By Zuag Kimberly Chang
DENVER- There are moments in life when we have no idea where our path is leading us. Sometimes we take those steps forward based on the intuition that the steps ahead will lead to opportunity, and hopefully, will lay more ground to our foundation that we constantly build to secure and uphold our hopes, values, and dreams. As I sat there at the airport gates waiting for my flight out to Denver, I had no idea how or what to expect from the days ahead when I would find myself amongst strangers, professionals, and dignitaries at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
I was asked to be a part of the delegation sponsored by New America Media months ago. When I was asked to be a part of the delegation, the only way I knew, and still know, how to feel was honored. The United States, all of these incredible journalists from countless publications, and they thought of me. No questions asked, I accepted. I was one to always believe and preach that in life, opportunities come, and you fight to take them on and win them over. I always knew that the good things in life don’t wait for you because they really are that good. You need to fight to obtain them.
I knew nothing about what I would be asked to do, or what I would have the chance to experience as a member of this delegation. But all I knew was that it was a golden chance for me. Whatever it was, someone saw something in me and picked me out to see that same something in myself and go on this adventure to the DNC.
Two lines stayed with me as I landed in Denver, “I know you already will, but go there and do your best” and “Zuag, whatever it is that you do, make it count.” Simple things and simple words can have a way move a person in ways unimaginable. The first night in Denver, Sunday, August 24th, was where I found home in the midst of the hectic DNC. I knew that I would meet and interview many DNC attendees, but even before the convention started, they were the conversations with my New America Media delegation colleagues that moved me. That night, I saw the illustration of our delegation’s purpose in Denver. We were there to connect, to share our stories, to learn about one another, and to represent our communities and conclude that although we have differences, we were all indeed people who shared similar struggles, similar concerns, and similar hopes for the future. That night, I returned to my hotel room feeling as though I had known some of my colleagues for years. In honest truth, I’ve never experienced such powerful connection with a group of people in such a short time frame. And to believe, the actual convention was still to come. Every opportunity opens the door to new opportunities. Whether the convention would blow me away or not, I already shook hands, sat down, and had beautiful conversations with my team of new opportunity.