And why I’m not sad about it.

Most kids have that phase where they try out every sport or after-school activity possible, hopping from one practice to another each day of the week, searching for that one thing that gives their heart flurries of passion and makes them want to do it for the rest of their lives. I was one of those kids.

I made my rounds through the various sports. After watching Olympic gymnasts on TV, I decided that was what I wanted to do. And it was, until I realized I would eventually have to flip over backwards, and I was scared out of…


A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through TikTok and came across a video of a girl motivating herself to complete tasks she’d been putting off by giving herself a sticker. When she accumulates 30 stickers, she gives herself a prize, aka, buying something off her wishlist. As someone who sometimes struggles to do basic care tasks and has an impulse buying problem (especially when stressed), I was immediately intrigued. A system that rewards you for completing tasks and helps curb impulsive online shopping — what could be better?

Naturally, the no-fun mature side of my brain immediately chimed in…


As the holiday season is approaching, I’ve been mentally planning out the gifts I’ll be giving my family and friends and bracing my bank account for the outcome. This year, especially, I wanted to start early to find small businesses to buy from and account for the delay in shipping. Earlier today, I sent my family a message asking if they had their Christmas lists yet, and only my dad responded. Fortunately, his list brought a much-needed moment of joy that I haven’t had much of this week.

His list was the following:

Vodka, sweats, or a machete.

Yeah, that…


I have never been into video games. For one, we never had them growing up. We were more of a books, board games, make-believe kind of family. We had a giant box television much longer than most, had a landline up until about three years ago, and never owned any sort of gaming console until my brother got one for cheap from one of his friends several years back.

The closest we ever came to video games was Just Dance 4 at my best friend’s house or the Barbie Fashion Show CD game that we either inherited from a friend…


I’ve had a nut allergy all my life. For a long time, I was allergic to all nuts. I had one of those woven bracelets with the metal plate saying I had an allergy with my mom’s phone number on it, pink with little flowers. Now, luckily, I’m only allergic to peanuts.

My allergy’s never been bad enough that I have a reaction because someone near me is eating peanuts, or that my elementary school class was banned from bringing PB&J’s. …


There’s been a fog in my head for quite some time. Not the kind that tinges every moment with a widescreen filter of a coming of age movie that makes you feel alive. Not the kind that closes you in and makes you feel isolated from everyone else around you. But the kind of fog that stretches your soul ever so slightly away from your body, filling your head with a barrage of thoughts that usually come and go as clouds do. But lately, they haven’t been drifting away.

The strings of letters and demands from my anxiety have mixed…


My first memory is from my third birthday party. We invited all the neighborhood kids over, and while the parents talked in the kitchen we played in the living room for hours until orange light seeped in through the windows. My mom made me a Barbie birthday cake — one of my favorite Barbies stuck in the middle of a gown-shaped cake, bubblegum pink.

The rule for both myself and my siblings was a birthday party every other year. They were never whole-class parties like our classmates’ we were invited to, but they almost always had a theme. One year…


This week has been a “screaming at the world” kind of week, and it’s only Wednesday. A lot of weeks have been, lately, but sometimes the pain and fear and sadness about the state of the world morphs into uncontainable anger and frustration that you can’t change everything in an instant. You don’t have control over the mountain of distressing current events, other people’s actions or lack of empathy, and you’re not in a position where you can change things, at least in the big picture.

I could list a hundred reasons why, in this moment, I’m tempted to punch…


I’ve lived in my current apartment for about a month now. This is only the second time both my roommate and I have rented, and the first time the internet wasn’t roped into the monthly rent. So naturally, being the fake-adult adults that we are, enlisted the help of our parents.

How do we set it up? Do we really have to call them? Which company is better? Should we rent a router? What’s this grey box in my closet do, and why is the red light blinking?

We had a lot of questions.

Turns out the grey box was…


When I first started college, I was naive enough to believe that by the time I graduated, I would have my life (somewhat) figured out. Now, with a little less than two semesters to go before I’m released into the “real world”, that is absolutely not the case. Although, there is some hopelessly optimistic part of me that keeps telling me I could still do it in time. Sort out my life, I mean.

Now I’m not positive whether or not some people’s parents offer them more practical knowledge than I’ve received, or if everyone is truly faking it until…

Helena Ducusin

Putting thought to paper and hoping it’s coherent.

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