About Me

Hello,
So here's the part where I talk about who I am and why you should spend your precious minutes reading my blog. Some folks want the heart and some folks want the mind. I'm going to give you both. Read whichever one you want or both if you're really interested.

Oh if you're wondering why my blog is called Sum on Sleeve, my first post explains it here.

Let's get personally acquainted

I am a millennial born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I'm a mom to the sweetest, silliest, and happy baby (most of the time). I'm married to the most caring and inspiring man who keeps me on my toes to always dream big. 

To this day, I've only lived in the Lower Mainland. However, I've done some traveling, from Tokyo to Petra to Reykjavik. My parents are immigrants from Hong Kong and they came to Canada in the 70s. I'm the youngest of three daughters. I love to write, cook, eat, hike, sweat, run and have real conversations.
Growing up in the 90's with immigrant parents, talking about feelings in my family didn't come naturally. There was a generational gap as well as a cultural and language barrier that made communicating about some things (puberty, romantic relationships, popularity, body image, friendships etc) difficult. It's not like we didn't talk about them, we just didn't go into depth. I think a lot of kids can relate.

Since I was a young adult, I talked to my mom about everything. We have a very close and honest relationship. Most of the time, we can read each other and know what each of us is thinking about. Then there are moments where I get frustrated because I can't express in Cantonese what I want to express and her English is limited to what she knows.

I'm grateful that when I became an adult, my mom and I became friends which is something I hope will transpire as my daughter gets older. Please take note of the word older (I'm thinking like 18 or something); I'm not one of those moms who wants to be friends with their 3 year old okay? She's gonna have to respect my authority (in Cartman's voice) for a while before we get there.
My motivation to be a mom stems from overcoming some mental health challenges as a teenager. That prompted me to start making mental notes of all the things my parents did right and all the opportunities I had to do better once I became a parent. My blog is to reminisce about moments in my childhood and reflect on them as they come up for my daughter. It's also my opportunity to foreshadow what's to come for me in the future and how I hope to deal with it.

Let's get professionally acquainted
I have worked in the British Columbia healthcare system for over a decade. 
I have a Master of Science in Health Sciences.  My thesis was titled, "The Association Between Exposure to Smoking and Symptoms of Depression Among British Columbia Youth." Hence, there's a common theme about mental health in my blog. 

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. I wanted to be a physiotherapist but after a short stint at a clinic, I realized I didn't like touching people (and other peoples' kids).  I went into academic research instead and published scientific journals and coauthored a couple of books.  

However, that type of work, although important, wasn't quite my passion. Plus, academic research can be a bit dry for my taste. So I transitioned into quality improvement work within healthcare, focusing on engaging with clinical practitioners, developing partnerships that enable systems-level change to provide seamless, high-quality patient care. I've presented my work at national conferences.  

I've witnessed some of the darkest and lightest sides of humanity and those moments have made me see the world with an open mind. I’ve marched alongside female survival sex workers in Downtown Eastside’s Women’s Memorial March and worked in a forensic psychiatric hospital for clients not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

I've been to almost every ambulance station in the province, from Fort St. John to Port McNeil to Keremeos and rode third in an ambulance too many times to count.

On my first ride along, it included a call to a 16-year-old female who had attempted suicide, something that hits close to home for me.

I am certified in Prosci Change Management and I have my Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. 

These experiences and certifications have done wonders for all the work needed to be a mom and mom blogger. 

FYI: If you're really that interested in my professional life, I'm sure you'll find a way to get a hold of my LinkedIn profile. 

At the end of the day
I hope you'll join me on this life adventure with all its ebbs and flows. Let's laugh and cry about those smooth and gritty bits while loving ourselves along the way.

Cheers,

Katharine

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