Category: Personal

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

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(A picture of me in 2013)

In 2013, I lost everything I’d built my life upon. My marriage. My previous identity. Money. I was heartbroken and dealing with postpartum depression. I was struggling with motherhood, and the challenges of this new life.

But unbeknownst to me at the time, I found my identity and strength and friends and love and I began a relationship with my newborn daughter. Everything was gone but I had the opportunity to replenish my life with things and people most important to me as a newly untethered individual.

I remember telling O that I had one year to really make a change. That for a year I would be at home as a new mother and I would have no money and that that would be the year I would double down on dreams. Everything’s gone to shit, I told him. I have nothing else left to lose. I have to do only the things I love to do and see where they lead me.

I felt helpless and so I did the one thing that did not make me feel helpless. I doubled down on writing.

In 2013, I wrote the essay that was a turning point in my career, MINT and it was published in The Rumpus by Roxane Gay. It was not as widely read as some of my future work, but this was the publication that changed my life.

That essay led to an opportunity to write something for BuzzFeed in 2014. I wrote an essay about my stroke and recovery. The essay went viral and led to a 2-book deal with Ecco.

All I did in 2015 was write my memoir. I wrote and wrote and wrote.

Two months ago, I turned in my memoir manuscript. Yesterday, I finished copy edits.

In 2017, on February 14, TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER will be published and out in the world.

I did not do this alone.

Thank you.

2013 was an enormous fall. Here is a picture of me in 2013, sliding down the Codornices park concrete slide. On that day, I decided that as miserable as I felt, I would seek a minute of pure joy, somehow. My thinking was that I could hold on to those few seconds and say, “Today I felt good, even if for ten seconds.”

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(Also, falling can feel good–as evidenced by the slide).

That is how I clawed my way back. I would hold on to the small parts of good. Even if the good was just one percent of my day. I would make that one percent, larger, somehow. I would hold on to any part of happiness, even if fleeting.

I would focus on happiness. I would be aware of misery and I would try to deal with the bills and legal paperwork one by one. My worries were many–at one point I wondered how it was that I would pay for diapers. I would not ignore these concerns. But I would look at a sliver of happiness while dealing with the unpleasant.

And eventually, the happiness would dominate.

And yes, it has.

It begins

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It begins.

Someone writes something. The words hurt. My sadness envelops me.

Like a warm sweater. On a warm day. And yet, I do not sweat. I become heat. And yet the heat does not burn the sweater off of me. It weighs me down.

I can usually shake off the sweater.

But at some particular moment, I am caught unaware. And then I take to bed, clouded by sweater wool and and over that, down and cotton.

I burrow deep in the hole.

It becomes unbearable.

I walk into the ocean. To put out the fire.

It is dark and scorched and wet and cold and hot and all the things. All the sensations.

And then I re-emerge. I’ve gone through the heat.

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Also–(unrelated to this post, but where else do I put this)?: My memoir, TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER, has an official publication date! February 14, 2007.

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, so I’m EXCITED February 14 is now reclaimed for me, forever and ever.

Downtime

Update 5/8/2017: Welp. I opened my etsy shop. Downtime Studio.

In my downtime, I write in my journal. I read. I cook. And I quilt.

I don’t like sewing machines, so I quilt entirely by hand. It’s slow going, but I like it that way. It’s kind of like writing a book-length work. There are no short cuts.

This is what I’ve quilted over the last year.

A quilt for my daughter:

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Viva La Vida

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I owe a lot to Jónsi’s music, because I’ve written the vast majority of my novel listening to his songs on my headphones. Especially Grow Till Tall and Hengilas.

But I owe Coldplay’s Viva La Vida my regained life. It is the theme song to my life transition.

I spent much of last year in the grip of severe postpartum depression. Ten months of it, in fact. My depression was not without struggle–I didn’t just succumb; I fought it hard. I walked my baby in a stroller miles each day, in hopes of gaining endorphins. I tried to go out and get sunlight. I looked into my baby’s eyes and tried to find the light in hers. I went online and tried to connect with friends and society. I met my best friend everyday. And every single morning, I danced.

Yes, I danced, even though I wanted to die, and even though I was always alone, and even though I was sleepless and couldn’t eat, and was down to high school weight, and even though unbeknownst to me, my marriage was crumbling beneath me.

Every morning, I put my daughter in a sling, and danced for an hour to Viva La Vida.

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

The sun had not yet risen, but my baby would awaken. And I would get up in the dark in an empty house, and we would dance in the kitchen. My life had completely changed, and I was going through the biggest shitstorm.

We bounced. Sang. Faked it.


I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing,
“Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!”

It took a long time to get pregnant. Thirteen years. We gave up so many times. When I finally got pregnant, it was so unexpected that I spent the first week of my pregnancy riding rollercoasters and drinking daquiris at DisneyWorld and Universal Studios. Because I did not know I was pregnant.

My life, to that point, had felt perfect.

My life, to that point, had been perceived as perfect.

We were the couple everyone wanted to be. I didn’t just think this–people told us all the time. People still tell us that in the wake of divorce. “We thought you were the ones who would make it.” So did I.

We’d just sold our startup. We were college sweethearts. Everything, I thought, was in balance.


One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

But then, as all things do when they fall apart, things fell apart fast.

What I had thought was a foundation, was no longer there. The house had been sliding for years. Slowly, I thought. It could be fixed, I thought. But at some point, there was a fulcrum, and the house tipped. It didn’t take much. A pregnancy. A baby. My depression. My ex-husband’s restlessness.

We’d been through worse. And survived. But not this time. It was too much.

I wanted to die. Everyday. But I carved out space for joy–I slid down the concrete slide at Cordonices with my best friend–because, as my logic went, for that minute, I could experience glee while falling. Even if for a minute, I wanted to not want to die.

And I danced.


I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

And then I stood up. I didn’t know the terrain. But I stood, trembling. Things had changed so much in the course of a year. I hoped things would get better. I danced because I wanted at least one hour of dancing each day, when I mustered all the energy I had into getting my head above water. I had that hour. I had this song. I was bliss adjacent.

My best friend held me while I cried. Answered my calls. We texted every waking minute.

We were bliss adjacent.

We went to New York City. And we danced. In the mornings there, I danced to Viva La Vida, as the sun rose over the East Village.


For some reason I can’t explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

I’d lost my world. There were so many lies. Where are you, I’d ask. And you were not where you said you were. You were not telling me the truth.

There was nothing to do but dance in the morning. With feigned joy, at first. I would show my daughter how to be happy.


It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn’t believe what I’d become

I didn’t tell many people what was going on. I told my closest friends. I told my best friend. All the walls had come down, and I felt too vulnerable out in the world.

I couldn’t deal with the shock. I was too shocked, myself.

I wondered about my future. What would I become? What would I do? Who was I without this marriage?


Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever wanna be king?

Who would want my life? Who wanted this life? I certainly didn’t.

I danced until my cheeks flushed. I danced until I was sweaty. My daughter laughed with glee at my chest.


I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

We sang. It didn’t feel victorious. It was hopeful, though. It was about faith–that happiness would eventually return. That there were lessons to learn. That I would emerge, stronger.

I was scared. I held onto the familiar. I gave him time. I said I would wait.

I overcame my postpartum depression. I started seeing colors again.

“You’re the same as before,” he said.

“Yes, I’m back.”

“What did I do?”

“I don’t know.”


For some reason I can’t explain
I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

So many lies. He never called me. He was far away. Even though he was really in town. But the truth–the truth came out almost exactly a year ago. And it nearly destroyed me. But it was better than the lies. The moment he told me everything felt like a deep and fatal wound–but at least I felt something. And it was true.

The day it was over, I had to call him. And then the truth, again.

It was over. I collapsed.


Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh


I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field


For some reason I can’t explain
I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

That was my old life. I wasn’t dancing alone then–I thought I was alone, but I was dancing with my daughter. And my friends. And my new love.

Lunches for P

My toddler started Montessori–and with that, school lunchbox preparation commenced in our household. She isn’t too much into sandwiches and while she eats most anything, her tastes are still fickle; loves peas one day, wants nothing to do with them the next and loves chicken apple sausages for lunch, doesn’t touch any for dinner. Fun times.

I am driven crazy by the lunch making. Constantly making the lunches! The upside: I can take pictures of the lunches. So I take pictures of.the.lunches. That’s the thing with motherhood pictures; we are with our kid/s all day, and sometimes the only relief is taking photographs; kid just dumped food all over their head? Dammit. Gotta clean it. Gotta re-prep the food. Because kid will still be hungry. But–picture!

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I get up early each morning with my kid. Usually this means around 7am, but sometimes it’s as early as 5:30am if she’s teething or going through a moody phase. I give her a sippy cup of milk. And then I take out the yumbox bento thing.

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When I was a kid, lunches were a very political thing in the cafeteria. Not political in the strict Republican/Democrat sense, but political in the way when meaningless things can affect status. Like how lunchboxes were key in first grade, and how by sixth grade you were carrying lunch in a brown paper bag. And whether or not you had a Twinkie or Doritos, something that you could trade. Nevermind that you traded a Twinkie for a Zinger or Doritos for Cheetos, and the two things were pretty much the same–just the fact that you had something of value made your lunch and thereby you, more interesting, more valued.

I could never clearly explain the above to my mother, who packed my lunches for a short while. “Twinkies are important!”

“No,” she would say.

And she was right. They weren’t really important. But at the same time, they were.

I always put some pasta in my kid’s lunch. She, like so many toddlers, likes pasta. It’s a safe bet. Sometimes I will put in mini farfalle, other times annelini or ditalini. Maybe soba.

Toddlers don’t trade food, of course. During the first few days of transition, I watched the school eat; shoving fistfuls of food with trembling hands into their mouths, or maybe they would miss, and get part of their cheek. Half the food would fall onto the tabletop. They would try again. Like old folks, some of them. Random wailing, then random laughter.

In the meat compartment, I sometimes put in some sliced framani salami, or mini chicken sausages. Or leftover meat like diced steak. My kid likes her protein.

When I moved to California as a kid, I lived in a largely homogeneous neighborhood. I was one of two Korean kids in the whole school. One of three Asian kids. One year, there was a new kid who had just moved to the U.S. from Korea. He spoke no English. Here, said the teacher, teach him English.

At that point, I’d forgotten my Korean. I spoke no Korean, either. But somehow, I accepted the fact that it was my responsibility to be that bridge. I was eight years old. I took a yellow crayon, pointed to it and said, Yellow. I pointed to the words on the crayon label, and said, Yellow.

John (not his real name), brought lunch to school. He had kimbap in his lunchbox–everyone stared. The teacher pointed and said, “What is that? That’s beautiful!”

I knew what it was. I loved kimbap. But I would never dare bring it to school. I figure in our heads was a mixture of interest and awe. But then someone said, “Ewww!” and then everyone else said “ewww!” and that was that. He never brought Korean food to school again.

I also give my daughter vegetables and fruit. She loves legumes. Kidney beans. Edamame. Black beans. And also peas. Not so much broccoli, even though she loves saying the word broccoli. Also, all the fruit. Especially berries. I do not know what I will do when berry season ends. Though she does love frozen berries, and that will see us through winter.

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Eventually, I asked my mother if I could just buy lunch. That way I could be part of the masses. Everyone complained about the school lunches, but I liked them. My mother did not make me spaghetti or lasagna or enchiladas or anything Western at home. And I relished the cafeteria food. I liked the trays.

My daughter is fickle about cheese/dairy. She does not like yogurt, except when mixed into her sippy cup with milk. No cottage cheese, either. Sometimes she will eat cheese. She drinks enough milk, so I do not worry about her calcium. So sometimes I will put diced tofu in the dairy slot of her tray.

In junior high, there was a concession stand. No more cafeteria lunches. I would take my money and buy whatever I wanted. Usually, chili cheese fries. But then I started worrying about my weight. So when Big Debbie wanted my lunch money, I would give it to her. She was kind of a bully, but at the same time, I didn’t really eat, so I didn’t see it as a big deal.

My friend Toni and I sat together everyday for lunch. Sometimes we sat with Big Debbie and her friends. I didn’t sit with my classmates–Big Debbie was a year older, and her friends were kind of tough. Their frosted hair stood straight up with the aid of Aqua Net. They ate the cream filling out of Twinkies with a straw. I learned to swear.

In high school, I stopped eating altogether. I sat with my classmates by then. We sat adjacent to the rally court, on the risers. I sipped my diet coke.

The daycare provides a report with what my daughter eats each day. None, half, or all. She always eats her meat. Mostly eats her pasta. Some of her vegetables. Sometimes all or half of her fruit. Usually, none of her cheese.

Everyday, I wash the yumbox. And then the next day, I make her lunch again.

Date of Time and Loss / Sundog Lit: Process

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I have a new nonfiction piece called Date and Time of Loss up at Sundog Lit

A few months ago, Sundog Lit put out a call for submissions for its special (Letters from) the Road theme issue.

I wondered about what I’d write for a “Road” issue; I’ve certainly gone on my fair share of road trips across the U.S., and even Europe, driving through France, Italy, and through the British countryside. I’ve seen castles and compared road food, napped in the front seat, driven through bad storms, sighed relief at good weather, and admired geography from the inside of a car.

A few years ago, I was hit by a car while visiting Seattle on a road trip.

Those two events intersected.

Ha. I’d write about BEING ON THE ROAD. Like, literally.

I pulled up the police report to jog my memory.

Ha. I’d use the police report to structure the piece. The call for submissions wanted short work that transcended genre.

I’d title it after the first question in the report: Date and Time of Loss.

I began to write the piece–all the things I wanted to write about being hit by a car, and the shock I felt in its aftermath. Not being able to cross the street without flinching, feeling bruised and tender, feeling vulnerable, and feeling so so wounded. That the person I called first on that day, while in the crosswalk, is no longer available to me.

Another event in my life intersected with this trauma; the end of my marriage. That the two feel the same. I wove that pain into the piece.

I didn’t begin writing Date and Time of Loss with the intention of intertwining the two events. But that is what the work wanted me to do. And I hope I made the work, proud.

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My birthday happened this week. I had noodles. Went to a museum. Played with my daughter. O and C hatched a plan to get me a birthday cake. Lemon meringue from Tartine Bakery, natch.

O and I sat at a bar sipping manhattans, and one by one friends dropped by throughout the evening. Hug after hug. My baby was cared for by my trusted helper at home. It was a perfect day, a perfect evening.

I blew out the candles, but didn’t make a wish beforehand. I only realized this the next day.

“Maybe your wish already came true,” suggested O.

It probably did.

Peach Cobbler aka People We Have Lost

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I made peach cobbler yesterday.

A cobbler is not the same as a crisp or crumble or grunt or slump or buckle or pandowdy. All of these things are about baking fresh fruit topped with some kind of yummy topping, but a cobbler has a biscuit or cake topping.

I am a fairly experienced baker, but this was only the second time I’ve made a peach cobbler. I’m not an expert on baking cobblers, though I’m pretty good about eating them. So in that sense, I’m an experienced cobbler-taster.

The first time I made a peach cobbler was in an attempt to replicate a friend’s mom’s peach cobbler recipe. His mom died, and he was sad for a long while. He was not even twenty-eight when she passed away. And he wanted his mom’s peach cobbler.

Sometimes you want to taste something to connect to memories and people.

Let’s try to recreate it, I said. Let’s get that part of your mom back.

I googled peach cobblers–there were so many recipes. Fresh fruit. Canned fruit. Biscuit topping made from scratch. Biscuit topping from a can. Cake batter. Pie crust. The formulas are endless.

A cobbler is not the same as a cobbler is not the same as a cobbler, either.

Is it this one, I asked. Or this one. He does not cook or bake. He was not sure how to make it, but he remembered the ingredients, he remembered what she put in. Did she make it from scratch or use peaches from a can?

I went shopping. Bought peaches in a can. Pie crust. If I had my druthers, I’d have gotten fresh peaches. And made the topping from scratch. But we want what we want and what makes us feel most connected to ourselves in our food. I myself love Thrifty’s/Rite Aid ice cream. It’s shitty ice cream–not very rich tasting, and barely ice cream, but I don’t care; it’s what I grew up with and it’s where I went after school for a ten cent scoop of ice cream, and that is the best ice cream for me.

I preheated the oven, and then we mixed the peaches with cinnamon and corn starch. Does this smell right to you, I asked. Is it cinnamon-y enough? I made sure the juice would thicken, added pats of butter for richness. The technical details are often easiest–they are from rote memory.

We feel our way in the dark when it comes to the people we have lost. This is the chill of the wind I felt on New Year’s Eve. This is the taste of prosecco my friend and I shared. This was how his hands felt in mine as we wept. Maybe that was the real moment of goodbye.

That was the moment I told him he had shown me to the door. To 2014 after an awful, devastating 2013. That I would thrive. I was grateful, I told him.

And then I laid out the pie crust on top. Is this how it looked?

We have snapshots of memories–photographic stills. And I have photographs. We walked through the Village and SoHo taking photographs one afternoon, chasing that magic hour of light.

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Of course, we had the peach cobbler a la mode.

It was, he said, just like his mom’s. He held the dish in his hands.

That made me happy. Food is a connection to memories and people. It can ease loneliness. Sometimes, it is even love. Maybe equating food with love makes for a dysfunctional relationship, but sometimes we don’t get love, and then what? We have to make do with inadequate substitutes. Because sometimes the substitute keeps us from completely falling apart.

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But this time–I wanted to make my own peach cobbler. I was having a BBQ with friends, and it was a hot day, and it’s peach season, and I can’t eat peaches unless they’re cooked. So, cobbler.

I am allergic to raw peaches. I like to taste my food as I cook to make sure the aromatics and sugar and salt are in balance. But I cannot eat raw stone fruit–my mouth swells, itches, and burns. Even the skin on my hands itch and burn when I handle raw stone fruit.

I can eat cooked peaches–the thing to which I am allergic, the low levels of cyanogenics from the pit of stone fruits, disappears when the fruit is cooked. Chemistry can change all things. Heat changes ingredients–transforms them. Pressure and stress can change a relationship. This is denaturation.

I googled all the peach cobbler recipes. I found this hilarious writeup on making a peach cobbler, and it made me laugh and made me want to make a peach cobbler. And the recipe, which was based on this epicurious recipe, sounded on point, too. I love reading recipes–I can taste how the food comes together while reading the directions.

Sometimes, you just know a recipe when you see it. It’s like falling in love. That’s chemical, too.

I didn’t use peaches out of a can. I didn’t use pre-made pie crust. I made this peach cobbler with Frog Hollow Farm peaches and homemade biscuit dough. I went to the store and headed to the stone fruit, and stood behind a man squeezing each peach with vigor. “All of them are hard!” he said with deep judgment.

I would not let that man anywhere near my boobs, is what I was thinking with deep judgment. Aloud I said, “I see you are thorough and squeezed them ALL.”

“Yup!” he said, and moved on to the squeezing of the nectarines.

I did not mind hard peaches. They’re easier to cut. I can pry the pits out of the halves of them more easily. Actually, I will go so far as to say I prefer hard peaches for cobbler. Plus, they were Frog Hollow Farm peaches, and they never grow a bad peach. It’s true.

So while I prep the fruit, I smell. I inhale and see if I can detect the profile I want. Not being able to taste food while cooking is like being blind and trying to navigate a landscape. Or–being able to see and walking in the dark.

I don’t know why the friendship ends. He stops talking to me. I ask him why. I ask him why again. And no answer. There is something I cannot see in the (to me) abrupt silence. I wasn’t enough for him. I wasn’t enough for yet another man.

But I’m making another peach cobbler. And I adapt the recipe. I add a splash of vanilla to the sliced peaches. (Next time, I’ll add a glug of bourbon, too). I use brown sugar instead of white.

I put the peaches in the oven. The house starts to smell very very good.

I’m not fooling around with the biscuit dough, though–I follow the directions to a T. I mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. I add cold-cold butter and cut it in with a pastry blender. And then I add boiling-hot water a little bit at a time, until the dough comes together.

I am not tidy about dolloping the biscuit dough atop the half-cooked peaches. The dough does not look promising–it is gloopy and kind of wet. But I have faith; heat can change things.

And then it comes out like this. It is beautiful. And delicious.

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secrets and Secret

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Every morning, I go through my social media upon awakening. I know there are writers who go straight to their manuscript, even skipping the perusal of their email inbox, but that’s not me. Once I tried to go the disciplined route, but then all I did was wonder what I was missing, so now I just go straight to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, my email inbox, Zite (which is kind of like my morning newspaper), and most recently, Secret.

Most of the secrets are prurient in nature–or maybe I just have horny friends. Maybe your friends aren’t as sexual, and the secrets in your network might run along the lines of “I didn’t scoop my cat’s litterbox this morning” as opposed to “I like my girlfriend, but after pegging, I want to try the real thing.”

I had to go look up “pegging.”

I am learning a lot of things on Secret–more than just secrets.

So many of the secrets are about dissatisfaction, and many are from a place of fear. Or longing. A few are whimsical.

Some of my friends love Secret. They’ve hooked up with other Secret users–though how, I have no idea, because your identity is supposedly anonymous on the thing. Maybe you can figure out people through diction. Once I posted, “No bra” on Secret, and no fewer than four of my friends immediately figured out it was me. One of them even posted, “Hi Christine.”

I guess I’m the kind of person who would have no bra on. And post about it on Secret.

Some of my friends find Secret useless. I don’t find it useless–I’ve used one of the secrets in one of my short stories. It turned out to be a critical component of the story’s ending. So, useful.

And then I got right back on Secret and confessed/shared that I’d used a secret for a short story.

Some people think Secret is the anti-Facebook. The posts there are often dismal, glum disheartening. Not shiny-humble-brag-Facebook post stuff. But it’s also a great place to put what you would otherwise drunk-tweet. Maybe a lot of people drunk-post on Secret. That would explain a lot.

Then there is the concept of whether or not a secret is a secret on Secret. (Did you see what I did there)?

I remember learning the word “bimil” (I would use hangul here, but I can’t figure it out on my apple keyboard, so forgive). I learned it from my cousin’s toddler sons in Korea–they leaned in and asked, “Auntie, do you want to know a bimil?”

What is a bimil? Because before saying yes, I wanted to make sure bimil didn’t mean turd or something like that. Because, toddler boys.

Bimil is the Korean word for secret.

And then they whispered in my ear. What I heard was baby gobbledigook–hissing sounds like whispers. But not actual words. That’s a good way to keep a secret, I thought.

I’ve been writing more essays these days while on summer break from my novel revision. It means that in some ways I’m revealing more secrets to the world.

Friends and acquaintances have come up to me in the wake of MINT’s publication in The Rumpus and observed, “You are so open, that’s not something I could bring myself to share.”

Huh, I said.

I wonder if secrets are good things. And if we can ever keep our secrets hidden.

The other night, someone hurt my feelings. I didn’t even know my feelings were hurt. And that person certainly didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. But my body spoke the truth; it recoiled and curled around itself.

My body visibly winced. And I then had to…talk…about…my feelings. Which was good. It is good not to have those kinds of secrets.

And how do we reveal our secrets? In an anonymous yet public forum? In private? In secrecy? In public? What is safe?

These are some of the secrets on Secret–a snapshot from the other morning.

1) “True love is a form of mental illness.”

You are supposed to “heart” if you agree or like it. There is something about this that I don’t like, so I don’t swipe. But the thing is, my best relationships were borne out of my own vulnerability.

2) “I hooked up with this Chinese guy–30 minutes later I was horny again.”

Is that a good thing or a bad thing, I wonder.

3) “Flying to LA and all I can think about is blowing the muscle ginger next to me.”

That’s a good flight.

4) “I could marry this girl and that freaks me out.”

Go for it, dude, I want to say.

Gratitude

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This is my first post on this blog–and I have decided to write about gratitude to begin the filling of this space.

Last year was one of the most difficult years I’ve ever lived in my adult life. While the prevailing feeling was loneliness, the reality is that my friends held me up and kept me from being pitched into the ocean of postpartum depression, new motherhood, and abandonment. I was, in fact, not alone.

My friends came around and dropped gifts (food, bibs, toys, booze, handmade blankets, baby clothing) and food (pasta, pozole, pizza, etc) off to me, dropped by, sent me things in the mail, called me, texted me (so grateful for friends in different time zones), sent cards, watched P, and countless other valuable acts. I can’t remember it all, though it is all these things that kept me from embitterment and reminded me that people are good. Friends are good. People remembered me and P. My life could be amazing, and it is.

I’m often the one organizing things–but that energy is largely gone these days, because frankly, I’m refilling my own well for now. And so I feel I cannot return what I have been given. My postpartum depression is behind me, my life is getting back on track, my new identity is becoming more familiar, but I’m still overwhelmed by this enormous transition. I’m amazed at all the energy my friends have summoned (so many people who did the above are mothers to very very young children–and all of my friends are busy people) and sent my way. I hope someday I’ll galvanize energy and return positivity into the universe.

My life feels very much saved by love. Thank you.