I spent 설날 with 8 strangers, 1 Instagram friend, and Greg, and it was one of the best 설날s I've ever had. It was my first social gathering since 아빠 died, so I was really anxious, nervous, scared, and worried about how to exist in a social space as my new self — Jieun without a dad. I almost didn't go because I was so anxious about it. But I mustered up the courage to go, and it couldn't have gone better or felt safer. It strangely felt like we all knew each other. The night felt like a giant hug. My friend Meeja was the one who put the gathering together — everyone who came was Korean American and interested in deepening their connection with their cultural identity. I felt filled with hope, joy, love, and laughter — things that I haven't felt much of in the last year.


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