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The Best Holiday Gift I’m Giving Myself



I’m writing to you from Singapore, where I’m sinking into the comfort of my family and home country like a bath. I hope wherever you’re reading this from, you’re feeling supported, hopeful, and having moments of joy, like me.

This year was an absolute whirlwind! Sometimes it feels like it happened in the blink of an eye, but as I reflect back on the highlights I’m astounded and humbled by the opportunities 2021 gave me.

I am so grateful for your support around these milestones. To name a few:

  • My book Inclusion on Purpose comes out in less than two months! Click the link to place a preorder from your favorite bookstore. Maybe one for a friend too? THANK YOU!

  • Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome (which I co-write with Jodi-Ann Burey) went viral, earning over one million views

  • I joined Brené Brown as a guest on her podcast Dare to Lead with Jodi-Ann to discuss imposter syndrome (I found out last week our episode is on Spotify’s list of 20 best podcast episodes in 2021!)

  • Becoming a regular contributor to the New York Times was a dream come true in itself, more so to cover topics dear to me like colorism, the experience of women of color in the workplace, and collaborating on an investigative story with journalist extraordinaire Alisha Haridasani Gupta

  • Speaking at organizations like Pixar, NASA, Google, and more


Although I’m proud of these achievements, your individual notes of solidarity and connection will always stand out to me as among the brightest moments this year. Truly, I cherish every single one of your notes, direct messages, and comments. Thank you.

I am also so grateful for an amazing team of support, including Eva Jannotta, Jasmine Barta, Sydney Curry, Meredith Salmon, Vanessa Arias, La’Kita Williams, Ijeoma Oluo, the teams at MIT Press, Carol Mann Agency and ARC Literary Agency, Cave Henricks, all the amazing writers and editors I’ve been lucky to work with, everyone who advocated for me to speak at their organizations, and all our partners and clients. No one achieves anything alone!

Speaking of not achieving anything alone, I’ve created a list of referral partners who are amazing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioners. Check out their work and follow them!

If I can leave you with one final “call to action” this year, it’s this:

Rest.

Yes, truly! It’s gift-giving season, and I can think of no better gift to give ourselves than rest. In a culture that prizes productivity over nearly everything, prioritizing rest is indeed a radical act.

That’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of this year. I’ll be back in early January to share why I believe 2022 is the year even skeptics will believe in diversity, equity, inclusion and take personal responsibility to make change.

But for now, picture me taking walks with my son, laughing with my family and childhood friends, indulging in baby niece cuddles, eating enough hawker centre food to last me the year ahead, reading on the sofa, and consuming way too much of my mum’s biryani (which I paid homage to on Brené Brown’s podcast.)

Thank you so much for being on this journey with me.


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