Bitch Sessions: Whiners

I haven’t done one of these in a while because nobody has really pissed me off lately (probably a good thing, I’m spending less time being angry). However, I connected with an old friend the other day and one of my biggest pet peeves resurfaced.

I don’t know if there’s really a name for this, but it really chaps my hide when people repeatedly complain about things that are completely within their power to change.

There’s that friend who always complains that they are out of shape but they never even consider setting foot in a gym or eating a vegetable.

There’s that friend who complains about how their crush is using them but they make no effort to remove that person from their life or reshape their feelings.

Or, there’s that friend that complains about how they are poor or wish they had more money/resources but they do the bare minimum at work and don’t make any extra effort on the side.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. Sometimes people don’t have the power, they might be encumbered by mental or physical illness or have suffered from some other enormous setback. These are NOT the people I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people that just don’t want to put in any effort above the baseline, but who ALSO have the nerve to whine about their lives constantly.

Don’t get me wrong, everybody is entitled to a good venting session. Sometimes things really do suck and you gotta get that negative energy off your chest. But the healthy thing is to get those feelings out and THEN go and fix the situation. If you just let it fester, then one of two things is happening: 1. You are ridiculously lazy. This is possible, but it is more likely the next reason 2. You like the attention you get from complaining so often. Friends and family want to help loved ones in need and you prey on this kindness. The people you complain to sympathize, they listen, they offer advice, they validate your negative feelings, and you thrive off of it.

This is a tough cycle to break because friends/family want to offer support, but their support isn’t supposed to feed the complaining. It is supposed to make you feel loved during a time of need and give you the platform to make a change. You’re not supposed to lay on that platform until someone props you up, you need to harness that love and MAKE YOUR LIFE HAPPEN.

UGH. It drives me absolutely bonkers when I see people constantly whine about things they know they can change. This is why I usually get labelled as the ‘mean’ or ‘callous’ friend. I can always get behind a good venting session (clearly), but I refuse to let them take advantage of my support and friendship. If you have a friend like this, point it out to them, because they sure as hell aren’t going to change on their own.


Friends don’t let friends become whiners




I’m Homesick Already

My name is Melina, last week I moved to Calgary Canada, and I’m HOMESICK.

This probably doesn’t sound that surprising, but I’m honestly quite taken aback that this feeling came over me so quickly. I had been here for exactly two days and then we went grocery shopping at this huge grocery store, and let me tell you, it’s been a long time since I felt that helpless. I didn’t know where anything was, half the brands and food items I was used to weren’t there, or I couldn’t find them and I just felt this unbearable longing for the overpriced Ralph’s in downtown LA.

The next day, I tried to buy a few items on Amazon and boy was I in for a treat. You know how great Amazon is in the states? You can find anything and everything for crazy prices and it all arrives in two days? Yeah, not the same deal in Canada. The selection is almost comically inferior and the prices are hit or miss. And that two-day shipping deal? Almost nonexistent even with prime. So after realizing Amazon couldn’t help me at all in this country, I basically had a breakdown and laid on the floor for about an hour with glassy eyes halfway between crying and not.

I know Amazon and the grocery store sound pretty freaking trivial, but these are key components in setting up a new life and I’ve never had to set up shop before in a location that was almost familiar but just different enough to be completely unsettling. When I lived in China, I was already mentally prepared to not have any of the things I was used to. Canada, however, seems so close to the U.S. on the surface that it was easy to trick myself into thinking it would be nearly the same bar a few ‘sorry’s’ and ‘eh’s’.

Additionally, for the first time in my life, I find myself in a new place with no one around me going through the same thing. I know it hasn’t even been a week so I can’t expect to have already made friends or connections and I know this will eventually be spectacular for my personal growth, but right now, it just sucks. I feel out of place and out of step since there’s no one I can really turn to right now about this feeling.

I know these feelings will subside, and the longer I stay, the more familiar I will get with my surroundings and the more people I will meet. However, I wanted to get this off my chest because even though moving can be really exciting and fun, and starting in a new place can be like having a great blank slate to play with, that same blank slate can also be fucking terrifying. Writing this out was the perfect way to remind myself that it WILL be ok, and that for now, it is ok for me to cry or watch TV alone on weekends, or whatever.

If you would like me to continue chronicling my general feelings and activities about moving to a new country and starting over, please let me know, I’m sure I will have TONS to vent about in the coming months.



Photography by the illustrious Clara Yu


Bitch Sessions: Making Fun of Accents

The other day I’m at the outlet mall with my mom, and we pass by the Coach store. I don’t know why, but this particular Coach store makes people line up outside because they only let approximately five people in at once. Well, there was a Chinese family in line, speaking accented English. There were also many other Asian people in line. My mom and I are passing by the line (mostly because we hate Coach, not because it’s long), and we pass these two guys who are disgusted that there are so many Asians in line. One guy says “Why are there so many of them?” And the other guy AFFECTS A TERRIBLE MOCKERY of a Chinese accent and says something along the lines of “We bought everything in our own country so now we come here to buy yours.”

This kind of behavior really gets under my skin. It’s a whole other issue to make blatantly racist jokes, but mocking accents is something that really gets to me. Let me say it loud and clear, PEOPLE WITH ACCENTS SPEAK MORE LANGUAGES THAN YOU. People with accents for sure speak two languages, maybe more, and the people that mock them probably only speak one. It’s so, SO disrespectful in my mind because people with accents are trying their hardest to speak another language, and are trying to function as best they can in a place that is not their home. And it chaps my hide so bad because the people who make fun of them probably have NO idea what it takes to do that. They have no idea what it takes to put yourself out there like that and adapt to a completely different country and culture. These are probably the same damn people who go to a different country and expect that the people there should speak their language. The AUDACITY.

People sometimes think it’s ok to make jokes about accents because their brown friend or their Chinese friend doesn’t mind, but making those jokes around everyone in public just shows underlying racist sentiments. It’s not my place to tell people what jokes they can or cannot make around their friends/family of different ethnicities, but I can tell you that just because your friends aren’t offended when you mock their accents, doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same way. And this doesn’t just go for people of color, this goes for anybody who has come to a new country and is trying to learn a new language. It seems like in America for some reason, British and Australian accents are the epitome of sex appeal but everyone else gets ridiculed and told to go back to their country.

All in all, if you ever feel tempted to make these jokes or think they’re funny, just think for ONE second before you do. Think about what it took for them to change countries and to try and learn a new language to fit in. THINK about how much ambition and courage that takes, and maybe, just maybe, keep your mouth shut.


My face as I prepare to cuss you out for making fun of other people’s accents… I smile because you deserve it.


Bitch Sessions: So you wanna look like an Athlete?

People use athletes as inspiration all the time, especially as fitness inspiration. These are people that dedicate their lives to being in shape, so it is understandable as to why us mere mortals would aspire to their body types.

HOWEVER, as a former competitive swimmer, something I think people fail to realize is that athlete’s bodies are finely honed skill machines. Their bodies pay the price in blood, sweat, and tears, to be the best at a CERTAIN SET of skills. They don’t work out for aesthetic reasons, they work out for PURE FUNCTION. Gymnasts don’t set out to have a six pack, they set out to do crazy tumbling runs and feats of balance, and the six pack is a by-product of that. Personally, I have particularly great back muscles. But those aren’t from me wanting excellent back definition, it’s leftover from years and years of developing those muscles to pull me through the water for swimming twenty-five hours a week.

Athletes are proud of their bodies because they can do things that other people’s bodies can’t do. They can jump, run, swim, flip, and even hold their breath better than everyone else because they train for those specific goals. They train day in and day out for years on end to become just marginally better than before, and that is something most people don’t understand.

To be clear, I’m not hating on people who have never played a sport competitively, I just want those people to realize that having an athlete’s body is typically not a realistic goal. For example, I used to spend 90 minutes swimming in the morning, then two and a half more hours swimming in the afternoon five days a week, with swim meets on weekends, and this was in HIGH SCHOOL. The people we usually end up seeing on TV are people who are professional, their sport is their entire life.

Most of us go to the gym for one of the following reasons: stress relief, health/wellbeing, aesthetics. There are a few who are training for races or other kinds of competitions, but they make up a very small percentage of the population. The vast majority of us who workout spend thirty to ninety minutes in the gym a few times a week. While that is great for overall wellness, it is NEVER going to make you look like a professional athlete.

The reason this gets under my skin is whenever people make negative comments about athlete’s bodies. Serena Williams is a great example. She has won 23 grand slam titles and yet people still attack her body, calling her manly, or using other horrendous terms. For one thing, it’s just unacceptable to body shame anyone, but in addition, did you not hear me the first time!? She has won 23 grand slam titles! More than anyone, EVER! She has trained her body to play tennis so well that her skills are virtually unparalleled, and people still have the nerve to hate on her body?! It’s appalling.

This happens quite often to female athletes since apparently female muscle isn’t appreciated in society, but male athletes aren’t exempt either. Marathon runners are made out to be too thin, cyclists are teased for their smaller upper bodies, and offensive linemen catch flack about carrying too much weight. But those runners can complete twenty-six miles in just over two hours, cyclists can finish dozens of miles pedaling uphill, and that offensive lineman could probably kill you.

So the next time you’re about to say a soccer player has thunder thighs or that a swimmer has manly shoulders, just stuff it, because their body can do things yours can only dream of.


No longer a competitive athlete, but it’s harder to lose the habits than you’d think…









Bitch Sessions: My Body

My torso is too long. My nose is too big and it has a bump in the middle and at the end. My skin keeps breaking out on the right cheek, the left cheek…my forehead…oh fuck it. There are these stupid dark, dark hairs that grow under my chin. My butt is too small and too flat. My thighs feel enormous when I sit down. My body hair grows at the speed of light and I’m perpetually coming up with new ways to deal with the hair on my upper lip. My toes are too long. My right knee looks permanently bruised. The eyelashes at the outside of my right eye refuse to curl. My nailbeds are miniscule and my ribcage is too big.

I could go on and on and on. There are somedays where absolutely nothing looks right. My hair won’t cooperate. I keep finding spots where I missed shaving, or every outfit I try on makes me feel fat. No matter how much moisturizer I’ve used, how hard I’ve worked out that week, or how much sleep I’ve gotten. I just feel ugly.

These are the days where I feel too tall and too fat next to my shorter, daintier friends. These ar the days, I wish my hair was blonde to show more texture. These are the days where I wish my nails were longer so it would actually be worth getting a manicure. These are the days I wish my shoulders fit into shirts that were the right size for my torso. And so it goes…

The thing is, those days happen to literally everyone. And if you think celebrities or all those gorgeous famous people are immune, take a look at the hate they get day in and day out on social media. If you think they never get insecure, you gotta remember they’re human.

That girl with the gorgeous hair sitting in front of you in class? She might wish her long hair wasn’t so damn flat.

That guy with the washboard abs? Maybe he hates that he can’t grow a beard.

That woman with the amazing makeup? She might complain her eyes hape isn’t good enough for eyeliner.

The point is that everybody has their insecurities, EVERYBODY. But honestly what matters is how you rock them. There are certain things that are in your power to eliminate (take THAT, upper lip hair) and certain things that aren’t (my ribcage isn’t getting any smaller), and you have to take those ones you can’t change and own them. Confidence is the only thing that matters in the end.

For example, even though I have bad days, most days, I’m still able to think like this:

I have beautiful eyes with great eyebrows. My lips are proportional to each other and to my face. My ears are small and lie flat. My hair is thick and healthy. I have great legs. My cuticles are perfect. I love my collarbone and I think my breasts are the perfect size. My body can climb, run, swim, and jump with no problem. I think my bellybutton is cute and I like the little moles I have on my body.

And so on and so forth. I know this is a cheesy message but there really is no Instagram model, actor, politician, classmate, parent, friend, or partner that has never had any insecurities about their appearance and honestly, that is a-ok. And if you’re reading this, I just want you to know that there is always more than one perspective and if you find yourself in a negative-hate-yourself fest, remind yourself it’s normal, and then find another perspective.


Bitch Sessions: My Boyfriend is not an Excuse

The other day I was out and about at a RALPH’s no less, when some guy decides to try and chat me up while I power through my grocery shopping. I did NOT have the time, NOR was I in the mood to be hit on at the moment, so when the guy opens with the oh-so-smooth line of, “Hi what’s your name?”, I responded with a polite smile and said “Not today.” The guy wasn’t deterred in the LEAST. He proceeded to follow me all around the store as I shopped, asking unrelenting small talk questions, and trying to bullshit me into giving him my number. The “Oh don’t be like that” and “You’re so beautiful, I’m just trying to compliment you” types of phrases were RAMPANT in his attempted interaction. I continued to tell him I wasn’t interested, I didn’t have time for this, and then just IGNORED him and he STILL wouldn’t go away. When he followed me to the self checkout, I relented and finally practically shouted at him, “I HAVE A BOYFRIEND”. The guy steps back, pauses, and then shrugs and says “Oh, well why didn’t you just say that?” and subsequently walks away.

I was left thinking to myself, YOU’RE KIDDING ME. What? So apparently, the only POSSIBLE reason I wouldn’t be interested in him is because some other guy had already laid claim to me? WELL THEN. It should have been more than enough for me to just NOT BE INTERESTED. I felt horrible and more than a little helpless, that I had to use the defense tactic of another man to get this guy to go away. That shouldn’t be the reality. Girls can be single and STILL not want the guy that won’t leave them alone at their grocery store.

Everyone knows this excuse. Sometimes people use it automatically because they know what’s coming and it’s easier just to use it, whether or not it’s true. For me, however, it makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t care if I’m in a relationship, I only use this phrase as a last resort because it SHOULDN’T MATTER. Having a boyfriend has NO BEARING whatsoever on whether I’d be interested in someone else and I shouldn’t have to prove that I already havethe boyfriend slot filled in my life in order for a guy to take the FREAKING hint and go away.