January 2019 Update: Holiday Blessings (and Resolutions)

It has been almost a month since my last post here. The posts will likely be this way for a while. So for everyone who still peeks at my blog, I appreciate your patience and support of what I am doing here!

This Holiday Season actually turned out far better than the Holidays have been for many years. Generally, I expect a whole lot of yuck, and anticipate a break down happening. That breakdown did not happen this time. I will count it as a win, even if I was not 100% all the time during the season. There were a lot of pleasant people I visited with, and some of my friends even invited me for a movie night on New Years’ Eve. Above is a picture of one of their overlords, reminding me that I am indeed a visitor to her realm and must pay homage the same way the owners do! My baggy pants were considered comfortable.

On that note, I do know many who had a rough holiday period. Some of my friends either lost pets, or lost loved ones. To them, I want to say, it is perfectly okay for the holidays not to be happy, too. It is okay for people to feel sad, or feel the way they do. Many times, this was me during the holidays, often because I was remembering many awful things that happened during the season. I send my love, happiness, and energy to anyone who is struggling through the holidays, the New Year, or had been doing so prior to the New Year.

Speaking of the New Years, I have some resolutions I hope to uphold. I want to make sure I am writing at least one hour a day and reading at least one hour a day. The reading time can include research, fiction, or building up my language repertoire. Thirty minutes at least five days a week, I need to keep physically active. If I do it for longer than that, great. Should I not, no worries. I expect there will be the odd day here and there through each week, as I am planning to do some of the activities in the classes I am auditing, but I will be working toward my goals. I will improve my writing art, and hopefully, I will hone my literary criticism skills. You heard me: I am auditing a fiction writing class to keep me accountable, while also doing the same for a literary criticism course, which will prove interesting! Not that I really need any reason to criticize my own work, as I am wont to do.

As it turns out, I have been trying to slowly learn some phrases in Vietnamese, something I knew when I was very young but lost the moment I entered grade school. Part of it is I want to make an effort to immerse myself in my grandmother’s culture, and also build up enough so I can talk to relatives when the time comes I go to Vietnam. For years, we have all been trying to figure out when I will get to go. The prospect is both exciting and terrifying.

There is a part of me that worries I will not be fully accepted. No, I know it might be heavily probable. Many of my Californian relatives treat me different for my mixed background, let alone anyone I have yet to meet from overseas. It is the nature of the beast: when you are mixed-race, but had been raised around the dominant culture, you will be treated as the group who has the least advantage. Again, the nature of the beast; rarely can anyone determine you a “perfect fit,” at best only able to temporarily fit into another group. One anecdote that comes to mind was how someone mistook me as Bengali at a Durga Puja in Aurora, and I felt bad for the woman who tried to speak to me in Bangla. Fortunately, there was no aire of discomfort when I was transparent and I had plenty of pleasant conversations with everyone there. After the very brief awkwardness and apologetic-ness, it was all fun. On that note, my background is a huge reason why I take keen interest in studying other cultures and their interactions with each other.

My cousin is going to have a baby in April, 2019, and it had been determined she would be born in the year of the Pig. I wish I had more paid time off than I do (which I still have aplenty), mainly so I can make fixed plans already. One friend of mine may be defending her dissertation in March, so I am trying to keep the month open until I have a confirmation date. Grandmother and I will be heading to California in the summer sometime. And, as it turns out, one of my friends wants to fly me out to the Denver metro area this year sometime. In the upcoming fall, we are also hoping to (again) try for the trip to Vietnam. Hopefully, I will manage to do all of these things!

Please be good to yourselves. Once more, I appreciate everyone being patient again on my communication, especially since I had been more silent than usual. With my new routine, there is only so much time for me to communicate with people outside of my work, the occasional messages, and class auditing stuff. And odds and ends of other things.


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