Jo Club 5/n, “What brings you a sense of calm?”

Bryan left for a boys’ weekend earlier today and won’t be coming back until Sunday night. Though, over the past year, he’s left for nearly the entire day, we haven’t been completely apart for an entire weekend in… over a year.

On one hand, I’m excited for the alone time. On the other hand, I love having a full day of alone time… that ends with him coming back home. I can’t remember that last time that I slept alone in my own bed! (Is this what codependence looks like???)

In the spirit of independence, I’m trying to find ways to enjoy my alone time! If I don’t have a plan, I often default to mindlessly scrolling on my computer or on my phone, so I happen to have a to-do list of things-I-want-to-do-that-don’t-always-require-Bryan up in my brain already:

  • Cleaning! Chores like putting away clutter, washing the dishes, and wiping up spills sound like a boring way to spend my free time, but having things clean is very! satisfying!
  • Hot pot! I’ve written about it before, and we’re doing it a lot less often these days, but I’ve definitely found comfort in every part of the very predictable yet very tasty hot pot routine – buying the ingredients, one person prepping the food, the other person prepping the hot pot, the aroma of the steamy broth, I could go on! Though I love trying new dishes, it is nice once in a while to know exactly what we’re going to eat (and getting to look forward to it all day!).
  • Taking baths! Granted, these were a lot better in Japan (see: rooftop onsen), but I am glad that I’ve grown to appreciate a good bath and can enjoy one every once in a while. I was scared of them for a long time because of my sensitive skin, but through experimentation I’ve found the right temperature and add-ins that are right for me and my body. (I just wish our tub were deeper!)
  • Stretching! This doesn’t sound particularly calming, and honestly doesn’t feel that way in my body, depending on the day, but like hot pot, the routine is the real star of the show. Through, again, lots of experimentation, I’ve found the exact stretches, foam rolls, and self-massages that really feel good in my body. My muscles might be on fire, but there’s a very specific kind of satisfaction that comes with finding a knot and rolling it away.
  • Going for walks! This is not necessarily related to alone time – I go on walks all the time, sometimes with Bryan – but it’s one habit that I would love to continue into the rest of my life, even after “quarantine” is over. I love exploring different areas of my neighborhood, catching up on my podcasts, soaking up the sun, and getting my heart pumping a little bit. It’s been the perfect way to mentally separate my work day from the rest of my evening. I love a mental cue!

Jo Club 3/n, “Write about your gains and losses over the last six months.”

Taking it back a bit…

I settled into quarantine hard.

It’s been nice because I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve tuned in to what makes me feel good and what makes me feel drained. As society has opened up little-by-little, I’ve been able to experiment with setting boundaries with other people, and learn how much recharge time I really need after being social. I’ve learned to value whatever nourishing connections I can find and cherish them without become bitter and grumpy about obligation and overstimulation. Now, more than ever, I’ve even appreciated whatever small vacations and changes-of-scenery I can take away from home.

It’s sucked because, like I mentioned earlier, I’ve settled into quarantine hard. It’s extremely easy to set boundaries with others when I can hide behind social distancing guidelines. I’ve secretly been dreading a return to normal because I’ve realized that I am a huge homebody, and part of me doesn’t really want to return to normal. I love the 2-minute commute to my desk! I love not spending money at bars and clubs every weekend! I love not having to stress about feeling obligated to do things that I don’t actually want to do! I’m dreading having to make those decisions again! For the rest of my life!

Trisha Reviews: Fake Famous, and Some Musings About the Blog

Earlier this week, I was watching the new HBO documentary Fake Famous while writing my blog post for the week. I had heard a lot of buzz for the documentary and was curious about one specific point: two out of the three participants drop out of the experience before the end – why?

Hearing about the amount of power that Instagram followers and likes and online clout in general have on society was fascinating and simultaneously made me want to bang my head against a wall. I’m not surprised that the most successful influencers end up being pretty rich to begin with, since they need to put a lot of money into their craft! I’m not surprised that kids now grow up wanting to be influencers, and not the ubiquitous “doctor”, “firefighter”, “ballerina”, etc. from my youth! I don’t want it to be the truth, but it is, and I don’t gain anything from digging my head into the sand and pretending like this isn’t how the world works now.

(image from wired.com)

Though the movie is not particularly kind in its portrayal of “influencers” in general, I surprisingly didn’t hate the remaining participant, Dominique, like I thought I would. She had signed on for the perfect opportunity for her burgeoning acting career and did what she could to succeed in the experiment, and she did it well! Good for you, girl!

However, as I mentioned before, the most interesting bits of the documentary for me were the other two participants who decided to call it quits before seeing any tangible popularity gains. Though their individual stories and journeys were different, they were both rooted in general discomfort with the entire process and the fear of appearing “fake.” Though my first reaction was to think, yes, this is what you signed up for!, the reality is definitely that things are different when it’s happening to you. One participant, Chris, was weary of fake comments and followers after years of cultivating a persona of being authentic to himself (and, again, good for you, dude!). The other participant, Wylie, became anxious after hearing from an old acquaintance who was judging the path that he was going down. Because the only influencers that I ever really see are those who have fully “bought in” to the lifestyle, it had never occurred to me that there may be people who start down that road but are discouraged by people’s perceptions of them – especially the perceptions of those who already know you.

All three of their stories made me think about the delicate tightrope walk between being genuinely true to yourself and “selling out,” and how everyone’s ability to walk that line is different. We all have different things we want to get out of life, after all!


As for the blog post, the topic I was writing about – inclusive language – was extra tricky, and I spent hours racking my brain for how to approach such a tricky topic. At the end of the night, I walked away from my keyboard even more stressed. On one hand, I wished that I had more time to write the post; on the other hand, I was so worried about my thoughts on the topic coming across as pretentious, at best, to offensive or even just incorrect, at worst. After a night of tossing and turning, I realized that I didn’t even want to write about that subject, and deleted my post before it was published.

I didn’t mean for Fake Famous to affect my blog moving forward, but it definitely planted some seeds. I now have some new plans for my blog moving forward – read about them below!

Continue reading “Trisha Reviews: Fake Famous, and Some Musings About the Blog”