Holiday Reflections

These end-of-the-year, beginning-of-the-year reflections always remind me of infinity mirrors.

As the years continue to tick by, we edge every closer to those years which were only mentioned in science fiction novels and movies.  As a young boy obsessed with science fiction, I would have never imagined where I am today or what I am doing.  It's simply remarkable.

This past holiday season was like "old home week" in Pasadena, as friends and acquaintances from years past appeared out of the wood work.  At one point I was able to visit with a friend whom I've known since preschool.  The quality of these friendships and their longevity are simply astounding to me.  We lamented about the good times and bad, and the lives we've led since we last saw each other.  Our 20th high school reunion looms in the spring, but these holidays have served to be as much of a reunion as our official reunion aspires to be.  In some ways, the people who I saw this past week will not attend in the spring.  It's a little disappointing to hear that they won't be coming, but my earnest desire is to connect in some way with as many people from our class as possible this year.

Perhaps it's selfish, but as part of my return to Poly as an administrator, I've always felt a desire and curiosity to know how others in my class are doing.  There's no competitive motive or morbid intention between these lines.  The reality is, as much as my life has gone in unanticipated paths, I wonder if others' lives had similar challenges and surprises.  

In many ways, I am the last person one would imagine working for our alma mater, but working there and transitioning back to Pasadena have taught me a great deal about keeping an open mind about a great many things, most importantly people.  

If any lessons can be vetted from this holiday season, they are: "do not allow past impressions or preconceptions rule your ability to connect, communicate or relate to others," and, "you are not who you are by what you do, but by who you are, YOU define what you do."

Life is cyclical.  Seeing Liem enter stages of life which are at the beginnings of my own memories, remind me of this.  The passions he holds, the emotional struggles, the enduring thirst for the world...  I've been known to idealize from time-to-time, but as I reflect on these past holidays I see my father in me and myself in my sons.

Resolutions?  I have been hard pressed to come up with one single goal for the next year.  Typically people peter out in the third or fourth week of a resolution.  Having said this, I do have a couple of things on my mind.  My professional goals are to engage in more depth with the academic aspects of my job.  With a myriad of infrastructural projects coming to a close, this seems wholly more obtainable.  My personal goals are to be more social and to travel... oh, and also to enter a blog entry here every day.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

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