At first I thought I had forgotten to do my X on the X of the X monthly post–but then I remembered it is still April 4 in several timezones! Yay! Anyway, I’ve let Shu Flies get dusty over the past few weeks, so I figured this is a good opportunity to fill you in on what I’ve been doing over the past month.

Danshui
  1. I made a trip to South Korea at the beginning of last month to serve as a moderator on two panels during a startup incubator’s Demo Day. This was my first visit to that country and my first time as a moderator, so I was nervous, but it was a great experience.
  2. I’ve branched out from scrapbooking into art journaling. It’s a brand new world for me filled with paints, gesso, stamps, embossing powders, mica fragment and glitter, and it’s given me a new way to look at words and writing.
  3. It’s also been a hard month, too, for various reasons (I’m sorry to vague-blog, but the specifics are better left offline), and I’ve been drawing inspiration from my friend Esme Wang’s brave writing. Her post about creating a manual for self-care resonated with me as someone who’s dealt with major depressive disorder for half my life at this point. It goes to the core of my own beliefs about handling depressive episodes: leverage the time when you are well to arm yourself by recording good memories and establishing healthy, easy routines.
  4. Today was Tomb Sweeping Day (清明節, qīngmíng jié) in Taiwan. Like Día de Muertos in Mexico, it gives people a chance to honor their loved ones who have died, reflect on their own mortality, and give thanks for the emotional relationships that sustain our lives. I’ve been thinking of my relatives who have passed on and wishing that I’d taken the chance to get to know them better. It’s hard growing up with cultural and language gaps between you and most of your family members, but I think the lesson I learned is that every interaction with someone you care about is precious, no matter how brief or insignificant it might seem at the time.