La Vie Est Belle.

We were walking toward the AMC Theater, just my mother and I, when a certain tide of pure bliss began to wash over me. Like waves in the endless ocean as the tide rises toward one, this overwhelming feeling drew near me softly and slowly, first tickling the toes, then receding a bit, then reaching toward the calves, then receding a bit again, and then reaching the knees, and I’m sure that if I’d rested immobile it would have covered my head in no time, and carried me away, blissfully unconscious and without any trace of protest, in its caressing flow back to the vast salty water. But this tide of pure bliss was accentuated by a constant, subtle reminder: “Enjoy this rare moment of utter peace, because later you will have to go back to your responsibilities and misery. And because if you don’t enjoy this now while you can, you shall always regret not having lived this moment to its fullest.” And for once, I tried to listen to my heart’s advice.

The parking lot, devoid of all signs of human activity, was naught more than a vast labyrinth of stationary cars around which we made our way to the grand entrance. As I saw the colorful façade of the once-profitable cinema, the pent-up anxiety of years seemingly evaporated in the crisp dusk air. It was the second time in my life going to an actual cinema to watch a movie. After all, I usually was too busy to even watch a movie in the first place, and when I wasn’t too busy, I was too cheap to spend anything on movies and thus never watched any other than the couple of passable films available on my mother’s Amazon Prime.

But last night was different. Under that blue moon, we were in the mood for spending money on unnecessary things. For me, it was the first day of Spring Break after a hectic three months in the new year of 2018. For her, it was an unusual Friday night away from her job set aside for time with her baby girl, now an awkward adolescent. For various reasons personal, scholarly, and professional, both of us felt accomplished and happy for once. There was no argument over my overwhelming stupidity, no bickering over my incurable laziness, no harsh rebuke for my cursed clumsiness, no angry yelling over the couple of ostensibly worthless friends that I had.

In this auspicious state we entered the cinema. Though we have lived near it for all of our five years in the country, we had never entered it before. The high ceilings and interior design reminiscent of its bygone era of profitability greeted us as we got our tickets. The ticket lady asked us which film we wanted to watch, and spotting on the bulletin a film a friend of mine recommended, I chose that one, while my mother nodded her beautiful head in agreement. Apparently we either both look like students despite our 24-year age difference or the kind ticket lady was having an especially good day, because both of us managed to somehow receive discounted student tickets instead of the usual adult ones. You see, my mother is almost 40, but looks young enough to be a high school student. I, on the other hand, look 30 despite my actual age of 15. I guess this was one gene the ugly duckling didn’t get from the beautiful swan mother.

Giggling over our great fortune, we sauntered into Auditorium 6, where our film Love, Simon was scheduled to begin to play in a quarter hour. As we sat down to dorky Coca-Cola ads, I contemplated what my friend had told me over text a couple weeks ago. He had said something along the lines of, “It’s hard to keep a constant secret. When you’re finally able to be yourself and stop hiding from the world, it’s like you can finally breathe again.” It was the first time in a very long while that I felt understood in the essence of my heart. Throughout my life, I’ve kept to myself deliberately. Maybe I am afraid of discovery, maybe I don’t want people to have anything to do with me, maybe I have this unreasonable fear of dependency and emotional ties embedded into my heart. I have only hung out with “friends” my own age twice, as in, twice when I was around five years old in the hawkish presence of our respective families, and the only non-school sponsored party I’ve ever been to was the birthday party of a classmate back in kindergarten. This was all before I had found out something was inherently “other” about me.

I have a horrid case of what I myself would call relentless ambition. Nothing is ever enough to satisfy my quenchless thirst for perfection. My level of self-esteem and self-acceptance is directly correlated to my most recent achievement and my ability to keep my mind busy enough to not think, to not worry. A typical conversation with myself sounds like: A 1600 on the SAT? Nice, but what about the next AP Chemistry test? Perfect grades? Fine, but what about making money? A great online job that makes a shit load of money when I want to? Sweet, but what about emotional intelligence? Oh, right, I don’t have any close friends. Fuck. Right. I’m an absolutely worthless piece of shit not worth people’s spit who is destined to be forever alone and miserable through no fault of others but rather through my own social ineptitude. Right. Fuck.

Or something of that sort. You get the idea.

But last night all that fell away like the layers of a peeled onion, leaving nothing but the sweet heart of the pungent vegetable, the essence of my bliss. I loved the movie, and while I had to explain some sections to my mother, who does not understand English when spoken too fast, I enjoyed doing that too. Granted, taking my ultra-conservative mother to watch a film about a gay guy coming out might not have been the best idea for mother-daughter bonding time, but I also wanted to see her reaction. (Yes, I know, classic emo teenage girl.) To my pleasant surprise, she enjoyed the majority of the movie, but was utterly shocked to see the crazy party scenes and the makeout sessions.

We walked out of the theater with all the other eight people in Auditorium 6, desperately needing the bathroom after the long film. Walking back to the car, we couldn’t have been happier. I knew I still had an entire essay in a foreign language to write after getting back home, but I felt I could finally face life’s demands again without killing myself just that much more on the inside. I kissed my mother good night when she went to bed, and for the first time in a very long time, I told her that I loved her. But before settling down to three solid hours of essay-writing, I opened the window and looked up at the stars, also for the first time in a very long time. Breathing in the green grass that surrounded our ground-floor apartment, I whispered to the heavens, “La vie est belle.”


An Ode to Talkativeness [Random Rambles]

The more you talk, the better you feel.

I used to be silent, thinking that the more I talked, the more annoying I would be, but then I realized that everybody hated me despite this (or, rather, because of this). So I was like, fuck it, this strategy sure ain’t working, and reading this article cemented my inkling that, no, it really wasn’t working. So I began to talk a bit more. I started by talking to people who didn’t intimidate me, and people with whom I would like to be friends. Then my circle of talkativeness widened, and weirdly, the more I talked, the better I felt. Also, the more I talked, the better I was at talking and having a more interesting personality.

My depression, though it still exists, has not come back to haunt me in the form of suicidal thoughts. My anxiety, though it still exists, has ceased to give me nightmares and panic attacks every day. Though I still get nightmares and panic attacks, they have been toned down and occur less frequently.

I guess talking is just a way to distract yourself, at the end of the day. But you can also make friends along the way, and I guess with mental health issues, the more you can distract yourself healthily, whether it be with schoolwork, work, activities, or hanging out with friends, the better.

I don’t mean that talkativeness is good without bounds – once you hit a certain level, you do get annoying. But I guess if you realize you’re being annoying by talking too much, then that probably means you haven’t yet hit that level. If you’re really annoying, then you don’t ever realize you’re being annoying.

Moreover, a byproduct of being talkative and faking your happiness is that at the end of the day, you really become happier and less vulnerable. Numerous psychological studies suggest that the more you smile, the happier you are. Also, people who are more talkative and less marginalized in society get “fucked over” less – assholes are a bit scared of happy people with lots of friends, might I say.

So, yeah, I guess this concludes my “random rambles” this time, and I now have to go back to being productive. I have a PowerPoint due Tuesday about McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials, and I cannot procrastinate more…see you next time.

Summertime Sadness


I love the summertime. Maybe it’s the lack of stress and the ability for me to do whatever the fuck I want in these 3 months, or because I don’t have to deal with the annoying kids at my school, or it’s the weather and how it’s always so pretty outside, but the result is that for the past couple of years summer has been the only time when I’m not suicidally depressed. Seriously. Stress, anxiety, and depression build up inside me during the 9 months of the school year, and over the summer, I slowly get better. But by the time I’m 87-ish percent healed, school restarts. Every time. So then I start school in a decent mood, but every year this mood at the start of the school year also gets just a little bit worse, because 3 months is obviously not enough for me to become thoroughly fine again, and my sadness just builds up off of that remainder 13% of sad me.

Also, if you’ve made it thus far, you are a genius. I post this sort of stuff on an anonymous blog mainly because people think I’m fucking insane when I say this to them, and I don’t blame them for it – I’m not very descriptive. And, just for the record, I’m not complaining – I know that I’m extremely privileged, especially compared to, say, the starving kids in rural Ghana.

But anyway, I don’t know if it’s just me, but every single summer I have this dread in the back of my head of school restarting. It’s like an hourglass or a “progress bar” of good times, if you will – you hope to manipulate gravity so that the sand moves more slowly, or even reverses itself, or you hope to somehow hack the computer so that the progress bar stays at 10% instead of inching toward 99%.

And I don’t know about you, but usually after, say, 2-3 weeks of the summer, my life starts going back into a routine. And then the days pass as quickly as the pages in a good novel.

And then school starts back up again.

But, this time, I swear, it’s going to be different…

Which Way Is Right, Which Way Is Wrong?

The road to success has been described by various successful people in varying lights, various authors to “bibles to a successful life” claim to know the exact way to success, and parents, relatives, and old people alike often offer (quite unsolicited) advice on this matter. My question: which of these people is/are right, and when?

I know that the road to success varies for everyone, as does the definition of the word itself, but the people who write these various “success bibles” probably don’t realize this fact. Or maybe they do, and prefer to not acknowledge it.

I’m not saying that I don’t read success bibles: in fact, I’ve read multiple biographies of successful people (Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett) and want to read more, mostly just for the hell of it but also to try to figure my own life out – not that I want to model mine after theirs, but just because I want to get some “inspo,” if you get my drift.

But my chief complaint is that these success stories oftentimes contradict each other (e.g. Buffett: “the 1st rule to making money is to not lose money; the 2nd rule is to never forget the 1st rule.” vs. Don Keough (former President of Coca-Cola) in The 10 Commandments of Business Failure: “If you quit taking risks, you will fail.”). I know that what works for someone may not work for someone else, but for a confused 14-year-old who still doesn’t know what the fuck I’m going to do with my life ((starving) artist? (starving) writer? (hopefully not starving) businessperson/financier?), that is pretty hard to digest.

However, the bright side is that at least I get to decide my own path – I get some freedom to write my own story, essentially, whether it be of success or failure.

BUT here’s another complaint: notwithstanding the fact that biographers oftentimes exaggerate certain aspects of their biographees, all of these supposedly successful people already had some marking/special characteristics by the time they’re 14, and I’ve done NOTHING special…it really makes me doubt whether I’ll ever do anything special with my life…


The Benefits of Global Currency Digitalization

**This is a more serious post than what is usual for this blog. In fact, this was originally a research paper for my English class, but since I thought this topic pertinent and important, here it is on my blog.**

The digital revolution transformed the human experience. It forever altered human relationships, from changing the media through which daily interpersonal interactions occur to completely overhauling the human relationship with information and even widening the generation gap. What went into a letter written in pen on paper now goes into an email, what required physical meetings for face-to-face conversations now requires text applications such as iMessage and SMS, and what required a scan through three volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica now requires a scan through the top five lines of a Google webpage. But yet the financial industry has remained obstinately backward. Transactions still take a preposterous amount of time, and a glance through the pockets of almost everybody will prove that cash has remained king, despite the multitudes of superior options. Hence, governments, businesses, and individuals alike should aid in expediting the transition from a cash-based currency to a digital, paperless one.

First, the transition from a cash currency to a digital one will improve the efficiency of monetary transactions and hence that of the entire economy. Currently, international bank transfers may take up to a week and usually require loads of documentation (Athey). However, the same transfers conducted through digital money companies take an average processing time of just a day (Gimein). Ditching our current currencies in the favor of digital ones provides an even better option. Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency, sends transactions over long distances cheaply, safely, and instantaneously. Furthermore, these digital money companies have fast-tracked everyday small-scale transactions: clients can now pay through the sheer swipe of a card or code, instead of having to stand in line, count bills and coins, and wait while the vendor counts change. Reducing or eliminating the need for physical money will move transaction fees and processing time down with it.

Besides, the widespread use of digital money will aid in efforts to reduce crime. Property crimes currently occur around 1.2 million times annually just in the United States, making them the second most common felony in the country (Schatz Anderson & Associates). Replacing physical money with digital currencies presents a solution to the proliferation of these crimes. First and foremost, criminals cannot rob or steal digital money, such as virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies, through physical means. Moreover, digital currencies such as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin utilize multiple layers of encryption for security. Therefore, hacking to steal or utilize others’ digital money entails numerous difficulties, or, in some cases, impossibilities, for even the most experienced hackers (Lynch and Lundquist 75). This added monetary security will undoubtedly alleviate the burden that physical money now places on the law enforcement system.

Digital money also lays the path to increased flexibility in options to ensure bank account security. For example, in a type of smart contract called an escrow account, the buyer puts the money in question into escrow, and the seller only receives this money when the buyer receives the property. Though this arrangement can significantly reduce the risk of fraud, currently only large transactions on the scale of property or estate deals use escrow as a method of transaction because of the difficulty and complexity involved in implementing the escrow system. However, digital money has created a thriving online environment for these transactions. These online environments include websites like, where individuals and firms alike can reap the benefits of escrow on transactions both large and small. Multisig presents yet another example, where multiple persons need to authenticate before disbursing money from an account, preventing theft and ensuring monetary security when conducting transactions internationally, externally between individuals, firms, or other organizations, and internally between different parts of a firm (Athey). Also, numerous digital money firms utilize a complicated cryptographic technology called digital signature. Through this system, each money receiver employs public and private keys to decode each sender’s unique signature. Senders can therefore rest assured that the intended receiver and only the intended receiver will receive the money in question, while receivers can rest assured that the supposed sender actually sent the money (Lynch and Lundquist 111).

The environmental boon to using digital currencies instead of cash provides an added incentive, especially in an age where global warming is essentially melting the one and only planet on which all humans live. Cash bills ultimately hurt the environment, as they only have a life of around 16 months before wearing down to the point of uselessness. Additionally, the process of manufacturing bills from cotton and linen fiber commands a substantial amount of energy – “cultivating, harvesting, and ginning 1 kilogram of cotton” (Rastogi) consumes almost as much energy as producing the same amount of PVC, an extremely environmentally unfriendly plastic. Coins not only use up even more energy in production – specifically, a hundred and nine megajoules per kilogram of copper, compared with sixty megajoules for a kilogram of PVC – but they also annually consume an average of forty-one thousand tons of metal just in America. Moreover, transporting physical money has more environmental implications: moving money around the globe causes more than half of currency’s overall pollution (Rastogi). On the other hand, digital currencies like Bitcoin can transact money, store value, and act as a unit of account with almost no pollution or impact to the environment.

Additionally, cash carries a shocking amount of bacteria. In May of 2016, ABC News conducted a study on the amount of bacteria present on one-dollar bills. The organization asked sixty-eight random people in Dayton, Ohio, to trade an old one-dollar bill for a new one, and then it told doctors to analyze the sixty-eight old bills collected. The news agency found that five out of the sixty-eight bills contained bacteria that could infect perfectly healthy individuals. Also, fifty-nine bills out of the sixty-eight studied contained bacteria that posed a danger of pathogenic infection to people with compromised immune systems, such as those afflicted with HIV, the abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or cancer (Mitol). When CBS News conducted a similar study in New York City, the news agency found that more than three thousand types of bacteria lived on the city’s one-dollar bills in 2013. Additionally, they found that cash, especially bills manufactured from cotton and linen fiber, such as U.S. dollars, create a stable environment conducive to spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria, mutated supergerms on which antibiotic medication has limited to zero effect. Combined with the statistic that antibiotic-resistant bacteria killed 23,000 in 2013 alone, this fact definitely gives enough reason to make the shift from a cash-based currency to a digital one (Tanglao). Furthermore, money not uncommonly contains even trace amounts of feces. Therefore, when food workers handle physical money and food at the same time, both feces and pathogens, such as E. coli, salmonella, influenza, Rhinovirus, the hepatitis A virus, and Staphylococcus aureus, can get onto foodstuff, causing cross-contamination and illnesses from preventable infections (Angelakis et al. 249).

All of the above discussed culminates in the empowering, streamlining, and equalizing effects of digital currencies on the global economy. First and foremost, instant monetary transfers through digital means will create a financial norm where firms do not have to tolerate late payment. Thus, small companies with limited cash flows will not have to suffer anymore from liquidity concerns stemming from large clients reimbursing their smaller suppliers months after the initial purchase (Lynch and Lundquist 100-101). Digital currencies will also expedite the globalization of commerce. Because international bank transfers entail a greater risk of fraud than domestic ones, many firms currently refuse to sell internationally, limiting their customer base and sales volume. Digital currencies like Bitcoin solve this problem through their encrypted security and irreversibility once parties complete their transfers. Escrow accounts and multisig provide alternate solutions to ensure transaction security. Hence, digital currencies will essentially eliminate the trust barrier to international trade (Athey). In addition, the dissemination and widespread usage of digital currencies will curtail the currently vicious effects of high “frictional costs,” such as foreign exchange rates and international bank transfer processing fees, upon global commerce. As long as enough individuals and businesses worldwide recognize and accept a certain digital currency, they can establish it as an innovative, efficient, and globally-accepted medium of exchange. In effect, this transformation will replace local currencies in international commerce and thus eradicate the prohibitive effects of frictional costs upon international trade (Lynch and Lundquist 122).

Poverty and living in an area with a less stable economy only amplify this empowering effect. If societies go cashless, the security issues surrounding poorer areas will also fade, as discussed before. Likewise, e-commerce combined with the security of digital currencies has the power of lifting entire communities out of poverty. As soon as one member of an impoverished community obtains Internet connection and a connecting device to set up an online shop, the entire community can produce products to sell for a profit via e-commerce (Athey). The residents can then reach the entire world online, swelling their customer base. Thus, distance will no longer bar isolated, impoverished communities from trading with developed, affluent areas; instead, a vendor in rural Ghana may attain almost the same opportunity as a supplier from New York City. In a time when isolation resulting from a landlocked geography keeps the countries with the lowest GDPs, the abbreviation for Gross Domestic Products, and standards of living in poverty, the equalizing effect will show visibly (CIA). Besides, in countries with highly unstable economies, using digital currencies as an alternative to the standard national currency can save the vulnerable masses from the terrible effects of currency instability and hyperinflation, afflictions oftentimes due to government corruption and incompetency rather than the average citizen’s wrongdoing (Abramowicz 119).

The time has come to expand the reach of the digital revolution to the financial industry. The world must switch to a clean, safe, environmentally friendly, and efficient method of transaction in order to connect the world and give everybody a fair chance to succeed financially, regardless of nationality, gender, social status, or current wealth. Governments, businesses, and individuals alike should aid in expediting the transition from a cash-based currency to a digital, paperless one.

Works Cited

Angelakis, Emmanouil, et al. “Paper Money and Coins as Potential Vectors of Transmissible Disease.” ResearchGate. Future Medicine, 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2017. <;

Athey, Susan. “5 Ways Digital Currencies Will Change the World.” World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum, 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <;

Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook: WORLD.” Central Intelligence Agency. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <;

Gimein, Mark. “Why Digital Money Hasn’t Killed Cash.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2017. <;

Lynch, Daniel C. and Leslie Lundquist. Digital Money: The New Era of Internet Commerce. New York: J. Wiley, 1996. Print.

Mitol, Jennifer. “Cash Carries Lots of Bacteria.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 23 May 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2017. <;

Rastogi, Nina. “Is Cash Better for the Environment than a Credit Card?” Slate Magazine. Slate, 14 Apr. 2009. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <;

Schatz Anderson & Associates. “20 Most Common Felony Crimes in the U.S.” Schatz Anderson & Associates, 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <;

Tanglao, Leezel. “Dirty Money: Your Cash Is Home to Thousands of Bacteria.” CBS News. CBS Interactive, 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2017. <;

I Used to Actually Give a Shit [Rant Version]

I can’t anymore.

This has been bugging me for the past I don’t know how long, but I feel I finally have to get it out. Long story short, I don’t think I actually give a shit about anything anymore.

Almost all the people I have ever known have turned out to be fakes, and now I’ve lost approximately 99% of my faith in humanity.

I used to try to change my personality so that more people would like me more. Now I simply can’t give a shit – first off, no matter how much I change my personality, people will hate me; and second, no matter how much people smile to your face, half of them will stab you in the back.

And if you didn’t know, that fucking hurts.

But to get to the beginning of all this…

I’ve spent my entire life on the margins of society. At five years old, I was that one kid with whom nobody wanted to play. At ten years old, I was that one kid who talked about things in which nobody in my age group was interested. At fourteen years old, I’ve still never hung out outside of school with a single person.

I’ve always tried to get people to like me, to make friends, to get the people I love to love me back. But I’ve never actually succeeded in any of these attempts – I shit you not when I say that literally everything hates me; I’ve never had an acquaintance you can call a friend until a couple years earlier, and I cannot actually even talk to this aforementioned “friend,” because whenever I talk to her about anything that’s not G-rated, she immediately changes the subject to Disney or something equally innocent; also, I suspect that I’ve never earned the love of anybody.

So here’s my dilemma.

People think I have a perfect life – I get the best grades in class, get medals from what they think are big, important, statewide competitions, have made money from business and stock ventures, am the youngest one in our entire high school, have a seemingly good family, and have lived in and traveled to many different places, so why wouldn’t they think that? To make matters worse, I think I somehow am scared of ripping that mask off and telling them my life isn’t a bed of roses either (b/c some are currently jealous, and I’d rather let them be that way than look down upon me?), which means I can never talk to them about my problems, and which is also exactly why I blog – if I never let this out, I will physically explode in tears. As things are right now, I’ve never cried in public.

What people don’t know, anyways, is that all of my success comes from my insecurity and mental/emotional issues.

They don’t realize that while a small lack of confidence just leads to shy or awkward behavior, its complete nonexistence can make a person accomplish things other people would only associate with successful, confident people at the helm of society. They don’t realize that completely insecure people feel such a strong need to prove to both themselves and the rest of the world that they are actually not worthless and that to do so, they work themselves to the brink of exhaustion if only toward achieving that depthless end.

And to make matters worse, there oftentimes is no ceiling to this sick ambition.

If you have all A’s, you don’t feel adequate until you get all A+’s. If you have all A+’s, you don’t feel adequate until you are the best orator in the class. If you are the best orator in the class, you don’t feel adequate until you are the best orator in the nation. If you are the best orator in the nation, you don’t feel adequate until you make a million dollars. If you have a million dollars, you don’t feel adequate until you have a billion.

So…yeah. Sadly there’s always room for improvement, and that means that there’s always ways of pointing out to myself that I’m not good enough.

Also, on an off note, because I’m so scared of loving him, I’ve noticed I’m pretty mean to the guy I’m crushing on…which is really okay, because 1) he’s more or less a fuckboy, and 2) I am almost positive he hates me.

By the way, the people who really bother me aren’t the ones who say to your face they hate you; instead, the ones that bother me the most are the ones who are nice to your face and stab you in the back. Can’t everyone be at least courageous enough to not be such a multi-faced fake? Moreover, what irritates me is that society tells people to be “polite” ever since they’re young, setting them up for this type of asshole-ish, confusing behavior later on in life.

When some kid in my class tried to kill herself a couple weeks ago, I was sort of shocked, but now, after reflecting on everything, it’s not really a surprise why she decided to do that. I still feel bad for her and would help her if I could, but now I understand why. I think I might really understand why she did it.

But all this doesn’t mean I don’t have a heart – I think I do, it’s just that after certain experiences, you just can’t love anymore, unless if you count that type of twisted love-hate as genuine love.

Something Else Happened Today

I’ve always felt like I’m the most depressed one in my class. Sure, others had their own problems, but I was the only one who just pretended to be fine but was fucked up on the inside.

Turns out I was wrong as wrong could be.

Turns out some others are even better actors than I am.

I can’t write any more. Maybe in time I’ll have recovered enough to write something decent about this, but right now, I just can’t.