My father used to work 70-hour weeks, starting at 4 AM, getting fellow New Yorkers and tourists where they had to go every single day, Monday to Sunday.
It seemed to me that my dad didn’t believe in weekends or rest for that matter, and I never understood how a human being could work so much and live to see 60.
My dad knows New York City like the back of his hand and can take you to the most unknown corners of this metropolis without a second thought.
As most children of immigrants will know, hard work and perseverance are drilled into us from the day we start learning to walk. …
“You need to wake up and realize that you deserve more, and there is more waiting for you out there.
Stop settling; it only tarnishes and corrodes your soul.”
― Lebo Grand
I want to tell you about a friend of mine. Let’s call her Aicha.
Aicha was a nice girl. She had a good head on her shoulders and walked with an air of such confidence that everyone envied her.
But she had a secret that she shared only with me: She was in a relationship that hadn’t been working out for years, but that she struggled to leave.
She was bound to someone she knew didn’t love her. …
“I hate my job,” she whispered to me, her head hanging in shame.
I was shocked by this admission from a friend I had known for almost a decade now. She always posted about her role on social media, how much she loved what she did and how close she felt to her colleagues.
It turns out she had spent years pretending she loved her job because she was scared to leave it.
Are you in a job you hate?
Do you dream of becoming a digital nomad, traveling the world, and not stressing for three hours because you can’t connect to the VPN? …
As a child, I dreamt of traveling the world when I grew up.
I was always curious about what was out there, itching to explore other countries.
I was born a dual national and have been confused ever since when asked the question: “So which nationality do you identify with the most?”
And when I finally did travel, I realized it was my favorite, albeit expensive, activity.
The excitement I feel before a flight is this irresistible buzz that keeps me up at night for days, even weeks.
But, in my experience, traveling isn’t about finding yourself.
The concept of having to go somewhere to find yourself never resonated with me. …
“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
I heard his voice outside my bedroom window only two days before his death and didn’t know that it would be the last time.
He was one of those neighbors you always heard.
Whether he was arguing with his wife, speaking loudly with his children, or teasing his grandchildren, he was someone you’d hear regularly, and it brought comfort to many of us in the building.
While our lives changed and each day went differently, he was the one constant in all our lives and his voice would remind us that life ebbs and flows, with both happy and sad moments. …
It was the first week of December and I hadn’t been feeling well all week.
I was 23 and couldn’t breathe freely anymore. Every breath hurt and my lungs felt like they were burning.
My heart didn’t feel right and I had random palpitations that no doctor could explain.
I suddenly had no idea what was wrong with me.
My mother sat by me terrified, reading the Qur’an until it became gibberish and I couldn’t understand what she was even saying.
We went to the doctor. We did all the tests. I still couldn’t breathe properly.
I heaved and gasped suddenly throughout the day, crying for my ability to breathe in and out normally. …
It’s fun having loved ones across the world. Just not when you can’t fly to visit them.
My background is Moroccan, so Christmas and New Year’s are not holidays I grew up celebrating.
However, over the last three years, I was lucky enough to celebrate both holidays in Greece with friends I consider like family.
I have fallen in love with these two holidays and usually, by now, I would already be packing to fly to Greece.
This year, I know things will be different.
I won’t get to sit on the balcony, hoping it snows in Athens (it actually did the last two years I was there). …
The night of December 9th, 2017 is one I will never forget.
It had been a long week. A week of pain and fear as I was suddenly struggling to breathe normally. Pain because my lungs hurt. Fear because each time I tried to breathe I thought it might be my last attempt. My breathing was suddenly compromised and I had no idea why. I would be sitting or doing something and end up on the floor gasping for enough oxygen to fill my lungs.
Each time felt like I was choking, and I honestly thought I was going to die at 23. …
I’m ashamed to admit this but, looking back, I was very close-minded throughout my early 20s.
I believed that only my side could be right and that anyone who disagreed with me, especially politically, was wrong, even evil.
However, this year was a turning point for me.
One day, a friend and I were discussing a favorite thinker of hers.
She was raving about how much they changed her perspectives on life, trying to convince me to listen to just one of their lectures before making up my mind.
I had quickly googled them as she sang their praises and rolled my eyes at her, noting all the things they were saying that I disagreed with and how terrible of a person they must be if they believed these things. …
“How are we going to grow? What’s our plan to scale? It’s not my plan to scale… My plan is to show up every day and do better than the day before. My job is to show up every day with the commitment to bottle love because that’s what we do.” — May Lindstrom
Starting a business can seem daunting at first, especially when you’re getting into all the technicalities and complex logistics that every business needs to function.
May didn’t know anything about starting a business before she launched her skincare company, May Lindstrom Skin, over a decade ago.
Despite this, she managed to take the beauty industry by storm, breaking the marketing rules that other businesses had been following for decades. …