Photo by Armin Lotfi on Unsplash

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Yesterday was March 11, 2021, and Toronto is currently in its second lockdown.

I don’t think any of us could have anticipated how persistent this virus would be and how much its presence would change our lives. Last March, I remember wondering if I would still get to go on my European vacation in June (nope!). This March, I’m wondering how long it will be before I’m able to go to a restaurant in my own city.

I am incredibly thankful that I haven’t lost anyone to…

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I’m writing this article on a 2012 MacBook Air. The “A,” “S,” and “delete” keys no longer work, so I have to use my roommate’s iPad keyboard, and the battery dies within 20 minutes of being away from its charger, so I’m pretty much tethered to my desk.

I’ve been meaning to get a new laptop, but I kept telling myself I’d add to my laptop fund whenever I happened to be in possession of a large sum of extra money, which — if you’re a fellow millennial you know — is never going to happen.

Adding small amounts to…

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Why are you a feminist?” they ask,
“Don’t we have equality already?
What is there left to fight for?”

How dare you ask that
When there are women missing
On land that was stolen from them.

How dare you ask that
When the colour of a woman’s skin
Dictates how her voice is perceived.
Isn’t it counter-intuitive to have to
Soften your tone just to be heard?

How dare you ask that
When “What’s between your legs?”
Becomes an okay question to ask
Those announcing their womanhood.

How dare you ask that
When love between women
Is only okay as long as…

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I’m sorry in advance
for all the times I will
turn over to you in bed at
4am with tear-stained cheeks
and a head full of noise. Sometimes
I just can’t seem to find
the off button for my thoughts.

I’m sorry in advance
for all the times I will
get angry at you for no reason,
and for all the times I might
think you will leave me
for someone better. Sometimes
I can’t imagine anyone
wanting to be with me forever.

I’m sorry in advance
for all the afternoons
I will spend alone,
curtains drawn, messages
unanswered. …

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“Did you know that all Solitaire games have at least one solution?” proclaimed my father to a nine-year-old me, after seeing me play (and mostly lose) Solitaire on his computer. I’m pretty sure he meant it in a harmless, ‘fun fact’ kind of way, but my little perfectionist brain naturally took this as a personal attack. “That means, if I lose, it’s…my fault?” I whispered to myself. I immediately decided that I hated Solitaire.

To this day, whenever I’m bad at something, I find it a lot easier to give up rather than put in the work to get better…

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When we experience trauma in our lives, we often end up feeling like a victim. We feel betrayed by our god, or the universe, or other people. We feel weak. We feel powerless. We raise our arms to the heavens and ask, “Why? What did I do to deserve this?”

Well, what if we changed our perspective? I don’t believe the universe punishes anyone, I don’t put my faith in a vengeful god, and I don’t think that people are out to get us. What I do believe is that the universe teaches us lessons. …

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you,” I look up to see my friends crowded around me, “Happy birthday dear Marina, happy birthday to you,” a cake that I would later feel bad about eating is brought out, “Are you one? Are you two?…” We count to my current age and everyone cheers. I smile, close my eyes, and blow out the candles, thinking, I wish I was skinny.

I’ve always wanted to be small. It’s what I would wish for anytime I threw a penny in a fountain, whenever I saw a clock read 11:11, and every single…

Life is filled with countless cycles. Some are naturally-occurring — the sun rises and sets every day; the moon waxes to completion then wanes back to nothing; mother nature loops through her four seasons. Others, we have created — kids are sent to school each semester without fail; the same holidays and astrological signs are celebrated annually; each animal of the Chinese zodiac gets to shine every 12 years.

These perpetual cycles give us a sense of comfort among the chaos of life by offering structure. On my personal quest to find structure, and to better understand my emotions and…

“I’ll be happy when I’m skinny,” “I’ll be happy when I’m in a relationship,” “I’ll be happy when my blog takes off,” “I’ll be happy when I have tons of money,” — this has been my narrative for as long as I can remember. As if at some arbitrary point in my life I would finally decide, “Yes, this is it. I’ve made it. I’m good enough. Now, I can be happy.”

I was always busy working on the dream me. My waking moments were filled with daydreams of a shinier, skinnier, and more successful version of myself. At night…

I’ve been taking antidepressants consistently for over two years now, and I’m finally starting to come to terms with the fact that I will likely be taking them for the rest of my life.

My first stint with antidepressants happened when I was just shy of 17. My mother found me crying on the couch one day, unable to stop. Through heaving sobs, I told her I needed her to take me to a professional. This wasn’t the first time I had suggested it, but this was the first time she agreed. …

Mindful Miss

Leftist mental health writer || she/her || @_mindfulmiss on Twitter & Instagram

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