City of Black and White (Or so I thought)
A theme that has carried throughout my blog is the people that I met that impacted my heart during my time at TWC. I had the opportunity to engage with people from all over the political spectrum, as well as interact and learn from individuals that practice different religious and cultural beliefs. One of the people that impacted me the most was my roommate Sayya.
Sayya and I stand on opposite sides of the political aisle. We have different religious convictions, and come from very different cultures. I was curious when we began the semester together about how close we could really become, if we would even be able to be friends. What would we talk about? What in the world could we possibly connect over?
I look back at those worries and realize how incredibly naïve I was to think that those are the only types of things that connect people, that connect hearts. Saaya taught me so much about breaking out of my ridged, black-and-white ways of looking at things. She taught me that real life is lived in grey areas. In hearing her story and reflecting on her point of view, I realized that I held many beliefs that had never been challenged by a differing perspective. I cherished the open dialogue we could have about those things, and it was refreshing that didn’t have to be the center of our friendship either. We bonded as we respected our differences and shared new adventures in the city together. We always found a way to make our DC explorations fun and exciting.
I’m smiling as I think about the memories I have of cooking dinner, working on homework, going out in the evenings, and chatting about life, shopping, dating, and families in our room. I can’t imagine how I could have gotten through the difficult and tedious days without having her to chat and laugh with. Saaya is a woman I hope to know for life. She is an incredibly bright and intelligent woman, and I know she is having a tremendous impact in the world. I am incredibly blessed to call her a friend.
I am a better woman for having people like Saaya a part of my life and experience at TWC. I was broken out of my box and challenged to see everything in life through a different prism. I will never be able to quantify what that aspect of TWC did for me as a professional, student, friend, and citizen.