The Sex and the City ladies had martinis. The Golden Girls famously shared their joys and woes over cheesecake. While the Seinfeld troupe had soup, coffee, and the occasional dipped or undipped donut. No doubt about it and regardless of culture or generation, food is an excellent community gluer.
It’s also one of the surest causes and cures for homesickness. Everyone has their own comfort food favorite. And if they can’t find it or it’s made “wrong” (don’t mess with my macaroni and cheese), it impacts their community inclusion experience.
This week, I’m honored to welcome Senait Mesfin Piccigallo for a light-hearted but meaningful chat. Senait is a certified life coach, workshop facilitator, and author of You’re in America — Now What? 7 Skills to Integrate with Ease and Joy.
No stranger to global transitions, Senait has lived in Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and most currently, the USA. Fluent in multiple languages, Senait combines her skills, experience, and passion to help immigrant communities from developing nations. She is a powerhouse in every measurable way.
Today, Senait shares her remarkable story, and joins me in some fun gameplay as we dissect what community really means.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Winning the Green Card Lottery
- Taking welcome & unwelcome advice
- That feeling of betrayal when you return home
- How to funeral: international edition
- Learning to swim in the ocean
Listen to the Full Episode
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- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Expat Coach Coalition
- You’re in America – Now What?: 7 Skillsets to Integrate with Ease and Joy by Senait Mesfin Piccigallo
We’re delighted to be in the Top 5 of the global Best 30 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 9:00 am in New York, 4:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 9:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I am an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach, and I am on a mission to help you adapt & succeed through ANY life transition.
What happens when a woman from North East Africa gets together and has a chat with another from the Midwest of North America? We’ll find out in today’s episode that is centered around community.
I am so excited to welcome our guest Senait Mesfin Piccigallo. Senait Mesfin Piccigallo is an Empowerment Coach, Certified Life Purpose Coach and Relationship Workshop Facilitator and Author of You’re in America — Now What? 7 Skills to Integrate with Ease and Joy. Senait is passionate about serving immigrant communities from developing nations. She speaks and writes in Tigrinya, Amharic, and English. She has navigated her own life transitions from Ethiopia to Eritrea, China and the USA. Senait, It is my heartfelt pleasure to welcome you to IN TRANSIT.
Senait: Thank you so much Sundae for having me. It’s really an honor to be here with another powerhouse woman.
Sundae: We were saying before we were having tech problems. We said we were already breaking the internet. So speaking of community and the power of community, you and I actually met through someone from Expat Coach Coalition who knew that we needed to be brought together. So I’m really excited to have that conversation because in our first call we ended up discovering that we had some, I don’t know, maybe surprising similarities in the way that we grew up based on where we grew up.
Senait: Yes, it was really a surprise to me when I talk to you and I’m like, what?
Sundae: So we’re going to be playful today. We’re going to do a little bit of an almost like a challenge or a game or we’re going to bring out topics surrounded with the topic of community and then we’re going to see what’s similar and what’s different. But before we do that, I want to hear more about you. Tell the audience about you and how did you end up going from East Africa to the Western Coast of the United States?
Senait: Sure, thank you. So, I was born and grew up in Ethiopia, and my family and I moved to Eritrea in 91, after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia. And I lived in Eritrea for about ten plus years and then there was some condition that my son had that forced me to look for medical treatment in China. That’s why I traveled to China, and I lived there for two years, which was another adventure by itself, completely different from where I grew up. And went back to Eritrea again. And then I was working there for some time with some International NGOs and United Nations but I knew that my son needed more services and I wanted a better life for him and for myself, so it’s actually a miracle if you believe in miracles. I won a Green Card Lottery to come to the US and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have that. And it was like, “Oh my God, this is an answer to my prayers.” So here I am after deliberately thinking about it and taking a risk because I wanted a better life for myself and for my son.
Sundae: Right? Wow! You can literally tell your child that you would go around the world to do anything for them.
Senait: That’s a mother’s job.
Sundae: I want to know a little bit more about those experiences, especially going – you went through such a good reason to give your son the care that he needed medically which is a huge motivator. But things are still tough, even though if you know your why of going. Before we find out a little bit about some of the challenges that you had in each place, I would love to play this game with you where we pick a topic around community and then we just see how our experiences are similar and how might they be different. My first question to you is: When you think of community, what three things come to mind first?
Senait: So my ideal for community has both sides; like when I was in Africa and when I’m here, so I’ll say from both. So, one of the things that come to my mind is that I am everybody’s business. Everybody knows what I’m doing. And what I’m thinking, when I’m breathing.
Sundae: This is great. Wait, I have to tell you so I wrote down three topics before because I wanted to see whether they were similar, right? So we have one hit *bing* I wrote down gossip. So you said everybody’s business and I wrote down independently, you didn’t know, I wrote this down, I wrote down gossip as one of the three things. See, we already have that in common. Tell me more. Give me an example about being everybody’s business.
Senait: Well, I grew up in Africa. So I mean when they say it takes a village to raise a kid, they’re not kidding. It does. And growing up there, I remember that everybody has the right to discipline me. Everybody has advice whether it’s welcome or unwelcome. Everybody gets a say in your business, in your future plan and everything. But at the same time also, you get to hang out with your neighbors as if they’re your brothers and sisters. So there is a positive side to that.
Sundae: Okay, so I’m going to share from mine whether it resonates with me.
Senait: Go for it.
Sundae: I don’t think the right to discipline, I don’t think that matches when I think about everybody’s business, but I grew up in a small town about 10 to 12 thousand people. And I remember, I don’t know if I shared this story with you the first time we spoke. I remember walking into my 12th grade English class and the teacher looked at me and he goes, “You’re a Bean,” and I look back and I’m like, “Yeah,” he goes, ” I had your sister, your brother, your mother and your father.” So this man had been a teacher to my entire family. So instantly, the legacy of the Beans is going to be slapped on me, which I really don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. We’ll see how wild my dad was in high school and he’s probably listening to us right now and chuckling. But it is a thing of we have known each other, literally for generations. And that also means we know each other’s stories and we know the worst of ourselves and the best of ourselves. So, I don’t know if that resonates with you?
Senait: Right? That’s really amazing.
Sundae: The other thing I really resonated with is about your neighbors, you spend time with them, like brothers and sisters and I grew up, we call them “family friends.” They are friends of the family, but they are like family, right? I remember my parents would be listening to music and dancing and I would get out from my bed at night and maybe two or three or four and I’d go down the stairs and I shouldn’t because it was late and I danced on the feet of one of my dad’s friends to one of my favorite songs, and we just grew up together. They were always around.
Senait: That’s beautiful. Yeah. I can definitely resonate with that. I remember some of, not some of, most of my neighbors, whether they were adults or kids, I remember their names. I can’t remember a name recently. I’ve been saying I’m getting younger and don’t remember names, but I can never forget the names of those I grew up with so it’s that connection.
Sundae: That’s beautiful. So you said, everybody’s business. I wrote down gossip. That was similar. What else popped up in your mind, when you thought of those three things?
Senait: Unconditional support.
Sundae: I wrote down support as well. That was the second thing I had.
Senait: Isn’t that cool?
Sundae: Wow. Oh gosh. Tell me, what did you just say that?
Senait: Well coming here and moving around, I had learned, I had to learn out of necessity, I had to surround myself with a support system that nurtures me and sustains me. We all need support and I’m a very social person. So I need that kind of support. And people that I have surrounded myself with right now is my strong support system. And they nurture me and there is unconditional support that I get from them. But also it’s a reciprocity, right? I also nurture those relationships. So I don’t even know what I would do without that support. So I feel unconditionally supported.
Sundae: So what came up for mine, I wrote down support and I was specifically thinking about funerals. Growing up, for me community means in my hometown, if someone passed away and you knew them the entire church was full. There wasn’t a pew in the building that was not occupied. And we’re talking a thousand people and think of the ratio of like a town of 10 to 12,000. That’s a lot of people that come out for one family. That’s the kind of support that I am overwhelmed by so kind of a nod to the community. I grew up in Williston, North Dakota. They know how to show support when someone struggling, I’ve had family, friends where they lost their father and other friends who were farmers who came in harvested their crop. Or they bring lasagna over when there’s been a death in the family, to make sure that you’ve got something to eat. So how do people show support when you were growing up in community?
Senait: The same. I mean, I was actually talking about this with a friend who is in the path of, she calls herself a Doula, a Life Doula. And we were talking about the support that we have back home. And one of the cultural shocks actually I have in US is how we handle funerals or when you lost someone people tend to do it privately, they mourn privately and it’s a private affair or maybe just very close friends. That’s very shocking to me because where I come from it’s pretty much like your town, everybody goes there. It’s not just about the food. It’s not just about being there, but they also mourn together. They cry together. They help the person go through the stages of grief, denial or whatever. We know in the modern world about grief. They do it. They do it. They stay there like for 12 days with the family who lost someone and they make sure that that person goes through the grieving process and they’re never alone even if they wanted to. So I get it.
Sundae: You know what? I’m kind of shocked you’re saying this because one of the things I really struggled with when I lived in Switzerland is I was expecting or maybe hoping for the community rally around funerals and I was shocked when I saw the difference because in Switzerland, there’s also more privacy oriented and in my own life, we had this horrible situation where we lost a lot of people in a very short period of time and I felt very supported by my community. But when I observed closely with other losses, I wanted to go and support. I wanted to bring over lasagna, but I really got the message of like, “No, let them be, let them be private.” And I think as a friend you feel I don’t know, helpless or you want to show that you’re there, but you don’t know how. And I also worry that, and this is not a culturally adaptive mindset, right? This is definitely my bias. I’m like, “Are you grieving enough?” Because that grief has got to come out. Do you know what I mean? You gotta get that out of there. Are you doing what you need to do? Because if you don’t, it’s gonna come out sideways. And I know cognitively everybody needs to grieve in their own way and culturally you need to grieve in your process, but when you’re sitting there and it’s so close, so intimate to grief, that’s where you go back to your old defaults.
Senait: Exactly. Yes.
Sundae: So, okay. I’m really curious about the third one. What was the third thing that came up when you thought of community?
Senait: Okay, so growth comes to mind.
Sundae: Growth? Say more.
Senait: Well, it’s very challenging to be in a community and I’m talking about both, I’ve seen both being in a smaller community where I was in everybody’s business versus the community that I have, I chose to build around me with people being co-creators, of course. And in each situation, there’s always room to grow because you have to live with people, right? And you have to deal with different personalities, that is different from yours and that’s not also your family. So there is a lot of growth if you allow it to because you need to co-exist and you need to find a commonplace to collaborate and then also to embrace someone’s difference. You might not have the same point of view as me, or you might have different ideas about something else and in order for me to be able to embrace you, your whole you, not the one that I only accept for the similarities, “Oh my God, I like this part of you, and I don’t like that.” Then need to step into their point of view with meaning in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from in order to embrace that. So there’s a lot of growth that comes from that.
And my growth, my biggest growth came when I actually built the support system by choice in Africa.
Sundae: What about when you’re you’re popping in the communities, so one of the things as I was listening, I might be revisiting some old stuff when I was much younger, but I remember I left home in 1998 to be abroad and that was a long time ago, And in my community, small town community. people have basically, most of the people a couple hundred years ago, got on a boat from Scandinavia, took a covered wagon across America and homesteaded there. And that’s where they stayed. And so it was really odd for me to leave. And I remember this resistance when I would come back and visit, I got this feeling like, “Sundae, you’ve changed.” like that was a bad thing. And almost like a betrayal, if my viewpoints were more liberal or if my viewpoints were not just localized. That it was almost like there was a betrayal and I’m wondering if you feel that when you go back home?
Senait: Yes. There’s totally a loss of self, the old self, I would say. It’s still there, it’s just evolved. And beginning, actually, when I was trying to integrate with this culture, the first thing that came is like the fear of losing that, losing who, what made me. And I’ve been able to go back and connect to other people and there’s a big fear that in the community, actually, what it means to be connected, to integrate, or being friends with other culture is losing that sense of yourself, or what made you. Of course, I went back only once, but I felt very strange because I’ve been this person that has evolved more. It’s like a scale, “Oh my God. This is how much I’ve changed.” Not a bad thing. It’s just different. But there’s like you said, there’s that guilt you feel. Oh my God.
Sundae: Or fear, fear of being abandoned, like they won’t like me if I don’t… There’s no choice here. It’s not like I choose to stay the same. There’s no choice. I can’t. That’s connected by this idea of growth. And, how should I say this? There’s another side of that story to where I felt very welcomed and embraced and all of that. So I’m just speaking to one aspect of the story. Obviously.
Senait: I want to hear your third one though.
Sundae: Okay, my third one, it wasn’t as deep as growth. I just put food down. I thought community, we come together around food. And so a perfect example is my brother, we have a chat with my brother and my sister that we share, it’s just really silly memes as what we do, but I pulled out my phone right now and it says, “I remember the spoons taste more than the ice cream,” and it’s a picture of this tiny little bucket of vanilla ice cream and the wooden spoon that you would eat it with. And my sister answers, “Yes!” And then my dad would bring home the red syrup, and he would do, because we have this Norwegian Heritage, he would go to the church and he would have a lutefisk night. Right? So lutefisk is a fish traditional fish from Norway that we did once a year, it smells awful, but it’s good with butter and salt and pepper and then they serve this red sauce and I have no idea to take a plum sauce. And for me, community was always centered around food. And it is one thing that’s really ironic about being abroad for so long. I didn’t know I had such deep emotional connections to food until I was taken away from them. And embarrassing things too. When I was living in Switzerland, all of a sudden like Kraft macaroni and cheese was something highly coveted. I do not miss the irony that I’m living in the best cheese in the world, and I want powdered Kraft cheese, right? So that came to mind. What about you?
Senait: Yeah, I mean food is also a big part of it. I could relate to what you said about the cheese. Where I am right now is okay because I have my mom around and she cooks food that I am familiar with and I would choose that over anything fancy or anything that I got used to because of the sentimental attachment that I have with it. It reminds me of my childhood and all that. But when I went to China, I did not have any of that. They didn’t even have a restaurant, Ethiopian restaurant where I went. It’s a city called Dalian and there was only one Ethiopian person who could relate to what I’m talking about. Other than that, nothing. So I had to get used to Chinese food and Western food and I have for a long time, but food when my mom makes it or I make it, it brings a lot of memories. And sentimental attachment constantly, so I get it
Sundae: Yeah. Yeah.
Senait: And sometimes my husband might not get it. He’s like, “You’re eating that again?” I say, “That’s how you feel about pasta.”
Senait: Then he’s like, “Okay, okay.”
Sundae: I for real had a fight with my husband, one time because we were on a walk and it was fall, and I said, “When I get home, I just want to macaroni and cheese,” and I was homesick. So we get home and he’s throwing it on the oven and whatever. I’m getting pissed right now, he threw in some spices. He was like trying to make it like this fancy French stuff and I was like, “You ruined the macaroni and cheese!” I was offended. And we’ve been married for over 20 years. I just brought this up again the other night. I was like, “Remember that time when you ruined my Kraft macaroni and cheese?” He’s like, “Wow, I’m still paying for that.”
Senait: I get it. Yes.
Sundae: Don’t mess with it. All right, so I’m curious how all of this ties in. Your highs and lows of adapting to new communities. How does this tie into the book that you wrote? You wrote a book called, You’re in America, now what? The book is a guide to help immigrants transition into their new country, their new home. Tell us more about why you wrote the book.
Senait: Well, I wrote the book because when you come into a new country, there is so much newness, right? And we talk about, nothing is familiar, especially for people that come from the developing nations like Africa or other developing nations. It’s not a Western world and I’m sure even for people from the Western world when you move to another country, it’s different. You have to adjust, you have to adapt, you have to find a new way to exist. And because your skills that you have developed and used for many years might not serve you. Some of them serve you. So it’s like we re-learning what we have to do. You’re an adult, and you have to learn all these new things. And for kids, it’s easier. They come and they might struggle a little bit in the beginning, but somehow they are they adapt quickly. But for adults, it’s another story because we’re set in our ways. Yes, and we like things the way we like them, and then when you immerse yourself in a new culture, in a new way of being, the Western world is completely different.
For me, first is to understand it. Understanding it and it’s like you’re swimming in an ocean and learning how to swim at the same time. You’re in the ocean. So it could be very overwhelming and it was all very overwhelming for me to learn while in the ocean. And so I was struggling and I needed something replicable. I needed somebody to share their experience like you and I just shared earlier. “What’s your experience of culture?” And then we get connected and then we could take it farther. “What’s your challenges?” And then, you could share yours, I can share mine. There’s some kind of understanding and that feeling of, “I’m not alone in this, and I see where I’m going.”
So, I did not have that. I had a lot of support, like how to get a job. How to get housing situated, and how to survive, right? That’s like sending me a jacket. A life jacket, right? And now, I had to navigate the whole ocean. So I needed to learn those skills. And to help me navigate and keep my head above the water and be successful in this culture, not just survive. And that’s why I wrote this book because I wanted to make sure that if there is anyone that is coming behind me and is struggling, that they are not alone that there are skills they can develop. I mean, of course, it’s going to take time. They’re not going to actually read this book and then say, “I got it.” It’s giving them the skills. It’s a transformation of yourself. Finding a new person within you to cope with this culture. That’s the short version. That’s why I wrote this book.
Sundae: It’s so important. And I think it’s important that you talked about the transition from a developing context to a western context how destabilizing that can be. Because a lot of the literature that we have available on, leaving your home and adapting and succeeding is from the other perspective. Right? And it’s there’s a lot that’s unsaid and unacknowledged when you do that. I can’t tell you how many times even in Switzerland, I met women who were architects or doctors and they were teaching, I don’t know, Spanish or whatever language, French because their professional credentials weren’t recognized officially. So they’re doing all the emotional stuff, they’re missing home, they’re navigating their relationships and their having to let go of a profession that they spent so many years of their life building. So it’s very multi-layered. Thank you for writing that book. I think it’s so important and it needs to get out there.
Sundae: So, we’ve talked about so many important things today. But before we sort of head toward the end of this conversation, I really wanted to turn our attention to you more personally. So, if you don’t mind, I’d love to ask you a few questions related to ATT. That’s Ambitious Transformation in Transition. Are you up for it?
Senait: Yeah. I am.
Sundae: Okay. So for those who are listening and don’t know what I mean by ATT, ATT is Ambitious Transformation in Transition. And there’s a couple important aspects of it.
Being in transit, our lives in transition is all of the things that are going on in the background, like the global pandemic and maybe I don’t know, geopolitics, war, and conflict. Or it could be something as simple as changing family dynamics or your relationship dynamics changing or kids leaving the house, right? So our lives are constantly in transit on many levels.
That is happening and at the same time, each one of us as an individual might be going through a personal transformation. Whether it’s internally led, externally led, or performance driven, or maybe all of the same time. So, I’m really curious to hear from you tonight. What are some of the transitions that you’re feeling right now?
Senait: Thank you, Sundae. First of all, before I answer that question, I just want to say how much I admire who you are and what you do for others.
Sundae: Oh my gosh! You’re surprising me right now, you’re so sweet.
Senait: I’m not trying to be sweet. But thank you. It’s just, I was introduced to you recently, like you said and after your podcast changed the name to IN TRANSIT and I was able to listen to some of the your podcasts and oh my God, I really got a lot of out of it. I love your definition of transit that we are in transit. And I love how you named it. Wow.
Sundae: Thank you.
Senait: I think it was like, “Of course, we know it, duh,” but naming it makes a difference. And using that using your method identified two major changes in my life right now. One of them being related to work. We have been through the pandemic, I have been working from home and I’ve been enjoying my kids more and avoiding traffic. I work as a court interpreter part-time and now where they’re saying we have to go back, we haven’t gone back yet, but I have to think about what that means. So that’s the transition, one big transition that I’m going through.
And then the other thing that I identified using the exercise was a nurse who took care of our older son, suddenly left on a medical leave after two years and a half of working with us. We feel the loss since she was like family to us and navigating what that means for my family. It was really hard and this method actually, when I was doing the exercise, I also identified very, very subtle changes, how this to changes might affect other areas. So, really powerful.
Sundae: Well gosh, that is so good to hear. What, I’m learning from people. if they do this thinking for themselves is that it’s like, how should I say this? They realize the weight that they’ve been carrying when they finally name it.
Sundae: Right. And you’re doing all the other things. You’re showing up as a friend,, as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother, as a neighbor, on and on, and on. And these are going on at the same time. The other thing I love about this is these things are invisible to some people. So people when they see you in your day, they don’t know that maybe your heart strings are tied to your children, that you’ve been physically around for two years. Or that your workload is doubled because the support that you had in place is now missing, right? These are things. We don’t always name.
Senait: Exactly, exactly.
Sundae: So that is happening and it’s part of everyday life and you might be going through some kind of transformation personally. And as I’ve talked about it on the podcast internal lead, external lead, or performance led, not everybody necessarily identifies with going through a transformation, but I’m guessing most people are going through one right now. It’s hard not to. Do you identify with any one of those levels of transformation right now?
Senait: I actually do. Looking at it from Miss Frances hanging from the ceiling in that cartoon, I love your illustration on your podcast. I identified external, the transformation that I’m going through. Those are the two changes that I shared earlier and those led to those subtle transitions that I was able to see are happening or coming. And that trigger to performance led transformation that I’m going through. So yeah, all of the above.
Sundae: Yeah, I think a lot of people can relate to that. So what are you doing to mindfully shape that transformation because you do have almost like conflicting forces happening, right? There’s this performance led transformation that’s going on inside of you and you’ve got some bumps coming up logistically, what are you doing to take care of you and make sure that you can really stay through that transformation well?
Senait: Well, change is not easy is it? Even though changes is what we have and it’s always happening and transition is always happening. It’s not easy. So there are days that are hard for me, “I don’t want to go through this,” and I want this to remain the same way, right? So there’s there’s that resistance I am struggling with. And of course when that happens, I realize that I am human, of course and just allow it. I allow myself to be human. But mostly what helped me and what keeps helping me is gratitude, to go back to gratitude. At one point in my life that was very dark, there was no light around, I didn’t know what to do and my mom’s voice got me out of it. And she kept saying, “Say thank you,” and I kept saying, “For what?” She said, “Just say thank you” I said, “For what? Nothing is happening. My life is just falling apart,” and she kept saying, “Just say, thank you.”
And I tried it for a change and at first I didn’t feel it, but I kept saying, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” And at some point, I found myself in a place of gratitude and I realized that has been a tool for me to go to gratitude because if I’m not in that place, I can’t even have self-compassion. I can’t even take care of myself. I can’t see the achievement I’m already doing. I can’t see none of that. So for me is just to keep saying, “Thank you,” and doing things that I love like gardening, I love gardening or going to nature. I love the red hoods and maybe just walking by the beach whenever I can. And kind of bring myself into that place of gratitude so that I can take care of me and I can say, “You got this. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
Sundae: Yeah. And what I love about there’s a there’s like a Simplicity there of just turning our eyes towards the beauty that is there, if we can get out of our pain and that’s not always easy to do and lift our heads for a moment to look at the sunset, or look at these beautiful red woods, right? That’s beautiful. That’s that grounding practice. I’ve also heard a lot of really great things from all the scientific research about gratitude and how that is such a key source of strength. So, thank you for reminding us that that is at the tip of our fingers, when we’re ready for it. It’s very smart.
So in terms of ambition, as you know, ambitious in terms of my definition is its disconnected from external scope or scale, it has to be your own terms. And I always use a term that ambitious for someone might just be having clean underwear that week, so it could be grand. And it could be small. So for you right now, what feels ambitious or what are your boundaries around something ambitious, right now?
Senait: That’s a good question. And I love your definition of ambition. We live in an American culture or Western culture that pressures us to be ambitious in different ways. But I love your definition of it: What works for me, and I’m in alignment with that. And what I’m ambitious about right now is to surround myself with my community while I’m navigating this change and connecting with my friends and recognising in me, I don’t always have to give. I also am in a place of that, “I need support,” I need more support emotionally and spiritually, and just nurturing myself while I’m doing it separately, but on my own but also having that from my community. Which I’m already doing, but I keep enforcing that and I see that to you teach about that as well. So, which is amazing. And what is in alignment for me in this ambition is also it allows me to strengthen my ambition for my children. I always say, I want them to grow up seeing what it looks like to be around community and get and give support. This it looks like on the ground, right? So, my ambition for myself is also helping the ambition that I have for my kids. So that’s what ambitious is for me right now.
Sundae: I really resonate with this idea of ambitious is asking for help or receiving support from the community, because I didn’t grow up with that. I grew up with people who modeled, “Do it yourself,” hyper individualism, “Just push through,” right? It took me honestly into my 40s to start learning, no, maybe my 30s to learn that I could ask for help without feeling shameful or guilty.
Senait: Exactly. And I love that coming to America, even though I grew up with the community, I felt like I need to break free. I’m a rebellious and I can do it by myself. But what I learned through time, what you are asking support for is also what you are willing to give to your friends, and to nurture them. It’s not that they’re doing your job for you. It’s just that they are nurturing you and giving you support and reminding you of who you are, while you are navigating, the changes. Navigating the transformation like you mentioned, whether you’re going to be a butterfly or a moth. Just being there, witnessing that with you in the process. I think that’s beautiful.
Sundae: Hmm. Reminding you of who you are. That’s what friends are for. It’s beautiful. Thank you so much. Oh my gosh, I could talk to you all day. I’m so grateful that we’ve had this time together.
Senait: Oh my God. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. I really again, I really admire what you do for the community of expats and everybody else about these very powerful, deep topics and I am a big fan now, a new fan that will be following you.
Sundae: You are too generous, too generous. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me. This has been such a delight, such a delight. I really appreciate that you’ve come and shared your wisdom with us on IN TRANSIT.
Senait: Thank you so much for having me. This is such a beautiful composition early morning here in US.
Sundae: I hope it’s inspired all the listeners too. So, please take a think about what we talked about today. And what are the three things that come up when you think of community? I’d also challenge you to grab someone that you know that is from what you think would be a vastly different space and ask them and see if you discover similarities that surprised you like we did today.
You’ve been listening to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean, steady advice for an unsteady world. Thank you for listening. I will leave you with the words from Brian Solace: “Community is about doing something together, that makes belonging matter.”
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