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Many of us didn’t know how it felt before. We’d select a destination, jump on a plane, and bellyache (albeit, deservedly) about the challenges of relocation.
This is how it went, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything, because global mobility is woven into the fabric of who we are as expats. Now, with our wings clipped by COVID, our passports are like a key with no door to unlock. We realized how fortunate we were to just decide and figure out the rest.
But global citizenship isn’t experienced equally. Many nationalities face restricted travel options all the time. They’re far too familiar with mobility barriers as their passport doesn’t grant the same fluidity privileges as, let’s say, someone from the European Union.
Whether it’s COVID and all its shackles, political unrest, or civic upheaval, 2020 pushed many to experience hardships some have been dealing with for years. For all its trouble, 2020 birthed an empathy we wouldn’t have otherwise had, and it forced many to develop competencies other communities have mastered, by necessity, for centuries.
This week, I’ve brought back a past favorite, Amanda Bates, to talk about it. She’s a seasoned expat, a counselor, and founder of The Black Expat and its buzzworthy podcast The Global Chatter. Join us as we reflect on 2020, look forward to what’s ahead, and create a plan to make it all count.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Minorities within a minority
- Proactively checking in on people
- Taking responsibility for how your kids see the world
- Working backwards in bite-sized goals
- Starting a Parents’ Collective
Listen to the Full Episode
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Featured on the Show:
Seinfeld was a hit because it centered around regular people living everyday lives and told their stories in an unconventional way. With Amanda’s podcast, The Global Chatter, you don’t have to choose between hot topics, personal growth, relatability, or entertainment. Binge-listen now and share the goodness with your friends.
- Transform your confidence, coaching practices, and bank accounts – Join Expat Coach Coalition
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
Catch These Podcasts:
- EP 72: The Black Expat with Amanda Bates – Listen now
- Listen in on Amanda’s podcast: The Global Chatter Podcast
- Check out Amanda’s website: The Black Expat
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 9:00 am in New York, 2:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 7:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
You know that scene in Jerry Maguire? That 1996 American romantic comedy with Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger. He walks in and professes his love and she says, “You had me at hello.” That is exactly how I felt when I heard the trailer from Amanda Bates’ new podcast, The Global Chatter. and I’ve invited her to join me again on Expat Happy Hour because I believe it is a podcast that is a must listen for anyone living an international life. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Amanda, She is the founder and creative director of The Black Expat and podcast host of the Global Chatter.
As a Third Culture Kid, Amanda’s interest in navigating cross-cultural spaces and identity started young. Her American born, African raised perspective continues to influence her as she leads the creative direction of both The Black Expat and her new podcast, committed to telling the stories that need to be told. This episode of Expat Happy Hour is an invitation to listen in on my conversation with Amanda, which happened to take place on Election Day of the US elections. Looking back at this one of a kind year, taking stock of how this disruption can actually change things for the better. And looking ahead at what’s to come. Listen in.
Sundae: Alright, so it’s my heartfelt pleasure to welcome back Amanda Bates back to Expat Happy Hour. Amanda, thank you for being here.
Amanda: Man. I am so glad to come back. I was excited to be invited. But I was really surprised. In the back of my mind, we had just talked and then I realized it was like two years ago. So, so much has happened.
Sundae: I know. I know. So we did Episode 72. It’s called The Black Expat with Amanda Bates and we talk about the intersection of Black identity in international living. This episode is absolutely a must listen. So if you haven’t heard it, Episode 72 go back. You’re gonna hear a ton around why we need to go to bat for each other. Why you call it The Black Expat. What your community is all about. So if you haven’t listened to it, it is amazing. So check it out.
Amanda, I have a confession to make. I’m having massive podcast envy. So here’s the thing. I’m going to be really transparent about my objective to have Amanda on today. My objective is to make you listeners listen to Amanda’s podcast. Amanda came out with a brand new podcast called The Global Chatter. And she had me at the intro, honestly. So here’s a little bit about what Amanda says it is. I’ll read it off, and then we’re going to talk a little bit more about it. “The Global Chatter is a conversational podcast that provides discussion on international mobility, identity, race, career, and more. Each episode takes a deeper dive on issues related around expatriate experience, especially as it relates to Black and Brown people. Come for commentary, stay for laughs.”
For real, like, for real? It is so good. Can you tell me Amanda, why did you start The Global Chatter?
Amanda: Sure. So as you already alluded, I run a community and a site called The Black Expat, obviously, Black identity and international living is my focus. And one of the things I realized as we were doing stories and interviews and I’m meeting all these amazing people is that I’m having great conversations, but they don’t necessarily translate into the written form, right? Especially in a time where people have short attention spans. And they don’t want to necessarily read long texts. And so I just thought, you know what, I am going to take these awesomely crazy, regular people, and I’m gonna let them tell their stories in a recorded format. And so, I have intentionally sought out people who we’ve either featured on our site, as well as they’re gonna be a lot more newcomers coming up in the next season, that you may not know, but they’re just doing amazing things, and that they are able to really speak from either a Black perspective, Brown perspective, biracial, multiracial, because those are the stories that I continue to believe that are not told, that should be told.
Sundae: Absolutely. And that’s why I believe that everybody should be listening to The Global Chatter. You said “regular people,” and I instantly wrote it down because I’m like, “Oh, no way,” these people are living what I call “Olympic level lives.” Oh, it’s crazy. Like Candy, her daughter speaks a dialect of Japanese. She speaks Patois. And it’s like a village in the north of Japan. No, this is not someone who has the enclave of the international school community, who gets to speak their regular language every day, etc, etc. So it’s amazing.
So today, besides me forcing you as listeners to go to Amanda’s podcast, and my ratings will now drop because everybody will listen to your podcast instead of mine. But it’s worth it. I wanted to talk to you, Amanda, let’s look back this year, honestly, goes without words. It is actually Election Day in the USA today, November 2020. And Amanda and I agreed. What we’re going to do today is we’re going to look back on 2020 and then look ahead to 2021. Why is it important, Amanda, that we spend some time, as a globally minded community, looking back?
Amanda: Yeah, so I think 2020 for me personally has been a fascinating year just when I look at even my own life, so at the, at the willingness to be transparent, I’m gonna admit, I had a big birthday this year. And so it just forced me, I turned 40. Well, this actually was the end of last year. So this is the start up by 40 a decade and my God when the train wreck. So when I look back at this year, as someone who is always trafficking in what’s happening globally, and adding race and ethnicity to it. Obviously, we’ve all been impacted by COVID. And then even when you look at the impact at COVID, how it disproportionately in a lot of communities affected Black and Brown communities. That’s something I’ve been looking at.
But I think the other thing is, of course, been the response to the George Floyd murder. Which just created this groundswell of not just national, but international conversation and reaction. And I always say that if you’re a Black person in the US, or even a Black person somewhere else looking at the US, you know these stories. But I think that because of the backdrop of COVID, we’ve all been forced to focus because we’re all at home. And, the reason I think that even bringing up George Floyd is important, and it’s funny, even in the context of my podcast, is how much that story was so much in the minds of the Black and Brown expats that I was talking to, who were not necessarily American, right? Because I think that historically, when it comes to expatriation literature, and media, we tend to shy away from talking about race, ethnicity and class. But this just became the summer where, you know what, through social media, people have just said, “We’re going to talk about it.”
And so I personally, I don’t know how you feel, but I know that I personally have been pulled into conversations from all kinds of different areas, including international schools, to really talk about. You know what we say these diversity things, we talk about diversity in the workplace, we talk about diversity in education, we talk about it in our circles. But have we really explored what our communities look like? And how people are struggling through them?
Sundae: And that’s why I appreciate Danau Tanu’s work about looking at race in our international schools, and really breaking the myth of a post-racial society.
Amanda: Full disclosure, I feel like I always have to put my creds out there before people like, “What she’s talking about?” I’m a Third Culture Kid, I’m a product of international schools. So I’m whatever. But I’ve always found it really funny when especially international schools or communities will say, “You know, we’re like a little United Nations, we’ve got a little bit of everything, and we’re mixed,” and yada, yada, yada. And I’m like, yeah, and those countries in the United Nations also sometimes can’t stand each other. So even saying that we have this perfect “Kumbaya” moment. And I go, “That’s how I know you haven’t talked to whatever the minority is in your school.” So it could be the Korean students in an overwhelmingly different environment. So yeah, I think that the conversations had to have been had. And I think that this has forced the conversation.
Sundae: Totally. And this is my theme for 2020 is let’s make this the best worst thing that ever happened to you.
Amanda: Agreed. Agreed.
Sundae: So from my perspective, we talked about this a little bit in the first podcast, but you know, I am like the poster child of privilege, right. I’m White, middle-class, I have a passport that, you know, visas are really easy, I’m straight, etc, etc. And so this process, when I watch what’s happening, even though you know, I’ve studied culture, I’ve studied race, identity, power, context, all that stuff. It has been a train smash of needing to embody those ideas, on a visceral level, right? This is why I think this is the best thing is, it has been a situation where we cannot look away and you can’t not feel it in your bones.
I have a hard time saying this because there are victims in this situation. There are people who are suffering in this situation and, how should I say this? It’s not that that’s never the price you want to pay for change. Right? However, if there are people who are struggling and suffering, not in vain, right, let’s not let this be in vain. And I just thought this is the other thing, I can’t believe I’m going to say this. But I’m so grateful that Trump has been elected, because it has taken what has been the underbelly all along, and has made it undeniable. And that’s at least the benefit of it. Hopefully, we can do more.
Amanda: And I don’t disagree with you. I mean, I’ve said that same sentiment to folks that one of the positives you can sort of take away is that it sort of ripped the mask off. And I feel like people have a better sense of what they’re working with, right? Instead of assumption.
And the other thing, too, is, as much as I talk about privilege and oppression, and all of this, I’m also a person who believes that these are also very fluid, right? So even though yes, you are a White, middle class female with a western passport, and certain access. You could be in another part of the world, where some of those become not privileged, but they become oppression. And that’s why I think it’s important to look at systems, which is why international schools, it’s a system.
So I’ve always said this, and sometimes when people, they hear this and they get a little nervous, I always say but here’s the thing, you yourself could not be racist. You yourself could not necessarily be exhibiting oppression. But if the system has not been examined, you could still be an agent of it. Right? Even though you yourself are not racist. And so I think that’s the important part and that’s what I’m hoping all these discussions do. When we look at hiring, recruiting, education, support agencies for expats. All of this stuff. Are we examining the systems?
Sundae: Exactly. I’m going to ask you a really honest question. We engage, you know, you’ve got a TCK background. You’ve been in multiple school systems. I see globally mobile life, you know, my work is embedded and people who are in the Foreign Service or in corporate. I do know a ton of people who are like, “LovePats,” meaning they are abroad and are there but just “big picture,” right? What is the conversation you think is most important that we start having more of that has been quite quiet in the past?
Amanda: So you preface this with me being a TCK. So actually, this is really funny. I’m going to talk about a conversation I had with some TCK’s, which will be coming up in a podcast episode, which may or may not have been recorded, but I’ll say it anyway.
So we were talking about this term “Global Citizen,” which has become really popular over the past couple of years, right, maybe the past 10 years or so. And the thing is the TCKs I was talking to were highly mobile, African TCKs. They are now adults, right? They are older, they’re maybe younger millennials, whatever. They’re in their 30s.
And we started talking about this term “Global Citizen.” And I remember one of them said to me, “I don’t use that term. It’s a lie.” And I was like, “tell me more.” And she said, “Look, here’s the deal.” When she was a kid, probably a product of eight international schools, father worked for the UN, all this other stuff, right? When she decided to go to college, she went in Europe, that’s great, whatever. But then, once her term in Europe in university ended, she struggled to stay there. And it was five years of emotional and dramatic toll. And she finally went back to her African country. And she said, “Look, Global Citizenship is only for those who have access. It’s only for those who have the ability and the passport to move.”
And think about it. If we’re Third Culture Kids, and we’re told we’re highly mobile, and then I can’t go anywhere. It’s like death. And so she said, “I don’t want to use a term when let’s be honest, there are real borders. And that term does not allow me to go all the places I do want to go to.” So I think that even this term, “Global Citizenship,” I started really thinking about who’s using it.
I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever paid attention to, even within Third Culture Kids, I don’t know if you’ve ever really paid attention to who’s using it. Because both of them are in countries where one’s from Zimbabwe, and the others from Senegal. Well-traveled, nondescript American accents. Had never been to the US, which I also thought was really funny because of access. And so I think that that’s a term that we have to really reevaluate, this, “We’re creating Global Citizens,” because I don’t know. It’s always been a nebulous term to me. And I don’t know if we’ve ever attached it to anything with real meaning except for that it sounds nice.
Sundae: It sounds cool, right? And so the thing about this is if you’re told, growing up, I think we have to be really careful, especially in the international school system. If we’re told, you are Global Citizens and all of that, and then all of a sudden, you can’t move anywhere. It’s like you’re doing something wrong.
Amanda: Agreed. Agreed.
Sundae: Right? Or I don’t know. I didn’t grow up as a TCK. But I’m guessing if I am taught, everything is “Kumbaya,” and then I get out there, and I’m gonna say in air quotes, “The Real World.” Now I am confronted with a massive confrontation of history and power and identity questioning that you weren’t prepared for.
Amanda: And I will say that’s the conversation I’m having with some school counselors now. So Ryan Haynes, which I met through Families in Global Transition, awesome. He was also on a recent episode. We talked about this. And when, when the George Floyd situation happened, he’s over at Taipei American School. He said, “Look, we were really thinking about diversity, we were really thinking about how to push the conversation. And then what happened is George Floyd happened. And then our alumni started writing. And they started writing about their experiences.” And he tells the story of a young man, in terms of his own identity, coming to the United States for college, because let’s be honest, we’re pushing most of these students to go to university, and they’re probably going to go to university in the West, right?
And so he talks about how he was confronted with all of a sudden, he had a certain identity that he never had, or was even addressed when he was an international school. And and this young man wasn’t Black, he was actually biracial, Asian and White. And so we started to have this conversation that I have always thought it’s been important is, even with support agencies, even with schools, how do we prepare students for the reality of what they’re going back to their home countries, or they’re going into Western nations for school, what they’re gonna confront? Because they’re gonna confront something.
Sundae: Right? The only situation that I can relate to that is when I got to Women’s Studies in college, and I started learning all of this stuff that was never told to me in upbringing. And I just felt like, “Where in the hell has all this information been? Why didn’t anybody tell me here earlier? Like, are you kidding me?” I was pissed! You know, and it’s the same thing about whitewashing of history now. It’s just like, “What in the hell?”
Amanda: Oh and you know what’s really crazy about this conversation to really deconstructing what you know, is I was speaking to a group, which was predominantly faith-based Christian based. And we’re talking about TCKs, and I was talking about racism. And the audience is mostly White. And people ask, “How can we prepare for TCKs coming from abroad who are coming into our communities in the States?” And I said, “Well, I think you also need to examine your church culture.” Because Black Church Culture is very different for White Church Culture in this country. And there’s a reason for that, because there’s a history attached to it that you might have to examine.
And so I think any of these things that we choose to do, regardless of the context is, we need to actually understand the beginning and the end, like why are we where we are, wherever we are. And then figure out, how do we create processes and systems to support those who are coming in through the pipeline? Because it’s just not enough to say we prepared you for this global world. Because I don’t think we have, not in the way that we think we have.
Sundae: And kind of what I’m hearing from you is as a parent, I take responsibility for my kids. And how do they see the world? How do they see themselves in relation to others and all of that complexity? And if I’m doing that on my own, with systems that actually might be counter to the things I’m trying to teach. It really makes the job a lot harder. So what would you advise? I don’t even know, do you do this? Do you advise international schools professionally? What would you advise? Where do they begin?
Amanda: The thing is, so I am an educator. I’ve been higher ed and I don’t officially but I’ve had more questions lately about this. I’ve said, here’s the deal. With enough schools that have just emailed me and said, “Hey, we’re trying to do this. What are your thoughts?” I have a pretty general answer: “Start with your accreditation boards.” Because there are plenty of schools that are still resistant. There are some amazing teachers of color in international schools that are pushing. Like I’m talking, pushing and teaching and have the training but there are still plenty of schools that say, “Well, we don’t have that problem.” And or they might think that’s an American problem.
And I always say, “No,” just make the accrediting body say, you do need to go and examine your biases. You do need to examine how you’re supporting students and families. You need to examine your language. And when the accrediting bodies say that, the schools that have to do it, because I think that’s how you prepare true global citizens, if we’re going to use that term. Is having acknowledgment that there’s an idealized version we have of the world. But then we also need to be prepared for the reality of the world. That’s probably where I would start.
Sundae: That’s a great place to start. And what would you advise to families, regardless of what the institutions are doing, regardless of their positionality, how do you think they should be showing up in international schools?
Amanda: Well, I think it’s important for families to know who’s in their network, right? I think that if you’ve got a minority family, and that’s “minority,” however it’s defined in your community. I think just checking in on them and making sure stuff is okay. Because sometimes it’s isolating when you’re all minorities, but then you’re a minority within a minority. So was it that Indian family, that Korean family, that Black family, knowing that you are support for them.
I think that parents naturally gravitate towards each other because you have children that are in the same space. And I think that collectively, parents have power. And if you look at the curriculum, and you’re looking at the programming, and you’re looking at the environment, and you’re noticing, “Hey, some folks are being left out. How can we make this a more inclusive space?” And you really unify, I think, in terms of that parent collective, there’s so much you can change. And I think that it doesn’t just have to be within the school space. I think it could be also whatever your social networks are.
Sundae: Mm hmm. Right. And that was one of the things that I took away from our conversation in our original episode is, how proactive am I about checking in on people? Right? That’s a real–
Amanda: I mean, look, COVID should have taught you how to do this. No, I say these things. People are like, “That’s so radical.” I’m like, “No, it actually takes two seconds.” We’ve been in the middle of a pandemic. I don’t know, I’m in the US. So our methods of isolation have varied in every state. But I know that I was checking on people constantly, on a regular schedule, just to make sure they were okay. Sometimes it just takes that it’s not even this massive, radical shift. It’s just, I see you, I hear you, I care about you. That’s all clean.
Sundae: So let’s go to COVID for a second. Our community is defined by mobility. And it’s like, we just took the mobile out of globally mobile, you know,
Amanda: So we’re all local right now.
Sundae: Oh, man. So people are getting impacted in disparate ways, right? For me, what I’m noticing is everything is amplified. Because all the other distractions are taken away. And now you’re like, “Well, there’s the mirror, go look in it.” Or there’s your partner or there’s your financial situation. Right there.
Amanda: There’s your toddler.
Sundae: Yeah, It’s hard to look away. So what are you noticing in your community? How are people being impacted? What’s working, what’s not working?
Amanda: So I work in higher ed and I’m not gonna put my school on blast. Our undergrads came back for a whopping 10 days, before there was an explosion in the fall. And they said, “Yeah, I gotta go back home.” There’s a lot. Even when I think about students, and especially in the context of international mobility, we have a lot of folks who travel and go abroad and you know what, if you’re gonna say a prayer for folks in higher ed, and there’s a lot of people you need to say a prayer for. You need to say one for the study abroad, international ed people. Because that impact, the financial impact, the impact on students and programs, the impact on organizations has been wild.
And we’re all impacted whether we move or not, whether we travel or not, and I think that the thing that I try to stay encouraged by is that we’re all collectively going through this, so how can I be better? And how can I be supportive? Because I think whenever you have any kind of crisis, you can weather it, if at least someone is like, “Okay, this is insane. But let’s be insane together.” Right?
And so that’s the way I look at it. But I even think about, you know, we’re an institution that has international students that come and go. And, even within the ed world, I hate to bring politics in it, there’s been a massive impact because of this administration, which a lot of people don’t know, outside of higher ed. In terms of people looking to come to the US, study in the US, reside in the US. And I am so hoping for a reset in the next few months, because I think we all kind of deserve it, to be honest.
Sundae: Mm hmm. This is the thing. I have to say that the benefits of a crisis is it does bring people together and community. And it helps people who haven’t been raised in crisis related communities, to develop new strategies. I was just talking to a friend about this. That when I think about how COVID has impacted me and my peers, let’s say, we’re developing skills that some communities have had for centuries. Right? Like if I think about Burkina Faso, everybody always says, “Savale. Savale.” It’s like it has to “ale,” because if it doesn’t, what’s the alternative? You could die of malaria in three days. There’s so much uncertainty. You know, one accident with your moto. There’s so much uncertainty, so many communities who again, have had the privilege of not having to deal with uncertainty suddenly are. There are communities on our planet who are really well equipped to handle this level of uncertainty because they’ve been doing it for centuries.
Amanda: And it’s funny, you’re talking about it, and I’m thinking about my own childhood growing up. Half of it was in the US, half of it was in Sub Saharan Africa. And I was like, “Oh, my god, she’s so right.” Because people have asked me why I’ve been Zen through all of this. And I said, “Yeah, I’ve had malaria multiple times. I’ve lived in a country that’s had a massive health crisis. I live in a country that had a couple coup attempts.” So even with the election, everyone’s freaking out. And I’m like, you know, once you’ve lived through political unrest in, I don’t know, the developing world, you don’t get so unnerved. And you’re right. It is amazing how much resiliency I have built up as a result of my own international mobility.
Sundae: Oh, yeah. My son, when he was, I don’t know, five or six. I’m like, “Honey, I’m gonna have to pick you up from soccer, because the President has been kidnapped.” You know, it’s like, “There is an attempted coup d’etat. So we’re just gonna play at home today.” Right? Never mind that the border’s closed and your father is in another country.
Amanda: Oh, my gosh, that was me in seventh grade. Seventh grade they’re like, “You don’t do the hurricane drills, you do what to do in case the rebels take the President and you need to leave the country.” And so, I think all my all my homegrown American friends are looking at me like, “Aren’t you nervous if there’s civil unrest?” I was like, “Please, I have a plan. I’ve always had a plan. Y’all will be shocked. You won’t see me because I’ve got a plan.”
Sundae: That was like when we told my kids that we were gonna go to Switzerland and wait out. We were in Switzerland for a lot longer than we thought. We were there for six months, because we’re gonna go there and just wait out the peak a little bit and see how things turned out. And we told them the night before, we were like, “Oh, by the way, we’re gonna get on a plane tomorrow.” And I packed on Saturday morning, we flew out Saturday afternoon. And I only say that, because I have built this over several experiences. And I was a hot mess, hot mess, during my first experience, right? I’m not saying I have any competencies, they were built out of absolutely necessity.
Amanda: Fear, straight fear.
Sundae: Exactly! Anxiety, fear, I didn’t even know what anxiety was until I felt it in my body. I was like, “Oh, that’s anxiety.” So I’m saying that was harder. And I don’t even know where we’re going with that. I think one thing I could say is we can reach out in our communities, with people that we care about people that we know, maybe they can support. If you have never had to deal with this level of uncertainty, maybe your friends who have have some tips and ideas or words of wisdom that you could benefit from.
Also, what I always think about is, when I look at communities that grow up in those contexts. I just see them as like pillars of strength. These are your people that you know, that you can count on because they’ve built their competencies out of necessity over decades.
Amanda: And what I will say to add on to that, when you look at this election, and we’ve heard a lot of rhetoric and swirling around. When you look at particularly Black America, it’s a little bit different to what I think White America is responding to everything that’s happening in this country. And they’ll tell you, “Look, we survived slavery. We survived Jim Crow reconstruction. We survived the Civil Rights drama. And we’re gonna survive this.” And you’re right.
Sundae: Yeah, yeah. Totally. And that’s the thing, how can you oversee some of the best equipped, strongest individuals. That’s what’s crazy.
Okay. So we’ve looked back but let’s look ahead. Like, what are the things that I’ve heard from my clients? I do this thing called Year of Transformation and one of my clients was like, “God, I don’t know Sundae. I don’t know. How do I plan for the year ahead?” She was like, “I don’t know if I can do this. How do I plan for tomorrow, let alone a whole year?” So looking ahead. How far dare we look?
Amanda: Okay, so also full disclosure. I am a counselor. I’m gonna start with the miracle question. “What do you think’s the perfect scenario for you?” And work backwards. So for me, I look at 2021 and I say, “Okay. What is the opportunity that’s waiting for me?”
We’re so focused right now on the negative and my God, there’s been a lot of negative but there’s also opportunity. And so I think you take it bite-sized. I think you say 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and you take it a full year and you figure out what can I accomplish that I’m going to be proud of when 2021 ends. Does it mean 2021 is not going to have challenges. Does not mean it’s not going to have any kind of drama, but it does give you a bite-sized goals to work towards because I think we all need some kind of goals and guardrail. Otherwise, we’re just kind of floating out there feeling like, “I don’t even know what I should be doing because it all looks crazy.” And I’m like, “No. No. You need to find the opportunity.”
And so for me, what I look at is I’m excited about the things that are going to happen with The Black Expat and our storytelling. I’m excited. This is why I love storytelling. I’m sure you’re in the same boat. I get so much energy hearing from what other people are doing that it makes me want to be better.
Sundae: Totally. Totally. My clients, oh my God. They make me such a better person. Because people are showing up courageously in their life every day. It’s like, how can you not want to do the same?
Amanda: And, and you also want to be worthy of their respect, right? Because you’re here working with people and they’re looking towards you as some kind of expert which is always kind of laughable and you at least want to earn that. And so yeah, I love clients and I love, I love supporters and I love our audience.
Sundae: I think you and I are on the same page. It’s I always say, take control where you have control and let go of it where you don’t. And when people say they’re not taking any action because they’re waiting to see what happens. I think there is a little bit of an excuse there. Right? There are parts that we can’t control but there’s a ton that we can control and that’s how well we take care of ourselves.
Sundae: I think right now, I don’t know about you but I feel like around the end of October people kind of finally realized, like, “Oh this is gonna be the same in 2021,” so it’s the perfect time for us to think about how do we want to move into 2021 differently.
Amanda: There you go you better prepare. You better prepare.
Sundae: Oh my God. I love it. So thank you so much, Amanda, for joining me. It’s been, I mean my face hurts from smiling, I knew that was going to happen.
Amanda: Well, you know, I always love coming on this thing. You and I have some of the best conversations anywhere.
Sundae: Oh God, it’s so fun. So any last words of wisdom that you have for people. We talked about some big stuff, like globally huge stuff, any last words of wisdom that you have for our listeners.
Amanda: Sure. That’s basically an abbreviation of what’s up on my Facebook page right now due to the election. Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s be super kind. Let’s listen. Let’s take a deep breath and let’s figure out collectively how we can be better in our communities and in our spaces.
Sundae: Totally. Amanda Bates y’all, from The Black Expat. Go check out her podcast ASAP. It is so worth it. Amanda, thank you for being here.
Amanda: Thank you. Thank you.
What a thought provoking episode with Amanda Bates. Always a pleasure to have her Expat Happy Hour. You have been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening. I worked to find a quote that could summarize the immensity of looking back on 2020 and looking ahead to 2021. And the best fit I think comes from Paulo Coelho, who says, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will. Either by having nothing happened at all, or by having everything happen all at once.”
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