One year later (aka a birthday check-in)

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Hello, I’m a year older today!

Quarantine started a day before my birthday last year, so a lot of the jokes I made last time was how I almost could’ve celebrated my birthday if the quarantine had started a day or two later. It was funny then because things were just starting and we were all thinking that by June, things would be back to normal and we could pause the celebrations now and wait until things are over.

But obviously, that didn’t happen, and it’s far from over.

Celebrating a second birthday in the middle of a pandemic with more cases, virus strains and a dismal pandemic response is…something. I don’t really know how how to describe it, because maybe I haven’t processed it fully yet, to be literally in the same place and almost in the same situation one year after.

It’s not to discount the blessings. I’m thankful for my job, for good health, for my parents getting their first shot of the vaccine, for easy access to resources, for things to be happy about. Thinking about this and knowing I have these makes me seem ungrateful when I feel sad about everything else, and as everyone said at the start of all of this, we are all grieving for something. And that’s right…but as my boss once told me when she checked on me, we’re all grieving for the lifestyles that we lost, and no one has any idea how to do that.

And she’s right. I’ve been trying to come to terms with that in the past month — and by “come to terms,” I mean, recognize how I am doing right at the moment. Recognize if I’m feeling sad, or angry, or out of it, acknowledge the times I feel happy and not feel bad about it. To even set boundaries, because wow, I never realized how bad I was at that before all this time I’ve been at home. Maybe it’s really having that awareness of myself, instead of busying myself all the time when there are things I don’t want to deal with.

It’s not always comfortable…but well, growth happens when we’re uncomfortable anyway. As BTS sings, life goes on.

So anyway, hello to this new year. 🙂


One Royal Christmas by Melissa Tagg (yes a Christmas book at this time), and The Tropetastic Kindness BundleMy reading progress is abysmal, though, like I haven’t opened my Kindle in the past weeks. 🙁 But I kind of have a good reason for this, because in the past month I’ve been immersed in…

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Life lately

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I miss blogging. And no, not the blogging that I do here now, but the online journaling of the early 2000’s–those long posts about our days written in LiveJournals or those self-hosted blogs on Greymatter (who remembers this?). I used to do it in a sort of ~cryptic fashion in my other personal blog before I published my first book, but to be honest, when I read them now, I could see how the blog posts were kind of…performative in some way. I mean, yes, those were the words from my heart and a slice of all my angst and learnings during those years, but also now I could see that I wrote them in a very similar way to the other blogs that I consumed at those times. Like, there should always be a Message to the post, a Realization about something in life, a Learning, a Point. And maybe, maybe, I kind of want some people to read that and maybe realize the things that I couldn’t tell to their faces.

I have no regrets on that phase of my life, but also I remember that I never really set out to that kind of blogger. When I first made a blog back then it was really just to write about my day–where I went, what activities I went to, my classes, and maybe a bit too much about my current crushes. Haha. And I miss that.

Of course, spilling your guts online for the whole world to see and for people to search decades later isn’t the wisest things now and that’s really the purpose of all the blank notebooks here at home, and talking to people about things. Or maybe I just miss this because I miss my friends, I miss having long conversations in person rather than on video calls or chats.

But like I said in my last post, I have kind of come to accept that a big part of this 2021 will probably be the same as last year–until a big chunk of the world gets vaccinated, anyway, but even then, who knows, right? So I’m keeping my expectations low but my hopes up. By this I mean, not to expect that all that I missed last year will come back quickly this year, but still hope that it will come back in some way, shape or form sometime. If within this year, then yay, but if not…well, it is what it is. I mean, Jesus did say, “Do not worry about tomorrow” so maybe that’s what I really need to do this year.

And with that, there is no real point here except that I just want to write something. Get some words out as a warm-up because it’s Monday and people are finally getting back into the groove of work and I actually need to be productive. And also maybe because I feel like rambling a little bit (you’ll see haha), so here we go:


Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairytale by Ashley Poston. Reading this mostly for research on a Thing but also I just wanted something light and fun. The last few months of 2020 were crappy for my reading and even now I still have a hard time focusing on any of the books in my Kindle–not even the latest book from one of my favorite authors from last year. 🙁 I am tracking all my 2021 reads in this Twitter thread, and I hope I can keep it updated this time. (Sidenote: I sort of kind of miss reviewing books on a book blog, haha, but my book blogger days are over now.)


I have several articles due for work this week, and also a short story that I hope to finish this week for an upcoming thing. Creative writing nowadays feels like pulling teeth. It’s been hard writing things, really, and sometime late last year, I started despairing over it, until friends reminded me that 1) we’re all on survival mode so obviously, our brain puts more of its power into surviving vs. creating, and 2) we’re all still grieving for the things that we lost/were taken way from us in 2020 that it’s just natural to not be able to write or create anything.

It sucks, but things have been looking up lately, so here’s hoping it all works out.

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You’ve worked hard

Happy New Year! I was trying to draft a blog post yesterday for a year-ender, but as with every day in 2020, words were difficult to come by. It’s kind of ironic because my word for 2020 was WORDS, and with the “extra” time I got from being on lockdown and working from home, I thought I’d be brimming with words and writing non-stop and finishing all the things I set out to do. However… *gestures wildly into the world and the chaos* But now we are in the new year, and while it is true that January 1 doesn’t magically… Read More »You’ve worked hard

Some kind of restart

It’s officially the middle of 2020, and it seems like a good day to revive this blog! Hello there! I wanted to say that “I meant to blog here” but I realize that’s kind of a lie. I never really meant to blog anything in the past months after my last post. I thought about it, but let’s be honest: it’s easier to write Instagram posts and tweets, and long-form seems like a lost art in some way? *looks at my long-dormant mailing list* The main reason behind this is I have been so busy writing. Unfortunately, it’s not fiction–all… Read More »Some kind of restart

Hello, 2019

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Happy New Year! I wish I’m blogging this after a slew of posts for last year but as it turned out, I only managed two posts. I don’t have any excuses – I just didn’t really make that much time for this blog because of the usual things: work, life, and maybe a crippling sense of self-doubt with words? D: I did a review of 2018 last night and while I think the year wasn’t bad (my family is in good health, had a great year in my day job and had a great time with my different groups of… Read More »Hello, 2019