August 5, 2009

There's No Place Like Family

{Euna Lee. left, embraces her daughter, Hana, and her husband,
Michael, while Laura Ling hugs her husband, Ian}

Tears brim continually in my eyes as I read the deluge of articles, chronicling the return home of two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who were imprisoned in North Korea and sentenced to twelve years hard labor. I admire these women for their courage and strength. They are citadels for women, and in particular, women in journalism. The incredibly dramatic images like the one featured above yanked at my heart strings and unleashed emotions that I had sequestered as of late. These emotions remind me of my humanity. They make me feel more real - like I am actually living my life. It makes me think of how much I love my family and close friends - how much I value having them in life. They sustain me in times of trial and lift me up in moments of joy.

In my life, I have learned that human connection is the most important thing. It should always come first. Take care of yourself if need be, but do so that you can take care of your family and let them take care of you. These days, being connected to others is top of mind. Perhaps it's this whole post-college-living-on-your-own experience, which has been harder than I imagined it to be. I think everyone experiences it differently, but once you are out in the world living your own life, there is a whole new wave of feelings that you never dreamed possible (and they are not always good). Your life becomes a set of scales that tip from thrilling to terrifying, depending on the day or even the hour. I've always loved the quote, "Life is a great adventure, or nothing at all," and these two women have definitely had an adventure, albeit a horrific one. But at the end of the day, the most important feeling was not the passion for their careers, but the love for their families.

Image can be found here.

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