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  • During a dinner conversation with Rachel and Michael, the topic came up around Chris. “How is he doing?” She politely asked like so many before her. Rachel and Michael were also friends with him when we were together. Even though we broke up for a few years by now, friends were still asking me about him. Chris and I did still hang out from time to time. Is that the
  • Previous post: Getting Online (#2) The first person messaged me was a 48-year-old Jewish Ben living in Jamaica Plain working in finance. “Nice profile,” Ben said first. “Beautiful picture! Where is it?” I said. “Arcadia, Maine. I just moved from Brookline. Where do you live?” “I am in Brookline. Near Star. Where were you in Brookline?”  I asked. “St. Paul Street.” “Why did you move?” I was curious. “I wanted
  • Previous post: The First Date with Adam (#1) In 2015, a little more than a year before being stood up by Adam, when I was forty-one, single, had never been married, had no kids nor pets, I decided to start dating and dating online, something I had never really done before, with nudges from my friends. On a sunny weekend morning in the summer, I called Rachel to meet up
  • On a Wednesday night, I couldn’t wait to wrap up work by five. I had a first date at 6:30 pm that night. With Adam! We met on OkCupid online. We had been texting, exchanging short messages and photos, for about three weeks. He had been kind and friendly through the phone. I took a shower, put on my favorite floral dress, pearl earrings, and a silver necklace, which always
  • Writer’s note: Since I posted Setting Up a Home, I feel some details are missing and that I need to expand it and explain more how I was on my own. — When I moved out of Chris’s apartment, I had never thought about what kind of home I wanted for myself. After all, I moved into Chris’s place and not the other way around. He created most of what
  • One gap I saw in my life was losing touch with my relatives who were now spread over Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Taipei. Even though I was an only child, I grew up with my paternal grandparents, Dad, three of his younger brothers, their wives, two of his younger sisters, and one of them’s husband. When I moved to New York City at fourteen, I had three younger cousins. I
  • The first few years after I moved out of Chris’s place in the Back Bay, I struggled with setting up a real home for myself. At first, I rented a studio on the ground floor near Coolidge Corner in Brookline. The studio was newly renovated. It felt cold. I was not comfortable being on my own with all that quietness. I didn’t use the kitchen to cook anything. I didn’t
  •   Summer was a beautiful time to be back in Boston. Being alone meant I had to learn how to spend time with myself. I was able to hear myself, my inner thoughts, and desires. I wanted to become a stronger person. If I was stronger, I could do more. I thought of that in two ways; through reading and running, I could get both mentally and physically stronger. I
  • After Chris was no longer an integral part of my life, a second life event struck. I was laid off from my first job out of college. The life I knew completely disappeared: no Chris, no work, no hanging out with our couple friends, and getting a new place by myself. Everything around me changed. I felt I had to start living my life from zero.  In 2002, the dot
  • Previous post: A Seemingly Perfect Relationship (#1) When I think back to this time, I notice hints here and there that our relationship may not have been in a good place, but I didn’t pick up on any of these clues along the way. On my birthday, Chris gave me a stuffed bear. I thought it was cute. I happily thanked him. Michael heard about the gift and told me
  • “Why did you and Chris break up?” This was not the first time Rachel had asked me this question. Rachel was a very close friend, seeing me through college, my first job, breakups, more jobs, schizophrenia, and singlehood. Rachel was my age and also lived in Boston after our college years. She was there when Chris and I started going out. Then she saw us living together in Back Bay.
  • I am stuck. My writing for the second memoir is messy, incoherent, and fragmented. I am still searching for that solid backbone that would run through the book on Being Single. “I am very happy living my life as a single! And what’s what I want to talk about.” I said to Wendy while we were hiking. “Why then are you dating?” Wendy asked. “I am open to meeting someone
  • Since the last time I danced salsa on Monday, March 9th, so much in this world has changed. A week later, the dance studio was closed along with most of Boston. The virus was here! Initially, I tried my best to stay home and only go out for groceries and picking up my medication. During weekends, I was guilty of breaking the social distancing guideline by meeting up with a
  • Even though the writing journey is done when the memoir was published on May 30, 2019, Becoming Whole the book has taken on a life of its own. Since day one, I heard from many friends and family near and far who all bought and read my book. The support I received is incredible. Not only did they buy and read it, they thought the book is pretty good. The
  • Jane Austen famously wrote: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. What about the single woman? Let’s talk about this single woman: me.  At forty-five, I am single and childless. I can’t decide if I want a man in my life or not. Obviously, I would want a man who is right for me
  • My experience with schizophrenia affected my thinking. For Kurt, his body took surprise breaks giving up on him as frequently as every other day. His college days were heartbreaking. Becoming an independent adult and looking for a job with a pre-existing condition was tough. I can’t imagine how he survived through all that. Kurt’s memoir is inspirational; I could not put this book down once I started. Again, I am
  • When I first started writing, I just wrote. I didn’t have any specialized training in English, Literature, or Writing. After a while, I did not feel very productive. That was when I started reading books on writing. I always turn to books when I am stuck. Here are my favorite ones so far. As I am wrapping up my memoir, I am rereading them again.
  • It’s been an incredible journey to write down my experience with schizophrenia and sort through my imperfect thoughts. After writing about it on and off for about 5 years or maybe longer, at the most, I had about 65,000 words. I googled “how many words in a memoir” and found out that I just barely made it. My first editor Ben took off about 20,000 words while I was still
  • Iceland is a place where it has not yet been disturbed by human beings. People to horses is three to one. There are not that many trees but plenty of lava rocks. It’s possible to see glaciers, volcano, black beaches, and waterfalls within one day . My favorite spot was the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa.  Chasing northern lights was as fun as seeing it! (Unfortunately, I have
  • “It should always be remembered that the behavior of persons with schizophrenia is internally logical and rational: they do things for reasons that, given their disordered senses and thinking, makes sense to them!” -Torrey, E. Fuller. Surviving Schizophrenia. 1983. Page 49. “The ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.” -John Forbes Nash Jr. *~*~*~*~* My friend
  • I have seen some videos online that try to show what it’s like to hear voices. Often, the videos show someone doing something while recorded voices shout out words. In my experience, the voices sounded just like from real people and not just a recording. They sounded three dimensional. They were not random phrases but specific to what I was doing. Other than not having a physical presence, they almost
  • I love reading about someone else’s life, to learn and experience life through another mind and heart. Here are my five favorite memoirs from the last six months. Educated by Tara Westover I learned how to be an adult through my family. Growing up, my father made sure that I did not have to worry about anything but just being a happy kid. I had a loving home. I was
  • Today it snowed. She checked her watch again, not wanting to be late for the doctor’s appointment. In a small conference room, she looked out of the window as a men talked on. His voice hummed in the background. For a second, she thought she smelled the fresh air through the glass window. The snow was like powdered sugar spilled from a jar, fine and sweet, however, lighter than sugar,
  • In the last week of the year, I finally have the guts to call myself a writer, a label that I had been very hesitant to give to myself. Instead of a writer, I called myself “writer-wannabe” or “scribbler.” I hold quotes like “don’t be a writer, be writing” to heart, using them not only as inspiration to keep writing but also as excuses to avoid clearly defining a part

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