before getting ready for the start of a new semester and all that it encompasses, I am feeling all the feels and it is overwhelming and exhausting.

So, I take a moment to breathe and to write this blog. I breathe to get present to this moment, right now, where it is quiet, children and dog sleeping, partner getting much needed down time after a weekend with the kids, and me, blogging.  I write to get present to this moment, to the integrity of doing what I promised myself that I would do, reflect on this journey, write this blog, pause and breathe.

In my weekly planner, I wrote to “blog re. embracing identity.” What I meant was to think about the journey I’m on to embrace my identities as a Taiwanese American, an Asian American scholar, educator and activist, a mother-scholar, and returning student.  But, what I’m realizing is that, as important as all these identities are, it is perhaps even more important to embrace my identity as evolving.  After getting tenure, I changed the title of this blog to “The Life and Times of an Evolving Academic,” and at the time, I didn’t realize how true that sense of becoming really was to me.

I am embracing that there isn’t always a right way, that sometimes I won’t get it all done, that there will be moments of tension between mothering and work, between being a student and an academic, between being Asian American and being a scholar-educator-activist.  But, I can acknowledge this tension and move through it to become stronger.  And I can do so with the support and love of multiple communities, including my family who reminded me tonight at dinner that change is good, that I can do this, and that they are behind me 100%.

Acknowledging all of this is a gift, a perspective that I need most as I go back into a classroom as a learner, as I juggle an “already too full” life, as I embrace abundance and learn to go with the flow, as I learn to say no, as I apologize when a spinning plate crashes to the ground, apologize and move on without letting it define me.

It is the present of being present even in moments when I don’t think I have it in me. It is self-compassion and self-care and lifelong learning, and I am lucky to be living it.

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