Surviving the pandemic with your partner.

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Our story is unique. But like many others who choose to love despite the distance, we are a product of our perseverance.

We have endured a 15-hour time difference, missed phone calls, and horrific internet service.

However, the worst of them all is that rush of yearning you get without warning. It creeps up to you uninvited and reduces you to unfulfillment.

Having someone to love, yet being apart from them is one of the worst things to ever happen to someone.

But such is the beauty and magic of love. …

My depression may be a part of me, but it doesn’t necessarily have to define the rest of my life.

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Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

About two years ago, I had the most difficult conversation I have ever had with my parents. It was the holidays, and I was coming home after a grueling semester.

The house was adorned with colorful decorations. The smell of food and liquor signaled a joyous occasion. But my parents were in no mood to celebrate. In fact, they were fuming at my betrayal.

My parents sat across from me at our dinner table. I had just told them that I dropped most of my classes. I was barely attending any of them because I was exhausted beyond repair.

There was confusion at first. All my life, I have heard that depression was just an excuse for bad kids who didn’t want to do their homework. But I couldn’t live with lying to myself anymore. …

The good news is that it takes no more than cultivating positive habits to invite achievement into your life.

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Photo by Enara Agirrezabala on Unsplash

Your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi once said that if you wish to be destined for success, you must have the habits to match it.

I used to be scared of many things when I was younger, but taking ballet classes was not one of them. On any given day, I would cower behind my mother’s skirt or hide in my father’s chicken coop, but my 13-year-old self flourished in front of an audience.

Shortly after, I ditched the ballet flats for more comfortable shoes. However, I reminisce fondly, not only on the performance of my life but also on the experiences leading up to it. …

Transformational love builds you up, while transactional love breaks you down. The right kind of love does not take but gives.

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Photo by Shingi Rice on Unsplash

I never really learned how to count in a relationship until after my first boyfriend, Joseph, broke up with me. When you’re 18 and in love, you do not see anything else; not the red flags, the obvious incompatibility, or the underlying issues. However, you do remember when they break up with you over a phone call during the weekend a relative of yours passed away.

“I gave more than I received from this relationship,” he said to me over a 2-minute exchange, with nothing but sobs, snot, and hiccups on my end.

“You should have given me more.”

Tragic, yes. But eye-opening nonetheless. You see, I gave him everything that I could possibly muster in the span of our one-year relationship. But people who count never know when it’s enough. …

Since self-sabotage is largely internal, it takes time and conscious effort to radically change the mechanisms in place.

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Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

I have been a victim of my self-sabotaging for years. I’ve witnessed it happen in school, in work, and my relationships. But mostly, it happens when I perceive things are far greater than I am.

Back in college, I’ve procrastinated on writing my papers, not because I was lazy, but because if I failed, it would have been easier to assign the blame on the situation rather than my lack of abilities.

I’ve broken up with my previous partners because it was more convenient than facing my truth: I am afraid of finding out that I may not be deserving of any of them. …

It is crucial that we learn how to talk, compassionately, and reassuringly, to the insecure child within us.

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Photo by Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never handled criticism well. I squirmed whenever someone took a look at my work and didn’t like it. It was even worse when they had something to correct about it.

You see, in our household, anything less than excellent was unacceptable. You can’t really show your face at the dinner table and expect to be applauded for above-average work. That won’t sit well with the teachers, my mother always used to reprimand me.

So I strived for perfection over and over, until my parents had nothing left to say except high praises. …

It is a misconception that the wealthier you are, the happier you will be.

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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Un

Back when we first started dating, I always found it odd that my boyfriend had an awful lot of sneakers. It was ridiculous. He had them strewn all over his floor and cabinets.

However, when he decided to pursue his dream of traveling the world, he had to let them all go. I know it must have been difficult for him, but it was also the most sensical thing to do.

After all, his travel experiences have been completely incomparable and more valuable than the possessions he once owned.

Consumer Culture Doesn’t Care

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” …

While routine behaviors are already wired in your brain, introducing new behaviors requires much more effort.

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Did you know that monkeys are better at adapting to change than humans? I’m not kidding. A behavioral study from Georgia State University found that monkeys outperformed humans in various tests of cognitive flexibility.

Between the two, monkeys were more open to switching to efficient strategies to achieve their goals. Humans, on the other hand, were quick to resist new ideations and would rather stick to old approaches.

When it comes to embracing change, I guess it is safe to say that there is much we can learn from monkeys. But since I do not claim to know about what goes on inside a monkey’s head, here is a growing body of research that can explain human cognitive abilities extensively instead. …

Manifestation is simply the result of actively putting yourself in front of the path you want.

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Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

I’ve always been envious of my partner’s ability to make things happen. It’s the weirdest thing too. One day, he’ll just declare out loud that he wants to achieve something, and next thing you know, he has learned a new dish, or finished a video game record, or accepted a new job.

Even when sometimes, he doesn’t necessarily have all the pieces together yet. In fact, his dream to travel the world was merely an idea about a year ago; a simple idea that was sparked by his desire to grow with the world.

A year later, he has been living abroad ever since. …

Caring for your mind as well as your body means you’ll not only live longer but better.

Why You Should Stop Neglecting Your Mental Health
Why You Should Stop Neglecting Your Mental Health
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

For many years, I was living in fear of being found out that I was struggling with depression. But that only made more harm than good in my life.

It was taxing, not only mentally, but emotionally, and physically as well. I put so much strain on my previous relationships. I managed to alienate most of my friends and family. I lose sight of who I was, and what I was here for.

It took some time, but I am slowly getting the help that I need. …

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Jaleel & Nicole

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