I know that my identities, upbringing, and experiences yield a certain amount of privilege. I know that a good amount of people dream of having the opportunities that I have had. I know that my success and comfort rests on the shoulders of the work that my parents and ancestors have produced, and I cannot express how grateful I am for this. Sitting here, writing this for the blog that I created on my MacBook years ago, is an ode to all of this in itself.

I also know that I have the opportunity to use the resources available to me to share my values and reflect on my joys and hardships. I know that my hardships are minuscule compared to a lot of the other horrors in the world, and the ability to write about my struggles in London demonstrates this. My experiences still matter to me, though. I have never, ever, ever in my life sought pity or attempted to play victim for the words that I write on this site. I try to be as transparent as possible and write down all of my thoughts because I know that someone, somewhere will resonate with at least parts of what I say. Am I not allowed to reflect and grow?

The same people who hide behind screens and provide criticisms through poorly made assumptions also have privileges. They could also benefit from reflecting on their words. I absolutely love hearing from readers and engaging with people, but I wonder why empathy is often absent in these conversations. Honestly, I feel gross even writing this because I do not want to ask for empathy. This is not about me. Empathy is a courtesy that should be extended to everyone, and I find that life is a lot easier to live without projecting unnecessary, misplaced anger onto others.

It is awfully easy to pick and choose words from a piece rather than digesting the overall message. Yes, I went to London by myself, as an American citizen, and was able to stay there for 1.5 months. Most people cannot do something like this. I used a portion of the little savings that I have to execute a dream of mine, knowing that I would have a roof over my head back in the US regardless of the outcome. I have said, repeatedly (!!!!!!!), that this is an immense privilege, and I hope that this acknowledgement has been clear. My heart swells with the gratitude that I have and I wish I could share a piece of this with everyone. I think that I still have the right to be proud of myself for navigating some hardships while abroad, and random people on the internet (or even in my life) do not need to be privy to all of them to know that I have feelings and emotions just like everyone else.

The wealth (of which I have little as I am a young adult who is currently applying to jobs) that I redistribute to my local and global communities and the advocacy work that I do is not something that I choose to flaunt on social media because it is not performative. It is important and necessary. Activism is for everyone, and my activism means more to me than “optics” or publicity or checking a box. I question the intentions of those who hide behind their keyboards and demand proof of these actions from anyone who has a platform. People are allowed to post on social media and write blog posts and ethically travel and do whatever they’d like because existing itself is a privilege, and if you consume anything in this world (which the people who leave comments online definitely do), you’re likely causing harm to someone else. Importance exists in recognizing the privilege that one has, and I do this every single second of every day.

I know that I do not have to write this and explain myself more than I already do. I just believe that this is an important message for everyone, including myself, to remember, and writing this post was actually therapeutic for me.

I aspire to foster as much love and community as possible in every step that I take, and I hope that you all can join me in this.

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