Authors Note: Our guest blogger, Bianca Monet shares her honest experience of becoming a Global Citizen. Her story will be shared in two parts. Where are you on your path of becoming or embracing global citizenship? What were the challenges and small things that you have started to make this path more difficult or lead you to reconsider this path?
I cry often. I cry while on the train. I cry walking down the streets of Bedstuy. I’ve cried while at the club during a friend’s birthday party. And today, I cried as a friend paid the lunch bill.
My tears build and fall wherever and whenever. Today they were trigged because of kindness. See, when you are in transition acts of kindness are overwhelming. Let me explain. About a year ago I decided to become the author of the life I want. I put dreams into action by relocating to South Africa. I, a Brooklyn/Bay Area girl, decided it be time to activate my global citizenship. Since I was 12, and after my first international trip, I knew that I wanted, really needed, to live outside of the United States. Throughout my teen and young adult years everytime I was abroad I blossomed, actually glow when exiting planes and planting my feet on “foreign” soil. I ate fresher foods. Lost weight. Skin cleared up. And generally, found overall mental peace. It happened time and time again to the point where I even considered a career as a pilot. To further illustrate my point, I met up with a friend for happy hour and she immediately said, “the world looks good on you. You are glowing.” I love being in the world.
At 33, single, uncoupled, mortgage free, and jobless I final took the leap. Global citizenship! With a few professional appointments scheduled I moved to South Africa. I moved there with the intent of connecting with the arts community. After successfully applying for a job (the same job) three times, I was offered a post managing a gallery space. A dream job, of sorts. I will be facilitating opportunities for artists to create and display their works to ignite dialogue between various publics. This is a major feat. Not only are emerging artists spaces exceptional, but more importantly I am accurately aware that art is usually a soul revealing for the artist. Art reflects the subconscious thoughts and understanding of the artist’s self, environment, and sometimes, the world. Artists bravely put their mind on view, for all to criticize and react. It’s an act of courage. And as an administrator, and in this case gallery manager, I proudly take on the role of organizer to aid artists in actualizing their dreams as artistic output. It’s my contribution to the world.
But for a little ice cream on my cake, I will be doing this at an outstanding organization. An organization that during apartheid brought together, all races to train youth into budding social journalists. This is an institution profoundly dedicated to art education and social responsibility in a country often overshadowed by its brutal recent past. Now, you understand how this organization’s mission motivates me to endure the visa process. A process which cycles back to my crying.
The other day I saw an interview between Oprah Winfrey and author, Elizabeth Gilbert. In this interview Gilbert confesses that transformation and transition is not a day at the beach. Furthermore, she says, “”Expect to be hurt. Expect to feel lost. Expect to feel despair. Expect to be double-guessing yourself at every turn.” I watched this interview and exhaled. Someone finally got me and explained how I feel every single day. I had moments of this while in South Africa but ironically, now as I sit on a friend’s couch daily I feel these emotions along with anxiety, confusion, and sadness.
Part Two to come on Monday!