Growing up pre-internet was difficult for me, without the security of electronic reminders and Google Calendar alerts.

I was an anxious child, wrought with worry of getting into trouble, and typically over-prepared in all situations.

I would pack my schoolbag the night before and repack it at least 3 times to make sure I had everything I needed. But without fail, I would always forget something (on occasions, my entire bag was left at home) and be met with the mortification of getting into trouble (which, is totally ironic because I crafted my entire existence to avoid getting into such trouble).

Every report card I had from teachers mentioned that I was a smart kid, but made one too many careless mistakes. I am one of those kids who would hand in their test without…

Here are 10 good books I read in 2019, in no particular order:

A million thoughts race through my head as I type, backspace, type, backspace, seemingly unable to get the right words onto the page.

Today is the last day of the year, of the decade. It’s all just a construct but there’s something so definitive about the year ending. Like many other humans, I like a fresh start. But this year, especially so.

2019 has been a tough one.

Not that good things didn’t happen. They did. And it’s not about being ungrateful or not celebrating the wins. And I did notice the small and mundane things, too. It’s just that there was an undercurrent of overwhelm and a lack of solidness. I felt pulled in all directions and ended up not being really present in anything. But I am…

I found this old post I did back in 2011…

The thief of time

“I could not forbear to reproach myself for having so long neglected what was unavoidably to be done, and of which every moment’s idleness increased the difficulty.”

This could not have been said any better than by Samuel Johnson, eighteenth century literature giant. Yes. Procrastination. We all do it. We all shamefully give in to procrastination. Recently, it has been brought to my attention that almost all my peers and colleagues and just about everyone that I know engage in procrastination, ranging from occasional to serious offenders.

So I did…

An excerpt on melancholy and the meaning of life

On postponing

People waiting for the train at the platform in Japan.
People waiting for the train at the platform in Japan.
Each day we wait.

A close friend once told me that he’s constantly waiting for life to begin. That he’s afraid his life will be over before it really began. It’s a sentiment that many of us have, at one point or another, enter our minds. It makes us uncomfortably anxious, fills out stomachs with dread, and we messily shove it aside into some deep dark pit until we can comfortably go about our day again.

“I’m constantly waiting for life to begin. …

On anxiety and the endless loop in my brain

A blank polaroid photo held up at arm’s length
A blank polaroid photo held up at arm’s length
If only it were blank.

I am eleven years old.

I walk into my class, pull out my wooden chair, and sit down at my wooden desk. I put my hands into the shelf and pull out my books.

I look down and see a cockroach, twirling its nasty antennae at me. I did a half-gasp — you know, the kind where you’re startled for a mili-second and don’t make much of a sound. And I sat there, staring at that damned cockroach that was seemingly mocking me. You see, I was a reserved kid. I had always felt I had something of a delayed-response…

My thoughts on gratitude, as the kind of person who likes to make fun of #blessed

I’m skeptical. I pride myself in being a logical person. Lately, I’ve been facing a challenge — one of gratitude.

It started with a story.

You know, one of those stories where the author starts off with the and when things really hit rock bottom, they decided to do the unimaginable and consciously stepped into a space of gratitude. They began spouting off things they were grateful for and lo and behold, miracles happen and everyone lives happily ever after.

Yea, one of stories.

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. But another person next to…

On the depression that stays

There are many stories about depression. The dark times, the empty void, the downward spiral. Yet, many triumphant survivors tell of their success.

How they beat depression.

How they overcame depression.

How they came back out stronger, better, happier and healthier.

But what about those of us who are still on the battlefield?

If only someone could put a timeframe from start to finish. Then you could measure your success according to how long it should last. “Is there something wrong with me?” That’s a question I keep hearing. “Why am I still not better?”

This post today is not…

On being reactionary to suicide and unintentionally ignoring the epidemic of pain and suffering facing kids.

Last week, a 13 year old girl jumped to her death.

The school press release said the girl had good grades, was outgoing and well-liked by teachers and peers, and was a part of the school choir and badminton team.

Young people dying from suicide elicits a deep, deep sense of tragedy like no other. Young people, it seems, should be happy, wide-eyed, curious for the future. But suicides bring to the fore-front a reality that does not match up to our expectations. Hotlines are shared, posts are made on Facebook calling for all to check in with their loved ones, crisis teams are brought into schools to help students process.

Jamie Chiu

Clinical Psychologist | 🇬🇭🇦🇺🇭🇰 | Good Brain Labs | The Brightly Project

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