Today during lunch, I ran into an old student that I taught during my second year of education. As a student, he was very boisterous, intelligent, and sure of himself.
Eating pho has become a recent obsession of mine. Each week, I find myself with the people I care about, enjoying a warm bowl filled with vegetables, savory broth, and tofu. Each time I enjoy this meal, the pressure from my sinuses is relieved but causes me to have to head towards the restroom to prevent patrons from losing their appetite at the sight and sound of me blowing my nose. As I entered the restroom, I saw him. He was standing at the sink and immediately I remembered him. I patted him on the shoulder and we greeted each other like old pals. I was taken aback by his appearance. He didn’t look like the upbeat kid who was full of zeal and passion. He looked dejected and as he spoke, the words slurred out of his mouth.
As I did back when he was a student, we had a check in. I inquired about his current situation, goals, and plans. He admitted that he was uncertain.
In life, the only certainty is change. It takes a certain amount of craziness and resolve to just surrender and accept it. I struggled with surrending for years and still have moments where I rather swim against the current than simply float. When we think about surrendering, it feels like we’re giving in. But I push myself to think beyond the ego and to understand that surrending doesn’t mean not having a plan for your life, but rather the opposite. Having an intention is crucial towards success, yet we must release the desire to control the outcome.
Seeing my student was a reminder to surrender, smell the flowers, and continue to be clear on the intention. When we think we’re helping others, we’re truly helping ourselves.