切ない (Setsunai): When You Need a Word to Hold Both Sorrow and Joy
‘Setsunai’ implies something once bright, now faded. It is the painful twinge at the edge of a memory, the joy in the knowledge that everything is temporary.
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Esther, you are a queen not because of your physical perfection, but because of the horror and rage you transformed it into.
Maybe, I thought, I could play Pokémon with my peers and bridge the gap between me and my an all-white classroom. But we lose things in translation.
While Ruth’s words— “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay”—made for a heart-stilling pseudomarital vow, I was not selfless enough to promise the same.
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To me, ‘daiji’ embodies the struggle to prioritize two languages, homes, and selves.
Hafu carries insinuations of otherness; of not belonging, but being fetishized. How do I carry this name and this history at once?
When we dress up, when we experiment, sometimes it’s because we are trying to discover who we are. But sometimes it’s because we already know and have nothing to hide.