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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When he asked me how to say “I love you” in Japanese, I translated linguistically, but mistranslated culturally.
Nukumori can refer to a kind of existence not dependent on physical proximity, allowing a person’s presence to linger with you even if they cannot.
The thing my mom told me to do—“Save twenty percent for yourself. Never give one hundred percent to anyone.”—was not selfish after all. Not when thinking about my own survival.