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Happy New Year, friends! I hope this year brings you and your loved ones peace, joy, health, and safety.

It’s been quite a year for me — and most of it was good despite the pandemic. I got hired as a staff writer with Scary Mommy and then promptly got doxxed by a white nationalist forum because they didn’t like an article I wrote. That was unexpected (to say the least). I got quoted in the New York Times — my quote was the lead for the title, too!

I got published in a lot of places, but also wrote less for my own site. I didn’t really mind, but for those of you who only follow me on the blog, I thought I’d do a quick recap of 2020.

Chinese and homeschooling updates

Sometimes, I feel like a huge fraud. I haven’t written about teaching my kids Chinese in a super long time — not because they’re not still learning it, but because it’s pretty much on autopilot and we’re in a holding pattern. 2020 and the pandemic definitely threw a huge wrench in the works, though.

Here’s the quick sum up of where we’re at:

  1. Older three kids (11, 9, 7) are continuing with their Chinese tutor via Zoom and have to do lots of Chinese reading every weekday. The older two have to read 2 Chinese books (~60pages = 1 book) every day. The younger one has to practice reading 2 Chinese books to me with the aid of zhuyin. They always have to do their Chinese homework.
  2. The youngest (4) would normally be in Chinese preschool 5 days a week. But alas, no more. And he’s really too young to sit in front of a Zoom call and so, when I can bring myself to do it, I read him Chinese picture books and we’re slowly going through Sagebooks. He’s effectively monolingual in English and perhaps passively bilingual. Folks, I just don’t have the energy to do it.
  3. The kids all speak English to each other, get upset if I make them watch Chinese anything, and only speak Chinese to their tutor and maybe my mother. I’m really, really upset about missing out on Taiwan in 2020 and likely 2021.
  4. As for homeschooling, I’m really terrible at it, and my husband is pushing for my kids to go to public school next school year. I’m going to have to decide which I hate more: homeschooling or dealing with public school.
  5. However, my kids took super fun classes last year — one course on the Ohlone tribe that originally lived where we currently live — and learned animation, pottery, and a bunch of other fun outdoor education classes (before it all shut down).
  6. Did I mention I really, really hate teaching my kids? I’m not bad at it, I just don’t enjoy it.

All things BTS and K-pop related

Folks, I can’t help it. I love BTS and K-pop. It’s a serious problem — but one that I welcome. Thanks to BTS, I’ve written over 190,000 fictional words this year. That’s a lot of wording. If you’re interested, here’s my latest finished fic. (18+ material for sure.)

The December of Our Adulthood

I started reacting to K-pop and BTS videos on YouTube and went from 35 subscribers on 1/7/2020 to over 6,000 subscribers today. My favorite part though, is the community of K-pop lovers — who are also middle-aged and originally felt so alone but now, don’t. It’s lovely. I even recorded 20 podcasts!

Here’s my most popular YouTube video:

I’m about 30 subscribers away from hitting 6,100 subs — which I would love to hit before the anniversary of my first YouTube reaction video on 1/7/2021 — so if you’d like to subscribe to my channel, I’d super appreciate it.

Writerly things

Due to writing 190k+ fictional words this year, I realized that I essentially wrote the equivalent of two novels. This has inspired me to write the book I’ve had in me for the last 4 to 5 years (but was ill-equipped to write) and that’s what I’ll be writing in 2021.

In 2021, I got published in so many more places than I ever imagined: Romper, Scary Mommy,, Healthline, Diverging Magazine, Mochi magazine, Inheritance Magazine, and The Influencer Activist Toolkit. I’m hitting about 20 articles a month now — and that’s been surprisingly doable (though somewhat exhausting).

Here are 3 articles I’m most proud of from this year. (My favorite one got pulled off the Scary Mommy site for my safety, so alas.)

All the King’s Horses on forgiveness and parental estrangement
“I am always astonished at how fragile we humans are. How easily we burst open, leaking everywhere.”

Child Care Challenges: How Are Parents Managing in the Pandemic?
I’m mostly proud because it was my first “journalist” piece that wasn’t an assigned SEO article or an opinion piece — and it made me realize I could write hard things.

Kublai Kwon: The Social Engineer Behind Joy Ruckus Club
There is a whole frustrating tl;dr backstory to this piece, but ultimately, I’m pleased because I wrote a damn good profile on a significant Asian American in the music industry.

Wrapping it up

For 2021, I’m aiming to be more proactive instead of reactive. I tend to only pay attention to whatever is currently on fire at the moment — but that’s not a way to live long-term. I hope you all are safe and healthy, and I thank you for taking the time to read and share your life with me.

What are you hoping for in the new year?