I read this article about How Millenials Became The Burnout Generation recently and parts of it hit me kind of hard. As an Asian kid, I have been prepping for “my future” since I was young. I excelled at school, but as I grew older the naive thought that school could lead to my “dream job” led me in random directions. I finished post-secondary school with a Bachelors of Music Degree and then went on to do a diploma in Entertainment Management. While I regret neither of those decisions (the latter led me to my husband), it was a life in the early 20s that wasn’t easy, required a lot of working for free and long hours. I’m doing okay today, but it’s nowhere where my parents were when they were my age.
I’ve been living online, “optimizing” my presence on the internet since I was 12 or 13. I became fluent in the online world wherever I went. I taught myself to code my own websites and blogs at 12 (hello Geocities), mastered the economy of Neopets, sold a popular Ragnarok Online account and had a lot of Asian Avenue/MySpace/ICQ friends. By the time smartphones and Twitter/Facebook came around, I was ready. I had been building a personal brand and online content for more than half my life without thinking about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and appreciate what I have in life right now, but I’m starting to step back a little on my own channels. Life doesn’t always have to be content. Not everything I do has to be productive. I started to feel the burnout for real last year after years of blogging every day. I loved sharing all the products that I had used up every month until it started to feel like a chore writing it all down that I stopped trying to use up stuff altogether. I even haven’t finished building the set of Nintendo Labo because I kept thinking I was “too exhausted” to document the steps.
Despite my dog having a fast-growing Instagram account, he’s the one that has taught me that life can be slowed down, not everything has to be documented and that sometimes you miss laughing at the best moments when you’re behind a screen.
This year, I’m making a conscious effort to do more of nothing. It’s hard because sometimes you can accidentally “optimize” the nothing, which makes it again feel like work (like when I tried to do self-care Sundays). I want to do more of truly nothing, staring into space, cuddling and taking more naps with the dog and going on more walks. I don’t know if that’s really a resolution. Can I make a resolution to “do nothing”?
This year is Canada’s 150th birthday and there are weird art and promos for it everywhere. To me, Canada is more than just a maple leaf. It’s the place where I was born and have felt relatively safe all my life. I know in being born here I am ascribed certain privileges, but I always to keep an open mind so that we can create a more equal Canada for all.
What does Canada mean to you?
Yesterday, I took part in the Women’s March in Toronto. I felt empowered to be in the crowd. It also warmed my heart to see all the little kids who took part, providing hope for our future generations.
Here are some photos:
This year instead of a list of concrete goals or resolutions, I decided to make a list of actions/promises instead. I think as a result of these, I’ll end up achieving all the things I want to be doing (art, reading, being social etc, finishing projects, taking risks).
1. Stop thinking about doing stuff and just do it. I often spend too much time wishing I was doing more drawing, writing or thinking about how I could improve so and so. I spent a lot of time thinking, time I could be spent taking action.
2. Spend more meaningful time online/offline. I want to be either fully connected or fully disconnected. That means when I’m online, I have a purpose for being there: blogging, tweeting, catching up on news, watching Netflix, not just spacing out in front of my computer for hours.
The same applies for being offline. I want to spend more time being in the moment, exploring hobbies, hanging out with friends and less time doing those things while still sitting in front of a glowing screen or on Facebook Chat/Twitter.
I want to spend less time being in limbo.
Carrie Fisher died yesterday from a heart attack at the age of 60. She was most known to the entire world as Princess Leia from Star Wars.
To boys, she was an object of their fantasy, but to women, she was a feisty but powerful person both in the films and in real life.
“You don’t have to always be comfortable. You don’t have to like everything you do,” Fisher said in one of her last interviews with Rolling Stone. She was an outspoken hero of mental health, an early figure who helped decrease the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
She was also against sexist standards and body shaming. “Stop debating whether I aged well,” she said in the Guardian.
She taught me to be open and brave. She taught thousands of girls that we can be both the beautiful princess and a fearless leader.
My friend Jimena recently Kickstarted the first in a series of books for girls. Queens Girls are stories of real women turned into fairy tales in hopes of inspiring girls to follow their dreams. They want to break the stereotypical roles girls are usually put into in stories: the caretaker or the love interest.
With each book purchase, they’ll also donate it to a child struggling to dream. I love this idea!
The first one will be of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman in the world to get a pilot’s license.
The illustrations are beautiful and I can’t wait to see what else they will release.
Check out their Kickstarter for more info!
As you can see from my previous posts, I love makeup. I’ve always been obsessed with buying and collecting make-up.
Last week for Black Friday, I bought a bunch of new cosmetics and then realized I needed to reorganize my collection so that it made more sense. I went to Muji and bought more storage units to match the ones I had. Now everything is organized and easily accessible. I have individual drawers for eyeshadows, lipsticks, bronzer/blushes, brushes, mascara and general face stuff.
I’m a feminist and I think everybody should feel great in their own skin, but if a lipstick, eye colour or whatever makes you personally feel like you can take on the world, I’m all for it. That’s what make-up is like for me. It makes me a little more confident to go about my daily life, like the ultimate placebo.
It is also a relaxing and fun routine for me in the morning. 5-10 minutes where I can myself up but also not worry too much about what the day will bring.
I also love art but often don’t have much time to sit down and draw. Makeup allows me to creatively work on the most organic canvas of all, the human face.
I buy a lot of notebooks. A lot of the time they have formatted pages like Spark Notebook or are themed. I wanted something that I could write in whenever I wanted, with no guidelines and I thought the Leuchtturm1917 was perfect for this. Plus they come in all sorts of cute colours. For once I decided to go with something fun and bright.
What I love about this is instead of lines, there are dots. It allows for freedom but at the same time will keep my writing straight, as opposed to a completely blank notebook.
I think I am going to use it as my own Bullet Journal, but not a true Buju. I am mostly just going to do the point form notes. The goal setting stuff I read about remind me too much of structured notebooks and I want this one to just be a book of thoughts, song lyrics, or anything that inspires me.
I want this to be the first notebook that I will fill.
There are some weeks (like this one) where I don’t know if I’ll make it through without having a panic attack. I become overwhelmed with all the things I have to do, people I need to see. I conquered it though and now am on the other side feeling pride. Part of my secret: pretend I can.
When I feel the stress coming, I take a big breath, write down lists and even go on long walks to get rid of any nervous energy. Keeping a positive mindset is important.
Now that it’s the weekend, I deserve to relax and have some fun with Teddy!
Over the past 6 years, there’s something more rewarding about blogging than all the free festivals, food and stuff that I’ve experience. It’s the community that I discovered online.
I’ve gained valuable friendships with people who I never thought would ever speak to me if I approached them in real life. I become frequently inspired by people who show up at real life meet-ups. That first walk through a door is always hard, but I’m always glad I had the courage to attend them.
I’ve never felt more in my own skin than I do in the past few years. What you see online, is what you get in real life too. I talk very openly about things I like: music, food and bizarre things. I also talk openly about more challenging things like anxiety and mental health. I have never felt more accepted in my life. I thank all my followers for always supporting me, reading, sharing and responding to my thoughts and going to the new events I host.