last week, bernie and I attended the annual convention of the American College Personnel Association.
my parents flew out to visit and then watch the boys. . . and a puppy. . . while we were gone.
ACPA was the place bernie and i had our first real "where is this relationship going" conversation.
this was us then:
clearly, it was a good conversation. :)
this year, we had the opportunity to serve on the Convention planning team.
as the co-chairs of the opening and closing sessions.
here we are 13 years later:
we received several questions about what it was like to "work together" this week.
i sometimes forget what an anomaly our relationship has been professionally.
we met in grad school, and took our first full-time positions at the same institution.
in the same department.
doing the same job.
our first year at Ohio State, we were Hall Directors in Baker West and Siebert Hall.
so, while we lived in the same building, bern's commute each morning was a walk across a parking lot.
and a few years later we were assigned to run both Baker East and Baker West when Anthony was an infant.
i now work in the Center for the Study of Student Life and bern oversees First Year Experience and Orientation, so our roles as colleagues looks different now.
but, yep, we are used to working together, and both appreciate the different strengths we bring to the table.
i was excited for this week for many reasons.
getting to see familiar faces like this:
but, the thing that has kept me continually excited about working on the planning team was the closing session.
ACPA brought Dr. Brené Brown in to speak.
if you aren't familiar with her work, you should take the time to check it out.
i have been reading and reflecting on her work since my friend Sus introduced me to her during an RA training session a few years back.
i was thrilled to get to see Brené Brown speak live.
because we were working on the logistics for her session, i was hopeful that i might get a chance to meet her.
. . . until she walked in for her sound check, and i instantly got butterflies in my stomach and was very grateful that i was busy taping off chairs so i could collect myself.
Adam Levine could have walked in at that moment and i might have felt more normal chatting it up with him.
(bern teases me because i used to giggle when he came on screen during The Voice.)
i realized later that there were a lot more layers to meeting Brené.
i have read her books, read stories about her life, and in reading her books, have come to significant points of insight and reflection on my own life.
she represented a lot more to me than Adam's "you are cute and i like your songs" would have.
the time came to find her green room and get her situated and i had the opportunity to be part of the process.
we were able to sneak in a photo:
and i love that Megan Rowe was able to catch this one that we took with the ACPA team:
but photos and green rooms aside, i was thrilled to see her speak in person, and be truly vulnerable on that stage, and really engage with our delegates at the convention.
part of her message revolves around a Theodore Roosevelt quote about the importance of "daring greatly."
bernie was wiped out after the convention, so i drove home from Indy to let him sleep.
i spent some time reflecting on Brene's message, and the last year.
applying for the Higher Education and Student Affairs PhD program at OSU this year was a big "daring greatly" moment for me.
it is something i have wanted to do for quite some time, and applying as an "internal candidate" felt like a very public process.
what if i didn't get in?
that was a very real question for me.
i vividly recall bern asking me in the fall, "can i tell people you're applying?"
my mental/gut response was, "no. because then they will all know if i fail."
fortunately, i told him yes.
and i told my friends, too.
and i received SO much more love and support along the GRE/application/interview journey by saying, "i really want this, and it makes me feel six kinds of excited and nauseous, and generally squishy," than i would have by keeping it to myself.
i even received a day-before-the-GRE support text, written to the tune of Les Mis' One Day More, from my friend Phil. (Now Dr. Badaszewski! Yay!)
it started "one day more, one more day until the GRE. . ." and went on from there.
(if you don't have musical theatre friends, you are missing out all kinds of ridiculousness.)
and, now that i have been admitted to the program (YAY!), i'm asking myself, what have i signed my family and i up for over the next several years?
am i being fair to bern?
it's easy to spiral down this path, but right now, i am choosing to be grateful.
for the opportunity.
and the journey ahead.
looking forward, i have one more "daring greatly" project on the horizon.
but that is for another post. . .