#3 Aya Kanai, Editor in Chief of Marie Claire Malaysia (USA)
At the beginning of 2020, I started a new job as the editor in chief at Marie Claire USA. I naively thought that the new responsibilities wouldn’t upend my balancing act as a career-focused individual, mom, wife, daughter, etc. because I had already learned and practiced how to do it all. No luck there! The crisis unfolding across the globe is adding to this sense of imbalance daily. The one thing I know for sure is that having a mission to serve others makes a big difference when tackling stressful situations. I was born, raised and currently live in New York City which is the “ground zero” of the global pandemic for the moment. My parents who are both in their late 70s and early 80s also live in NYC. When all this started happening I thought maybe we should rent a car and leave NYC but we didn’t take the opportunity and now we are here for the duration. I have a 2-year-old daughter who of course doesn’t know what is happening and brings so much joy and innocence into the everyday. But the downside of a 2-year-old is that they have so much energy! She is a ball of activity and so we have to get her outside into an open space or a park to run around and play. We are constantly watching her every move as we don’t want her to pick up anything. Young kids see the world through their hands so forcing her to stop touching and sensing the world is saddening. But we will keep her safe. The other element is my work, as I mentioned I had just started a new job when this all began, I am creating relationships and working through video calls and emails. It is a challenge but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to create Marie Claire at this time when people need our content and stories more than ever! Because I am Japanese living in America I have always felt I am part of a global community but I feel it now more deeply. Creating media that will be seen around the world is a great privilege.