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Posts tagged ‘Big feelings’

6 Years

June 16th, 2007: After 11 months of emails and myspace (!!!) messages, HCB and I had our first date.

Halfway through our long correspondence—while I was in London and he was in California—I was shocked to realized that I was falling in love with him. I felt foolish and too young because only a silly 21-year-old would waste his time and energy like that. After all, I’d only really met the idea of him: a brilliant, sweet, nerdy grad student who would, of course, never return my feelings. Not wanting to make a fool of myself, I kept quiet about it and just enjoyed the emails we exchanged three or four times a week. Read more


Vietnam, Part 2: Cu Chi and a small dark hole in the ground

When articles or documentaries on the Vietnam War want to gesture at the advantages of guerrilla tactics, they usually say something like, “The Viet Cong used their knowledge of the terrain to outmaneuver American G.I.s who were more comfortable in the cornfields of Iowa than in the tropical jungles of Southeast Asia.” Until actually visiting one of these jungles, I never really understood what that meant. After all, what’s the learning curve on hiding in the underbrush? How hard is it to find the higher ground? Are there poisonous jungle plants that take a trained eye to avoid? I knew traps were involved in there somewhere, but again, I couldn’t see how that would furnish such an asymmetrical advantage. What is a land mine, after all, if not a trap? Read more

I debated whether or not to share this critique

A week ago, a blogger going by the name of UnWinona told the online world about the harassment women face on a regular basis. In her post, she described a particularly bad train ride: a group of boys in their late teens boarded the train, approached her, invaded her private space, hit on her, and then, when their advances were rebuffed, began a campaign of catcalls and verbal harassment; after the teenagers disembarked, another man boarded the train, approached her, invaded her private space, hit on her, and then, when his advances were rebuffed, flew in to a violent rage. Read more

Stepping Out and The Stakes of Getting Better

The most empowering moments in life occur when circumstance suddenly draws a stark—but favorable—line between what is and what has been. Last weekend, standing on the peak of Insubong, I experienced that sort of transformative epiphany: I am not a broken thing. Read more

K-Day: T-minus 1 hour and 7 minutes

I don’t really know how to start this post. We’re here in the airport eating $12 breakfast sandwiches. HCB is sitting across from me, babbling from delirium. All of our earthly possessions are either on our persons, on their way to the belly of a pale blue 777 or waiting in a warehouse in the port of Oakland. In the past five weeks, we have managed to plan and implement an international move. The blog-blackout of late was a necessity. I could either write about moving to Korea, or I could move to Korea. The relentless compulsion to talktalktalk for the first couple weeks of this blog’s life was inflected with more than a little neurotic avoidance: “It’s my job to inform the masses, but we’re leaving so soon! I suppose I don’t have time to sell my car or order a new passport… Oh well. I should probably write a blog about it!”

It’s been a crazy couple weeks, but as I said, that was the boring part. Standing on the precipice of the exciting part, I have very little to say. I know that both of us are going to miss terribly all the people we’re leaving, but we’re ready. And if we aren’t ready, oh well! This whole thing has been like that TV show about ladies who don’t know they’re pregnant until they give birth on the toilet or in the ball pit at a Chucky Cheese. This thing is happening, so it’s time to just let nature take its course. Would it have been nice to have a little more time to get everything right? Definitely. But that would have only prolonged the leaving, which would’ve come with its own host of hassles and heartaches. What’s there to do but be grateful?

In the coming days (and hours), I’m sure I’ll have something more interesting to talk about but for now, nothing has been metabolized yet. I’ll just end by saying: we love you all and we’ll be back soon.