We Can Always Start Over (4TH ANNIVERSARY!)
Updated: Sep 22
"To me, freedom of movement means the opportunity to get new experiences... and realize that not everything's the same everywhere, and that there's different ways of life, and different opportunities out there, and we can always start over." (Naledi, from episode 96)
June 19th, 2018 - June 19th, 2022. FOUR whole years! ONE HUNDRED whole episodes! Interviewing ONE HUNDRED people! How????
Today is Juneteenth, which means it's also the 4th anniversary of Young, Gifted and Abroad! So of course I had to take time to celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude before going on hiatus until 2023. Much like last year, I decided to take it easy with this anniversary episode and not make it too long.
4th Year Guests (11:24-20:14)
Previous Guests/Kayla Interviews Me (20:14-1:05:13)
My Final Thoughts (1:05:13-:1:15:06)
Explaining what Juneteenth is (referring to June 19th, 1865), and breaking down how this episode is structured. You know how it goes!
Decided to keep it simple and say to everyone, "Thank you all, for everything." Yes, that applies to you too! More specifically, though, of course I want to thank all of my 4th year guests who helped make the milestone of 100 episodes possible. From episodes 81-100:
And extra thanks to April for hanging out and getting Korean food with me back in March of this year!
4TH YEAR GUESTS
Speaking of 4th year guests! As is my anniversary tradition, for this special episode I asked everyone from the past year to send me their responses to two questions, either in writing or voice memo. The first question I came up with was inspired by Juneteenth and the notion of Black people going (moving) wherever they want:
What does "freedom of movement" mean to you?
And the second question was inspired by a YouTube channel called The Black Experience Japan:
If the world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
Thanks to April (episode 81), Jessica (episode 82), Tendiso (episode 85), and Naledi (episode 96) for sending me their voice memos! And thanks to Brittany (episode 84) and Nia (episode 88) for sending me their responses to read aloud!
PREVIOUS GUESTS/KAYLA INTERVIEWS ME
I played this show's podcast trailer for transition's sake, and then shared the responses I received after asking guests from previous years to send me whatever meaningful reflections they had about their appearance on this podcast. Thanks to Marlee (episode 19), Dory (episode 21), Tiffany (episode 38), Anjuli (episode 70), and Dai'jah (episode 74) for sending me their voice memos! And thanks to Cathy (episode 2), Hope (episode 7), Alhia (episode 35), Sean (episode 37), YeSeul (episode 67), and Morgan (my bestie who designed the YGA logo) for sending me their responses to read aloud!
And then, instead of reflecting all by myself, I turned the tables and had my cousin Kayla (from episode 1) interview me to help me talk through what I've accomplished and what this show means to me. She asked me the following questions:
What's the birth story of Young, Gifted and Abroad?
How has doing this podcast impacted you? (Extra thanks to Kayla for acknowledging the "consistency, creativity, effort, and time" it's taken me to put out 100 episodes over these 4 years.)
Where do you see Young Gifted and Abroad going in the future?
What advice do you have for people who want to start their own podcast?
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
I thought more about Kayla's question about how running Young, Gifted and Abroad has impacted me, and three things came to mind.
Feeling less powerless and more capable: I've had times in my life where I felt powerless, like I didn't have control over making things happen or not happen, or didn't have enough in my life that felt truly mine. I've also felt like what I had to offer wasn't very valuable. This podcast is something that I can control, and that makes me feel less powerless. Additionally, I've proven that I can do things, creative and meaningful things, and I can teach myself new skills along the way.
Getting over my shyness (a little bit): As an introverted person, my first impulse is not to initiate social interactions, invite/ask people to do things for me, or strike up conversations with strangers. But if it was for the sake of keeping this podcast going, I did all of those things without a problem! And through interviewing so many different people, I've reinforced for myself time and time again that I can talk to pretty much anybody, finding points of commonality and leading conversations that are both lighthearted and insightful!
Realizing there's more room for possibility: At the risk of being more vulnerable than I'm usually comfortable with, I actually haven't been in the best place mentally during the four years that I've been doing this show. But if I can accomplish aaaall of this when I'm not at my best (in my opinion)... imagine what else I could do when I am at my best, when I'm at a better place in life? That gives me so much hope! It's like that song from the Disney movie Encanto, "What else can I do?"
And that's that on that! Thanks so much for another year! Will hopefully be back with new episodes in January 2023! I'll still be lurking around on social media (@younggiftedandabroad on Instagram, @younggiftedandabroad on Facebook, and @ygabroad on Twitter), and my email inbox is always open (firstname.lastname@example.org). So don't be a stranger, and please keep listening to Young, Gifted and Abroad wherever podcasts are!