I’m Still Alive

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I’m afraid I have become a bit of a social media hermit lately. A recluse, when it comes to updating the world with the latest ‘great’ thoughts or ideas contained upstairs – this being only my second blog post of the year. Perhaps I have run out of things to say? A glimmer of hope as you read those words?

Well, no, not quite. I could simply say that I have been incredibly busy this year and leave it at that, but that would be far too easy. Truthfully, this year has been remarkable thus far; the beginning of a new chapter in my life, for many reasons. I know…that sounds awfully dramatic. But really, without exaggeration, The Times They Are a-Changin’.

Where to begin. Let’s start with this exciting piece of news: I was hired by Oxfam America as New Media Specialist. Wooh! I start the new job Monday (as in, tomorrow!) and I am just thrilled about it. It has been a journey, to say the least, since I graduated from Curry College in 2009. Slowed down by my health, the great recession, and some other bumps in the road (both good and bad), this new opportunity feels all the sweeter. Of course I will miss my family at BOWES Real Estate in Arlington, who I have worked with for nine years now. Surely I will remain connected with them; this life-change was only a matter of time though. For this new position, I’ll be working in Boston at the headquarters of Oxfam America, collaborating with the new media team to bring attention to the voices that go largely unheard every day, the voices of those living in extreme poverty around the world. To go into work every day, knowing that I am working towards social justice – wow. A dream come true.

And it gets better, for in just over two months I will be marrying my soul mate and we’ll be travelling to Greece together for two and a half weeks. AND, if all goes well in the next couple months, we will close on a new condo in Stoneham! We’ve been saving our pennies for a place (if not this condo, then another) and are so excited to have our own home just in time for our marriage.

So, with all of these wonderful happenings, what more could I possibly add? Well, this is one of those messages you see at the end of a show: ‘made possible by…”. Worry not though, I won’t be adding product placement to my blog. In this case, it goes something like this: made possible by my health. I had my regular check-in with Dana Farber just last week and in thinking about it, all of these blessings in my life (the new job, the marriage, the trip to Greece, the condo) would all mean very little if it weren’t for my health. And so, this piece of good news; that I am still cancer-free after just over a year and a half now, isn’t just the cherry on top, it’s the bowl holding the ice-cream Sunday together. For that, more than anything, I am so grateful. And because of that, I can be grateful for all these blessings that 2011 has brought.

I could of course close with that thought, but there is even more. More, you ask incredulously?! Here you go: the clean water well that we (ONE Curry) raised money for just two years ago, has JUST been built this month in a village in Southern Sudan! Not just any village, but the village where our friend and fellow member, Peter Nhiany was born. Another long journey, filled with obstacles. In this case, a photo says it all:

It brings me so much joy and even relief, to have seen this project through to the very end. And still, looking at this photo, it just is beyond belief that the work that we did together a few years ago could result in something so tremendously important, thousands of miles away in a place we have never been. The globalized world we live in provides us with these incredible opportunities to do good. So, if the my health is the bowl that delicious ice-cream Sunday together, this well being built is like the ice-creamery that keeps on providing more.

I do have a tendency to extend metaphors beyond welcome. Seriously though, there are those things that live beyond us; that are bigger than we individuals. This is it for me. Being able to help others. Not simply by building a well but by building opportunity, for water is the foundation upon which these people may come closer to living healthier lives, and therefore happier lives.

At the end of the day, if we aren’t contributing to something bigger than ourselves, then what is the point? There’s a question that I hope I can really hold onto, and end with.



Author: John Abdulla

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  1. John Abdulla… I thought you were dead! No, not really I just wanted to say that line like the characters in Escape from New York and countless other movies.

    Still, it’s good to know you are healthy and truly earning your time on Earth by working to ensure the wellness of other peoples’ health.

    Also, I could really go for a bowl of ice cream right now. Are you sure you aren’t sponsored by an ice cream company? If not, you should look into that.

  2. John
    It’s been an honor to work alongside you for these past five years ~ I couldn’t be happier for you and proud of your accomplishments.
    (You know you’re always welcome back with VIP status for any Bowes events). Enjoy the riches life is giving you ~ you deserve them!

  3. Hahaha, thanks Mike! Good to know I have a backup career in the Ice Cream business. Much appreciate your comments though man.

    And Bija, it was an honor to work with you and everyone at BOWES – I look forward to a continued relationship with you all 🙂 Thank you very much.

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