As an aspiring polyglot and a student of neuropsychology, I have a sweet spot for untranslatable words (from foreign or historical languages) that describe emotions, psychological states and/or behaviour. Because I got so many positive reactions about my work on hiraeth, I decided to share this interest with you by means of a new category for this blog: “Lost in Translation“. This first entry will be about the Korean concept of Nunchi, as I was recently interviewed about this by journalist Annemieke Riesebos for the Dutch magazine Grazia.
“PING!” beeps my computer as it announces a new email, sent by Robyn Ochs. Her call for writing is like a storytelling guide, with many interlinked questions: “How has aging transformed you?” “What have been the most significant moments or transitions in your life?” “What do you imagine your future holds?” Pondering these prompts, for a short moment, I feel like I am in a movie, at the point where someone (almost) dies and we—the audience—see a life flash by. My brain replays some film-like memories, scary ones of the nagging children on the schoolyard and my homophobic ex-boyfriend, but also happy ones, of the first European Bisexual Conference. And I realise that Robyn cannot know how she and her work have affected my transformation. So, time to answer her questions!
For me, one of the most puzzling aspects of autism is still the “road-to-overload”. Sometimes the day seems like a four-lane highway that you smoothly cross over, another time you feel like rope dancing over an abyss… through snow and blizzards! But quite recently, I encountered the hashtag #spoonie, that refers to people who use the so-called “spoon theory”, a metaphor that enables users to concretise their energy levels.