As I think about the last couple years, I can only be grateful for the opportunities I have been given, and the amazing friends and teachers I have met along the way. Moving from Hong Kong, to Saint Louis, and then to Cornell and beyond, it has been a series of happy accidents -- meeting people who believed in me, who allowed me to be myself, and to find my way in design and other things. A lot of it has been mostly about trying to find love in what I do, in architecture and otherwise. Other times, it has been about finding a way to express something that cannot be easily said in words -- and should be done through a drawing, a model, a dance, or a stand-up routine. I was a very shy and anxious kid growing up, and every time I find myself in an unfamiliar or unexpected environment, I can see myself easily falling back to that default. But, in some other bright moments, I can see myself actually be confident, going after the things that have meaning to me.
Mostly, following curiosities should be a lasting lesson of the past couple years. During my best years, I think I was fully engaged in learning something I was really interested about -- art, umbrellas, or traveling velo sheds. There's always something interesting to any pursuit, and once I find that -- that special thing -- I can put my whole self in it. Some years, it's about work. Other years, it's about relationships. Some years, it doesn't happen in certain areas I wanted to -- and I think those are subtle signals, telling me to find something else, or to pivot, or to find a better attitude. If challenges or problems arise out of the blue, I hope I can always find a way to take action, directly or indirectly, to solve them. That is one of the greatest motivations of living: to stand back up after you fall down.
This rocky scene has always been inspiring: