Months after I totally dropped the blogging ball, I’m back, with renewed passion for Borderless Stories and blogging and celebrating all things intercultural relationships.
First, I should explain myself, and probably apologize. It isn’t cool to “ghost” anyone, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing to Borderless. We started off strong, at the end of my time in Turkey, when Hüseyin and I finally went public with our relationship, and when I was unemployed and had all the time on my hands to take on a new venture.
Then, I came back to the US sans fiance, and I still had a lot of time on my hands. The only difference was that that time was filled with the stress and uncertainty of the K-1 visa process, which does not necessarily lend itself to being terribly productive. I am not the best at realizing that I’m stressed. I understand that major life changes are stressful to human beings (I’ve read that in textbooks), and yet I deny that I might be experiencing stress, saying, “All that’s happened to me in the last year is moving across an ocean, leaving my fiance behind, moving back in with my parents, getting married, two major losses in my extended family, finding a new job, moving to a new apartment…why would I be stressed?!”
When stressed, the ball gets dropped. And Borderless was the first to go, not only because of the overwhelm, but because I found another side project to be passionate about and it took me awhile to figure out how the two could be connected. I stumbled onto a really incredible ethical fashion company called Sseko Designs, that works with women in Uganda, and I learned about a program that they have where women here in the US help support the dreams of college-bound women (and veteran employees) in Uganda by sharing the Sseko story and selling beautiful products…and…and…and just like that, I fell in love with the mission and joined the team. And became a saleswoman (I know, it shocked me, too).
I never envisioned myself in any kind of sales role, and the idea of direct sales certainly never caught my eye prior to learning about Sseko. Suffice to say, my perspective has been changed, solely by the idea of women partnering with each other across the globe because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to change the world and make it a better place.
In all of this, Borderless got neglected. I found a new best friend, basically, and forgot about my old friend. But if I learned ANYTHING from my brief stint as a Girl Scout, it’s to “make new friends but keep the old.” Why? Because “one is silver and the other gold!”
What I’ve realized recently is that intercultural relationships aren’t limited to those between partners or spouses. Relationships of all kinds can be impacted by the cultural differences between the parties involved, and while I do still intend to focus on romantic relationships the majority of the time, I think it’s important to acknowledge close friendships, parent-child relationships, and working relationships as well. In this way, I can more directly relate my two side projects to each other.
This is not to say that if you aren’t interested in fashion, you should stop paying attention to Borderless Stories right now because it’s just going to be sandals and handbags and jewelry and another way for someone to sell to you. While I do love all things Sseko, I know that not everyone who is here is my target customer base, and I don’t want to alienate you.** When Sseko comes up on this blog, it will be in the context of intercultural relationships, not a sales pitch.
For those of you who are interested in what the future holds for Borderless Stories, I say (in my most excited tone), “Stay tuned!” We are in the process of rebranding (or perhaps I should say branding for the first time), and relocating with different hosting and a WordPress site. I’ve gotten a sneak peek at our new online home, and I’m excited to share it with you once it’s ready. I’m also challenging myself to spend time everyday (two hours in the morning before I go to work) investing in this community, learning how I can make this better, more effective, and provide insights and services that people in intercultural relationships will be searching for. I’m excited for what the future holds for Borderless and for the swirly mess of ideas in my brain that is slowly turning into a plan for our future together. If any of you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in this space, please please feel free to comment or use the “Contact” page to send me a message!
**Of course, for anyone who IS interested in Sseko in a shopping kind of way, there is more information available about it here.