But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
From “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
By any measure, 2019 has been a landmark year for me—and it was also an eventful year for many, with landmarks that generate plenty of food for thought! Let’s review the situation.
2019 reminds me of a long tunnel, punctuated with brief intermissions of light, and with the expectations of light being much longer than the actual light spells—just like when you drive East from Nice, France, to Cap d’Aisle. But that is a nice ride anyway, as you’re expecting pleasure and willingly put up with temporary darkness. Not everything in 2019 felt like that.
Overall, a good summary of the year past sponsors a good beginning of the year to come. This is why I am trying to see the big picture, find inspirations in effects of the past and present, examine them without over-analyzing, and move on. Because it’s time—and because some of my readers may want to put my experiences to work for their own good.
Rollercoasters Public and Private
Don’t even start me on a roller-coaster in public life which we had to experience during this past year in America and beyond – it broke all records for my baby-boomer generation, as well as for millennials and gen-exers. In fact, we’ve got desensitized after the political and societal scandal-after-scandal rolling out in the US politics, Brexit, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s retirement from royal duties (and an idea of marrying a prince losing its charm for years to come) – you name it – all added up! Personally, I’m done talking politics: there’s plenty of professional pundits and media making their living out of it. Focusing on my own – and my book subjects’ – ups and downs has a better potential of offering a lesson to others who plan their life in 2020.
Okay, this year I much prefer minding my own business as the best approach in life and work. My private roller-coaster has not been too visible from the outside but felt palpable on the inside. Here’s what I mean.
Positive Personal Landmarks, in No Particular Order:
- After my new book (see the cover below) came out, I gave 15 radio talk-show interviews in April-June, including the world-acclaimed Voice America, when I had a privilege talking with a celebrity anchor Patricia Raskin at her Show. I was very proud to be there and had a great time!;
- Preparing a book-launch video together with two of my book subjects, Josie Natori and Alfa Demmellash, was time of pure fun: we all enjoyed talking about immigrant women issues in front of the camera. You might think of that video background as peculiar, but it was organic for the hall of the designer’s Natori Company on Madison Avenue in New York. Pay attention, it’s interesting!
- Giving a one-hour interview on the radio Straight Talk Show on May 28th, was especially energizing for more reasons than one. First, at the time, I was overseas, in Belgium, calling to a show stationed in Pennsylvania. And second, I needed a lot of energy at 1-2 am at night (the show prime time of 7 pm in the US is a sleep time in Europe). The interviewer, a WEEU Editor Nick Lawrence is a leading national radio talk show host and television personality. Excited by me calling from Belgium, he mentioned the fact in each of the 3 sections of the talk. Amazingly, this helped him to entertain both the audience and me! And despite my misgivings, the I-phone worked super and the recording was of good quality, hear it for yourself at http://weeu.com/wpcontent/uploads/StraightTalk052819.mp3 . Bow to technology!
- Receiving a NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, in Women’s Interest category for Winter 2019 was another landmark: isn’t it good to be a winner?
- Responding to the Bill Lusby Morning Show based in Baltimore/Annapolis in Maryland from the conference reception site of SIETAR-Europa was stimulating: the conference organizers brought me to one of the grandest, gorgeously decorated room of historic Leuven Town Hall,—and no less than two excursions passed by me during that 20-min interview. But the guide and the tourists noted the sign “Live interview with the US radio station” – and graciously muted their voices. People are kind (as different from some politicians and media)—did you notice that?
- Hosting a newspaper correspondent and editor of Echoes Sentinel Alex Parker-Magyar – at my home for a book interview was the first time in my entire life. I felt thrilled, and then happy for its outcome, a comprehensive article “Warren author explores success stories of immigrant women”.
- Finding a kindred spirit in Berlin, Germany was unexpected. It was Jacquelyn Reeves who initially found me on LinkedIn because of my book about immigrant women adaptation and success in the US. We hit it off immediately on a beautiful day at a sun-lit Alexander Platz cafe, and couldn’t stop discussing things. That’s when Jacquelyn came up with an idea of a book-based across-the-pond webinars, styled like talk-shows with two anchors conversing. And I said Yes: immigrant women’s success is a solid attention-worthy topic, and I could invite my book subjects and other interesting folks to the show. We continue discussing and prepping for The Bridge, shooting to start in March, the Women’s History Month. I’ll keep you posted!
- Some very special happiness came from recognition of my book in the reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere—and I feel forever grateful to those who took the time to read it AND helped with publicity or published a review. Do you hear me, George Simons, Dianne Hofner Saphiere, Anita Rowe, Alan Richter, Deborah Levine, Lana Kim, Edwin Cohen, Lynda Spielman? Many thanks for your kind attention!
- Giving the interview to Donna Seebo Show happened after Donna Seebo personally picked my book at the San Francisco and Portland book shows. It may well be this was the best interview I gave, and it happened because Donna, to my genuine surprise, was a super attentive reader and asked about the book’s most meaningful details, question after question after question. In Donna, the book found a professional, thoughtful reader, and I am utterly grateful to her! You can listen to this interview which was coincidentally uploaded on the day of my birthday, December 18, 2019, as show #2384-2;
- Preparing and delivering presentations for SIETAR-Europa in Leuven, Belgium and SIETAR-USA in Atlanta, GA were also excellent landmarks, because the opinion of my colleagues-interculturalists is paramount; they supplied several solid insights into my research and its expression in the book.
- Holding book readings and Q & A sessions at Georgia State University and Agnes Scott College which my daughter graduated from was both a meaningful and wonderful experience that indicated I still love to be with the students and they love me back – plus, these meetings resulted in new friendships and following. Fairly good, right?
Personal Setbacks-2019: not too dramatic—why, you may ask?
- Partly it’s because America, my home country of choice, turned me into a somewhat thicker-skinned individual than I’ve originally been. Indeed, expressing my stress with tears or anger became a no-no—after all, who am I, a crybaby? No way!
- When sick or swindled big time, 5 and 2 times respectively, I did feel physical and emotional pain. Moving on came at a considerable cost, but my natural resilience and persistence prevailed, helping to keep head above water. It’s for a reason that I named Persistence one of the seven core success values in my book.
What Am I Up To? Fulfilling my 2020 resolutions, which entail:
- Full-time return to blogging: I learned a lot and have a lot to share;
- Starting THE BRIDGE intercultural webinar series and video blogs (vlogs) – with co-anchor Jacquelyn Reeves; I love its mission (Bridging outstanding women from Europe and America together in exciting and open conversations, in front of a gender-diverse audience), as well as its special logo, as pictured below:
- Shooting for more interviews and book readings/presentations, to bring the stories and How-To of successful immigrant women – the information I’ve been mining for 5 years – to the masses;
- Investing to optimize both my website and YouTube channel. A tall order – but high time!
What Drives Me?
My in-built future-orientation along with a desire to make a difference for as long as I can—that’s what drives me. Fulfilling my commitment to assist the immigrant women, the most vulnerable demographic worldwide, to succeed and thrive in their countries of choice and in their professions of choice, is the priority. So be it—and miles to go before I sleep.
Please follow me if you can.