Bianca Fraise: Evolving Through Connecting

Bianca Fraise was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and is working on receiving her B.A. in Communications from Chicago State University. She has professional experience in media arts, film, and television. Her personal study of Indian history and languages led her to study the Hindi language in India. Recently, she discovered a passion for teaching, sharing, expressing ideas to others, especially for youth. She is an intern for MALA’s Spring 2017 semester.

 

I am not living the life I imagined for myself. In fact, I could not have imagined a life like the one I am living.

As a bright eyed and determined fourteen year old, I entered high school and planned my entire life. That plan included Business school, living in New York City, more Business school, lifetime achievement awards, marriage, and children with years and ages of when I should reach these goals. Throughout my high school years I sculpted that plan into the exact life I had wanted to live; one guided by ambition, competition, and the strive to be the most successful.

I went through life following the map I had written for my life while overlooking my true ambitions. During my last year in high school, I was assigned to write a personal letter addressing myself five years in the future. In that letter, I wrote about my true dreams of traveling, finding happiness, and being surrounded by friends and family.

I went through life following a guide I had written for my entire life when I was fourteen years old.  Growing up, I witnessed people who suffered from financial hardships and social inequalities and as a result had given up on life. Wanting better for myself, I vowed to overcome my own hardships through a vigorous strive for success. Guided by the longing to escape my own challenges, the map for my life often overlooked my true ambitions for success.

The year I graduated high school, I learned one of my most valuable life lessons. I was assigned to write a personal letter addressing myself five years in the future. In that letter, I wrote about my true dreams of finding happiness and exploring the world around me. I learned that despite my years of planning, I could not plan my life without planning for setbacks, hesitations, doubts, regrets, and the number of times I would change my mind. I was in my first year as an undergraduate in college when I realized my plan was completely wrong. I took that moment of realization as a chance to step back and reevaluate what I wanted from life. Still driven, I reconstructed my goals to match the life I wanted to live and the person I wanted to be.

My time working as an intern for the Indo-American Heritage Museum allowed me to connect making friendships with people from communities I had never interacted with. Through a collaboration with the Smithsonian, I was a part of an oral history project where I was allowed into the lives of people whose backgrounds were so different from my own. I learned a lot about myself and others.

I began traveling and forming multicultural friendships. I learned a lot about myself and others. When I came back home I continued to explore the world and create friendships with those from backgrounds different from my own. While my goals are always ever changing and adapting, I am happy with where I am and life and am fortunate to live the life I want.