The best life-hack I ever learned in China

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I spent most of my twenties living it up in China. I studied abroad there at twenty-one and then went back at twenty-five to work. I stayed in China until I turned thirty-one.

Those years helped me learn more about myself than I would’ve learned had I stayed in the States. I would’ve never learned how independent I could be if I never went abroad. I learned how to find high-quality VPNs. I don’t think I would’ve learned how to be a woman either. Because of my years there, I know I can do anything I set my mind to…

It’s bizarre, unsettling, and makes you wonder if it could happen

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When was the last time you talked to your parents? Did you reminisce about things that happened when you were a kid? How often did you bring something up that your parents forgot happened? How often did they tell you something that you forgot happened?

It’s normal for parents and kids to have gaps in their lives. It’s normal to miss the clues leading to more important things happening in a kid’s life. Things that you don’t realize until much later were a sign of something bigger.

Now think about something significant that happened in your family. Chances are, each…

Yet Michigan law still allows people to know misleading information

A mask notification in a winery in Traverse City, Michigan Photo by Keara Lou
A mask notification in a winery in Traverse City, Michigan Photo by Keara Lou
Photo by author

Catholics and anti-abortion groups across the state are up in arms about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Rumors started spreading that the vaccine has stem cells from aborted fetuses in the vaccine. This week, Michigan Republicans slipped a requirement deep in the state’s allocation bill stating all people receiving the J&J vaccine must be told it’s made from aborted fetuses.

Michigan Democrats blasted the new requirement, saying it turned the vaccine effort into politics. They’ve also accused Michigan Republicans of scaring people out of getting the vaccine.

And the Democrats are right. At best, the new requirement is misleading and…

It’s a book that makes you think

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John Grisham’s been around for a while. I remember seeing his books on the shelves of Wal-Mart as a teenager. I knew he wrote a lot about being a lawyer and court stories, but that’s it. For years, I avoided his books because I didn’t think I’d like them. I worried there’d be too much court jargon for me to understand.

Then my mom got me a copy of A Time For Mercy for my birthday, and I took a look. I expected to be bored, but I wasn’t. …

Why hasn’t this happened yet?

Photo: Keith Luke/Unsplash

Close your eyes and imagine being a fresh college graduate. Your hometown is an area of the US with a high poverty rate. All your life, you’re told the key to a better future is college. You work hard for five years for your degree.

Months after graduating, you struggle to find a job. It’s getting too expensive keep renting your place. You have to move back in with your parents. Back to the hometown where you still can’t find a job that works with your degree. The best you can get is cashiering or fast food.

Any spare change…

In two hours, you’ll know

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In my twenties, I remember seeing people reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I would see people passing the book back forth with one another. Something would draw me to it, but I never found time to get myself a copy. I hesitated every time I saw the book like I feared it. Years went by, and I forgot about the book.

And then, one day, it showed up again. Life got complicated, and the book appeared like it demanded my attention. I didn’t ignore it this time, and I took it from the library.

Two hours later, I put…

Some of us can’t afford to get our tubes tied

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The thought of being a parent never interested me. Changing diapers makes me physically sick. And I’m deathly afraid of being pregnant.

I’m an introvert, so the idea of having someone at your hip 24/7 sounds like torture. I like kids. Kids are fun to be around and forget about adult life. It doesn’t mean I want to be a parent.

It sounds like a reasonable reason not to have a kid. I feel like I wouldn’t have the patience to be a decent parent. …

How to turn two boxes into sturdy record carriers

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Selling things on eBay is weird. It’s always the things you think won’t sell that make most of your profit. Most of the money I made came from selling DVDs. I felt with the rise of streaming services and Pirate Bay, people didn’t buy DVDs anymore. However, there is more of a demand than I thought.

And then there are the records. I thought I’d be making bank on those. I snatched up every record I found and posted them on eBay. Unfortunately, hardly any record I sold made a profit unless it was a well-known band. …

It doesn’t mean there won’t be if cases keep rising

Photo by author. Bathroom sign in Traverse City, Michigan

Finally, the vaccine is rolling out and available to almost everyone in the State. Healthy patients sixteen and older need to wait another two weeks before they can take the vaccine. But most other people can set up an appointment and take their shots.

Yet when you turn on the news or go online, experts are pleading with people to keep their masks on. Some stores are so rigid on the mask rules that people won’t let you in the store without them. If anything, the restrictions are more strict than they were in the middle of December.

To make…

If you can get past the fantasy speak, you can get to the message

Photo by Mike Perrotta on Unsplash

Do you know what religion, therapy, and self-help literature have in common? Somebody thinks one or all of these things are glorified scams. But they keep it to themselves because they see it helps people.

What would you do? If you see one of your friends pouring money into self-help, the church, or therapy, and you thought it a scam, would you say something? Or would you let them work on their happiness?

I believe in therapy, and I can see why people would turn to religion to be happy. Self-help, on the other hand, is a gray area to…

Keara Lou

Forever Middle Child. If you can’t see me, I’m either lost in a book or wandering my world.

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