In the haze of exhaustion

My goal for this blog in 2017 was to post at least weekly, work got complicated and when I returned home at night I didn't have much energy to think or reflect or write. Starting Wednesday, February 8th until February 11th, I was at the NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students.
There were about 300 attendees and a packed conference schedule. I'm on the board of the Veterans Knowledge Community, which helps NASPA plan the conference. My role is Communication Co-Chair, so even when I wasn't in a session or participating in some way, I was wandering around taking pictures or tweeting for the conference.

Being at a conference is an interesting experience for me and this one was even more unique. My paid job isn't about interacting with military-connected students, it's just a topic I'm deeply interested in. So to be surrounded by practitioners who have been doing this work for years was mind blowing. They have so many fantastic ideas and are generally brilliant. My personal network has grown in this field and I'm now privileged to call some of these practitioners and researchers my friends.

When I did have some free time, I was able to explore DC with a really fantastic tour guide, conference buddy, and friend. On Wednesday I explored on my own and then Thursday and Saturday we traveled around together. We walked and talked SO MUCH. So, when I wasn't in a conference room learning, I was learning in a different way.

So, now that I'm home, watching movies and thinking about returning to work, my brain is in a weird place. I've realized, or maybe re-realized, that I miss learning. I miss being surrounded by brilliant student affairs-focused minds who do amazing work and touch the lives of so many. I'm thinking about expectations, balance, requirements, boundaries, and lenses (among other things). My brain hasn't been this stimulated in months, even in the haze of exhaustion.


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