Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I have finished my thesis

I have finished my thesis.  For the next two weeks, it's in the hands of my committee.  I will receive their feedback and then have 10 days to make corrections.  I will defend this summer.

Then...

...then...

I will chase my dream.  The dream that's been sitting in my heart for the past 5 years.  The one that keeps whispering, "ppssst, I'm still here."  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

THIS is old man.

Moments like THIS remind me of the fragility of life and the feistiness of the human spirit.  

My time in Korea connecting with friends and random strangers has been nothing but pleasant.  I'm happy here...in my (second) home.  




Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Great Wall

I've always dreamt of scaling The Great Wall.  I cannot express my appreciation for this amazing opportunity.  I kept thinking, "I'm at The Great Wall, I'm at The Great Wall, it's finally happening"  

What a serene, magnificent and peaceful day!

So much happiness.


Jump fail


Jump success

I (heart) China!

Friday, April 29, 2016

stress and life and adventure

I am in the middle of one of the most difficult and trying times in my life.  I did so much personal work and growth after my divorce and now I'm doing the same after the ending of my relationship with Ali, engagement with Ali (if you're my friend on FB), ending of my relationship with Ali?  Yes, question mark! Yes, engagement!  Yes, ending!

This process of time apart and physical separation from him is absolutely one of the most painfully difficult things I have done, yet something I know is absolutely necessary -- for me, for him! 

I have much work to do on myself.  I plan to write about that process - it's messy.  I'm learning.  I read this post recently and I knew it meant that I needed to write about my process while I was experiencing it instead of waiting for my tender heart to be neatly put back together.  It will be a long time until my tender heart will be put back together...and maybe it will never be neatly.  This experience has changed my life (in a bad way for now...but with time it will be good, I pray).

Let's start here: 

I've been staying at a friend's house for the past 10 days just so that I remain grounded and take care of myself.  I'm not good with the self-care stuff.  But, I am so blessed that my friend (really my second set of parents) have welcomed me into their hearts and home while I am healing and processing my pain.  Like yesterday I burst out in tears as I sat on their kitchen floor with snot flowing from my nose and Cheryl (that lovely lady in the picture) sat down beside me and just put her arm around me.  I love them:


Okay, it's not all bad.  When I take a hit in my personal life, things in my professional life look good.

For example, I'm nearly done my thesis!!!!!  This alone is a big accomplishment.  I never thought I'd ever see the end of it...I think I was afraid to let it go.  Geez, I'm not good at letting go (adding that to the list of personal work).  Plus, I don't think I ever really believed I was capable of completing this goal.

I presented my research in a competition at my university a couple months back and I got selected to present my research at 2 universities in CHINA!   Yup, I'm going to China and I've decided since I'm already all the way on that side of the world, why not stop in and see some friends in Korea?!  So, I'll be spending 10 days in China and then 10 days in Korea.

When I return, I'm presenting my research at a conference in Canada.

And...I presented my research in the 3MT and I got disqualified because I went over the time limit (3 minutes!) but I won the people's choice award!

And I wrote my very first research article and submitted it to a journal.  YAY!

So "work" wise, things are good.  Personal life wise, things are shit!

Meh, I'm trying to smile through the storm.  I'm learning oh so much!



Sunday, March 06, 2016

My father's latest

I've mentioned several times that my dad arts with Lego.  Here is his latest piece:


Saturday, January 16, 2016

I love you mom.

I think of her often.  The woman who so easily let me into her heart.  She accepted me as I am, and I did her, even though we never did understand our differences.  Separated by language yet united by love.  

I will always cherish my Korean mother-in-law.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

THANK-YOU anonymous

The recent comments from anonymous (bless your heart!) have given me the strength to publish the following post.  Here goes...

She replies with, “you’re strong Jen, I know you’ll get through this.”  I’ve heard these words before.  I know she means well.  I know her words come from a place of compassion and helplessness.  No mother wants to see her daughter in pain.  I repeat myself, “mom, I’m really not doing okay.”

She asks me to pack a bag of clothes.

I drive to my parent’s house down the street, suitcase in tow.  I lie on the living room couch.  I let the twinkle of the Christmas lights dance on my face. 

Depression is an ugly monster, one I have yet to embrace.  It rears into my life at moments of joy and steals away happiness.  I do everything in my own power to face this head on: counselling, self-help exercises, medication, meditation, prayer, yoga, healthy eating…

I’m so frustrated.  I’m angry.  When I wake up and cannot muster the strength to get out of my own bed, this self-defeating dialogue plays in my head:  What is happening to me?  Why do I feel this way?  Why can’t I get better? 

Perhaps I need to let go of these feelings of helplessness and learn to embrace this as a part of who I am.  Honestly, I do not know.

What I do know is that I do not enjoy feeling this way.  As brave and courageous as I think I am, it’s hard for me to accept this as part of my life.


Being honest about it here is the first step in that journey.