The Duality of Life Experiences

It’s okay to be both

Hoang Samuelson
6 min readMay 31, 2022

Recently, I had three separate experiences (or shall we say, scenes) which brought forth some very life-changing realizations. And with that, the realizations came acceptance about the beauty of life and how I can live it better. Below, I relay them in three scenes.

Scene 1

I’m sitting in front of my laptop, looking at someone I’ve never met before. She’s in her kitchen (because I can see the beautiful refrigerator and glossy cabinets behind her) while I’m at my dining room table, where I’ve spent the past two years doing a variety of things, including Zoom meetings. Except in this case, I get to talk to someone whose book I’m really excited about — Madhushree Ghosh, the author of Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory, and Family. (You can read my profile on her here.) She writes about the very things I’m interested in: food and family, the very essence of this newsletter.

I was able to connect with Madhushree through her publicist, who had reached out to me and my team at BooknBrunch because she had a book coming out, and did we want to chat with her, they asked. When I saw its beautiful cover, I said yes immediately.

She smiles at me through her screen, and we spend an hour talking about her book and her journey towards becoming an author. I find out that she’s not just an author — she also has a day job as an oncology diagnostics strategist, that she has advanced degrees in biochemistry. I can tell that…

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Hoang Samuelson

Features Editor @ Chowhound. Former lead editor @BooknBrunch.com. Writer of food, family and fiction. Based in Portland, OR. More at hoangsamuelson.com