Why I Stopped Watching the Oscars (Grammys and Super Bowl)

Even before social media and the Kardashians, there was this pressure to keep up with the trend setters. We called it “bubbler talk” back then. Were you “in the know” enough to keep up with conversations at the office watering hole? It very often separated the cool kids from the dorks, even years after those tortuous rights of passage days called “high school.”

I spent years trying to keep up, both in college social circles and internships. But then I did something really crazy in my life. After graduating from college, I joined the Peace Corps and isolated myself in the Chui Valley of the Kyrgyz Republic (aka Kyrgyzstan) where electricity was spotty, televisions were far and few between, and mountains surrounded me in three out of four directions. Entertainment took the form of “guesting” which was exactly as it sounds—hosting guests or being guests and, if you were my host family, spending hours eating, drinking, singing and eventually getting shit-faced drunk on the nastiest vodka you can imagine—all in good humor, of course. Continue reading


15 Ways to Create Bliss in Your Life


What is happiness? Is it a journey or a destination? Is it a mythical state of being that we spend our entire lives striving to attain or is it a cumulation of simple joys that we look back upon with contentment and fondness? I personally think it’s a little of both, and the trap that many people fall into is something that happens to some people along their journey to finding happiness: they become blind to the small pleasures that scatter their path to joy as they are so fixated on their destination. When this happens, a real tragedy is written. Not being able to recognize the simple blessings in life is perhaps one of the saddest things that could happen to a person.

So what are the simple pleasures in life, and are they things we can create for ourselves or do they happen to us organically? Again, I believe it is a combination of both for there are some things we can control and some things we can’t. So what about the things we can control? How do we find these tiny moments of bliss? You create them, of course. And it doesn’t take much. Start by… Continue reading

3 Apps to Help You Meditate, Unwind, and Fall Asleep

We’ve all been there. It’s midnight, and you can’t fall asleep, but you know you have to soon because you have an important day at work tomorrow. Or worse yet, it’s 3 a.m. and you’re wide awake, anxious about the impending alarm that will sound off in just a matter of hours. Before you know it, you’re stressing out about falling asleep, and any effort to catch some Zzz’s becomes counterproductive. What on earth can you do to still your mind and ultimately your body?

There are three apps I alternate among during such moments of panic. Here’s what I like about each of them: Continue reading

365 Days for 5 Years: A Retrospective


A year ago today I was struggling. I was working in a toxic environment, living in an expensive, cramped apartment, and my relationship was on the rocks. While I don’t remember being depressed per se, I do remember feeling hopeless. I remember many sleepless nights, and I remember doing what I could to make my situation bearable, yet feeling so exhausted by the effort it took to remain as positive as I could. That was where I was in February 2016. Continue reading