[dec 5] here's to the good days.

this, too,
will i get used to it all?
even the way i am now,
after it’s all passed,
will it be a memory?
- nell, “habitual irony”
이것도 언젠가
모두 익숙해질까 그렇게 될까
지금 이러는 것도
모두 지나고 나면 추억인 걸까
- 넬, “습관적 아이러니”

today was one of the good days.

i didn’t wake up with a pit of nausea in my stomach, wanting to vomit and willing my heart to stop racing. i didn’t have an anxiety attack. i didn’t spend hours mired in depressed despair, my mind churning over stress and unease. it wasn’t a perfect day, and i still had anxiety constantly gnawing away at the peripheries of my brain, but, regardless, it was a good day.

one of the reasons i’m trying to post every day this week is that i want to get better at talking about these things. anxiety and depression are so difficult to talk about, partly because to do so is to get intensely personal, to make myself vulnerable in ways that scare me. it’s also difficult because it requires that i maybe lay out more details of my life than i may be willing — or maybe it’s that i’m not quite ready for that yet, am still unsure where to draw the lines between where to be transparent and where to maintain my privacy.

i’m still trying to negotiate these lines.

i do this, however, because i think it’s essential. there are topics i want to write about, and they include depression, suicidal thinking, body shaming. sometimes, i wonder if there’s a way to write about these topics without writing about myself, but i think that it’s necessary, in many ways, to talk about myself, about the ways that i’ve wrestled with these issues, with the damage that has shaped me and the path of my life — and this isn’t because i think i’m special but because i think i’m not.

there are so many people out in the world who also struggle with depression and suicidal thinking and also carry the scars from body shaming, and i think we need to break down the stigma around these issues and work towards healing, whether as wounded individuals or as a culture-at-large that perpetuates this damage. i think the first step we can take is for us to start talking about it because talking about it is a way to start creating connections that help us know we’re not alone, that we need not live in pain, with pain alone.

so i’m trying. and i will keep trying.


one of the reasons i like to cook/bake is that it helps me work things out of my system, whether they be stress or anxiety or just general restlessness. (it also helps me procrastinate.) i’m not a particularly good cook — i can bake fairly well, and i have a general, basic understanding of how to make food, but that’s kind of it.

(though maybe that’s all anyone really needs on a day-to-day basis. i just wish i knew more, but i always wish i knew more of everything.)

i’ve been trying to get better at cooking, though, and to challenge myself more in terms of what i cook. i can be really lazy and eat nothing but hot dogs and eggs over rice for days, maybe throwing in some roasted brussel sprouts when my body starts revolting, so i’ve been trying to think more consciously about what i’m eating and, in connection, what i’m buying at trader joe’s and why.

i’ve also been trying to cook more because, again, it gets me out of my head — and, see, this is where daily/regular posting feels weird, especially because it’s not like i’m coming into this space with a specific book or theme i’m tackling in an essay-ish form of greater length. i feel like i’m writing a journal, and i don’t have anything against journaling — it’s just weird for me, especially here. i don’t know why.

moving away from my discomfort, though: i used instagram stories for the first time tonight, honestly because i needed to let my chicken brown and that meant letting it sit there and brown for eight or so minutes on each side. i also had to do it in two batches because my dutch oven is only so big, which meant a fair bit of downtime, even after i’d chopped up my leeks and green beans and done the dishes and made coffee and swiffered the floor.

i like social media, especially instagram, and i appreciate it, too. i’m super grateful for the community on instagram, for everyone who follows me there and/or visits this space and takes the time to read or comment or even just like — i promise that none of it goes unnoticed, even if i am stupidly slow at relying to comments.

for some, this might sound absurd because social media (and even blogging) might seem like a superfluous, kind of self-centered thing, but, if you know anything of loneliness and isolation because of who you are, if you have a brain that retreats into itself because of anxiety or depression or any other condition, if you have a body that leaves you in constant pain and exhausts you with the smallest of tasks, social media and the community on the internet really mean a lot.

like many things, social media is an easy thing to dismiss when you function “normally,” but, sometimes, to some of us, on our worst days, it’s kind of all we’ve got — that and books and, for me, food.

this is dad’s chicken + leeks from julia turshen’s small victories. she mentions that her dad sometimes throws in carrots and creamer potatoes, so i threw in some green beans because i felt like i should eat something green. i used leftover homemade chicken broth from the last time i made my bastardization of hainanese chicken rice, and i ate this over rice with a side of kkak-du-gi, and it was a very simple but very satisfying meal.

(this post was partly in commemoration of my first instagram stories — heh, not really, but this is not a form i’ll be adopting for this space. follow on instagram for more of this? idk.)