“Hey, what’s with all of these places in our recommended restaurants,” said my partner Xavier, as he scrolled through a list of nearby establishments on DoorDash. “Why do they all just specialize in one food, why do they all have the same looking photos, and what’s with their quirky names?”
“I’m not sure,” I shrugged. “One thing is for sure though — some local photographer is making a killing doing photos for all these new pop-ups… Hey, maybe I should get back into freelance photography.”
But something else was off about these new places emerging out of thin air, all boasting the same Gen Z-targeted marketing. When we searched for these restaurants online to see where they are, they didn’t exist.
As of today, I have legally been an adult for two years — but it wasn’t until recently that I finally began to feel like an adult.
Despite being a junior in college, working multiple jobs, paying taxes, taking public transportation into the city on my own (gasp), living with my partner, having six credit cards, and a number of other things, I still felt very much as if I was waiting for some anime-esque magical girl transformation into adulthood.
So… when was that defining moment? Was a Descartesian descent into quarantine madness and introspection?
A significant portion of my adolescence was spent binge-watching speed art videos and tutorials. I gushed over Instagram artists, salivating at the idea of trading my hands for theirs — although trading brains would be more logical since creativity has a neurological basis.
Then, it finally dawned on me the other day. There’s an unspoken dichotomy between the hallmarks of a great artist and the skill level of a talented artist.
As silly and as shallow as it may sound, a rockin’ haircut is more than just a confidence booster; it can validate your identity.
We all know what it’s like to emerge from under a sheen salon cape feeling rejuvenated — or completely crushed. The way 100,000 follicles that sprout from our scalp shape our face wields such overwhelming power over our self-esteem.
And yet, it’s just hair. You can shave it all off and it’ll grow back with the utmost amnesty. The beauty of a great haircut is ephemeral, the heartbreak of a botched cut is fleeting.
While reading a research paper on attitudes towards climate change in California during the 2012 to 2016 drought period, I can’t help but find myself struck by how the perception of the media is so conflicting across various communities – and how I, a patron of many different communities, find myself in the unspoken valley that lies at the foot of their rivaling precipices.
How much do you value your physical health? Alright. Now, how much do you value your mental health? Take a moment to truly reflect on that – perhaps you prioritize one over the other.
And it’s not your fault. For decades, “mental health” simply wasn’t a facet of our vocabulary.
“When I was a kid, nobody ever mentioned mental health,” said psychotherapist and ‘Better App’ co-founder John Halker. “It was just not on the agenda.”
Attitudes towards mental health have shifted in recent years, with a 2019 American Psychological Association survey reporting 87 percent of American adults said: “a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.”
However, mental health is more than just a buzz word – it’s intertwined with your overall health. An emotional wound demands your attention, just as a physical wound does.
Recently, we spoke to Halker via video call for a very insightful discussion about the “Better App” and “Better Stop Suicide App,” groundbreaking mental health apps designed to guide you in fostering a proactive approach to your emotional wellbeing.
Using neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy as her compass, Annaka Harris guides the reader through the mystery of consciousness in “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.”
Keeping the journey short, sweet, and digestible, Harris manages to present the big question in just a little over 100 pages – an impressive feat, considering the debate has spanned over multiple centuries.