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Author, attorney, dachshund human. President of Dweebs Global.

And how to write romantic messages.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

Once upon a time, I was a tired third year law student who spent most of my time languishing in ivory towers. My worst class was with a racist, sexist, ableist professor who looked down her nose at everyone beneath her (which, she felt, was everyone). I complained a ton about her to my friends over board games and pizza.

One day, after a particularly grueling late night, I sent my most patient friend a text: “I wish I were superlatively special to someone.” It was a text borne of irritation that people with children and partners were allowed more…

In my experience, it’s nothing like the movies.

Photo by Rodrigo Soares on Unsplash. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from this beach in California.

Once upon a time, I nearly died. I was very young when it happened, hardly a teenager, with eyes watching the world and my heart hidden at home. I did not know then that there would be no end to the changes that came: the younger sister who became the older one, the parents who greyed before their years would ask it of them, the friends and family who would ebb and flow with turned shoulders and averted eyes. I did not know that, with the stone-cold diffidence of a cruel world, the vice grip of death would try again…

I run a global organization with hundreds of volunteers and over 25 teams. This is how I literally save what’s left of my sanity and my life.

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I famously have no work-life balance. I run an international org that has hundreds of volunteers around the globe and over twenty-five teams from video editing to engineering to mental health. We have community outreach efforts launched in Nigeria, India, Philippines, the U.S., and Pakistan.

To just keep it all running, I work over twelve hours a day, seven days a week. My Saturdays and Sundays are so full of meetings I can’t even grab lunch with my parents. Late night and early morning calls are a requirement when it’s the only way to get people in San Francisco, Lagos…

But we can prevent the world from going down with us.

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Gen Z is screwed. I wish it weren’t true. I’ve spent years practicing gratitude, excited to wake up alive each sunny day and deeply appreciative of little things, like the fact my smartphone has YouTube. The great kings of old got to hear Mozart performed twice a year. I get that every day, plus running water and toilets. Talk about privilege.

But the sad truth is that those advances don’t make us happy. Humans are ambitious, greedy, and have an in-built negativity bias. We thrive on communities and love that are disappearing into a bleak isolation. Depression and anxiety and…

It turns out many people are superficial.

Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

When I was a kid, I was ugly. Not in the cute but wears glasses way. Actually, really ugly. I had a huge overbite, top teeth that stuck out, a scrawny and ungraceful body, and frizzy, thin hair.

People let it be known, too, and although I suppose it hurt sometimes, mostly it didn’t. Beauty wasn’t something I internalized as important until I was a teenager. I didn’t realize that beauty was special — that you can never compare people on beauty, that “everyone is beautiful,” and that there are a million sociopolitical aspects to the concept of looking good…

So stop looking down at women who do.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

I have never had an abortion. This is something that sets me apart from almost all of my female friends.* I repeat: almost all. And it is something I consider myself lucky for because I am not ready to have children, it would be worse for the whole world if I had kids (I wouldn’t be able to work for a nonprofit, donate money, or try to save hundreds of people’s lives), and I do not want kids, which is enough of a reason, thank you very much.

Because I am not Christian, I’ve never understood why so many people…

And how he landed me.

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If I had a dollar for every time one of my friends asked me the secret of how I landed my husband or how he landed me, I’d be rich enough to own a yacht and not pay taxes on it. So this is for all you friends and all you readers online who write energetic comments on my love articles that are some variant of “You are so lucky. Maybe Nathan should write an article on how to get out of the friendzone.” Or “Man, I can’t believe you got a guy to commit that quickly. How did you?”

Sometimes, it‘s rough out there.

Photo by James Eades on Unsplash

Ever since I was young, I have been very aware of my race. When I’ve faced struggles for being a woman or a minority in other ways, I’ve always joked, “At least it’s not as bad as being brown.” And despite all the vitriol, I write online because I have a unique perspective I want to share with the world and because I don’t want to be silenced — there’s nothing more American, I suppose, than being a minority fighting for freedom of speech.

Yet, most of what I tell foreigners about being American today is how fundamentally racist this…

I learned this lesson the hard way.

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

We all have parents, at least biologically. We’ve loved and hated them. We’ve wondered if they’ll approve of us and if they’re proud of who we’ve become. For most of us queer, Asian female, or just outspoken kids, there have been some genuinely scary moments.

The relationships I have with mine are complicated, interesting, and unusually close. My parents have been very supportive of my career, moving around the world to help me succeed, educating me (I was homeschooled by my mother), and making huge financial sacrifices to get me through college and law school. …

It was just a kiss.

Photo by Charly Pn on Unsplash

When I was nineteen, I went on my first date. I was a late bloomer in some ways and even then, romance felt foreign and weird, something I didn’t want to be doing. I had dinner twice with the guy and then called it off. I barely wanted to hug him. We walked two feet apart from each other and I was deeply uncomfortable. Though we had been good friends, dating felt wrong and we never kissed.

Six months later, one of my closest friends texted me I was really important to him, we walked back from a cat cafe…


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