Spoiler alert: it doesn’t get easier, but I’ve found peace in my decisions

Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

The other day, I woke up and scrolled on Instagram, as I normally would, when I came across my ex’s story. It was a succession of pictures celebrating his three-year anniversary with his current partner.

I’m not going to lie — I did pause for a brief second because it confirmed a lot of suspicions I had over the years of whether or not he did end up dating this individual who I always had a feeling was something more when we were dating. Seems like my intuition was correct. But not the point of the story.

I also paused…


Misogynistic behaviours are not black and white, which can make them difficult to spot

A couple on top of a mountain who are embracing and just about to kiss. They both have blankets around their shoulders.
A couple on top of a mountain who are embracing and just about to kiss. They both have blankets around their shoulders.
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

I was arguing on FaceTime with my now ex-partner about our financial dynamics. Not one to back down, I was trying to figure out why he was thinking this way.

At the time, we were discussing whether or not he would be okay with me making more money than him in the future. He said no.

I couldn’t hide my confusion. Statistically, I was going to make more money than him in the future based on my education level and professional career. I was pursuing an undergraduate degree while he only graduated at an “intermediate” high school level. Germans, you…


The atomic bombs significantly reshaped Japan’s national psyche and identity

George R. Caron, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Left — Hiroshima. Right — Nagasaki.

Even after the surrender of Nazi Germany, the war in the Pacific raged on between Japan and the United States, with no foreseeable end in sight.

That was until on August 6th and 9th of 1945, the United States dropped “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima and three days later dropped “Fat Man” on Nagasaki.

The use of atomic weapons resulted in the deaths of 250,000 citizens, along with tens of thousands of people who also suffered life-long injuries and collective trauma felt across the country.

In 2018, I…


If history has taught us anything, it’s that beauty is most definitely pain

A picture of Hashiguchi Goyo’s “A Woman Applying Makeup”, 1918. Woodblock Print. A Japanese woman looking into a black ornate handheld mirror, brushing white paint onto her body.
A picture of Hashiguchi Goyo’s “A Woman Applying Makeup”, 1918. Woodblock Print. A Japanese woman looking into a black ornate handheld mirror, brushing white paint onto her body.
Honolulu Museum of Art, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. “A Woman Applying Makeup” by Hashiguchi Goyo, 1918. Woodblock Print.

What does it mean to be beautiful? This is a question that has taken on many forms in different societies for time immemorial.

Growing up, we were surrounded by unrealistic beauty standards. On my trips back to Southeast Asia, I would often have relatives of mine praise my light skin and beg me to use an umbrella, a large hat, and sunscreen when we were outdoors. They wanted to make sure that my skin stayed as pale as possible. It was confusing, to say the least.

I…


Ding, dong the pipeline is dead — but what are the implications for the nation up north?

A close-up shot of the opening of a pipeline on dry and arid land
A close-up shot of the opening of a pipeline on dry and arid land
Source: Canva Pro

As many of us may remember when Biden took office this past January, he signed an executive order that would revoke the permit for the Northern expansion of Keystone XL.

And the day has finally come.

TC Energy confirmed the news in a press release this past Wednesday.

After ten years of protests from Indigenous groups, farmers, youth, and other environmentalists, activists from both Canada and the United States were able to rejoice as their hard work paid off, as many of them took to social media to celebrate this grassroots success.

Tweet from the Indigenous Environmental Network.

This is…


I will not be joining the “5 am club” any time soon, and yes, I am still productive and you are too

An individual covered in white blankets still in bed
An individual covered in white blankets still in bed
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but suddenly I was bombarded with YouTube videos and online content about the “5 am club”.

What is that, I thought to myself?

I kept seeing self-help articles, YouTube videos, and posts about how adopting a 5 am morning routine will elevate your life and maximize your productivity. And why wouldn’t it, it’s the routine that millionaires and billionaires do!

Ah, what? Am I missing something, here?

Why have we created a…


I had grown to resent dance, then seven seniors danced into my life.

Two seniors, one is holding yellow flowers and the other one is looking at them.
Two seniors, one is holding yellow flowers and the other one is looking at them.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

At 10 years old, I walked into my first dance class. I was incredibly nervous but excited to finally be able to participate in a sport after begging my parents to let me sign up for ice hockey. They deemed hockey too dangerous for me so they enrolled me in dance instead.

Comparatively speaking, I was late to the game. Many of my classmates had already been dancing since they could walk. I felt like a fish out of water but I soon realized that dance would become one of the most formative aspects of my life. …


My ‘best’ monetary month but it’s a little bit disappointing — here’s why

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

May has been a wonderful month. As the weather got warmer, I have been spending more time outside, camping, hiking, and seeing friends outdoors.

My work and volunteer commitments have been very fulfilling, I’ll soon be publishing a multi-author report soon for Ocean’s Day with my United Nations delegation — which is very exciting as it will be my first ‘publication’.

Being on Medium in April was such a whirlwind, especially with the surprise $500 bonus that was given to 1,000 writers on the platform. Me being…


I tried to follow fitness culture tips and tricks and it didn’t work. But this did.

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

I’ll be the first to admit that I have had a love/hate relationship with my body and fitness. Growing up I went from a competitive dance space where I didn’t respect my body and its boundaries to quitting cold turkey and not knowing how to balance life’s commitments with my fitness.

For the past five years, there were times where I have been super motivated to work out consistently and then something happens that makes me fall off the wagon again and I don’t…

Angela Phan

Intersectional environmentalist 🌱✊🏼. Research Assistant. (She/her). Writing about climate change, love, health & fitness, personal development, etc...

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