Get out of your bubble

Every time I realize I am in a bubble, my spidey-senses go off.

In high school, I realized my family was a bubble so I pursued activities that gave me exposure outside our little 4-person pod. I didn’t have many resources then so activities like sports or orchestra weren’t an option, but volunteering was “free” to do and better yet, it opened up my world to people and lifestyles I otherwise would never have encountered. I ventured outside of my bubble and learned compassion, confidence, and community.

In college, I realized campus was a bubble. It wasn’t hard: people literally called Princeton “the orange bubble.” As a walking explorer, I ventured outside the campus gates to the nearby community and realized despite the vast resources at the disposal of the university, there were huge disparities in the resources available to communities nearby. It made me very uncomfortable to stay hidden away in the orange bubble so I left when I could, seeking solace through community service. And I learned about injustice, inequity, and what it means to live up to what I believe.

When I graduated university, I realized America was a bubble. A nation built on a lie of singular exceptionalism and manifest destiny. So I left, because I had the privilege to be able to do so. I left to work in a field that just a few years prior, I barely knew existed and certainly didn’t ever think I would pursue. From that experience abroad, I learned about resilience, joy, and dignity.

Since then, every path I’ve taken on this marathon on sand we call “life” has been a path to break out of a bubble. To face discomfort head-on with a smile, clear eyes, and full heart. To learn as much as I can about the world and myself in the process. It’s the “get out of your bubble”, stay a beginner approach to life and it means I am constantly progressing (at my own pace, preferably, though sometimes with a needed accelerating nudge). Constantly adapting, evolving, and becoming more compassionate, empathetic, and communicative each day.

Published May 12, 2021.