About Me


Uprootedness has been a recurring theme in my life: traversing oceans, adopting accents, fighting the ups and downs of bipolar II. But through it all I keep finding my roots in a loving Creator and Savior. I am a Catholic convert.

I’m on a quest to make sense of the human condition through art and writing. This blog is my platform for exploring the universal human capacity for despair, but more importantly our ability to turn pain into a source of hope, love, and compassion.

Other potentially relevant facts: Born in Indonesia, raised in Singapore, constantly moving between Singapore and the US.

I recently graduated from The University of Chicago, and now have the honor of working as a special ed teacher (during vacations, a freelance illustrator). It’s a tremendous blessing to know so many exceptional young adults who embody the most beautiful aspects of humanity. I’m passionate about helping individuals with disabilities recognize their own worth and potential, as well as helping others see the intrinsic value in every human being regardless of ability.

I sometimes write on divisive issues, in particular the pro-life/pro-choice debate. Open, constructive dialogue is mutually challenging and beneficial, so feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree. Disrespectful comments, however, will not be approved. And thank you for taking the time to view this short bio — I try to do the same for each reader who comments, because I believe it’s supremely important that a person is not defined by or reduced to their stance on a single issue.

Update: Under Reconstruction is now on Facebook (let’s connect)! You’re also invited to check out my fledgling art portfolio.

You can also reach me at: karen.zainal@gmail.com


93 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Thank you for your support of my writing Karen. In my quite long life and profession I have seen many teachers. Your compassion, caring and ongoing spirit are fine qualities for a teacher and speak well of your country’s future.

    All of my best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Though Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice isn’t an issue I address on US-Issues.com, I have thought about it a bit.Here’s a pair of discussion points that you may find useful.

    1. You wake up one day, and you find yourself sitting in a chair. Attached to a chair leg is a rope which leads over to a cliff (and over the cliff). Attached to the other end of the rope is an innocent bystander. There’s a note that says help should arrive in an hour. If you wait the hour, help will save the bystander at the other end of the rope. If you get up, he falls to his death.

    Do you have a right / is it ethical for you to stand up before help arrives?

    So long as everything you need is provided for you until help arrives, would it make a difference in your choice if you had to wait a whole day?
    … or a whole week? … or 6-8 months?

    2. Especially regarding tax supported abortion services, I’ve heard the argument / question, “What if it were the result of a rape or incest?

    It seems to me that pregnancies are caused by rape or incest in less than 1 in 1000 cases where an abortion is requested. That means that, in all the other 999+, abortion is a choice – an elective surgery.

    Elective surgery is not something that tax dollars ought to be paying for. Especially when those dollars come, in part, from people who believe it’s a moral abomination.

    The Supreme Court ruled a couple generations ago that abortion is legal. It takes a very mean spirited person to say, “Ha, ha, we won, and you lost. Now we’re going to rub your noses in it by making you pay for what you consider to be murder.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for liking my recent post, Karen. I appreciate your position on the things that matter most to you. While I didn’t attend UC, I did live in Chicago for a few years (I’m an Illinois native) and am a teacher at the U of Alabama at Birmingham:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so relate to that feeling of uprootedness and faking a language. I wish you well in your aspirations of special ed and am smiling because my new novel is set in Chicago even though I only know the city through visits. And thank you for following my blog. Have a Blessed Christmas, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate so much to what you have written! I was born in Nigeria and lived in four different countries and had moved thirty-four times by the time I was twenty-six years old. In my ‘about’ page I state that, I too, am under ‘construction’ but am slowly growing into the woman God created me to be.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much, Karen, for stopping by and for the like. As your endorsers say, you do seem to be an extraordinary young woman, and I look forward to returning and reading more about you and your thoughts.


  7. Hi there, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog.

    I’m also apart of the Mental Health Writers Guild, and I have a new project coming up which I hope you’d be interested in working on.


    The Mental Health Art Auction needs YOU, to post about your experiences, raise awareness, and promote the auction that will happen in August.

    The auction will feature a piece of art put together by myself, which will reflect how each and every blogger taking part feels about mental health. What it means to them. This is an opportunity to get more people talking, and hopefully raising a lot of money for charity. Please check out the link and let me know if you’re interested 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for stopping by Gods group !! I am so impressed with UR faith with all that the Lord has tested U with…

    This in particular, caught my eye… ” I am passionate about helping individuals with disabilities recognize their own worth and potential”

    I too am passionate about helping the disabled, the homeless, the jobless, and the downtrodden… I would love to send U some info on a product that can be used for all of the above and more…

    My e-mail is brucermillslast@comcast.net

    I would also like to direct U to a young ladies blog that suffers from OCD, and her name is Mary Saum… Here is a link to one of her posts…

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    P.S. The younger generation call me pop’s !!



  9. Thank you for persevering and using your God-given talents to His glory. My mother is a retired special education teacher, and my wife is an elementary music teacher who works with many special needs children. Our children are our future – and each of them matters. It is incumbent on us to ensure they have the support base on which to grow. Thank you for reading and acknowledging my blog. I will most certainly be following your work. May God continue to bless you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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