I feel lost.

If this simple sentence of three words resonates with you, you are not alone. Sometimes the world breaks open, and no amount of time is enough for you to adjust to the pain. If you live in the US, it has now been seven months since we’ve experienced the first impact of COVID. For all the lives lost, the injustice received, and the enduring confusion, we will be tied to this universal sense of isolation and loneliness. No matter how much virtual happy hours we have and online dating, we do; for some, we are still left with our physical selves and for all of us, our own chaotic thoughts at the end of each day.

This transparent and heavy paragraph is a direct acknowledgment that there are things that are not right, right now. I have had to fight against this feeling for so long; dare I say even before COVID? I’ve known so many people like me; we’re strong, and we take care of everybody else, putting on a positive front so that we can keep moving forward in the hopes that things will inevitably work itself out. When are we able to say to each other openly and honestly, even before any action is considered that, ‘this is what is wrong’? Then, when are we able to listen to each other wholeheartedly and take in all that meaning?

In most crises, gendered identified women and children today typically bear the responsibility of care for the family (emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially).  As a provider for my own family, I spent the first six months of this pandemic feeling angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, lonely, and haggard from the weight of an “unknown void” I had. Most recently, I’ve reached a breaking point, and I now know it’s the heaviness of responsibility for a world that does not give women like me power nor compassion.

As I lost my sense of self, my worth, my purpose, I wandered through my mind aimlessly. It was the moment when I made a friend in the vast world of social media and networks. She was a friend that I did not know I needed until we connected on LinkedIn because we shared a story. It was a story of wanting to live our professional lives the way we lived our personal lives, with passion, respect, and responsibility – not just for ourselves but for others as well. Through her, I found that there was nothing wrong with me; my heightened sensitivity, my need to address issues instead of avoiding them, my yearning for change, and my urge to serve was just fine. We needed each other as women and as a community to thrive.

Jessica Tunon inspired me in everything she has done as the founder of Netwalking® and her work in advocacy for women’s equity and safety. She speaks with conviction, is curious beyond belief, and has the drive to make progress that is utterly refreshing. These qualities are what we should look for in leaders and what our jaded society needs in this time of crisis. Through her encouragement, I applied, got accepted, and completed my Majority Leaders training program through the Supermajority Education Fund. Flashes of messages during our training from hundreds of other inspirational women, just like Jessica, made me aware that I am not alone, and I had a purpose. This is just the beginning for me and us. We will make progress, and it will be everlasting.

As much as we have fallen apart, we are still together.

Meet Kandyma Sar: Kay is the Founder and CEO of Grantfunding.co. She also serves Children’s National Hospital’s research centers in Grants and Finance. Kay’s cumulative experience in grants, research, program development, and strategic partnerships were key indicators that led her to dedicate her mission to help bring funds to organizations working to solve the world’s most important social impact initiatives.