By Kate Anderson-Song
Wendy Kim’s Beyond Blending In: An Immigrant Daughter’s Guide to Overcoming Cultural Bonds for a Life of Authenticity and Abundance is an uplifting instructional guidebook of encouragement for 2nd-generational women of color and beyond!
Wendy Kim opens her book, Beyond Blending In: An Immigrant Daughter’s Guide to Overcoming Cultural Bonds for a Life of Authenticity and Abundance, with the question that first inspired her to explore this idea of moving past “blending in”: Where were all the powerful women of color?
After exploring this lack in representation, Kim goes onto express her own experience of finding power and creating a life of “authenticity and abundance” as a 2nd-generation WOC – all to support the advice she sprinkles throughout to help and elevate others. Her candid sharing of how she struggled with the in-betweenness that came with her mixed race identity, the pressure and expectations that come with being the daughter of immigrants, and more, paint a complete backstory of how a life becomes ruled by fear.
But Wendy Kim realized that, despite her fear of breaking from the safer path of “survival” and “stability,” there was another path – a path that had more freedom, happiness, and authenticity. As she states, “This book is meant to help all people who have felt or are feeling trapped by cultural expectations, especially for women of color,” and with this mission statement and our knowledge of her personal background, she goes onto lay out the areas unpacked in the rest of the chapters: “self-love, money, aliveness, spirituality, relationships, entrepreneurship, emotional health, and physical health.”
The most instructive part of the book is the “Call to Action” sections that end each chapter. These blurbs provide short directed activities for you to complete in order to understand and apply her outlook to your own situation. These writing/journaling prompts ask you to lay out your own thoughts and experiences on the page – which I found forces you to organize and understand yourself in a new productive way!
There is a good amount of spiritual conversation (mentions of God, religion or spirituality, and the idea of women being “goddesses”), which could distract or turn some people away from her messages. And, although she acknowledges this, there is definitely some smoothing past complexities in her instructions and advice, especially around the topic of money and financial security. She is careful to point out that her advice doesn’t apply to everyone, but I think that these ideas could still be addressed in more depth. However, if you can apply her ideas to your life, they are not only encouraging and helpful, but will give you a very clear starting point for changing your thought process!
The core of the book rests on Kim’s want to help others live an authentic and full life with a positive and “abundant” mindset. And her practical instructive advice and candid anecdotes illustrating these beliefs are entertaining, upbeat, and truly get you thinking through how you can re-frame your own life and move past living ruled by fear to living ruled by what is authentically and powerfully you.
You can connect with Wendy Kim and learn more about her programs and projects at her website, YourDreamRealized.com, and on her Facebook and Twitter.
Kate Anderson-Song is on the editorial team at Overachiever Magazine. She is a NYC-based writer, artist, and performer, with a background in cinema studies from New York University. You can find Kate on Instagram @k8andersonsong and @thek8pages, and you can find more of her work (and tons of other great stuff) here at Overachiever Magazine.