student of the world
My parents named me Sandra (there are only five other ladies who share the same name as me in the tri-state area). I was born and raised in Queens, which lead me to pursue a career in public policy and international affairs. I was inspired by the people of my community who came with and practiced their own individual cultural and social customs and were all leading their own journey to balance the two worlds they were now part of. I aspire to join the U.S. Foreign Service and serve my country as a diplomat. So, naturally, I’ve had a series of identity crises questioning if I was forsaking my Korean identity by pursuing this career. I feel that understanding my Korean heritage will be a life long exploration of my identity and that this experience will be unique to every individual.
I love when the ajummas and ajushis who own small businesses in the city give me discounts when I speak in Korean. I love how our community is close knit and fiercely loyal to one another and how we are never shy to show our love during the World Cup. But I’m worried that I’ll never learn how to cook the dishes my mom makes for our family, or that I’ll forget the Korean parables that she shares on a whim, or that I won’t be able to lead a life that reflects what she envisioned for me. I’m afraid I’ll have even less to pass on to my children.
After graduating from college and being humbled by the good man upstairs, I’ve gone through a serious period of self reflection of who I am, what motivates the decisions I make, and where I want to go. I’ve also developed an obsession for body ink and have braved one and been left itching for more! Everything in this life is uncertain, and while there are no guarantees, I believe in honesty and showing kindness and being good. I’m passionate about pursuing my passions — working on issues concerning development, equality, immigrant rights/interpreting for the Korean-speaking elderly/aspiring to travel with private school debt/ living each day — making it count! I don’t want to waste my life on worries that steal my happiness.
[as a sidenote, I love this project and would like to thank the folks who launched it]
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