Beginnings and Endings of 2016

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. ~ Marie Curie

Reflecting back on 2016, the year brought a lot of heartache. Three friends of mine died; two due to cancer, one because of suicide. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. All of them were/are younger than me. On Election Day, I was a passenger in a car, rear-ended while on the freeway. I had numerous other losses; however, I had many blessings, too.

WRITER

- In January 2016, my poem “Debt Collector,” was selected by ZO Magazine as number 9 out of hundreds of submissions.

- Seven poems that I wrote were published in an anthology, Remembering the Days that Breathed Pink by Quaci Press. Some of the contributors (who live in the San Francisco Bay Area) and I read at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco, CA, Orinda Books in Orinda, CA, and Reach & Teach in San Mateo, CA.

- An editor of Sweatpants & Coffee invited me to submit a personal essay. “How One Question Turned My Life Around” was published in June 2016.

- I edited an essay with my writing group and submitted it to I Must Be Off‘s annual travel writing contest. The essay placed in the top 4% of their submissions in August 2016.

- In recognition of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I interviewed many people and wrote an article based on it, “7 Mental Health Clinicians Reflect Upon Working on 9/11.”

ACTOR

Several years ago, a friend shared on social media that extras were needed for a film that would be shot in the Bay Area. When I saw the finished product it wasn’t an instance where I was one person in a crowd; rather, I actually had about a second of screen time. It was a close-up of me as I yelled, “Yes!” The movie was The Last Smile based on a true story, written by Jeevan Zutshi and directed by Shankey Srinivasan. It made its premiere in March 2016 and gathered some awards, too, via the following: Cameroon International Film FestivalCinequest Film FestivalLivermore Valley Film Festival, Marbella International Film FestivalPalm Beach International Film FestivalPhiladelphia Asian American Film Festival, River to River Florence Indian Film FestivalSilicon Valley Film Festival, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. I’m proud to have been involved with this project which gave me a glimpse into the makings of a full-length feature film. Plus, everyone I worked with was really nice.

FILMMAKER/VIDEOGRAPHER

- In February 2016, some of my friends were in a flash mob through PopStar Booty Camp so I filmed their performances of Justin Bieber’s, “Sorry” and Missy Elliott’s, “WTF (Where They From).” The videos were shared on various social media sites, but the icing on the cake was when Missy Elliott liked a post and followed me.

- I published a video, my first official film, that I made from a class I took in 2015. Unfortunately, the sound was too low. Thanks to Elizabeth Clarke, Founder of You’re Crafty, for letting me interview her for my project.

- Perhaps one of the most exciting things I’ve ever shot was when seven humpback whales lingered around the Golden Gate Bridge in July 2016.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

- I was invited to guest lecture at San Francisco State University in March 2016 to talk about occupational therapy as a profession. The students were asked to think like an OT with me as their imaginary patient who just happened to be married to Robert Downey, Jr. ’Cause if you’re going to play pretend, why not go all out?

- I worked per diem at one hospital and later accepted a full-time position at different one. I’m grateful for both jobs. May 2016 marked my four year anniversary of my private practice and in June 2016 I celebrated 20 years as an occupational therapist.

- Regarding my occupational therapy private practice, I was invited to present at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s annual conference in 2017 to discuss this topic. It will be our profession’s 100th anniversary; the conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA. I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity!

GRANDMOTHER

Baby Clive was born on November 6, 2016. I love this photo of My Little Pumpkin, Jane, holding her brother.

FRIEND

To my closest friends who were there for me during the most challenging time of this year – thank you. Each of you saved me in your own way when I needed it most.

* * * * *

The stressors of this year contributed to a 16 lbs. weight loss, hair loss, and some sleepless nights. Thankfully, over the last couple of months I’ve noticed that my hair started to grow back, I’ve slept better and longer, felt more relaxed, laughed, and even flirted some, too. I feel stronger going into a new year. Thanks to everyone who continues to be with me on this journey called Life. I wish you all the best in 2017!

XxTerry

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