'Many things happened that changed my normally stable life'

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There is a Chinese superstition that the year of your zodiac animal brings bad luck. I'm Korean, but I grew up with that belief.

My zodiac animal is the rabbit and my mother assured me that 2023 would be good for me despite it being the year of the Rabbit. She wasn't wrong, but neither was superstition.

It was a tougher year for me than usual overall: financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Many things happened that shook my normally stable life.

To calm myself, I relied on routine: morning walks, visualization, training. I found surprising solace in one of my oldest routines: my weekly Diario Metropolitano assignments.

More than ever, I was looking forward to reading and illustrating these New York stories, especially those that made me laugh or reminded me how resilient and kind people can be.

As my mother predicted, not everything in 2023 was bad. I moved to a new city and made new friends. Thanks to a New York Times marketing campaign, I was able to see my Diary illustrations covering the inside and outside of a subway car. And I finished my first graphic novel, “49 Days,” which will be published in March.

I'm excited for 2024 and the Year of the Dragon. No matter what happens, good luck or bad, I will be grateful to continue my Metropolitan Diary routine, turning the small, memorable moments of readers' lives into art.



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