This Christmas, I am filled with a thankful heart for all the amazing people and opportunities that this past year has brought upon my life. As Joyce wrote, “’Tis the season to be thankful!” 2010 has been an unforgettable journey of defining who I am and what is most important to me in my life. This journey was certainly not an easy one. I felt downtrodden and lost numerous times. But with the support and love from the people around me, I am able to stand where I am today happy and confident in my journey. So, for my last New Organizing Project (NOP) post of 2010, I write my words of thanks to the dearest people in my life:
My closest friends are the backbone of my life. My friends have seen me grow through my trials and errors and they have given me unconditional support to build me up. This year, especially, my friends have trusted in my strength even during times when I did not trust it myself. Having friends who I know I can turn to during good times and bad, and knowing that they will listen wholeheartedly and share much laughter and tears built me up as a stronger person. I am so thankful for my closest friends, and you know who you are J.
I would have to say that Alliance of Korean American Students in Action (AKASIA) is the most special group of people in my life. As Korean American undocumented college students, we share so much in experience and identity and because of this, we have a unique and intimate bond. Through the disappointments and struggles for the fight for the DREAM Act, we have cried together and built up one another in our strength and determination. Through this past year, AKASIA became stronger and closer as we depend on each other for support and love. The hopefully life-long friendships made through AKASIA are the most precious blessings in my life. Like an Acacia flower, we have set our roots and the flower has blossomed. Thank you, AKASIA, you all are the biggest present in my life.
Words cannot suffice to express how thankful I am for the Korean Resource Center and all the staff who became my family. This year, the staff at KRC challenged me to go further during times when I underestimated my abilities. My fear of voicing my opinion and standing in front of a large crowd was overcome through the numerous opportunities and events that KRC has provided for me. Their passion for social justice continues to ignite my desire to fight for justice alongside their guidance and dedication. Under the roof of KRC, I always feel a tingling of warmth in my heart and a sense of belonging like no other. I want to thank every single staff and people at KRC for always providing me opportunities to reach higher and stand up taller.
I am truly thankful for NAKASEC and the New Organizing Project (NOP) this year for providing me with opportunities to voice my thoughts, opinions, and words to the world. My love of writing has found a perfect match with NOP as an avenue to write about issues that are so dear to me and not only write for myself but also to share it with hundreds of others through social media. This year, I learned the power of social media and how social media can be used to help create social change. Through NOP, I finally had the opportunity and courage to share my deepest personal story that I always was fearful and ashamed to share. But for the DREAM Act movement, I wanted to make my contribution and decided to face my fears and share my story through my blog post. When my blog was posted and shared, I felt as if I finally came out from the shadows and in this process, I found my lost confidence and inner strength. I was no longer afraid and shameful but I felt comfortable for being who I am and confident as myself. NOP has given me opportunities to grow to an indescribable extent and I am truly thankful for NOP, the staff who work so hard with NOP and my dear fellow NOPers – Ju, Joyce, Hyo Bin, Hye Joo & MK7.
2010. Another year has come and gone. Although in a few days this year will come to an official end, this special year will remain in my heart as a year that is truly memorable and worthy of thanksgiving. 2010 has been a transformative year in my life in which I have found my passion, dreams, myself, and love for my closest ones. Because of this, I have received so many presents from so many people in terms of the love, care, and support they shared. No tangible present can replace the dearest people who made this year truly a good year. I want to close with a fitting Christmas jingle:
“I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There’s just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is…
To all the above, thank you for making my wish come true.