OUR PLACE IN THIS WORLD
May 14, 2021
By Emily Lee Stehle
Have you ever Googled yourself? It’s fascinating to see what the world (the internet) is saying about you! I used to always check to see what I was supposedly doing or saying while working as a media spokesperson. For a while there was so much stuff online with my name on it. Either I got my employers lots of publicity or the news outlets reported on them a lot (for various reasons). Perception was reality.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU…
Getting to Learn about Yourself
My friend Katie whom I’ve known for five years but never really got to know (hope to change that) and I had dinner the other night. She asked if I had seen the PBS American Masters program on Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club. Not yet. My response was Amy and I had similar lives…experiencing the strange, crazy and funny things that happen in Asian families. And maybe other cultures as well. I had read the book, seen the movie and truly related to Amy’s story.
Should’ve written that story about my life…and before Amy, I said. I could’ve been rich and famous!
Another movie that got me thinking about “our place” in this world was Crazy Rich Asians. I could relate to the character’s familial situations even though I’m not rich; laughed with the characters and cried over poignant scenes. You don’t have to be rich to understand that money can’t buy you love.
DON’T ROCK THE BOAT!
My mentor Gabriel Ramos and I discussed Asian hate crimes during a Google talk last month. I had explained earlier that day about growing up and not knowing when I’d been discriminated against in Blog #18.
Gabriel, who is Puerto Rican, said he grew up always looking for “his space.” To see where he could fit in. It’s tricky.
I’ve come to realize we all do that, try to fit in, maneuver ourselves to match other’s thinking and expectations. We want to be accepted, be the norm. Not rock the boat.
In this case is perception reality? Perhaps not.
Now retired (kind of!) and not dependent on an income from an employer, I found myself this past year being very true to myself. I have been expressing my views and saying what I think.
If you can’t speak for yourself and stand up for yourself, no one else will. I’ve lost people (I can’t call them friends) along the way.
I just read Chelsea Katherine’s May 13 blogpost, The Pandemic and Personal Values. Her photo illustration of $20 bills got my attention. I had to count them.
Chelsea wrote: “I want to write what interests me. I want to write all the things that no one else is writing, or what they want to write but are afraid to.
This pandemic and this year have been awful… But I am thankful for the time isolation gave me to think and evaluate my goals and values. I know who I am and what I want from life. That has been a blessing.”
I applaud this maverick. She knows where she is. Sounds like she’d be a very good friend!