My son’s difficult birth story- when two became three

My son’s difficult birth story- when two became three

I don’t tell my son’s birth story without taking a pause.

It was not an easy breezy or cinema-like birth… 

In fact, there were times where it was downright nightmarish. 

I’ve decided to share a watered down version of it, both for my healing and for others who may relate to the type of birth. 

April is cesarean awareness month, and while the birth of my wonderful son was something I’ll love forever, it came with its share of challenges. 

My pregnancy was pretty easy for the most part. My husband and I had the opportunity to spend time with one another in the aftermath of the height of the pandemic. I worked from home and had the ability to have home cooked lunches with my husband and even take naps during some lunch breaks.

While we loved our tiny paradise, there were times that it was lonely. We were strict on being careful, so our social lives were put on a slight hold and it took a great deal of adjusting. 

My baby shower was over zoom, and it was wonderful – but sometimes I wish we could have had the freedom to do it in person. 

As my due date got closer, my husband Kevin and I cracked down on our rules of safety even more (if he got Covid-19, he would not have been allowed to attend the birth of our son).  

People understood, but at the same time, we knew they really didn’t at all and thought we were being hyper about our decisions. 

But…when it came down to it, they were our decisions, the right ones, and they were for us. 

After 10 days past my due date, we pushed for my birth to happen (no pun intended)…it was time. The hospital told us they were at capacity, but we went in anyways. My water broke while we were in triage, and the 4 day labor began. 

My son was pretty comfy in my belly, and didn’t feel like coming earthside until he was good and ready. I did 3 days unmedicated, until my exhaustion took the reins and my body & baby needed an emergency c-section.

I remember the tears of defeat and feeling like I failed. I remember my husband being the only person who knew exactly why I was crying. It was a weird comfort having my support person understand the state of it all both from an outside (he wasn’t in labor) and inside (he was the father of the baby) point of view. 

As I was taken away from the cocoon-like hospital room we had called home for 3 days, I thought about the last few days and how I’d powered through them…. And then I thought about how powerless I suddenly felt, and how I couldn’t do a damn thing about whatever was happening next. 

While I laid exposed on the table, hearing the roll call of all the staff present for the surgery, I remember feeling my son squirm around, almost hugging his home for the last time. 

My son was born, a 10 lb boy and healthy as could be. The moment he was shown over the curtain, I could feel the love gush through me. 

He was here. He was safe. He was ours. 

Moments later, complications arose, and my husband & son were escorted away from me. I knew from movies this wasn’t a good sign. People were silently moving fast around me, and I began to lose the moments I wanted so badly to keep soaking up. 

When I woke up, I had someone painfully pushing on my stomach – and I knew it was the beginning of the uphill healing process of my cesarean. 

I won’t get into the details. But my body was put through it…and it was beyond tired. 

The next few days we navigated being new parents on the overflow floor. Because of the Covid policies we couldn’t have visitors and we relied on facetime. We missed those precious moments of sharing our beautiful son with the ones we loved most. 

While at the same time, we soaked up the time being a new family of 3, and sharing the moments all on our own. 

Today, we are so grateful for our little family. I still have days I feel the pain and anxiety of it all, sometimes even physical pain. My body has forever been changed, and my mind has too. I have a different level of appreciation for what my body can do and what I can endure. Every night I fall asleep loving the family we built and every day I wake up to my sweet boys (cats included).  

Throughout our journey as a couple, we made many well thought out plans. Good ones too – spreadsheets and all – but life often chose something different for us…and I’ve found that the unplanned events are the ones that have become the most precious moments that we wouldn’t change a bit. 

“”Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon 

Do you want sympathy or a solution my love? 

Do you want sympathy or a solution my love? 

My husband and I have been married for a couple years now, and I feel like every day it gets better and easier. 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking – “good for you” – cue Kristen Wiig’s famous “you doooo” scene from Bridesmaids…. 

But really! I am telling you the truth! 

Let me explain. 

A while ago, I came across a post during one of my many insta tunnels. Which, if you don’t know, is when you open ONE reel and somehow an hour later, you’ve ended up watching a BILLION. Has this happened to you? It’s so easy to do, right? 

Anyways, the post said something along the lines of – when having a conversation with someone, or in our case sometimes more like a vent session – ask whether the person wants sympathy or a solution. 

This way of thinking before responding has been amazing for us. A game changer in a lot of ways. 

First, it makes you take a minute to think about a response, not just a reaction. Second, it lets the other person know you are still listening to them, and WANT to respond. 

Having a partner or a “your person” type of relationship is so amazing for many reasons. One of the perks I love most about it, is having that person to talk about anything with. My husband and I are always there for one another, and our ability to incorporate communication hacks as we’ve grown together – has made us more in sync.  

Using the screening question of whether or not the person wants the other person to just hear them out (because sometimes that all you really need), or help them find a solution, has helped dodge unnecessary arguments and misunderstandings. 

During Covid, we realized just how compatible we were. I mean, what better way to find out if you’re a match than a global pandemic that forces you to spend every waking minute together?  

But for real, having these little conversation tools like the one I just described has made us better at communicating and much closer. 

Adding a child into our lives and the way we communicate has also been a huge learning curve. One we have truly enjoyed of course, but a learning curve nonetheless. We’ve had to redefine our lives quite a bit, but more on that another time…

So, if you have a person you like sharing your world with and your stories – you are a lucky duck! 

And if you think that “your person” doesn’t know how much you appreciate them, let them know. It never hurts to remind them.  

Try this out. Sympathy or Solution? So simple. So easy.

Being pregnant while adopted, and how the colliding worlds bring peace

Being pregnant while adopted, and how the colliding worlds bring peace

I have been on a slight hiatus from my blog – and this is due to finding out I was expecting a wonderful new addition to my little family. My husband and I are expecting our baby at the end of the year, and we simply can’t  wait! 

For the past 5 months I have been able to reflect and enjoy the remarkable world of being pregnant. Being pregnant is wonderful, terrifying, and amazing all at the same time. There are relaxing days where you forget that at the end of the journey, you will have to push a tiny human being out. While on other days, the realization of that is quite intense and often a nap is needed. 

I am so thankful for being pregnant, for being able to get pregnant, and for having a wonderful life partner and father to be in my life. It’s not everyday you find someone so great that you want to make a person with half their genes. 

I frequently think about how life has unfolded for the both of us. My husband and I were both adopted at young ages into wonderful families. It sometimes baffles me how we found one another. Our paths crossed at just the right times and places for us, and I often think about how the timing played such a key role for us to match.

Being pregnant as an adopted child is sometimes odd. 

I get to experience and feel everything my birth mother felt with me. First flutters, kicks, and hiccups. I remember the first time I saw my baby and listened to the heart beat. I remember feeling immense joy and fear all at the same time. It was then that I also realized I was experiencing something my birth mother had, and it was something I was not prepared for. On top of that, I was experiencing something for the first time with my wonderful husband who also got to experience something his birth father may have experienced. It felt like our life tracks were paused, and a new life was truly acknowledged, and life pressed play again. 

Growing up, understanding why my parents gave me up for adoption was something that took time. I LOVE the family I have today, and everyday I am so thankful for them. But there will forever be the unanswered questions about how I got to where I am today, and why. Throughout my life, there were of course ideas of what might have happened. For example, there was a one child law in China when I was born, so maybe I was their second. A lot of times Chinese families preferred sons, so maybe I was the daughter they were willing to pass up in hopes of a boy the next time. They could have simply not been ready for a baby, or maybe they wanted to ensure that I could have a better life than they could have provided at the time. There are a million reasons I may have ended up where I am today, and the answer to those questions will forever be my own personal cliffhanger. 

Understanding those around me is a huge part of who I am,  and putting myself in others’ shoes has always been something I’ve attempted to do to accept the actions of others. Now, being pregnant myself, I imagine that for my birth parents it took a great deal of selflessness and faith to let go of someone they created and nurtured. The thought of giving up the countless hours of rubbing my belly to connect and talking to the baby is unimaginable. Though, to be honest, I feel grateful that beyond anything else I was given the chance to live the life I am living today. 

People often ask me – why not do the 23 and me test and get some answers? 

I am usually puzzled by this, only because it won’t answer any of the questions I want the answers to. My genetics won’t tell me why I was given up for adoption, it won’t tell me what my parents were like, and it won’t tell me how my life could have been different. It would tell me things that most people take for granted knowing – medical family history and family tree. Going to the doctors has always been the same routine for me. Whenever there is a family history section, I write in big letters – adopted/unknown. It’s so normal for me that sometimes I forget it’s not the norm. 

I am also finding I am more and more content with knowing what I know. My life really wouldn’t change much if I knew the answers now. I would still be the person I am today. I might have more to write on medical papers, but that’s it, and I am okay with it. 

Having unknowns is not all bad either. Our child’s family history begins with my husband and I. We get to write the story of us and our family. At the end of the day, it’s exciting to begin this amazing chapter of our lives.

The professional world and how age is sometimes king

The professional world and how age is sometimes king

You know the term “age is just a number”? It’s pretty common, and mostly used on birthdays of people who don’t enjoy the larger number they are turning. Side note: let’s give a half spirited, fully sarcastic round of applause to society for that upside down and Debby downer thought process. Why? Because age is such a gift, and I know- you’re thinking- how does this 20 something year old even know this? 

Well, here’s the thing, the term also works for the younger folks. How? Because age IS just a number, people can be wildly different from the norm of their age. I know I am, and I know my husband is too (in opposite ways, but that’s for another story). 

The world of professionalism is a stage or period in life that comes for each of us. It’s a silent stage in life that creeps up on us, even when we think we see it coming. 

It happens for people in different ways and different speeds, but there is a day when you realize what you’re doing requires a separate version of yourself. 

Some cases you are asked to change your behaviors slightly, while others you have to change completely to fit a role. I find it often comes unexpectedly and with the job you are given, or from the person, or the place you work for. 

I’ve been in every stage for what feels like forever at a time. High school was one of the first shifts into the professional world. We were expected as young adults to make decisions that more often than not largely impacted the future of our lives. Whether it was the college we chose, the internship, or even the summer jobs. At this point, everything went on a resume. Everything had a place on paper to make you more important, more worthy, and more wanted. 

After college, you have your first real life job- this is where all those years of good grades, extra credit, college tuition, and summer jobs came into play. Here, you had to yet again show your worth for positions that may very well lead you to reassess the importance of working at all. And to top it all off, you were expected to know how to do this from the very beginning. 

My first out of college job was maybe one of the worst. I was eventually treated terribly. Although, it didn’t start this way- and I believe that’s how they get you. My energetic and knowledge hungry self slowly faded, and I became zombie-like on the job. I did the same exact things everyday and I sat and stared at my double screens all day. My future to grow in the job began and stopped the day I signed on. 

I was given a title that sounded important and serious, but was nothing more than a glorified floater of the company, who picked up the extra work. They saw my age as just a number, not necessarily taking into account the person I actually was and my capabilities. 

I stayed in the job as long as I could before finally leaving it. The problem here was, to society- it looked like I quit on a great opportunity that showcased my knowledge, skills, and worth. I felt utterly suffocated by my position there, and my health and self worth took a downward spiral. The feeling after leaving the job was something I’ll never forget- a weight lifted off me, and I instantly felt better. But this was of course also followed by horror and the realization I was jobless- right out of college. I thought- what will people think of me now? 

Like all things, nothing is forever. I soon found another job, and it felt like something I could really take on and run with. They seemed interested in my worth and how I could potentially grow at the business.  

But, at the end of the day- it all came down to my age. I couldn’t do certain jobs because of where I was in life (my age). I wasn’t worldly enough, and who knew if I could handle the work. My potential was measured by my age- perhaps not on purpose, but it was what it was. 

I think that once people get to a certain level of success in life, and a certain comfortability, they become blind to the beginning stages of their success. Employees become people they “gave” a chance to, and any successes would therefore be a shared reward. 

I once had an employer who congratulated me on a large purchase, while also noting that it was basically like they bought it for me. And I thought- hm, I don’t remember you scrubbing the floor and working your butt off! 

Age is just a number, but life is more than that number. 

In the end, my age is a gift, and I wouldn’t want to change it in order to change the way successful people see me. I am young, and according to society, I might not be as experienced in life. And somehow I am stuck being seen as the person that needs that big break. 

I’ll tell you what though- All my proudest accomplishments come from the life experiences I’ve had- and none of them have had anything to do with the jobs or titles I’ve earned. 

Life is bigger than your number, so why not live like it?

The joy of having a house full of his and hers, but mostly ours

The joy of having a house full of his and hers, but mostly ours

Do you ever look at your house and realize just how much stuff you have accumulated over the years? 

With the stay at home order, I am sure you have had more than enough time to stare at your house and think – why do we even have that? And where did it come from?

My husband and I moved in together before we decided to take the leap and marry, and here is why I am so happy we did. 

We dated for a period of time and when his lease was up in the house of guys (I call it this, because – yes, he lived with 4 other guys), he was more than happy to settle down together in a house. 

At the house of guys, he had a room the size of someone’s pantry – and not like Kim Kardashian’s pantry – but like a do 2-3 lunges and hit the other side of the room sized pantry. I know, I don’t know how he did it! And believe it or not, he somehow managed to pack his entire life in it, right up to the slanted ceilings. 

Once I became more of a consistent addition, and after years of me buying him stuff, it was clear that the “to-go” container size of a room was not going to work much longer. 

At the time, I still lived with my parents, so everything I needed could fit into one car load. ONE. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I had a lot of stuff. But most of the items I didn’t pack were kept because of my mother and her love for memories being attached to objects. Her attic and basement are blasts to the past to all our family memories. I assume I will have this someday as well, and I cannot wait for it. 

Meshing two completely different lives into one space can be daunting and rather exhausting. 

I remember deciding to buy new items together, and we split the costs right down the middle. I’ll never forget the late nights and rushes of excitement when we bought our own furniture and set it all up. Little memories of the almost failures of driving our couch home, one half at a time, and praying that the rope would hold until we got home. Or when we had to assemble our TV stand while being overtired and trying to read confusing directions. I remember the laughs and the happy realizations that we had a person to do this with, for what would later be for life. 

We kept and respected each other’s “keep” items and we stored the rest. And now that I think about it, all the items we stored were complete wastes of space, and still are! If we walked into our garage right now, we would find an old boombox, a bunch of backpacks, and boxes of CDs and DVDS (who needs those anymore when you have streaming accounts galore?). Most of these items were kept because they were parts of who we were. And when we moved in together, we weren’t quite ready to release them and start on our next chapters of ourselves, as a house couple. 

My husband and I live in a cute little house where we have extra rooms and full spaces of our own. This luxury is seriously underrated and it’s truly glorious. Sometimes we think – why do people even go out as much as they do – everything you need is RIGHT here! 

Unlike popular trends, my husband has the biggest closet, and I have the smallest closet. I know what you’re thinking, why would HE need the big closet? 

The answer is embarrassing and simple. I have continuously over bought for the guy and I love doing it. 

If you’re anything like me, shopping for yourself is fun, but it’s even better when it’s for someone else! Our first Christmas I overdid it big time (and to be real, I sometimes still do) and bought him 25 gifts. I don’t say this to brag either, because he did an excellent and thoughtful job as well.  

I recall people saying – what if you guys break up? And I remember thinking – I don’t think that’s gonna happen, I think he’s the one. 

And guess what – he was indeed the one.

Fast forward 5 years. We are happily married, we are homeowners, and we are proud cat parents. 

And for all the important parts, his/hers turned into ours.

Live life in vibrant color, and leave behind the rest

Live life in vibrant color, and leave behind the rest

I sometimes struggle with healing from my past. Past mistakes, friendships, relationships, or even past versions of myself. And what I have found is that we are always a little bit of each of those things…forever. Not necessarily in all the cringe worthy ways, but if you think about it, we are always growing from our past versions. Whether it is the past version of yourself from a year, a month, a week, or even a day ago. I like to think of each person’s life like a plant, every plant has different needs and different ways to care for it, but the base line care is pretty much the same. You water it, give it sunlight, and repot it when it’s outgrown its first container. People are like this too – everyone starts somewhere, needs a level of nourishment, and care – and eventually we outgrow where we started. A lot like plants, we will always have our roots, the evidence of who we once were, forever attached to who we are today.

My past self has made some foolish decisions. Hell, sometimes my present self does too – no one is perfect! After trial and error, most of the time I have learned to notice, grow, and improve from those choices. Some decisions lead me to stick it out with friends that were no good and stay with jobs that were sucking the life out of me. And others were questionable personal decisions, like trying not to eat to fill the fantasy standard of beauty. Oppositely, some were positive decisions to take chances on myself, choose what I wanted over what others wanted for me, and love who I was at every stage of life. These decisions were rarely self taught, and a lot of  times they were inspired by way of example. I would see someone taking risks and choosing to live life in vibrant colors, and I would decide I wanted to live life in vibrant colors too.  

Speaking on the spectrum of decisions, I have and love tattoos. They are beautiful expressions of what people want to showcase to others without words (although sometimes tattoos are words). Occasionally they are self explanatory, while other times they are special to only the one person who has them. I like the ones that are significant in some way, the ones that have meaning beyond the tattoo itself. All my tattoos have meaning, but I happened to get one that I no longer felt in love with a few years later. After thinking long and hard about it, I decided to get it covered up. The process of getting it covered up was weirdly therapeutic, I was changing something that was thought/meant to be permanent. I was changing something because I made the decision to. 

Lately, I have become more aware of the power of decision. Our daily lives are so saturated with advice and FOMO, that sometimes it’s hard to make a personal decision without someone else’s approval. I now acknowledge the power of jumping off of my past/present self today and everyday to be a better version of myself.  Every day is a clean slate to change and make waves.

Being Asian American in the United States Today

Being Asian American in the United States Today

Okay, here it goes. I’m working on starting a side hustle, and what comes with starting a side hustle, is extra visibility. However, with the most recent outbreaks of violence towards Asian Americans, I want nothing more than to curl up under an invisibility cloak. I generally try not to burden people with my fears. And in most cases, I believe voicing concerns should never be viewed as burdens on others at all. Instead they should be seen as a lesson or an open opportunity to learn from another person. 

This past weekend has me scared to be independent…again. Let me explain. 

When Covid-19 first began, I was afraid like everyone else. It was a global emergency and no one had clear answers for our future. But I became more afraid when the former president of the United States coined it the “China Flu” and “KungFlu”. These nicknames led to an open invitation to those who felt that violence against Asian Americans was acceptable. 

I was once a completely independent woman, unafraid to do almost anything alone. I’d go to the gym, go shopping, go for walks or jogs — all on my own. But now, my home is the only place I feel I am safe. My husband drives the car when we go out, I wear sunglasses when I can to hide my eyes, and he answers the door if people come to our house. 

Growing up, I experienced racism in the form of small micro aggressions— a lot, and still do. It was something I dealt with in silence. My entire family is caucasian,  and I remember it being a lonely realization once I understood that my being Asian was never going to be something they could ever fully relate to. My family is beyond understanding, and I am so grateful for them.  But being a different race and living with the differences everyday, is entirely different than living alongside it. 

Since Covid-19, I only truly saw my race being a factor a couple times. At our bi-weekly shopping trips, there were times a couple people would leave the aisle I was in, or start walking the other way after a whisper and a look from one another, then to me. My husband noticed more occasions than I did, but I have learned to tunnel vision. 

Sometimes I would get dead cold stares from people who had their masks half on. They would look at me with piercing looks of disgust of my being in the same grocery store as them, in the same country. 

Here’s the thing, not only am I a U.S. citizen, but I also haven’t been to China in years. These facts however, are not things I feel I need to tell strangers, ever. In fact, it’s none of their business. 

Violent incidents surface in my news feeds daily now and add to my fear of leaving my home.  People are being violently assaulted, spit on, and threatened. I’ve become more affected than I’d like to admit, as if fear is somehow bad or weak. Let me tell you right now, it isn’t either of those things, it’s human. 

The world has turned upside down on empathy and understanding. It’s somehow cool to show off your hatred for others. I hope when my children come into this world, I can say I helped educate others, for myself, for them, and for our safety. 

My heart goes out to the recent losses and those who are affected by the recent shooting in Atlanta, GA. 

My advice to people: be better, listen to other people’s experiences, and learn from them and through them. Everyone has some room for growth and everyone has a story worth listening to. 

Tips to losing that stubborn quarantine 15

Tips to losing that stubborn quarantine 15

Covid-19 has rocked our world into unrecognizable chaos and pain. And among the many parts of our lives it has impacted, personal health has taken a toll. I know I gained some stay at home weight and probably bad habits (eating late) since the stay at home order, and maybe you have too. 

Now, if you are anything like me, you did the unrealistic search “how to lose 10 pounds in a week”. The search is not really practical and the results are far from comforting. I mean, I guess it feels like a step in the right direction to even search it, but the good feeling ends right there. 

One night, while I was scrolling for some miracle, I realized something, every time I’ve done this search, I hope for a different result. And what’s even worse, I often already know the answers! I decided to really take a look at my routines and see where I could make some real changes. 

Here are my top 5 tips to losing that stubborn quarantine 15, which have actually proven to work! 

  1. Lose that take out app! I deleted not one, but two take out apps from my phone. I had monthly subscriptions with them (free delivery? Count me in!), and they all had my card saved for easy impulse clicks from any craving I might have. Now that I think about it, this was probably my biggest downfall. 
  1. Wake up early (it doesn’t have to be before the birds wake up, but early enough to be able to do a “for you” activity). I have found that a workout, a meditation session, or reading an inspirational chapter of a book are all great. These things have helped me have better and more productive days. Sometimes I feel like I have enough hours in my day to enjoy it, right up until bedtime! 
  1. Go to bed at a good time. Most of my biggest cravings and impulse actions happen at night. It’s when I settle in for an episode of my favorite show or stand in front of my pantry/fridge looking for something to keep me entertained (I love me some popcorn!) 
  1. Drink more tea & water – being hydrated has helped me curb a lot of my “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” trains. It is also super affordable to keep a nice selection! 
  1. Lose the weight in phases. Do it with mini goals – if you make your main goal weight the end goal on the first day, it might end up being too overwhelming and progress won’t match up with your dream result. If I say – I’m gonna lose my 15 pounds in X amount of days (unrealistic time frame), and I get to that day and I havent hit that goal – I feel the failure set in and my brain goes back to those comforting take out apps, and the cycle starts all over again. 

Try these tips out, and if one doesn’t work for you – swap it out with a tried and true action that has helped you in the past. Everyone is different, and what helps one person may not help another, and that’s okay! The important thing is to make it doable, and realistic for you! 

Share your tips in the comments below! I am always looking for more ideas to add to my new and improved routines!

Divorced, but not apart

Divorced, but not apart

I come from a divorced family, but I hardly view it as such. Even though my parents divorced when I was young, our family has never truly been separated. In the early days of the divorce, my parents managed to stay friends (no matter how tough it was) and were able to hold conversations about our lives. And to be honest, the initial transition was really tough for us to navigate. Growing up, my sister and I would switch between houses every other day, then every other week, and when we were old enough, we simply got to choose where we went. And over time, we began to gradually spend our major life events in a group. This includes birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings, births, and holidays. 

It’s odd when I think about it, but when I was old enough to discuss divorce, it wasn’t some no-no subject. Almost all my friends had split families, and none of us viewed it as abnormal, because it was our normal. We all grew up with multiple lifestyles, and I think in the long run, it helped us learn to adapt to the continuous changes in life. 

My family may be rare in the way we live our lives, but truthfully, I can’t imagine it any different.  I know, sounds strange right?  But I can’t really imagine a life where my parents were still together. If I were to imagine a life where my parents were together, I would also have to imagine a life where all of my step family members and all the people who came with them were non-existent, and that is tough. 

Being newly married myself has shown me that love and marriage can sometimes be broken up into categories. I also learned that marriage is a choice made everyday, and not just on the day you say “I do”. Everyone deserves to live a life filled with the people they love, and a life where they love themselves. I believe that’s what happened when both my parents found love for a second time. They built a beautiful family, and they loved us and themselves enough to add to it over the years. My circle is immeasurable and it feels like it’s always growing for the better.  

I don’t like the term “broken family”, and this is why. While the world has been better about simply accepting the different classifications of family, I think that normalizing and seeing the beauty in the cracks of family is next. My family reminds me of Kintsugi – the japanese art of repair. Kintsugi is when cracks are filled with gold. It is based on the idea that the cracks and imperfections can actually make things better. My family is filled with gold, and is stronger for it.

Social Media, are you listening?

Social Media, are you listening?

Social media is both a dream and a nightmare. I get to connect with people all over the world, at different parts of their lives, and I get to share mine with them. I love the fact that I am free to connect with people I haven’t spoken to or seen in 5+ years, but at the same time, I really hate it. 

If you really think about it, it’s a blessing and curse to know that someone you went to school with has their dream life. You root for them, you’re happy for them, it even proves it’s possible, but it also makes you review your life, and do the dreaded comparison. You immediately feel that you are way behind in life or might have messed up along the way somehow.  The question: Why aren’t I living my dream life yet? sashays across your train of thought, and it’s a huge bummer!  

Do you know the song “High School Never Ends”,  by Bowling for Soup? I remember hearing it for the first time on my sister’s iPod shuffle while at the airport on our February break trip – and I thought – this song has got to be wrong. I was beginning high school and all the academic stress, student body hierarchy, and all around competition was in full swing. I remember thinking, there’s no way the highschool mentality continues into adulthood! I felt confident that high school was gonna be great, maybe even just like the movies. But it wasn’t.

While movies show all the cliques in high school, most of them generally focus on the person that a lot of us strive to be. The popular/mysterious, beautiful, and smart girls or guys – who always get the guy or girl they want in the end. They always seem to manage to learn some grand lesson at the end of the movie too – wouldn’t that be nice? Most of the time, this isn’t the case, and we go through bouts of depression, anxiety, bullying, eating disorders, and years later we might learn something from it. Movies don’t show all that – just like social media doesn’t show all of it. Everyone shows the highlights, the things we hope others will see and think about us, even if it’s not entirely our reality. 

While all these platforms have the power to connect us all, they also have the power to destroy us. Destroy our feelings of accomplishment, happiness, and sometimes even love. I have started an unwind process, and I detach from platforms for certain periods of the day. It has helped me be present and proud of my life, undocumented and in real time

Has anyone else found this to be true and/or do this too? Let me know if the comments below!