When someone asks me what I like to do in my leisure time, I typically am quick to say travel. I have family and friends who live around the world. Whenever it has been feasible, I have made it a priority to visit them. Plus as someone with a bachelor’s degree in international studies, I simply like to explore diverse cultures.
In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we all know that extensive travel has not been feasible for many people lately. Because of this public health crisis, I have had to find new ways to connect with others and the world.
Since I can’t see many people in person, I am texting more. Then my fingers get tired from texting so much that I increase my Zoom chats. When I experience Zoom fatigue, I ask others if we can do phone calls instead. After that gets old, I have to find other ways to entertain myself at home.
It’s not just about entertainment though. During pre-pandemic times, I liked to engage in meaningful activities beyond my day jobs in career development and higher education. For example, after working for a year at Harvard University, I started volunteering as a hotline counselor for Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). A couple times each month, I rode the train and bus from Cambridge to the BARCC office near Boston University. In peer supervision meetings, other counselors and I reviewed our most challenging calls and exchanged feedback on how to approach similar cases in the future. It was such an enriching and transformative experience that I wrote about it in a blog for BARCC. If you want to learn more about this experience, here is my post What I Learned from the BARCC Hotline.
At this stage in my life, I am figuring out what is meaningful for me now. Even before the pandemic grew in my state, I already was grappling with this question. Prior to COVID-19 cases increasing in my area, I was starting the process of cancer treatment.
For anyone who is enduring a personal health issue during a global pandemic and time of public reckoning with racism (which is so pervasive that NPR currently has a series titled America Reckons with Racial Injustice), I am sending you so much love and empathy. Furthermore, I am here to provide support if you are exploring ways to grow educationally, professionally, and personally.
In light of recent events in my personal life and in the world, I am recognizing more and more that part of my purpose is to partner with others in nurturing themselves, cultivating their talents, and fulfilling their purpose.
That is why I say I am here to work with you as you explore your unique value and and enrich the world. The world sure needs a lot of enriching right now. What new paths will you explore to enrich your world?