This post is partnered with adidas, but all opinions are my own.
I am celebrating this International Women’s Day by acknowledging myself as an immigrant woman, a widow, and a boss lady who has broken many barriers in pursuing my dream life. No matter the obstacles and setbacks I continue to do what I love.
Being born and raised in the small village of Northern China, it didn’t just mean I was born in poverty, it also meant I had to fight for just about everything. I had to fight for food, for shelter, for the chance to go to school, and for the chance to decide who I wanted to marry. It is all because I am female! When women of other parts of the world were fighting for equal pay, we were fighting against arranged marriage. I can’t decide where I was born, what family I was born to, but I can decide what life I want. So I ran away from my hometown to Shanghai in my 20s. That was probably the first awakening action that I have ever taken. After about nine years of living in Shanghai, from almost being homeless to owning my small business, I proved to my family, I can be more successful than my older brother.
As an immigrant woman in America, sometimes I do feel the stereotype treatment. Just a few months ago, I went to a grocery store and was waiting in line. The cashier was an elder Caucasian woman. She was very friendly said “Hi,” and chit-chatted with the Caucasian customers ahead of me. Then it was my turn. She didn’t even look at me or say anything. So I said hi, but she didn’t answer. I know Chinese people don’t have the best reputation in the world, but it felt unfair that I had to pay the price. With an Asian face and Chinese accent, I decided to not play the victim role anymore. If they don’t like me because I am Chinese, then I will put some effort to let them see who I am as a HUMAN. Like that cashier who didn’t answer me, I then asked her again with a big smile “How are you Anne?” She was very surprised and immediately started talking to me. After about three minutes, she was laughing and said that she hopes to see me again soon!
Since becoming a widow, I have struggled with many things. One of them being that in some people’s mind, a widow’s life is supposed to be sad and miserable.That I should give-up having fun to show how much I love my late husband. If I am happy it seems like to other people that I am disrespecting him. A couple of months ago, I asked for feedback online on the front cover about my upcoming book “Widow to Boss Lady”. Someone told me, you shouldn’t wear red, you should wear black or white. I am not just a widow, I am also a HUMAN! No matter how my social status changes, I am just like everyone else out there. I was born with a purpose and that is to make a positive impact in this lifetime!
Yes, I am jumping on a sheet of ice covered by snow! Lol! Why? Because today I am celebrating my victory as a barrier breaker with adidas. I love and admire this brand for their constant effort and support for women. Through sport, women break the barriers! I like the path I am walking on, and I am determined to be the best version of myself. My Grand Court Sneakers add more comfort and confidence to this journey because I am walking with so many awakened women!
I will not label myself or define myself as a victim because I am a woman. I will not treat any man as a competitor or enemy either. The bottom line is, we are all HUMAN! No matter the skin color, the gender, or age!
Share with us how and/or who you are celebrating this International Women’s Day. Who or what inspires you?
Photo credit: Grace Liang/Jada Grandy
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