Kimchimari – JinJoo – in the Press
WHY doing Interviews is a bit of a miracle for me
When I started my blog 10+ years ago, I would have never imagined that I would be doing interviews with newspapers like New York Times and even appearing on TV (well, not in any major network channels yet but still.. )! And it’s not about that I am appearing in such prestigious newspapers, I’m talking about me doing interviews or appearances at all. Because I was always the kid who wanted to be invisible in the classroom or in a big family gathering.
I was so shy when I was little that I used to get ‘tummy aches’ whenever I was forced to do any kind of ‘public’ activity such as speaking in front of the class, singing in front of friends (Koreans LOVE making people sing in front of others but I just detested standing in front of a crowd), acting in skits, or even something as simple as raising my hand to ask a question.
Once I even totally messed up in an English speech contest in my local school district competition because I just went totally blank in front of the crowd and also delivered the speech in a very robotic way because I was just so nervous. Having the great advantage of being fluent in English in high school (due to our family stay overseas), my teacher just couldn’t believe that I could not even advance to the finals.
Even in graduate school (when I was 25, married and a new mom), I was still very anxious about public speaking that I would get headaches and heart palpitations when I was getting ready to present in front of an audience. So presenting a paper at a conference, talking in front of the class, presenting and defending my thesis was all soo hard for me.
When I pursued my Ph.D., it was because I wanted to become a professor. And I did become one right after I got the degree. I remember the first month or so – each of my classes was all a blur. I was so nervous that my vision was all blurry and couldn’t see any of the students’ faces and my brain was just in a complete fog. I enjoyed helping and teaching students individually but I dreaded each class because I hated having to speak in front of the class.
After a year of teaching, I realized I really didn’t enjoy being a professor as much as I thought I would and so I quit.
Then, I worked as a software engineer for the next 10+ years or so, and work was fine but even during that period I did not enjoy public speaking. So naturally, when I started my blog in 2010, I said to myself, I will NEVER do a youtube video where I appear in person because I am just so camera shy and didn’t even like seeing myself on the screen! I don’t even like taking photos of myself actually. 😝
But here we are today in 2022 and now if anyone asks me for interviews, I’m like ‘Oh Sure! I’m happy to talk about Dasik!’
As I’m writing this page, I was amazed at myself how far I have come. I also realize the confidence and passion that I feel about Korean cooking is what really helps me during interviews because my excitement to share what I know just takes over my anxiety. I guess this is why people say you need to be doing what you love, not what your parents want you to become or what others may expect of you but something you really enjoy doing and find rewarding.
Having a PhD, I know many Koreans (especially my generation and older) look at me basically as a failure. Since I didn’t get to use my Ph.D. degree in advancing my career in the technology field. Honestly, I did have certain times in my life that I did feel like a failure… when I saw my school alumni friends become a CEO or VP of a huge tech company..
But having blogged for these many years, I can’t believe that I have more passion for my work ever more than before and I am really happy that I get to do what I love. Because I’m just so happy to share what I know, to spread the good word about yummy Korean foods and to hear from people that my blog and my work have helped them in some small way!
So, if you are extremely shy like me, keep working at it, it may take a long time but little by little, it does get better and you should be able to get out of your comfort zone soon! Of course, find an area of the field that you are passionate about, it may take a couple of turns along the way but I think that really helps. Now, if you have no desire to overcome your shyness, that’s OK too!
- Feb 4, 2022 NY Times interview – The Warm Sticky-Sweet Resurgence of Hotteok
- Feb 1, 2022 Food52 Interview – How This Ancient Korean Dessert is Making a Comback
- Feb 1, 2022 Google for Creators interview – How Asian food bloggers repackage content on Lunar New year
- Oct 5, 2021 NY Times interview – Why is everyone Talking about Dalgona Candy? This was in response to the drama series Squid Game which made everyone curious about Dalgona.
- Apr 22nd, 2021 Spectrum News1 Feature on The Socal Scene – Digging into Minari, the leafy, edible plant the acclaimed film was named for (This was such a surprise interview as my iphone made videos made it into the main screen media.. ;))
- Interview with Dishing Podcast
- Podcast Interview with Eat Blog Talk
- Sept 12, 2017 YTV America Interview – Korean Food Documentary – My very first video interview – I was so nervous!
- March 4th, 2015 SBS Radio (Australia) Interview – “kimchimari.com’ epitomises typical Korean mother’s cooking know-how, with a variety of recipes of both traditional and fusion dishes. (English Interview, Korean Interview)