Sunday, November 22, 2015

An Academic Publication of sorts

In this piece, I combine my 2 loves:


I'm so grateful for in-between spaces, like this McGill BILD blog, for me to express myself:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THIS is love?

What do you think happens to a women’s soul when

you hide her from your family and then share with her all the awful things they didn’t say about her?

Saturday, November 07, 2015

not every day is good

yesterday was one of those days.

it was an anxiety attack.

thank goodness for mothers who can still hold their daughters when they cry and tell them everything will be okay.

i love you mom.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Timbrix: folk art with Lego

Two Christmases ago my father and I took a 2-month art class.  I blogged about it here.  It was a father-daughter bonding thing.  We'd take turns driving to the art class chatting about life.  It was a nice way to break up the week.  It was a good excuse to get out of the house on a snowy day.

My dad was inspired by the art class and used that as a catalyst to create art with Lego -- a hobby of sorts!

And then all of a sudden it turned into this -- an expensive hobby :)

You can watch his 30 seconds of fame in the local media here at 2:15.  

At the end of his first art showing, I framed a picture of us from our last day in art class scripted,
 "To the art class that started it all...I love you dad!" 
and dropped it off at his house so he'd come home to this surprise.   

What I didn't realize is that he had the same idea.  

While I was driving to his house to drop off the picture, he was returning from his art show, first, making a quick pit stop at my place.

Tucked on the inside of my door when I arrived home was his Timbrix business card.  On the back of the card, scribbled in his hand-writing, it read: "thanks for the art class...nose rubs" 

We had simultaneously left a note for one another.

I am learning a lot about life from my father. 

He tells me his goal in life isn't to have thousands of dollars in the bank when he dies, but rather 6 pallbearers carrying his casket at his funeral.  

When you have enough to satisfy your personal needs, it's not about money or things...'s about experiences.

And the art class was just one ;)

Love you and like you dad.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Backyard Project

One of the conscious decision I made this summer was to move slowly -- physically, not geographically!  I kept the condo after the separation.  See, one of the messy parts about unweaving two lives is figuring out all the little details.  When emotions and egos are involved, it isn't always a smooth process no matter how much you intended it to be.  That will unfold in another blog post, but today I just wanted to share my summer project.

I knew that I wanted to take full advantage of the summer in Saskatchewan.  So, I reduced my work load at the university (I'm still teaching ESL) because I wanted to spend more time with myself, my friends, and family -- less time inside, more time outside.

So this year I turned my backyard concrete slab into a pretty cool place to chillax.

I was on a mad budget (another side effect of the separation) but I was going to splurge on myself a little.  I set out to spend about $1200 to redo the backyard.

I started with black rubber mats on the concrete.  I bought some furniture that fit the space perfectly.    

I called my dad over and asked him to paint.

I hung some baskets and flowers to add colour

I planted my very first mini garden

Everything grew like crazy, especially the mint.  This is the end of the season photo.

Side note: I brought the fresh herbs inside for the winter.

This was the final product:

It really happy with how it came together and I'm thankful for my family and friends that came over to help me.  I think I was a little over my budget by a couple hundred dollars, but I was okay with that.

This was a very therapeutic fun little process.  I was proud of my hard work. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Learning to have a relationship with myself

I first had to learn how to have a relationship with myself.

Once I figured this out, I knew I couldn't stay in my relationship with my husband.

It's kinda scary being alone, isn't it?!  I'm one of those people who needs people.  I enjoy being around others, I draw from the energy of other people.  I've never had a problem making friends.  I could always find some way to connect to another person.  I was good at surrounding myself with people.  And when people weren't around, I was pretty good at busying myself with work (again, more students, more people).  I don't know why I'm particularly like this: maybe I have low self-esteem? maybe I am afraid of myself?  perhaps I won't like what I see when I slow down?  The answer: a little (or a lot) of all of these.

On the bathroom floor of my Korean apartment in the summer of 2013 is when I decided that I had reached my tipping point.  Down on my knees, hands pressed to the cold floor, tears streaming down my face I called my mom and dad on Skype, "I cannot be here alone," I said.  "I am not safe."

I bought the next one-way plan ticket to Canada.  It cost me $2500, but when you're choosing between your wallet and your life, the price becomes less of a precedent.  That night, I walked myself to my friend's apartment down the street for the night.  They spent the evening with me walking me through my first ever anxiety attack.

I am thankful for those two friends.  They saw me at my worst.  I owe them my life.

I had one-month left of my three-month stay in Korea.  I was there alone.  Sung Hyun was in Canada working.  The intention was to stay with my mother-in-law for the three month duration in Korea, however, after an unpleasant incident with my Korean mom that involved some physical altercation on her part and lots of tears and frustration on mine, I decided that I'd spend the following two-months in a one-bedroom apartment.  I went to Korea to work on my thesis research.  In the three-months I should have finished writing my Masters.  I didn't finish.  Two years later, I still haven't finished.

I have spent the last two years working on myself: counselling, medication, honest conversations with Sung Hyun, and quiet nights alone.  A lot has happened in two years.  Nothing that I can show you!  I don't have a full-time job.  I don't have a university degree that I can hang on the wall (soon I'll have a divorce certificate).

What I have gained in the last two-years is mostly internal.  I learned a lot about myself.  I wasn't taught any of this in the classroom.  The lessons came hard, they hit me to the ground and rocked me to the core.  I wasn't sure I could ever write about any of it.  I felt like a failure in my marriage...a failure at life.  I know now that isn't true.

So here I sit...ready to own my story.

Thank-you ALWAYS for your love, your support, your kind and caring words.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I've been dancing around how to elegantly write about this topic.  I realized that it doesn't matter how nicely I dress up or down these words they still mean the same thing.  So:


There, I said it ;)