the comeback kid

Update: I’m not dead.

Not yet, anyway.

PSX_20190529_202340

May 2019. Burnaby, BC, Canada.

I’m going to be real for a moment with you, internet.

There were many moments between August 2016 and now when I wished I was dead. I can honestly say that I was not prepared for the emotional and mental gymnastics university would toss my way, not to mention all that has occurred in my personal life.

Despite that, I’m still here.

Having the gift of hindsight, I would still say it was all worth it.

Here are some things I’ve accomplished while I’ve neglected this poor ol’ blog:

  • [Fall 2016] I volunteer for my first academic conference, New Ways of Analyzing Variation 45. It establishes a firm foundation for my sociolinguistic interests. I meet grad students and professors that I stay in touch with all the years I’m at SFU.
  • [Fall 2017] Syntax emerges as a primary interest in my major. I think about further research as well as grad school, and contact former professors for advice.
  • [Summer 2018] I take on a directed research semester at my university’s syntax lab, analyzing data and literature from graduate students regarding whether or not people find singular ‘they’ to be grammatical, and why.
  • [Summer 2018] I am selected for my first academic fellowship, which helps me gain desired experience in library work, and prepares me for graduate level challenges.
  • [Spring 2019] I am offered a place in the MS Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my first choice.
  • [Spring 2019] I graduate with my BA in Linguistics from Simon Fraser University. (The ceremony is in two days.)

syntax

May 2018. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

There were a great number of challenges in my time in Canada, which I won’t bother getting into here. I’d much prefer to focus on what’s gone right.

Overall, my university has been a truly fulfilling experience. I have made and maintained lots of fantastic connections with such beautiful human beings. I truly challenged myself in ways I might not have done, had I gone to another school.

There’s much more to be sorted out during the summer, but I can’t help but feel a sort of contentment about all I’ve done at SFU.

Growing up, I didn’t tend to finish what I started, but I know more now than when I was younger. I know what I want, I don’t give up as easily, and I work on managing my expectations and output when I have the energy to.

Let’s also not forget that I have been lucky to have heaps of support from many people in my life: supervisors, mentors, friends, family, professors, lovers here and gone. This story isn’t complete without acknowledging them, and the time and effort they dedicated to making my life easier. Some of us may be out of touch, but the impact you made still lingers. Thank you.

take a chance

Going away for the last half of December made me feel the most middle class I’ve ever been. (I grew up in a middle class family, but I had no concept of such things then.) Running off to somewhere appealing to most, given a full pass to be absent from routine and free to be in intense like with unfamiliar shiny surroundings. That’s not my reality!

It’s been a week since I’ve returned to the States, and I still haven’t fully recovered. I certainly can’t deny I hop and skip off rather a lot, but I’ve never done so for 17 days.

 

Choosing Vancouver was easy. It’s far enough away to feel somewhat detached from Seattle life and culture for a spell, yet reachable without removing a hard chunk of the day solely for travel. Navigating in Vancouver city proper seems simpler, and I’ve been very lucky in finding folks there to connect with. It’s where I welcomed the new year.

31 Dec ’12, East Van

The fall and winter are very introspective times for me. Both seasons are riddled with holidays that are vital for friends, family and spirit. It’s worth mentioning that the latter part of the year affected myself and people around me more than we could’ve imagined.

Each year we cling to the hope that we’ve done better than the year previous, and naturally look forward for relief from whatever plagued us in the year we’re completing.

If I can analyse my year without feeling anything beyond the average layer of guilt or insecurities I have just by being a living human being, I’d cautiously call it a success.

I haven’t made up my mind about 2012. Could be that I never will.

While I was away, I took comfort in late night walks to my temporary home from Skytrain stations, with fog and frost as my companions. I decided that I had places I delighted in defaulting to (Bandidas Taqueria on Commercial Drive & Rhizome Cafe on E Broadway) because the spaces felt welcoming without being intrusive. I was a busy bird indeed.

These are illegal in the United States!
This ban may be reviewed soon.

I tend to go a little mad on food items while there — sometimes it’s restaurants, often it’s staying in with a crony and putting love into homemade items or stuff from a local shop. This makes sense because the area has a lot available that we in Seattle haven’t got.

I don’t make a habit of visiting tourist spots when I go off adventuring. I’ve not been to Stanley Park, haven’t perused Vancouver’s glorious aquarium (I’ll admit a mild interest). I’ve seen the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, but I’m unaware if that’s a popular destination. My goal is to glean as much of the local experience as possible.

My visits are immensely fulfilling. Something about the last one made me take on a task I hadn’t done in years — writing thank you notes to chosen family up north. I put pen to paper and shared my gratitude. Being given the liberty to roam in a city not your own with or without friends is a gift. Gifts should be acknowledged if you’re moved to do so.

2013 is well underway. As soon as I returned, I assumed the role of doing All the Things in my work (save for model jobs, for the moment) and making greater strides to connect with people here in Washington state. I haven’t stopped much to rest, as I should.

Here’s part of why: if there’s anything that being up in BC for that long taught me, it’s that you shouldn’t hesitate to let people you treasure know they’re special, even if and perhaps especially if there’s been a lull in activity. As a pal said once, “take a chance.”