Taking a break from all the posts about me to give a big shout out to one of my best friends, Ellen, who just had her baby yesterday. CONGRATULATIONS once again to Ellen and Matt!
I had the good fortune of befriending Ellen in grad school in San Diego. She was doing her MBA while I was getting my M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology. I still remember the first time we met: we were at some International Students’ event and were in line for something – probably some kinda food – when she initiated the conversation. Ellen struck me as someone very confident, inquisitive, and smart. Qualities I kinda have but wish I had more of, like her. We found out we both had quite a bit in common: both grad students, had some work experience prior to grad school, of Chinese ancestry (she’s Taiwanese and I’m Singaporean-Chinese), went on study abroad in college (she in Canada and I in Santa Barbara), and had SoCal boyfriends (now husbands).
With that long list of overlapping experiences, naturally, we hit off. We both also enjoy cooking and sports and I think that really sealed our fate as friends. Besides life experiences, Ellen and I are also similar personality-wise: like me, Ellen is ambitious and organized, and likes to fill up her day with activities. Like me, she demands perfection from herself. Some might say we’re intense, but I’d like to think we’re just type A personalities (well, she’s A+++ and I’m probably at this point an A-/B given how little energy I have these days. 😉 ).
I have so many good memories of hanging out with Ellen and how she constantly impressed me – and still does – with her zealousness for life, fastidiousness, her self assuredness, and her amazing ability to speak both Mandarin (her native tongue) AND English equally well. I envy her.
We also somehow serendipitously hit life milestones at around the same time: She finished grad school a semester before me, she and Matt got engaged just a few months after Bry and me, and got married a couple months before us. And now, she gave birth to her first baby just 4 months after I had mine. Yes, her baby is a boy, too.
I’m thrilled and excited for her not just because having a baby is such a blessing, but selfishly, I love that I have a great friend who is now a part of this club and with whom I can relate to on yet another level.
Welcome to motherhood, Ellen. Even though we do not live in the same country anymore, I’m still looking forward to many more fun conversations with you especially about motherhood and babies. And when we next visit SoCal in winter of next year, I know little Benji will have an instant friend in little Ian. We’re so gonna be, like, total BFFs…forever. 😉
Ellen and me in San Diego. Circa 2007 (I think). Oh how much younger we looked back then!