Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Q&A + My Nominees

Sisterhood-ImageI’m honored that Crystal of Foreign Indian Wife nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Crystal runs a lovely blog, sharing her experiences in Delhi, India as she navigates life as the American wife of an Indian man. My favorite post from her blog is India Has Changed Me – this piece will resonate with anyone who has ever spent time abroad.

Crystal asked me questions, and I have answers:

What inspired you to blog?

Initially I started blogging way back when a university professor suggested sharing some of my adventures in China on the web. My husband has also been a huge source of inspiration, always supporting me to continue writing and blogging.

What is the most rewarding experience about sharing your life with readers?

Realizing you’re not alone in your experiences.

What is the most important piece of advice you could offer someone?

Be mindful as you live your life.

Ideally, what would your life be like 5 years from now?

Gosh, I haven’t really thought that far ahead! I’m just trying to work on getting through this year and the next one. 😉 I will say I’d like to be more mindful and appreciative of the simple joys in life.

What was/is your most difficult challenge in life, and how did/do you overcome it?

One of my most difficult challenges was losing my mother to cancer at the age of 17 (which I wrote about recently for the Wall Street Journal). I don’t know that it was something I “overcame” – it was more an issue of learning to accept what was and move forward with courage in my heart. I think what really helped me was learning to cultivate my own spiritual beliefs, where I could envision my mother as still a part of my life even though she had passed on from the physical world.

Would you say that your experiences have made you a better person?


What brings you the most happiness?

Going for walks in out in nature.

Who inspires you the most?

My husband.

The journey tends to change all of us, in good and bad ways. What about yourself would you like to improve?

My perfectionism (which probably only proves that I’m a perfectionist at heart, ha!). Seriously though, the more I’ve let go of expectations to be perfect about everything, the happier I am in life.


Crystal already nominated two of my favorite bloggers – Texan in Tokyo and Madh Mama, who both inspire me endlessly. I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for this award (listed in reverse alphabetical order, with a link to one of my favorite posts on their blog):

Here are the questions I’d love for the folks I’ve nominated to answer. (Feel free to answer as many as you would like.):

  1. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
  2. What do you find most challenging about blogging?
  3. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
  4. Everyone has a favorite post. Name yours and tell us why it is your favorite.
  5. What do you consider the best part of your day?
  6. Could you share with us a beautiful moment or experience you had recently?
  7. Tell me about your proudest achievement.
  8. What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
  9. Share with us one of your favorite books, and why you like it.
  10. What do you think would make the world a better place?

For those nominees who don’t have the time to respond to this award, no worries! Just know that your blog has touched me in some way and I wanted to honor you for that.

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15 Replies to “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Q&A + My Nominees”

  1. Congrats and well-deserved!

    A beat later. “Oh! Thank you! A most heartfelt thank you for the compliment and nomination.”

    Several beats later, a disgruntled, “Hey. Am I supposed to continue the chain and nominate a sister blogger? If so, HOW? You nominated all my favs already!”

  2. Congratulations to all the nominees. And it looks like there are many blog for me to explore for the next few weeks.

    I particular love Susan’s post on old pictures Hong Kong. It does give a glimpse of the history of this place. I think this post would resonate with many of the younger generation who are now looking at the past and search. for the true Hongkongese identity and ways to move this place forward.

  3. Well deserved Jocelyn, and I am amazed on how many questions I would have answered exactly the same!

    Let me know if you find a cure for perfectionism… It is standing in my way more often than I wish it would… and it’s a daily struggle to keep going because I always think I am not doing good enough, so I shouln’d be doing it at all… -.-

    Anyhow, thank you for the nomination and I will try to answer the question as best as I can 🙂

  4. Congratulations to the nominees. At one point I considered including my personal life or else starting a personal life journal online, but I was brought up in a paranoid household where I learned that everything will be used against you, thus that’s the reason why I’m not posting anything relating to my personal life on my own blog.

    @Fred, if you’re reading this, here’s my Fenshou story of Korean love.

    January 2008, almost eight years ago when I was twenty-two. I had a class that was titled Philosophy of Religion, and the week before my homework was to read a little of the christian testament. (For those that don’t know me, I’m not of christian faith or mind.) Although I did read a little bit of it, I was not sure whether or not I understood it correctly, thus on that day I ended up asking random guys if they were christians, and if they were, could they explain that particular section to me? I recall it was getting close to beginning of the class, and I ended up walking beside a tall and extremely handsome Asian man. I asked him for help, which he did help, and being curious, I asked where he was from, and told him that I was from Moscow Russia originally. I guessed that he was Chinese, originally, but no, he was Korean. I walked him to his car where I ended up asking if he wanted my phone number, and he ended up taking it. Since I gave him my phone number, I had a very strong feeling that this will not be the last time I’ll see or hear from him, and sure enough, a day or so later, my intuition was right when he called and asked if I wanted to hang out with him. Sure, I said. Since I don’t drive and live in Texas, the state most famous for lack of transportation and getting around, he ended up picking me up. He was a bit new to the area and we ended up going to a Japanese restaurant I liked, followed by Half Price Books and then we walked around the fountain area near Dallas. I recall that subtly he was beginning to flirt with me because I recalled saying my hands were cold and he put my hands into his pocket, his hand covering mine. We also ended up having our first kiss inside the building with empty chairs and no people anywhere. It was getting late, thus he ended up dropping me off at home, as well as walking me to the door, introducing himself to my parents, and reluctantly going to a job at a gas station. Later on in the same day, he calls me after his job and picks me up again. We drove pretty far and ended up twice with a flat tire. By miracle we ended up finding a taxi that took us home.

    Few weeks later, he ended up breaking with me, but despite that we continued to meet one another. I think at the time I was perhaps desperate to find someone, or to be with anyone, thus I agreed to do “friends-with-benefits” thing, or rather agree to friends-with-benefits. I have to say that despite the lack of title, our relationship was pretty much like a boyfriend and girlfriend for I saw him once a week almost every week, and aside from no public display of affections, I think it looked like we could be a couple. He taught me a lot about South Korea and his experiences in America as well as the South Korean mindset on certain things. He began to weave himself around me, and I began picking up some things from him.

    Was our relationship happy and magical? No, it wasn’t. Most of times when I came home from a “date” with him, I was upset due to miscommuncation issues, and whenever he was upset, he tended to vanish for a week, then come over and act as if nothing had happened. But despite those things, our “relationship” lasted two years, until September of 2010 when he physically vanished from my life. For awhile he was having issues with adjusting to life here, becuase Texas is NOT South Korea, and he has began to miss his parents and brothers whom he hadn’t seen. Also, he felt limited in vocation areas and his goals of becoming an Episcopilian minister were farther and farther away from becoming realized. I think I knew that he was planning on leaving, but I didn’t think he’d do what he did. I called him on Wednesday, I believe, wanting to know where was he, and he told me to guess, then he told me he was in California, preparing to fly away to South Korea. I was flabbergasted by that admission and couldn’t believe he did that to me.

    After he flew away in beginning of October, (right around my 25th birthday…) I held hope that I would see him, that he would return into my life, and from 2010 until 2014, I believe, we talked on the phone all those years. While that hope lasted, I delved even more deeply into learning about Korean culture, in hopes of showing him that I didn’t abandon him, or perhaps to also be prepared in case if he did return into my life. Despite those years, he never reversed the “special friends” our relationship had, although in almost all the telephone calls we had, he would tell me how much he missed me, my family, my mom’s cooking, etc. As time wore on, the calls became fewer and fewer, and I seriously did think my feelings for him have faded. I started trying to move on a little with my life, and I guess it worked since in July of 2014 I ended up meeting a guy that I’m with now. Our last conversation happened more than a year ago, when I finally asked him what are his feelings towards me. His answer? He vanished and since then I have not seen or heard from him.

    For those that are curious how he looks like, here’s a link to Gu Bong Seung’s video, go to 1:48- 1:55 seconds

    1. @svetlana:

      Thanks for sharing your story. I too, have been curious about your star-crossed relationship with your Korean ex 🙂

      Wow, just the culture shock of going from Korean to Texas, and from Moscow to Texas, could each fill up two blogs. I enjoy your writing “voice”: direct and ironic, with a dry sense of humor 🙂

      It sucks that your emotions pretty much went through the ringer with this fellow. It seems like the cultural differences, in this case at least, might’ve been to much for him. I also think he treated you poorly, so don’t want to blame all of it on just differences in dating cultures.

      I hope all’s well with you and your new guy! Thanks for sharing your story. I would totally enjoy reading a blog about your personal life, but totally understand the desire for privacy!

      All the best to you!

  5. Congratulations on being nominated! And thank you for the nomination. I am very flattered you thought of my blog – you don’t know how much I admire the way you blog along with juggling writing books and articles, and getting published (though many of us don’t write to get published…). You certainly manage your time well. I blog outside of a full-time non-writing related job, and it is such a struggle many a day coming home tired from work and telling myself to write. Then again, if I go to bed without writing, I generally feel unfulfilled.

    I really enjoyed reading your responses to the questions put to you. Like you, I’m a perfectionist, always striving to get things done and it upsets me when things don’t go to plan – something which I’m working on.

  6. Congrats on your nomination Jocelyn, it is very well deserved!

    And wow, I am truly honored for the nomination! I love how this award and the nominees helps bring us bloggers closer together. It’s been great checking out all the nominated blogs and being really interactive in the community.

    As for your questions, I do the same thing when I’m stressed or need to readjust myself: go out for walks in nature. Nothing is more healing.

    Anyway, time to start crackin on those questions!

    Thank you Jocelyn!!

  7. @ Svetlana.

    Wow!!!! Thank you for your post. I now see but cannot understand why you harbor a liking for Asian males. Is it because you had an experience which was positive in your mind and that you wanted to replicate it over and over again, therefore you did not want to let him go? It could have just easily been with a white or black male and then your liking will be a non-Asian. I do not quite understand how you cannot let go of him. After all, he did not treat you so well as he vanished without explanation and reappeared again at a whim. You even admitted that your relationship with him was “not magical” and that you came home “upset” often. So, why the fetish for an Asian male?

    Had your relationship been “magical” and “wonderful” then I can understand your need to not let go. I guess you will need to think things over.

    But still the question remains: why do you have a dating preference Asian males?

  8. Thank you, Jocelyn. I’m honored to be nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award, and I’m particularly honored to be nominated by YOU.

    Isn’t it funny that the simplest thing–taking a walk in nature–brings us such happiness. In answer to the question about your biggest inspiration, I was happy but not surprised to hear that it was your husband.

    Now I have to see if I can answer some of your questions and then decide who to nominate.

  9. Jocelyn – I’m sorry it took me so long to read this! It’s been a busy few weeks. 🙂
    This is really beautiful and I love your replies to the questions. So many lovely bloggers you have nominated! I can’t wait to check them all out.

    You know, being in India, I had to learn to drop my expectations a long time ago. India sort of forces you to do that, as it’s completely unpredictable. It turns out, that life can be really simple when you let go of expectation. 🙂

    I’m inspired by your nugget of advice, to live a mindful life. That can be interpreted in so many ways! I could certainly stand to be more mindful. ♥

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