Monday, April 6, 2020

Social Media Blues

Being quarantined to a confined space really makes a person think.  It's been a while since I've had some time to myself to gather my thoughts.  I used to focus on the minute details of work and what is necessary to feel socially acceptable in front of my employees, my friends, peers, and colleagues.  As of late, I've been spending my days in pajamas, sweats, and trying to figure out what my next big career move will be.  Time and social isolation really changes people.  You start to miss the simple things in life, like hugging your friends.  As a society, we are supposed to practice social distancing from one another, which means we need to stand at least 3-6 feet away from the person next to us.  When you can't hug or have any means of physical contact with people you care about, it starts to eat away at you a bit.  For instance - I was not able to hug my own mother when I saw her the other day and it was emotionally wearing on me.  This is the price I pay for working in the medical field.  My parents wouldn't even let me touch my dog because they were afraid that he would catch Coronavirus as well.

I also noticed how frequently some people use their phones to check their social media platforms.  It's like an addiction to see who gets the most reactions on their news feed, or how many likes they get on their photos.  I used to be one of those people who needed to be liked across social media.  I used to want the attention of others to be "heard," but the other side of that coin meant that everyone had an opinion about you... and likely, you'd have haters.  Don't get me wrong - I love posting pictures about my foodie life and creating modeling content, but I realized along the way that those posts only showed a person I wanted to portray.  Instagram never showed my messy hair, my "I just woke up" face, or my runny eggs and toast for breakfast.  It showed the glamorous sides of my life.  After all of this mayhem that turned the world upside down and after knowing that so many people have died, is being on social media really worth it at this point?

Social media also creates an addiction to the phone.  You want to be liked by others.  You want people to notice you.  You want those same people to interact with you because they might think you're cool.  You post about the coolest places you've been to and how awesome your past vacations were.  In reality, you're still the same individual who needs to work and you have those daily stresses.  I feel like socially disconnecting myself for a bit to understand who I really am as a person.  I want to be liked because a person likes me, and not what I post.  I want to have real friends who will be there for me when I'm at my lowest and not when I'm just having a good time.  I want to be able to create memories with people who find the time to come out and have dinner or coffee dates with me, and not when we're just going to the next party.  Wouldn't life be a little more meaningful that way?

It's great to know that you can find your friends on Facebook and know they are okay.  However, Facebook is also spammed with fake news, as well as bad news.  I don't know how to react or feel when I hear someone else has passed away from COVID.  That news came straight from social media, and not my friends.  I've had instances where there has been a death in my family and other friends who found out posted about it before we had a chance to decide if it needed to be posted about or not.  Those things are very personal and private and shouldn't really shared on social media, unless the actual party involved decided to share it first.  I think people start posting about subjects and things because they mostly crave the attention.

I've been slowly shying off of Facebook and Instagram over the past few weeks because I just feel like it's mentally draining.  I don't get to interact with my friends too often, but that's what messenger and my cell phone is for.  If I keep looking at my phone every five minutes just to see who posted what or who liked my status, I think I'm going to drive myself insane.  I miss social interactions and I miss my friends and family.  I have begun to realize how much I've taken for granted as a young woman living in NYC and how much money I've spent over eating, going out, and being the adventurous spirit I am.  This quarantine makes me realize how important some people are in my life and how much I care about them.  I am sometimes afraid that if COVID gets to them, I may lose them and that's heartbreaking.  I can't always be there for them and that bothers me.

Do yourself a favor and hug someone you care about today, if you can.  You won't know when is the next time you will see them, so make sure it is a tight one filled with all the love you can give.  I only give one hug per day, so if you were lucky enough to receive my hug, that means you mean the world to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Year of the Coronavirus

Hello!  It's been quite a while... I started this blog back in 2013 and I am realizing that it is in serious need of a face lift.  I will work on that in the meantime, but let's talk about 2020.  This year has started off with an interesting series of events, which has led to the world's current state.  We are currently under quarantine due to a global pandemic.  Non-essential employees are not allowed to work and 6.6 million employees have filed for unemployment.  I am currently one of the essential employees, since I work in healthcare.  However, the front liners are doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists, hospital staff, etc.  As of right now, most employees have been working from home and are trying to hold the laboratories together to avoid further contamination of this virus we call COVID-19, or Coronavirus.

The origins of COVID-19 are still unknown and researchers are working restlessly to find an antidote.  People have predicted that the virus originated from Wuhan, China.  However, other sources have come to wonder if this is accurate.  I personally don't think it originated from China, but that's another story to tell.  The virus is non-discriminatory, so it attacks anyone who is in close proximity with another person who has been infected (sounds like some T-Virus stuff from the Umbrella Corporation, right?) and will have an incubation state of 14 days.  There are symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.  Symptomatic patients develop a high fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and can be lethal because it attacks the respiratory system.  Asymptomatic patients may be walking around and infecting others without even knowing they are positive.  So... due to the rapid spread, the world has shut down and advised the entire population of humans to quarantine themselves at home and wait it out.  Hospitals have been overbooked with unprecedented numbers of patients and laboratories have been working together to run PCR testing in order to develop a rapid response for patients.

So, what has Coronavirus led to?  Let's see...

  • Panic buying over random items like toilet paper, household cleaning items, and paper towels
  • A significant increase in racism against the Asian/ Asian American community... random people on the streets are hurting Asians or blaming the spread of Coronavirus on them - especially since Trump called the virus the "Chinese Virus"
  • People all over the world are dying - especially the elderly
  • Travel bans and border closing, which means an economic crisis due to the shortage of goods
  • Lack of PPE in hospitals to protect healthcare workers from being infected and taking the virus home to their families
  • Increased fear of sickness and death
  • Many people began implementing the practice of proper hygiene and hand washing (though, I don't know why they didn't do this before... it makes you wonder) 
  • Families being notified of the passing of their loved ones and not being able to retrieve the body or see them in the hospital because of fears of being infected
  • Daily activities have been halted and people have retreated to their homes indefinitely, unless it is to go to the stores to buy essential products
  • All department stores, malls, and restaurants have been shut down, unless you order online for take out or delivery
  • Many employees are left unemployed and are wondering how to survive without pay
  • Government tries to create a stimulus package to bail out the country from possible economic crumble
The list goes on.  I thought a new decade would bring change, but I didn't know the change would come straight out of the Book of Revelations.  In these times, I have seen and read many different stories and articles on Facebook, of which I've dubbed to be fake news.  However, one thing does remain constant... people feel entitled.  I say this because regardless of what the government tells their people to stop the spread, people still go outside due to cabin fever, they feel they can hurt others based on their irrational fears instead of actual facts, and they lie to nurses and doctors to get things done their way, which shows selfishness.  It's so sad to see who people actually become in times of crisis.  Healthcare workers are striving to work day in and out to protect and help others, and lying to them about where you've been or what you've been exposed to due to your own irrational fears of having the virus doesn't help anyone.  It's surreal.

During these times, I've been able to reflect a bit on what is important and what isn't.  I've become closer to my family and those around me.  I saw my mom for the first time in a month yesterday and I had to give her an air hug, since I had to be six feet away from her.  My mother is immunocompromised due to an autoimmune disease, so it is heartbreaking for me to not be able to hug her.  My dad offered me his elbow because I wasn't able to hug him either.  My sister is a nurse and has been exposed to the virus because her patient coded on her and passed away while she was doing chest compressions to try to save him (he coughed in her face, even with a mask), so she has shelled herself up in a hotel because she is afraid to come home since she lives with my mom.  My brother works at a pharmacy so he's dealing with patients daily, and you don't know who is sick and who is healthy.  He's also afraid of bringing the virus home to my parents.  My siblings and I have made arrangements for them to live away from home for a bit, and my parents face the reality that my brother and sister will have to grow up quickly (they're not happy).  This is the world we live in.

I miss human interactions with others.  I miss going out and hanging out with my friends.  I miss dinner date nights and laughing.  I miss hugs from people I love and care about.  Among all the things I miss?  I miss my freedom.  You don't realize how much you take for granted when you have it, but when things are gone, you end up thinking about what really matters.  I'll save that for the next post. 

Let's see what this new world will bring once this is over... 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Leaving 2019 Behind

Another year, another decade... and yet another version of me.

2019 was one very stressful year.  Being in leadership with my company has started taking a toll on me mentally and emotionally, which has been wearing me down.  I felt like I was treading deep water and barely keeping myself afloat.  Since my company is a start up, changes have been happening on a daily basis and I feel like there is always a discrepancy with ideas between my management team vs. upper management.  I spent 3/4 of the year making money to pay off debts.  I had a set goal of buying a car at the end of the year and I didn't achieve that goal.  I am a bit disappointed in myself because I didn't focus on everything I needed to focus on and I only achieved some of my goals.

2019 Goals:
  • Work hard and get a promotion/ better position
  • Reduce monetary debt by 50% 
  • Increase credit core by 100+ points
  • Get new car
  • Work out and eat healthier
  • Travel more
  • Get back into dance and aerial training
Okay, so half my goals have been achieved... not bad.  These goals will obviously roll over for 2020, along with some new ones.  I focused my energy on too many other things, rather than focusing on myself.  I think this caused my setback and deterred me from moving forward.  This year, I decided to cut out all of the negativity surrounding me - which included certain toxic people within different "communities" and friend circles.  I've purged my social media by removing most of these people because their nonsense really isn't worth my time.  I needed to delete the negative people in my life that have been trying to bring me down because they're actually irrelevant.  I believe that friends come and go... and most people I see or associate with in social settings are just acquaintances.  I personally do not have many friends and I just enjoy the ones I already have.  The select few that reach out to me to grab dinner or hang out are the ones I cherish because I see them as people who give me their time. 

I've officially worked in New York City for one full year.  I think I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I hate the commute - it takes over 1.5 hours to get to work each day, and my commute is heavily dependent on the MTA.  The winters get really cold and I always have to check the weather to dress accordingly when walking outside.  I also have realized how easily germs and things spread on the train, so my OCD for cleanliness has kicked in with hand sanitizing wipes and avoidance of touching anything on the train with my hands.  NYC hustle and bustle is so fast paced.  I'm not sure how I've managed to keep up with things (in and out of my company).  You begin to notice dramatic changes overnight... from opening/closing of new restaurants, pop up shops, changes in art and scenery, etc.  I absolutely love it, but if I cannot make the time frame of when museums pop up, I end up missing these small events.  I'm sure I'll become more accustomed to this lifestyle, but I miss driving.

Speaking of driving... my car finally died so I've been heavily relying on public transportation.  I was planning to buy a car at the end of last year, but it has been postponed because my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Hong Kong (I'll blog about this at a later time).  I need to make this my main priority this year because this goal has been on hold for three years now.  I would rather take some time to myself and figure out what I need to do over the next few months so I can finally cross this off my list.  I miss having a car and I understand the financial cost of my ideal dream car, but it's something that needs to be done. 

One of the highlights of last year was that I was able to travel to Asia last year and we got a chance to go to Hong Kong and Macau.  It was a lot of fun, considering I have never been to China and the last time I've been to Asia was 1999.  I ate so much food while I was there and probably gained 10 lbs. in the process.  There was so much to see and buy as well.  I was able to meet Kenny's family and it was nice to see him interact with his relatives.  He hasn't seen them in a long time, so I understand the need to spend time with them.  I mostly enjoyed the shopping and the tourist sight-seeing aspect... and we came at a time where there wasn't too much turmoil from the unrest and protests from the people of Hong Kong.  I feel for the people of that country... they're fighting for freedom that is slowly being taken away from them.  I do hope this turmoil gets resolved soon.

I need to take some time to focus on myself for 2020.  I've started doing that in 2019, but I need to figure out what I want.  The question that was presented to me yesterday was, "Where do you want to be in the next three years?"  Honestly, I have no idea.  I'm at a standstill of what I want to do.  I'm comfortable at my job and I am okay with my life, but at the same time, something is lacking and missing.  As crazy as 2018 was, I was happy with myself.  I think that same mindset needs to come back for 2020.  I need to stop thinking about all my insecurities and realize I'm still the same bad ass woman I was before... with more fashionable clothing and bigger dreams.  Okay 2020, bring it.