Gajok • 가족 artwork

Gajok • 가족

109 episodes - English - Latest episode: 1 day ago -

Gajok is a podcast about the joys, the struggles, and the beauty of being Asian American. Gajok means family. Hosted by singer-songwriter duo, Jieun & Greg: Support Gajok on Patreon: Email us: [email protected]

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Gajok, Ep. #96: April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024 22:38 - 14 minutes - 11.6 MB

I feel my depression lifting, my grief becoming easier to carry, and I feel both relieved and sad about it. I feel like the weather, the medication, and my own spirit are moving me into a new season of grief, where I can also experience joy and hope. I feel like I'm carrying my grief more skillfully. I feel more comfortable showing up in spaces with my grief. It doesn't feel like a scarlet letter anymore — it feels like a part of me, like an arm or a leg. My grief will continue to change, an...

Gajok, Ep. #95: April 19, 2024

April 20, 2024 02:45 - 22 minutes - 17.6 MB

I went to the Asian Boss Girl Meet-Up and I had a really good time. I met up with someone from the Return to Jeong group and we both found out we're from Northern Virginia, and even went to the same church. I'm learning how to carry my grief with me wherever I go — I'm learning how to weave it into my conversations with people. And my comfort with my grief makes me feel less stressed over socializing because I can just be fully me. I was reminded tonight how much I truly am an extrovert, and...

Gajok, Ep. #94: April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024 21:03 - 22 minutes - 17.7 MB

I got my oral surgery done this morning for my dental implant, and it could've definitely been worse, but I also hate going to the dentist and getting any work done. I also hate how entrenched in the patriarchy Korea has been for so many generations. Growing up, my mom told me that when women gave birth to boys, they would have a celebration, but when women gave birth to girls, they would cry. This is the type of society that my mom grew up in, and then she passed this self-hatred and intern...

Gajok, Ep. #93: April 17, 2024

April 18, 2024 01:33 - 21 minutes - 16.5 MB

I'm getting oral surgery for a dental implant tomorrow morning. I'm also going to the Asian Boss Girl New York City Meet-Up on Friday. Throughout my life, for most of my life, I have struggled with deep insecurities of not feeling feminine enough. I'm trying to retrain my brain to know and believe that I am feminine enough. That I could literally do anything, and that thing would be feminine — because I am a woman. ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #92: April 16, 2024

April 17, 2024 00:13 - 24 minutes - 19.7 MB

On Sunday, we had our third Return to Jeong gathering and it was the best one yet! We shared food, we talked about identity, and we shared our different perspectives on our own Korean American experiences, as immigrants, first generation Korean Americans, transracial adoptees, descendants of Korean adoptees, and biracial Koreans. This community is something that I've needed for such a long time. I love how committed everyone is to learning and growing together. If you're Korean and you live ...

Gajok, Ep. #91: April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024 20:55 - 19 minutes - 15.4 MB

I met with my grief group — in person! — for the second time on Saturday! We're trying to meet monthly, in addition to our biweekly virtual calls. We did this one potluck style at one of our grief friends' apartments. Greg came and got to meet all my grief friends for the first time. He said, "I loved how you all were able to weave grief in and out of your conversations so seamlessly. This is how it should be in all spaces." Grief should feel comfortable to talk about in all spaces. I'm hopi...

Gajok, Ep. #90: April 12, 2024

April 13, 2024 03:17 - 17 minutes - 13.6 MB

Greg and I bought and built an IKEA Stall shoe cabinet today. Maybe that doesn't sound that exciting to you, but I have been looking for a shoe storage solution for our apartment since 2022, after I sold our last shoe storage situation. I have bought and returned so many shoe racks and cabinets. I have done so much shoe storage research. Living in New York means having limited space. Living in New York means feeling excited when you finally figure out a shoe storage solution. ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Support ...

Gajok, Ep. #89: April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024 21:07 - 22 minutes - 17.7 MB

I went on my morning walk! Whenever I feel proud of myself for doing something that's difficult for me or new to me, I simultaneously feel shame. The inner critic goes, "Why should you be proud of yourself for doing the smallest, most insignificant thing? Walking? Anyone can do that. Do you want a cookie? You should've been walking this whole time. You're lazy, you have no discipline, and you're not taking good enough care of your body, and that's why you haven't been walking. You should fee...

Gajok, Ep. #88: April 10, 2024

April 11, 2024 01:31 - 9 minutes - 7.23 MB

I'm going to try to reincorporate my morning walks into my daily routine again. My morning walks are my favorite way to start my day — listening to a podcast, walking around Prospect Park, and taking in all the scenes of nature. I'm also going to try to make 깍두기 and 무채 with the two giant 무 I bought from H-Mart a couple weeks ago. I've been incorporating more cooking, and Korean cooking, into our weekly rhythms, but these 무 are just sitting in the back of our refrigerator. I'm going to try to...

Gajok, Ep. #87: April 9, 2024

April 09, 2024 23:51 - 17 minutes - 13.3 MB

Grief comes up when the seasons change. Grief comes up when I change my winter clothes out for my summer clothes. Grief comes up when I clean my apartment. Grief comes up on the first warm day of the year. Grief comes up when so many people are out on the streets, living life and enjoying themselves. Grief comes up before I go to sleep. Grief comes up in my dreams. Grief comes up when I wake up in the morning. Grief lives with me. Grief is the life partner I never asked for. Grief is the lif...

Gajok, Ep. #86: April 8, 2024

April 08, 2024 23:22 - 19 minutes - 15.3 MB

Last Friday, there was an earthquake. Today, there was a solar eclipse — total in some places, but not in New York City. And yesterday, I cleaned our bedroom and our closets and figured out how to store a bike in the freaking closet. When you live in New York City, finding storage space and finding more efficient ways to store your stuff will make your freaking day. ⁠⁠Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #85: April 5, 2024

April 06, 2024 01:19 - 8 minutes - 7.23 MB

The struggle to sleep continues — but last night was the first night in a while that I was able to sleep through the night, even with a middle-of-the-night wake-up, so that's a win. I'm trying to have a better nighttime and sleep routine, so I tried sleeping earlier last night, I stayed off all screens 30 minutes before bed, I put my sleep mask on, and I counted sheep. ⁠⁠⁠Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #84: April 4, 2024

April 05, 2024 01:51 - 13 minutes - 10.3 MB

In New York City, things that should be convenient — like grocery shopping and laundry — are the most inconvenient things that cause a legitimate amount of stress, in a city that's already pretty stressful. Today, we did our first full grocery run at Whole Foods in Park Slope — with an outdoor parking lot! And holy shit, it was a dream. When life is hard, not having to stress the fuck out about groceries is really nice. ⁠⁠Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #83: April 3, 2024

April 04, 2024 00:10 - 23 minutes - 11.6 MB

I feel enraged by the lack of support for grievers in the aftermath of a death that shattered their worlds. I feel enraged by our society's avoidance and fear of acknowledging and engaging with death. I feel enraged by how much attention is given to birth, and how little attention is given to death. I feel enraged by how much is expected of grievers disturbingly soon after they witnessed someone die right before their very eyes. I feel enraged by anyone asking grievers for anything, as if th...

Gajok, Ep. #82: April 2, 2024

April 03, 2024 01:13 - 25 minutes - 19.7 MB

We released our March song of the month, "Blue Skies," on Sunday! I am incredibly proud of us. It's been really hard to follow through on our commitment to record a song every month of the year, but with some courage, vulnerability, and a lot of intentionality, we've done it every month so far. Recording this podcast every day has been a really helpful tool during the hardest time of my life. It's been my safe space to process my messy emotions. It's been a constant, even when I didn't want ...

Gajok, Ep. #81: April 1, 2024

April 02, 2024 02:59 - 27 minutes - 22.5 MB

Greg's in this episode, but you mostly hear him eating pizza, ASMR-style. Tonight, I was a part of the first listening session, collaboratively hosted by Asian American Arts Alliance and Bang & Olufsen! I hung out with four other incredible Asian American artists — singers, songwriters, flautists, guitarists, pianists, and musical composers. I got to listen to our songs: Together Apart, Always, This Body, Brooklyn, and Blue Skies — which we just released yesterday! It was an incredible exper...

Gajok, Ep. #80: March 29, 2024

March 30, 2024 02:18 - 21 minutes - 17.1 MB

We recorded our song of the month! Song #3, done! It almost didn't happen because we've both been sick for over a week, but we did it, and I'm proud of us, even if we had to record it three days before the end of the month. Actually, that's one day earlier than the last two months, so progress! Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #79: March 28, 2024

March 28, 2024 20:55 - 29 minutes - 23.3 MB

I'm finally starting to feel better! AND MY DRIVER'S LICENSE WITH MY NEW PICTURE AND NEW LEGAL NAME FINALLY CAME IN THE MAIL! I was worried about looking bad in the photo, but I look beautiful. And I'm actually really glad I had to take a new picture because it represents who Jieun Ko is. I look sophisticated. I look deep. I look strong. I look firmly rooted in who I am. This photo represents all that I've been through over these last four years — cancer, death, so much loss, and grief. I se...

Gajok, Ep. #78: March 27, 2024

March 28, 2024 00:43 - 27 minutes - 21.1 MB

The massive grief wave of the 6-month anniversary hit me at 11:30 pm last night. We sang "happy birthday" in English and Korean to Gamja because it was her fourth birthday yesterday, and that's what opened the floodgates for me. It reminded me of all the traumatic birthdays we, as a family, had to endure last year. This was the first time singing "happy birthday" to someone since my mom's birthday, which was the day after 아빠 died. I created an Instagram post to commemorate 6 months without 아...

Gajok, Ep. #77: March 26, 2024 — 6 Months Without 아빠

March 27, 2024 03:12 - 32 minutes - 24.9 MB

Today, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, marks 6 months without 아빠. I'm sick so I slept a lot. I took a COVID test and it was negative. We didn't go to the driving range in Queens. But I did still want to go to Hanareum (H-Mart), so we decided we'd still do that. We talked about how going to H-Mart could be my way of observing every month's death anniversary. We talked about how going to H-Mart could be a way for me to connect with 아빠 and myself. We talked about how eating Korean food lately has felt...

Gajok, Ep. #76: March 25, 2024

March 26, 2024 02:29 - 28 minutes - 23.6 MB

I am still sick. I hate how my parents never gave me space to be sick, and I hate that they never gave themselves space to be sick. I hate that occupation, war, and trauma caused them to be stuck in a lifetime of survival mode. I hate that that trauma was passed down to me, through them. I wish that immigrants had more privileges and opportunities. I wish that healthcare was not a privilege for the rich, but a right for all humankind. Being sick is reminding me of all the injustices that the...

Gajok, Ep. #75: March 22, 2024

March 23, 2024 03:00 - 6 minutes - 4.84 MB

I almost forgot to record this episode today. That's how disoriented I feel, from continued sleep deprivation, struggling with a cold, and adjusting to taking medication. I literally got out of bed — after trying to fall asleep for an hour — to record this episode. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #74: March 21, 2024

March 21, 2024 20:46 - 14 minutes - 12 MB

I have a cold. I hate being sick — I really struggle with being sick, validating that I'm sick, and taking care of myself when I'm sick. I also started taking Zoloft three weeks ago after being off of anxiety and depression medication for a year — and that is the culprit of my insomnia. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #73: March 20, 2024

March 20, 2024 23:11 - 12 minutes - 9.63 MB

Grief makes sleeping so much more difficult, which is shitty because grievers need sleep. Intrusive thoughts, memories, and a brain and body filled with grief — love with nowhere to go. The struggle to sleep continues, but last night was better than the night before. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #72: March 19, 2024

March 19, 2024 20:42 - 12 minutes - 9.3 MB

Human beings need sleep. I don't know how I functioned at such a high level in my 20s on such little sleep, but in my 30s, I cannot function without sleep. Also, my gums hurt so much from over-flossing. These are a few of the impacts of aging on this human body. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #71: March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024 20:52 - 23 minutes - 18.7 MB

Cleaning my space makes such a massive impact on my mental health. I was reminded of that on Sunday. The thought of cleaning my space felt massive, daunting, overwhelming, and impossible, to the point where I could not engage with it. But by dealing with the mess one task at a time, those tasks added up, and I had a much cleaner space. And I think this concept can be applied to life, too. Things feel impossible sometimes, and we get overwhelmed. But we just have to take things one step at a ...

Gajok, Ep. #70: March 15, 2024

March 16, 2024 02:21 - 12 minutes - 9.26 MB

Grief doesn't end. It doesn't get easier either. It's a constant ebb and flow of sadness, anger, regret, and frustration. I think it's an injustice that we have to live with grief, from the moment we lose someone until the day that we die. That feels like an injustice. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #69: March 14, 2024

March 14, 2024 22:49 - 10 minutes - 8.46 MB

I have more thoughts on Avatar: The Last Airbender and how much I love the show. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #68: March 13, 2024

March 13, 2024 22:28 - 13 minutes - 10.1 MB

I recently started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender — I only started watching the show because it's an all-Asian cast. But as someone who is not a fan of fantasy or science fiction, this show is making me a believer. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #67: March 12, 2024

March 12, 2024 20:34 - 11 minutes - 9.22 MB

The seasons changing reminds me of 아빠. Ever since he died, every seasonal change has brought so much grief — summer to fall, fall to winter, and now, winter to spring. I think about what he would be doing if he were still here. I think about what we would be doing together if he were still here. The seasonal changes is a reminder of the passage of time — time I no longer get to spend with 아빠. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #66: March 11, 2024

March 11, 2024 21:43 - 13 minutes - 10.3 MB

I hate Daylight Savings Time. Socializing in grief is exhausting. I'm proud of myself for trying. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #65: March 8, 2024

March 09, 2024 02:16 - 13 minutes - 10.4 MB

I'm really grateful for solid friends who can create space for all of me — my joy, my sadness, my grief, my disappointment, my anger. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #64: March 7, 2024

March 08, 2024 03:07 - 12 minutes - 9.71 MB

I want to learn how to cook Korean food this year, but I hate cooking. I don't want the taste of home to disappear. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #63: March 6, 2024

March 07, 2024 02:15 - 16 minutes - 8.06 MB

The unrealistic and racist Korean and American beauty standards forced upon Korean American women are an injustice to all women. Fuck every person who ever told me my nose was flat, my face was flat, my head was big, or my body was fat. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #62: March 5, 2024

March 06, 2024 01:49 - 13 minutes - 10.1 MB

Greg and I slept in our bed and our bedroom for the first time last night. It was our first time sleeping in our bed and our bedroom since July of last year, since 아빠 died, since my mom slept in it for the last four months. And I am feeling massive grief. The grief is always there, like a constant hum in the background of my life. But there are times where it builds and grows, and eventually releases. That was today, while recording this episode. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #61: March 4, 2024

March 05, 2024 01:53 - 12 minutes - 6.24 MB

I'm experiencing the effects of burnout today. I can't bounce back like I used to in my 20s. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #60: March 1, 2024

March 02, 2024 02:48 - 10 minutes - 8 MB

Greg and I are going to learn our lesson from this experience and January's experience — we are not going to plan, record, and release a song in three days. I am exhausted today. I'm meeting with 4 people from my grief group tomorrow in person, and I am so incredibly excited about it. I can't wait to hug them. I can't wait to share the same physical space together. These women, along with the other members of my grief group, have helped me through these last three months of grieving 아빠. I am...

Gajok, Ep. #59: February 29, 2024

March 01, 2024 03:18 - 15 minutes - 12.3 MB

We did it! We recorded and released our second song of the year. The song is called "Brooklyn," and it's a song to remind you of your old self, a song to remind you that love is real. Go listen to it now, buy yourself a copy and support the artists (us), and tell us what you think: Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #58: February 28, 2024

February 29, 2024 03:57 - 17 minutes - 13.3 MB

We successfully recorded our second song of the year. It went surprisingly well. When I tried to write the newsletter, I started weeping — that was also surprising. Today, Cat Janice died at the age of 31, of a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to navigate the impossible grief that inevitably comes with the death of a loved one. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Gajok, Ep. #57: February 27, 2024

February 28, 2024 01:45 - 13 minutes - 10.6 MB

Greg and I will be attempting to record our second song of the year tomorrow. I am going into this second recording expecting a lot of myself, but I want to try to go in with less expectations and more space. My goal is to create a *little* bit of space for hope, a *little* bit of space for joy, a *little* bit of space for fun, and a *little* bit of space for wonder. Here's to another first pancake. Support the Podcast: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠...

Gajok, Ep. #56: February 26, 2024

February 27, 2024 02:30 - 28 minutes - 21.4 MB

Today marks 5 months since 아빠 died. It was a hard fucking day — every monthly death anniversary has been hard, but today caught me off guard. The devastating reality that 아빠 really is gone, he really is dead, and I will never see him again in this life, hit me like a train this morning. It's also the first death anniversary that I've gone through without my mom. We were going to have a regular Monday, but given that I was weeping at 10:00 in the morning, we decided to shift gears today and d...

Gajok, Ep. #55: February 23, 2024

February 24, 2024 03:53 - 34 minutes - 26 MB

I changed my mind — I hated yesterday's Death of the Party grief event. It was a very unsafe space for people of color, and more specifically, for me. The space was oppressively white, and I felt incredibly unsafe as the only Asian American attendee. It was not a safe space to have a non-Anglophone name. I automatically reverted back to my high school self, code-switching subconsciously to exist in that space. I hated the somatic experience — I hated touching strangers, and feeling like I ha...

Gajok, Ep. #54: February 22, 2024

February 23, 2024 03:42 - 29 minutes - 22.6 MB

I went to the Death of the Party gathering tonight and I feel mixed about it. It was surprisingly good in some ways, and it was expectedly bad in others. It was good because I was able to connect with other grievers in my city — I felt my heart and mind expanding as I sat with people and held space for their grief, as they held space for mine. You just have no idea what people are carrying and dealing with. It was bad because it was supremely lacking in diversity, which I had anticipated. Th...

Gajok, Ep. #53: February 21, 2024

February 22, 2024 03:21 - 11 minutes - 8.56 MB

Grief is when the things that should be there are no longer there. My mom should be in the kitchen, sitting on the step stool. She should be filling our apartment with smells of food — 미역국, 볶음밥, 부침개, 김치찌개, 된장찌개. She should be folding the clothes that I left on my desk. She should be hanging my jacket in the closet. She should be taking the dog out for walks. She should be doing the dishes. She should be cleaning the floors, crouching down. She should be cutting fruit. She should be going on ...

Gajok, Ep. #52: February 20, 2024

February 21, 2024 02:21 - 17 minutes - 13.4 MB

Being separated from my mom — her being in Virginia and me being in New York — is causing a compounded grief that has been hard to carry today. On the other side of my anxiety from yesterday, is a heavy depression. They say our grief doesn't shrink — we grow around it. And I believe that to be true. I feel myself growing around it, but it still feels massive. Today, I'm reminded of all that I've lost — the old me, the old 엄마, 아빠, our old life. Our family dog, Sadie. This is an impossible rea...

Gajok, Ep. #51: February 19, 2024

February 20, 2024 02:03 - 15 minutes - 11.8 MB

Setting a boundary is hard for the boundary-setter. My mom is alone, for the first time in her 62 years of life, and for the first time in my 35 years of life. Greg drove down to Virginia on Friday, and he drove back to New York on Saturday. When one parent dies, you become exponentially more terrified of your second parent dying. When you're an only child, the thought of your remaining parent dying feels like the scariest thing in the world because they are the only other person remaining i...

Gajok, Ep. #50: February 16, 2024

February 17, 2024 04:21 - 20 minutes - 16.8 MB

Greg drove my mom back to Virginia today. Harrie and I stayed back in New York. This was a boundary that I set for myself because her being in New York has not been working — we have been getting into massive fights — and I finally admitted and accepted that this is our current reality. Setting boundaries with my mom has always been hard for me, but it's especially hard right now because 아빠's gone, and she's my only living parent now. When the reality set in that 아빠 was dying, I immediately ...

Gajok, Ep. #49: February 15, 2024

February 16, 2024 03:36 - 23 minutes - 17.8 MB

I've been actively, consciously, and intentionally setting boundaries with the people in my life since 2019. My first big boundary-setting moment was when I finally decided to confront my therapist, who I had been seeing for over a year, about how terrible of a job she was doing as my therapist — rolling her eyes, looking at me judgmentally during sessions, and saying wildly inappropriate, invalidating, and harmful things to me. I confronted her passively and fearfully, but I did it. She did...

Gajok, Ep. #48: February 14, 2024

February 15, 2024 01:56 - 17 minutes - 13.3 MB

Today is Valentine's Day. I cried over 아빠. Greg put up all of our Valentine's Day decorations around our apartment. He bought me flowers. He bought my mom red roses, like 아빠 would. He bought funfetti cake mix, baked a bunch of cupcakes, and we ate them. We ate Thai food at our favorite Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, Nourish Thai. I talked to my grief group about how hard today was, and we swapped stories and memories about our parents. Today was the least shittiest Valentine's Day I co...

Gajok, Ep. #47: February 13, 2024

February 14, 2024 04:04 - 15 minutes - 7.63 MB

Tomorrow is my first Valentine's Day without 아빠. I would've called him on this day. He would've sent me pictures of the dozen red roses and cake that he got my mom. I would've FaceTimed him and shown him our elementary school chic Valentine's Day paper heart decorations, strung from our ceilings and taped to our walls. He would've laughed. He would've been amazed and amused at my over-the-top-ness. This is one of my favorite holidays, strangely enough. None of that will be happening this yea...