Simplicity Relished http://simplicityrelished.com your guide to adventurous living Fri, 11 Jan 2019 23:15:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 A first-timer’s guide to Buenos Aires, Argentina http://simplicityrelished.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-buenos-aires-argentina/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 22:36:06 +0000 http://simplicityrelished.com/?p=6036 “It’s like Europe!” If you’ve heard someone say this about Buenos Aires, they’re not entirely wrong. There are beautiful buildings modeled after Paris. There are broad avenues, stunning gardens, and as colonial history would have it, many locals who can claim Italian, German and Spanish roots. But Buenos Aires is decidedly Latin American, despite its... [Read More]

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“It’s like Europe!”

If you’ve heard someone say this about Buenos Aires, they’re not entirely wrong. There are beautiful buildings modeled after Paris. There are broad avenues, stunning gardens, and as colonial history would have it, many locals who can claim Italian, German and Spanish roots.

But Buenos Aires is decidedly Latin American, despite its relatively young history and tumultuous political past. As our Argentine journalist friend suggested, it’s a country whose identity is still in development.

Identity crisis or not, there’s a ton to enjoy about Buenos Aires. And given all the research we did— and what we learned while there— I wanted to share this little guide with you.

The “touristy” stops you shouldn’t miss

Recoleta Cemetery: This stunning cemetery contains mausoleums that are more than 200 years old in a city-of-the-dead kind of setting. Some families continue to pay for upkeep, while other graves have been abandoned to disrepair. Evita Peron is buried here (yes, the protagonist of the musical Evita), though that wasn’t her initial burial place. Entrance to the Cemetery is free and well worth it.

La Boca neighborhood: This is where Tango was born, and where immigrants and Argentines of color often lived. If you wander around Buenos Aires wondering where the non-Euros are, La Boca might be what you’re looking for. There is a free tenement museum that you can’t miss, plus lots of restaurants and shops. Despite its uber-touristy vibe, La Boca holds some of Argentina’s oldest history and is worth a visit.

San Telmo market: Not far from La Boca is San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. On certain days, the market opens and craftspeople, antique traders, artists, jewelers, and other vendors hawk their wares throughout the streets. It’s chaotic and you might not find anything you want to purchase (or perhaps you have an eye for antiques and will discover a treasure), the energy is super fun.

Plaza de Mayo and surroundings: Every Latin American capital has at least one Plaza. Buenos Aires’s plaza is stately and historic. You’ll see the Casa Rosada where presidents lived and a large cathedral (check out the interior). Demonstrations occurred in this plaza, particularly memorable were the ones led by mothers whose children disappeared during the Dirty War.

El Rosedal and other gardens: A city with a free public rose garden? This was one of the most astonishing sights in Buenos Aires because it seemed so unusual. The roses are extensive and colorful and varied, just like they should be. Other gardens are nearby, including a Japanese garden and a botanical garden.

El Ateneo bookstore: This bookstore is a converted theater that initially opened in 1919. Now converted and restored, it houses a sweet respite from warm Argentine summers and offers reading in every genre you can think of. There’s a cafe inside so really no reason not to linger!

Museo Bellas Artes and others: If you’re feeling inspired to spend some time in front of a painting, the Bellas Artes museum is the place to go. You’ll recognize a lot of the names associated with work on display. I’ve heard good things about other art museums in Buenos Aires as well.

See a Tango show: Sadly we weren’t able to fit in a tango show, but I’ve been before during a prior visit to Buenos Aires. If you’re going to pay up for dinner and a show, I highly recommend reading reviews and going for a high-quality venue. There are also dance bars where Tango is spontaneously performed late at night. Be sure to ask the locals where to find those.

The soccer/football stuff: Futbol is a hugely significant part of Argentine culture, but it’s not a part of ours. If you’re interested in seeing a game or further pursuing fandom, you’ll have to look elsewhere! 🙂

Our favorite restaurants (especially if you’re tired of steak)

I expected almost all our meals to encompass sausage or steak, but thankfully there is a lot of variety in the city. In higher end restaurants you’ll encounter beautiful creations of produce from land and sea, an integration of European cooking techniques with local terroir.

Proper: show up at this hot new restaurant right when it opens or you could be waiting for hours. Served tapas style, each dish is only a handful of bites and meant to be shared. We plunged through creative salads and one of the best steaks I’ve ever had (when in Rome…).

Mishiguene: Jewish cuisine done expertly. They are famous for their brisket (and it is delicious) but vegetarians will find their bliss somewhere between the charred eggplant and roasted cauliflower. A word to the wise: they have an awful reservations system and at the time of writing, a not very nice hostess, so be patient and persistent and you will be rewarded.

Tegui: award-winning, creative, offbeat astonishing food. This tasting menu is so unexpected and the environment is exquisite. Wine pairing was fantastic, and I especially loved the vermouth they make in-house (would have paid a lot for a bottle if it were for sale). Book in advance.

Roux: Two words— octopus carpaccio. This French-style restaurant is situated on a cute little corner and offers a delightful lunch.

Don Julio: Don’t come here if you’re actually tired of steak, but if you’re not, it’s the place to be. You’re in Argentina, after all, where the average person consumes many pounds of steak per year. You don’t have to eat it excessively, but if you’re an omnivore, you should try their T-bone. Order it “jugoso,” or medium rare.

Chila: fanciful tasting menu of delights with super down-to-earth service. They start off with a series of Argentine “snacks” like savory macarons and a mate tea experience. It’s also on a pier so the view is pretty sweet.

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Criziaseafood for people who love seafood. Tuck in for a pile of the freshest mariscos from the Argentine coast. Crizia does an impeccable job combining high-end with comfortable.

The cutest neighborhoods to wander through

What’s a city without wander-able neighborhoods? Thankfully Buenos Aires has a few.

Palermo: So hip it has its own Soho. We stayed in Palermo and it was a lovely spot to wake up and walk around. The street art in Buenos Aires is pretty charming, so you’ll find lots of that here.

If you find yourself hungry in Palermo, stop by Salvaje Bakery for a quick coffee and pastry, or Bourbon Brunch and Beer for a drink. Your Instagram account will be happy you did.

Retiro: This is what they mean when they say Buenos Aires looks like Paris. There truly are some very nice homes that look like they could be situated on Boulevard St. Germain. You probably can’t go into any of these, but there’s a flower shop with a basement bar (speak-easy style) that you can check out after 6PM. It’s called Floreria Atlántico.

How to prepare for your visit

If I’m totally honest, I wish we were even more prepared for our trip. I had very little time to dig into Argentine history or culture and had the good fortune of Aaron and his family planning for most of our trip (by the way, our visit to Buenos Aires was the starting point of a long journey through Patagonia).

So, if I were to do things all over again, I’d recommend the following:

  • Do some reading before you go. Whether you pick up a top-ten book or a novel, learning about the country will do you good.
  • Pack for the season. Don’t make assumptions about what the city’s climate will be like; make sure to check the weather reports. It was hotter and more humid than I expected and I only brought one t-shirt!
  • Make the reservations that matter. Naturally, book your hotels and any restaurants that require advance notice. If you’re looking to see a tango show, go on a tour, or watch a soccer match, plan for that in advance as well.
  • Get cash. Argentine pesos are highly inflated these days and yet somehow hard to come by in the city. Make sure you order the amount of cash you plan to spend. Tipping is all done in cash, but restaurants often do not have change. Many high-end restaurants take credit card so inform your cc company accordingly.
  • Figure out your transportation plans. There’s public transportation in the city, as well as taxis and Uber. A note about Uber: we enjoyed using Uber here but there are mixed experiences. It’s not well established, and if you are not comfortable speaking Spanish or don’t have data on your phone, I’d skip it.

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Hello 2019: where we’ve been and where we’re headed http://simplicityrelished.com/hello-2019/ http://simplicityrelished.com/hello-2019/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:51:16 +0000 http://simplicityrelished.com/?p=6016 2018 was a whirlwind of a year, filled with more change than we are used to. Most significantly, we traversed across the United States to begin a new chapter of life in Connecticut while I pursue my MBA at Yale. This uprooting after more than four years in Los Angeles felt significant: traumatic, exciting, and... [Read More]

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2018 was a whirlwind of a year, filled with more change than we are used to. Most significantly, we traversed across the United States to begin a new chapter of life in Connecticut while I pursue my MBA at Yale. This uprooting after more than four years in Los Angeles felt significant: traumatic, exciting, and filled with promise.

Personally, I hungered for a transition. I hate to feel too comfortable in any stage of life because it means I’m not challenged, and possibly not growing. That said, our Pasadena life was pretty wonderful: work was meaningful and not very stressful, our community was warm and kind, and our rhythms were regular and almost pleasantly ordinary. Looking back, I know we could have stayed in our community to watch our friends’ babies learn to walk and talk, perhaps even settled in to start our own family there one day in the presence of people who have seen us through the past handful of years. There would have been plenty of beauty and joy in that.

But I felt dissatisfied with my own growth, somehow stunted in my work, and a little too comfortable with the ins and outs of our contained world. Life almost felt easy, and I knew it wasn’t building in me the kind of fortitude required for what I feel called to do. Despite often struggling with perfectionism, I can’t always push myself toward the obstacles that I know I need to tackle; fresh, outside pressures are helpful in that way. Thus, recognizing it was also about time for graduate school if I were to pursue it at all, I headed to business school.

Launching our startup

In addition to the desire to disrupt my placid mid-twenties, I wanted to prepare for nonprofit entrepreneurship and management. Aaron and I have spent the past several years thinking about how we in our particular gifts and skills might contribute to alleviating poverty and helping those in the most vulnerable communities. Combining our passions, abilities, and convictions led us to launch a social startup that brings mental health care to vulnerable communities. 

Pursuing entrepreneurship as a student is a blessing and a curse. There are so many opportunities and requirements involved in getting the “most” out of an MBA program that somehow seem to detract from working on our venture. Meanwhile, students have access to mentorship, advisors, resources and funding that no ordinary working adult does. Everyone wants to help you when you’re a student (and in my experience, not as much when you’re an alum), and we’re learning to leverage this open-handedness while we can. 

Having completed one accelerator program and won a grant, we’re humming along. There is so much to do in 2019, not least of which is to help our partners move forward in their initiatives. Once things are a little more solid I’ll be sure to share those updates here. For now, we are loving the encouragement and support we’ve received from friends like you!

Our travels in 2018

Toward the end of the business school application process, we took a short jaunt to Mexico City (then so close and so accessible from LA), where we did our usual feasting on tacos, ceviche, and churros. We had the pleasure of Aaron’s parents joining us, and we visited a few museums (the Luis Barragan house and the Frida Kahlo house) that I hadn’t seen before. 

Anticipating a possible location change, we drove with our pregnant friends up the coast to Pebble Beach, where we relaxed oceanside with peaceful strolls along the coast. We also spent some time celebrating my brother-in-law’s wedding in San Francisco, stole away and stayed with new friends in Santa Barbara, and explored our friends’ hometown of San Diego where they served us the best beer I’ve ever tasted. 

Hungry for one more jaunt to Mexico before we moved to Connecticut, Aaron and I drove across the border to Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, a burgeoning wine country and restaurant scene. Despite the rustic roads and occasional GPS failures, we fell in love with the local Baja gastronomy and their innovative approach to winemaking. 

Our move to Connecticut (and subsequent school and work) consumed most of the summer and fall, but we found time to escape to New York City twice before the end of the year. Thanksgiving brought us back to the San Francisco Bay Area to be with family and some of our best friends who visited us from LA. 

Finally, we ended the year with an epic family trip to Patagonia to celebrate my father-in-law’s 60th. We spent about 20 days exploring both the cities and stunning natural landscapes that make up the bottom of South America (more on that to come!), and I’m still reeling from the majesty and magic of it all. 

Personal processes of becoming

Entering my 29th year, I feel as though I have more questions than answers. Years ago when I started this blog, I populated it with how-to’s and guides (which I generally still stand behind). Nowadays I’m realizing how little I know about the world, even as I move forward more convicted than ever of what I was placed on this earth to do.

It’s a gift to know what you’re good at, what you care about most, and how to combine those things into a meaningful past time that somehow pays the bills. Not everyone has that, and I hold it with humility.

I was recently asked concerning how I’ve changed over the past 10 years, and I think it’s been mostly this: watching my passions and skills and sense of calling align in the form of a new dream, and discovering the courage to pursue that dream with all that I have.

2019 will be full of milestones

By virtue of pursuing entrepreneurship while working on our graduate degrees (we both will graduate in 2020), our lives are full of milestones and hurdles. Unless we are want for work, I don’t plan to heap on more goals and things to check off the list before this time next year.

However, there are postures and skills I want to cultivate this year.

I want to be more generous in the way I see others.

I want our gift of hospitality to see the light of day, rather than drown in the “I’m tired” and “maybe next week” excuses we’ve used this fall.

I want to be good to my body and soul, not primarily out of self-improvement but out of humility and a recognition that I am neither invincible nor infinite.

And I want to spend more time outdoors, breathing in fresh air and looking up at the trees.

Happy 2019, friends.

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The simplest fall picnic for an afternoon of chasing foliage http://simplicityrelished.com/fall-picnic/ http://simplicityrelished.com/fall-picnic/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2018 20:51:59 +0000 http://simplicityrelished.com/?p=5998 Simple things make me happy. But lately, I’ve discovered that an inundation of life changes can make us forget the simple things. Like a fall picnic on a crisp, admittedly colder-than-average day. It’s not that hard to pack a bag of cheese and goodies and go sit under a tree somewhere. But it took me... [Read More]

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Simple things make me happy.

But lately, I’ve discovered that an inundation of life changes can make us forget the simple things. Like a fall picnic on a crisp, admittedly colder-than-average day. It’s not that hard to pack a bag of cheese and goodies and go sit under a tree somewhere. But it took me two months of living in Connecticut to do this.

Fall is the perfect picnicking season. The dropping temperatures and dappled sunlight make for a refreshing stroll through the woods before plopping down and sipping on spiced apple cider. The dry rustling leaves add atmospherics that no restaurant can imitate. Carrying with you a bite to eat makes these magical moments last longer.

Since it had been a while since I’d picnicked, and I still consider myself new to Connecticut, it took me some time to find the perfect place for our explorations and plan out our food. And today I’m passing that “wisdom” over to you.

Finding the perfect setting:

For a dose of the outdoors, head to a local park or reserve that has a high density of trees and is known for hiking trails. If you’re already familiar with your area, you probably know where these are. If you’re new to the area (like I am), it’s helpful to open up Google maps and search your surroundings for “forest” or “park” or “reserve.” Trust me– this strategy seems so obvious but it took me a while.

If you want to make sure a park is going to be the setting you desire, check out the photographs that are listed for it under Google, Yelp, or sometimes Instagram. I’ve found Instagram to be the most helpful when I’m trying to figure out the status of weather or foliage. Simply search a location in the app and all the photos that are tagged there will pop up. The most recent photos are usually most accurate reflection of what’s there (of course, filter out unrelated images).

If you’re still at a loss for what’s around, check out the local state park website for where you live, or any social media accounts that feature beautiful places in your area (for example @visitnh)

This time, we ended up driving about 20 minutes to a gorgeous woodsy area, West Rock Ridge Park. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so wandered for a bit before finding the perfect picnic table under a tree.

Packing the perfect picnic:

If you live somewhere cold, this menu will be the easiest thing for you to roll up in a backpack or picnic basket. The cool climate will keep things fresh for your stroll and meal, but if you’re staying out for a while, make sure to bring a cooler for any perishables.

  • Quick jam-jar salad with pickled shallots: 40 minutes before you leave, chop up a few shallots, add a teaspoon of salt, a splash of your favorite vinegar, and let them quick-pickle. When ready, throw the shallots and a couple spoonfuls of the vinegar into a salad bowl with greens and olive oil. Toss. Pack this salad into jam jars or tupperware when you’re ready to head out.
  • Bread and cheese: slice a few pieces of freshly baked sourdough and pack a cheese or two to go. We went with a mild goat cheese and our favorite Mt. Tam cheese by Cowgirl Creamery. A little charcuterie would further enhance this spread.
  • Mulled apple cider: This cider is my staple throughout the fall and winter. It’s the easiest thing to make (grab some mulling spices and cider, steep over the stove or in an Instant Pot), and it stays fresh in the refrigerator. Pack this in a thermos hot or cold. If you want to indulge a little extra, throw a tiny nub of butter into the hot cider before closing that thermos.
  • Don’t forget: utensils, napkins, plates, cups, and a trash bag. We brought a picnic blanket as well.

The thing I love about walking through the woods in autumn is that the journey is just as important as the destination. There’s so much to relish in. Don’t rush.

Want more picnic-in-the-woods ideas? I loved the inspiration from Karen Mordechai’s Sunday Suppers cookbook, where she offers rustic meal ideas for every occasion.

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4 ways to live deeply when you’re busier than ever http://simplicityrelished.com/live-deeply/ http://simplicityrelished.com/live-deeply/#comments Sat, 22 Sep 2018 21:41:45 +0000 http://simplicityrelished.com/?p=5989 Year 1 of my MBA program is in full swing and I feel like a bit of a phony. I’m surrounded by classmates who worked really hard to get here. Conversations often dance around the battle scars of merger-induced all-nighters or volatile client crises that eventually devolved into a night of drinking enough to obliterate... [Read More]

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Year 1 of my MBA program is in full swing and I feel like a bit of a phony. I’m surrounded by classmates who worked really hard to get here. Conversations often dance around the battle scars of merger-induced all-nighters or volatile client crises that eventually devolved into a night of drinking enough to obliterate the miserable associated memories (not recommended). Meanwhile on my proverbial farm, I used the years between college and graduate school to refine my values, develop consistent practices of compassion and hospitality, and dream of the impact I wanted to make. I did some work too.

But what I’ve noticed about the work-to-death culture here on campus is that in some professional settings it’s the norm, not the exception. The nonstop 15-hour days here are new to me but not to everyone else. In fact, some would probably be shocked that I kept my weekends sacred with rhythms that involved the things I’ve come to love: community, harvest, creativity, reflection. True rest is something I’ve written about since the inception of this blog, and now I’m only more convinced that it matters.

When the world around us doesn’t seem to slow down, rest is a courageous act. But it’s not rest alone that brings meaning to these long days or the pages and pages and pages of schoolwork. In order to sustain ourselves holistically through the challenging nature of work, we need to find ways to live deeply. My definition of living deeply is a combination of self-awareness, spiritual conviction, faithful dedication, and communal connection. It brings meaning where meaning is absent. It breathes life into words on a page that only describe “effective leadership” or “change management”. It gives our currencies– talent, money, and resources– a cause worthy of growth.

So how do we live deeply? I’ve been working on the following:

Stay close to art, stories, and the non-quantitative capacities of humanity

As a society, we’re becoming increasingly obsessed with data. But Einstein is still a genius: not everything that counts can be counted. And expressions that dare to explore the uncountable tend to be creative, tender, vulnerable, and beautiful. I love reading poetry, attending performances, perusing galleries and sinking my teeth into a late-summer tomato. I choose to create as well: expressing my ideas through writing, trying a new recipe, taking photographs, or even composing mini reflections on Instagram. These things help me re-center my own convictions that we are all part of a story that matters.

Explore your community and seek to understand it.

I’ll be honest: we weren’t super excited to move from Los Angeles to New Haven, Connecticut. Despite LA’s flaws, we’d grown comfortable with our proximity to diverse communities, close friends, and delicious produce (those darn tomatoes!). But now that we’re here, I want to actually be here. I want to understand the community– from the Italian-American generations that call pizza “abeets” (still figuring that one out) to the various immigrant populations that came to Connecticut instead of New York.

When we know more about the land on which we live, we walk with an awareness and appreciation for the stories that have transpired here. We become a part of it. We’re no longer here just for ourselves. We’re here as a part of the story that is still unfolding.

Choose vulnerability even before anyone else does.

Vulnerability is no piece of cake. Being vulnerable first is even tougher. This past week, I encountered someone who seemed a little too absorbed in self-promotion. I was tempted to avoid him, but saw value in the perspectives he brought and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from him. Rigid and put off at first by his attitude, I decided to let down my guard and be vulnerable. So I affirmed him and said that I needed his expertise in something I was working on. He melted immediately, and now I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing him again.

I wonder what would have happened had I not gone first, if I had let my own shame and insecurity keep me from pressing into a chance at friendship. Vulnerability is a risk and doesn’t always open doors, but it pushes us to live openheartedly and invites others to do the same.

Return to your convictions and pursue the truth.

If you are so fortunate as to be able to make decisions based on your values, it’s important to remind yourself of those values often, even while allowing people and experiences to help you refine them. This is a crucial case of both-and. We can be both openminded and anchored by conviction, seek other perspectives and pursue the truth.

At the end of the day, we all need beliefs and convictions that can stand the test of difficult seasons. In my particular case, the fact is that many of my classmates will go into careers where job satisfaction levels are below 50%. Given these stats, it’s not uncommon for high achievers to find themselves at mid-career deeply dissatisfied with their choices and lost in a sea of demands, expectations and “great” opportunities. That’s when their answer to “why?” needs to come to their rescue.

It’s true that most of us have to put our heads down and complete tasks we dislike at some point or another; but consistently making choices that are ultimately bad for our wellbeing is a symptom of fear or a lack of conviction. Conviction isn’t necessarily static; it can move and breathe with us, but it must exist and we must cling to it.

Let’s live deeply.

While the lifestyle I’ve chosen isn’t exactly popular, I’ve come to realize that it still somehow inspires. Even if living deeply means stepping away from the crowd, forward in vulnerability, and out in creativity, we become another point of reference for what life can look like.

Here’s my posture, at least: you can always come over here, take a breath, and remember that this moment actually means something.

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Heading to Yale for my MBA! http://simplicityrelished.com/yale-mba/ http://simplicityrelished.com/yale-mba/#comments Sun, 05 Aug 2018 21:51:24 +0000 http://simplicityrelished.com/?p=5952 If you had met me 4 years ago on the day of my college graduation—or anytime before that— you probably would not have thought of me as the business school type. And for the most part, I’m still not. My work experience has been a hodgepodge of independent consultation, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit marketing. I’m enamored... [Read More]

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If you had met me 4 years ago on the day of my college graduation—or anytime before that— you probably would not have thought of me as the business school type.

And for the most part, I’m still not. My work experience has been a hodgepodge of independent consultation, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit marketing. I’m enamored with social causes. My literary heart has often trumped my strategic brain. In college, I studied American intellectual history and almost pursued academia as a career. And for most of my life, I thought I would go into education in order to help kids in under-resourced communities rise up.

So while business school had been in mind as a possible grad school option, it was a surprise even to me when I felt a desperate urge to apply last fall. I remember staring at my dinner plate, then at Aaron. “I think I need to go get my MBA. Now.” His response: “Go for it, you should.” (I love him.)

I’ll spare you of the dizzying details of the application process, only to say that there is nothing like it. It’s just as (if not more) intense as the college application process, only this time you’re evaluated not simply on your performance as a student, but on your life choices as a young adult. Every decision seems to bear weight and demand explanation, even if you were just exploring an interest or serving a need. As an applicant who didn’t have a concrete plan to attend b-school from Day 1, I had to learn to tell my story in a manner that was “compelling” to a business-oriented admissions committee. And that in itself was exhausting.

I was also learning about business school (and business generally) while applying on an aggressive timeline. There were terms that were referenced in application resources that I had never heard of before. I didn’t recognize some of the top schools. I could count on one hand the number of MBA friends I had— and none of them worked at my office. I genuinely wasn’t sure if I had a decent shot, and it seemed impossible to find out.

Negotiating the limits of our control

On this side of eternity, I’ll always wonder what is and isn’t under my control. How hard do we push, when do we wait, when is rejection a gift, and when do we need to be resilient? The application process, like any other, forces you to reckon with the reality that sometimes your efforts don’t lead to the intended outcome. And when that happens, are there other positive outcomes we can appreciate? Or was it all just a waste?

Every time I had an existential crisis about the process (e.g., why do I have to keep doing the dance), I had to go back to why any of it mattered. A lot of people get their MBA to increase their earning prospects or to advance a corporate career. That wasn’t enough to keep me going; I had to think of investing in myself as a gift to people whose lives I wanted to help change. The more prepared I was, the better impact I could make.

Looking ahead

As it turns out, Yale’s program is perfect for my interest in nonprofit management and social enterprise. Attending also means packing up our things, saying goodbye to the community we love, and moving back across the country to Connecticut. I’ve left my job, where I also built relationships that matter to me deeply. There’s nothing childish about moving and going to school; in fact, I sometimes wonder if I ever really celebrated this next adventure.

So what is it really going to be like? I think we’ll hit surprises at every turn: connections to people who are totally different from us, and who are kindred spirits; joy in the bitter cold and the familiarity of warm drinks; spontaneous jaunts to New York City because it’s only 2 hours away by train. Lectures and discussions that change the way I understand impact. Nudging others to change their understanding. The hope is certainly to participate in a fruitful exchange of stories and ideas. If this isn’t the point of graduate school, then I’m not sure what is.

My MBA goal(s)

I’ll write more about this as details crystallize, but Aaron and I are planning to launch an organization together while I complete my MBA! What I can share now is that it’s related to international development, and it combines our strengths and interests pretty perfectly. In the process of launching a venture, there’s always the fear that things don’t work out. But we also know that in the social sector, success is often a function of listening, adjusting, and choosing not to quit.

Beyond launching something meaningful, sustainable, and effective, I want to make the most of my time as a student—it’s very likely the last time I’ll be in a degree program. Having spent 4 years out of school, I’ve come to even more greatly appreciate the rich resources attached to large universities. Funding to pursue your interests. Books of every genre, language, age, and authorship. Fascinating minds to enrich your own. Chandeliers and pianos everywhere. Theater, art, and music at your fingertips. Much of this is more wonderland than real world, and I am 4 years wiser and more appreciative than the last time I found myself at a place like this.

So here begins the next big adventure, and hopefully a lot of mini adventures. I’ll keep writing in this space about our explorations, lifestyle, and musings. Thanks for being here.

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