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Under the impression that meditation was a cure-all, all-healing antidote to the endless pain of life, I ambitiously embarked many a times to “become a meditator.” I failed just as many. But this past year, amid this global crisis, deepening loneliness, and anxiety fueled by incessant rumination, like many of you I’d assume, I just did it.

And I’m here to say, meditation did not change my life.

If that comes as disappointing or soul-crushing to you, let me elaborate on what I mean. I’m still the exact same person I was a year ago. I still have the same…

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We all remember the sixth grade phase of adolesence we go through. Striking pre-puberty, misshapen clothes, gaudy-colored backpacks, thinking our bellies were too inflated. Well, I, for one, knew I was ugly from a young age.

A girl named Ruby in my class marched up to me in the hallway of the elementary school, cinematic like out of a scene, and in dramatic, slow-motion fashion as though a camera were panning in (and I remember it still vividly to this day- the very curve of her lips, the sly coyness of her eyes, with the alluring voice like molasses), said…

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Believe me, I am the most cycnical person I know. Unwittingly, behind every too-kind gesture, unctuous compliment, and altruistic move, I always looked for the ulterior motives and deceit. It is neither intentional nor something I’m proud of to admit my cold-bloodedness, but the miserable truth of it is that I usually see the worst, most practical version of things.

That’s why, when I heard about gratitude journalling as a legitimate method to substantially improve your mood, I thought it was wishy-washy and silly. All you have to do is write 3 things you are grateful for, and you feel…

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As a person who vehemently loathed gym class in high school, who dreaded the morning running warm-ups, and for whom Physical Education was the ever-remaining B on the report card, running was the main challenge to tackle. Since half a year ago, I started a habit of running, almost as a way to stop letting it be this thing I couldn’t do.

For me, running had never been a chore but a means towards an end. I dreamed of running a half-marathon in the future, logging ten miles without sweat, or getting to some supreme level of cardio physique where…

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Scores and scores of empty sheets. Coca-Cola cans and shiny junk food wrappers scattered on the pathway between the bed to the kitchen. New textbooks so devoid of human handprints they glimmered in lamplight. I realized all at once, in a moment of startling, unsettling clarity, I was nowhere near the goals I had set out for myself.

Perhaps you’re like me, and every once in a while, you’re tantalized, energized, and eagerly motivated by the prospect of self-improvement- on a Sunday night when you’ve had enough to sleep and the right things to eat and the time to exist…

For the longest time, I couldn’t tell myself this one thing. This one thing that caused me grief, confusion, self-correction and self-loathing over and over again, that made me a chameleon forever in camoflauge: No, there is nothing wrong with you.

As much as we’re bombarded with blatantly cheery, feel-good messages of self-love and acceptance, we still live in an era where women are never enough, where women blend in to stand out and adjust our microbehaviours to the tee to avoid being labelled a subversive, non-cooperative and disagreeable anti-team player. …

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I suppose I had an outdated, oversimplistic concept that immigration was a purely positive opportunity with no awkward consequences or unexplained limitations, where you had the chance to live in a better, developed, safe country with advanced healthcare, education, and employment with no downsides. I thought once I was here, it was all golden, all peachy. But recently, I’ve been unintentionally disillusioned, jaded, more ruminative of the fact that immigration comes at a cost.

Growing up, I never realized it was a culture dominated by white people. I could go months without once bringing up the topic of race in…

Michelle Lu

A young person trying to figure out life. A misadventurer, an explorer, a philosopher, a risk taker and a mistaker.

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