The Road That Got Me There

It has been awhile since I last sat down and blogged about my thoughts- life. Since our last conversation, I’ve graduated and left New York in December. After graduation, I landed on a job within my area of interest. The rest was history, I packed my bags and moved into a much smaller town down south. It has been 4 months since I moved, and the adjustment has been indeed DIFFERENT but NOT BAD.

Upon graduation, I promised myself that I will continuously promote diversity and inclusion initiatives moving forward. My goal is to build a community wherever I go. Building a community requires work and the effort to be inclusive. Being inclusive is not limited to including those of the same interest, background, race, but it allows room for ideas, and being versatile to accepting differences- easier said than done.

I grew up in a fairly small town where diversity was not as apparent. After I traveled abroad and lived in big cities including Incheon and New York, I had to admit that the experience was thrilling. I met people from all parts of the world, not to mention my close friends in New York are from all over including Ukraine, Guyana, India, Africa. In those two years, I was surrounded and enveloped in this diverse community. Those are the things I still think about and cherish.

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Life is very simple and basic now. Work is great, and I am most definitely working to create a culture of diversity and inclusion among the student population in the higher international education sector. I collaborate with my supervisor to brainstorm and test out many programs from scratch. Each day when I wake up, I am always grateful to God for the opportunity to learn and serve. Not to say that it’s always an easy journey without effort, but then passion drives me to persevere even through those doubtful days. Aside from work, I’m still trying my best to adjust to this new way of life. I have my sacred space to return to after a long day. It’s a tranquil and safe environment to raise a family. However, the community I live in is not as diverse, I had to adjust to driving distances, and sometimes I met people with ideas and ways of thinking that are much more on the conservative spectrum.

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There is no doubt when there are days where I envisioned myself being back in New York. I recalled the memories where I took the train to the city, the days where my friend and I wandered aimlessly in East Village, we tried out new food vendors, we watched live performances on streets, checked out community gardens, people-watched, and absorbed the lively movements and bustles of the city. Those days are the memories I relive from time to time when I’m alone.

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“If you are grateful for where you are, you have to respect the road that got you there.”- Cleo Wade

Overall, I am grateful and learning to accept the new environment that I am in. If it wasn’t for the opportunity to live in New York, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. There is not a day where I don’t miss it dearly, but I need to understand that through the course of life, we must move forward. Moving forward will be a challenge for me but essential. As I promised, I will put effort to be inclusive and build a community where I am currently residing. It’s indeed different and a whole new way of life, but it will truly help me grow professionally and individually as time goes by. With the promotion for diversity and inclusion within the community I am in now, I’m no longer a follower and admirer as I was in New York, but now as an initiator. I am now the person accepting the differences and changes, and it starts with ME.

Truly,

Ai

 

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