This year has been rough for a variety of reasons, both for myself and for my peers. Many of us went (and are still going) through the job market. We are writing and finishing our respective dissertations, applying for grants, teaching sections/classes, creating conference proposals, and on and on and on. And through it all, are the spikes of anxiety, the overwhelming feelings that we are imposters, and different manifestations of our stress.
What I've noticed through personal reflection and observing my peers, is that a lot of us probably fall under the category of "anxious yet highly functional." I'm sure there's a more accurate, scientific term. But what I've seen and experienced within this idea, is how we'll go through cycles of extreme stress that manifest into highly productive/functional behavior on paper— cleaning our apartments, baking, writing blog posts (wink!), bullet journaling (wink wink!), starting a new hobby, etc.— that make us look accomplished... and yet, we're not progressing with the actual thing that causes the stress.
The reason I point this out, is because... well in all frankness, the work will still get done. My favorite phrase that my peers and I trade as comfort is, "You're gonna push through... because you don't have a choice." And it's hilarious, pithy, not-sympathetic, and yet an oddly comforting sentiment that we're gonna get it, because we have to. And in the meantime, check in with your friends. Including/especially the ones who look like they're doing great: because productivity and functionality is never a proxy to wellness. I spent this week doing the checking-in and as well as being checked-in, and I'm grateful for all the conversations on both ends~
If you're following my site closely, you'll notice some changes in design, organization, and content. To be frank, I'm still figuring it out and often grappling with the very real question of: but, what is the point?
In its original inception, the purpose of this website was merely a blog. But then, over the years, I realized that I had picked up a lot of different resources, learned a lot of lessons, that I would feel remiss and irresponsible for not passing down. I'm still beta-testing a lot of aspects, including an upcoming section with "curated" content (i.e. what are some of my personal bookmarks). But in trying to create this, I've been trying to balance both the user-friendly aspect of not being "too overwhelming" while still including all the components I want (like those tips and resources and templates and the blog and and and).
So TL;DR: it's a work in progress and I'm not too sure what I'm doing. But expect changes. And with no warning, but please let me know what you think~
AND if you are interested in creating an academic website, check out my post in the "Tips" section.
And then Parasite took 4 Oscars home. Never did I think this would happen. To watch a film in my first-learned language, the language of my parents, the language of my ancestors. To watch it on the "big screen," surrounded by people who didn't look like me, who for once, were the ones reading the subtitles versus the other way around. To watch it win award after award, including just for tonight, Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film, Best Screenplay. To watch it make history.
And it is historical.
And yet... I have mixed feelings about Korean culture becoming mainstream. On one hand, I have so much pride. ALL the pride. I teared up during Parasite, realizing I didn't have to read subtitles when I watched the movie. I teared up again, being able to talk with my mom about it and describing how many non-Koreans were in the theaters watching and praising it. Likewise, I cried during a BTS concert (worth it) for similar reasons, and remember with pride, hearing how Epik High was performing at Coachella many years ago (and how they and Big Bang will perform this year). For similar reasons, I teared up during the scene of Crazy Rich Asians, when the actresses and actors are eating food with chopsticks— my mainstream utensil. I teared up at the opening of Always Be My Maybe, when Ali Wong's child version takes off her shoes and puts them in shoe cabinet when she enters home. That was my mainstreamed childhood.
Yet on the other hand, I can't shake the memories of my childhood: of being bullied and made fun of for repping my culture and my food. Most children of immigrants have countless stories of their lunch boxes and the ensuing conversations (and pain) about how it "smells weird" or "looks weird" or exclamations of "how can you eat this"? So to see it now as prominent articles and features on food(ie) blogs, results in both immense pride, as well as immense confusion and honestly resentment. Because I will never not remember my childhood and the ways my food, my culture, my pride were and still are at the margins... yet are becoming mainstream and trendy.
To be frank, these are half-formed thoughts. But here is where I am at: still uncomfortable with the process and trying to understand if this process is progress.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).