RE-SET EP. 003 - How does one manage being bored and stuck in a pandemic?

MIINKAY: I cleaned everything at first and got rid of a ton of stuff. Marie Kondo’d my apartment. I got into gardening and followed a bunch of Youtube cooks. I compost. Started making kombucha and kimchi. But all those things have their limits - there's only so much booch you can make or kimchi you can eat.

I started piano again. I got back into video games. I bought some oracle cards and do that every day. Eventually, I got to a point where I was like - I gotta be productive in a way that gives back to the world.

Now, I’m working a lot on my business: to grow it, learn about being an entrepreneur, and building content for my audience around me.

But I still get bored. If something doesn't give me that instant gratification then I get restless, put it down, and go into this mindset that I don’t have something to do.

BELINDA: As the fires rage on in NorCal - I am feeling more trapped because I can’t go outside to ride my bike or walk around. This is the most bored I’ve been since quarantine because I can’t even get a fresh breath of air or be in nature.

I miss traveling and the magic of exploring. Being on a plane heading somewhere new. Or visiting friends in other places. Discovering a gem hidden away on a side street or alley.

Music is therapy for me. The lack of live shows and being in the crowd while your favorite song is playing has drained a lot of color out of my life. Live streams aren’t the same thing.

The lack of stimulation makes me feel restless and confined. Surviving through this pandemic is the biggest test of my stamina to date.

I know I’m starting to lose my mind. Desperately looking for a door that will lead me to some peace of mind.

I have to keep looking for the door to keep waking up every day to this almost endless Groundhog’s Day.

The world is burning outside and I am burning with it.

Books that got me through:

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart
How to American by Jimmy O. Yang

Live stream aired on Tuesday September 15, 2020 via Twitch

RE-SET EP. 002 - How has growing up Asian-American affected our mental health over time?

Miinkay: Even though it’s all about family, it’s really about self-sacrificing. It’s humble but superficial. A lot of pride but not rubbing it in other people’s faces. You’re supposed to be better than everybody else. You’re supposed to be rich and humble at the same time. How does that work?

My dad was very much about getting good grades, being a doctor, all the superficial standards for success. It’s very unhealthy. It creates a toxic mindset. You have to value yourself by how much money you make. Or how successful your kids are. Those are such superficial things. It fucked me up.

Once I had all that, and I got there, I realized this sucks. I realized this is not what it’s supposed to be. I was 25 or 26 and I had been working and I landed my first 6-figure job. That’s what moved me to LA. Then I realized this was bullshit. It was so empty and meaningless and depressing. Being so focused on money. There’s never an end to it because you can always have more money.

That’s been the biggest mental health hurdle: being satisfied with where you are. Both cultures are about making tons of money. Money centric attitude. Asian culture says make a lot of money by working hard and playing smart. American culture says make a lot of money by being clever and creating the next new things.

BELINDA: I feel like I had to build an armor to wear over my skin from being a child of immigrants. My parents moved here from Hong Kong when they were teenagers and had to work really hard just to feed themselves. They instilled a survivor mindset onto me early on in life.

Having grown up in a communist country themselves that was occupied by the British in their earlier years, they experienced scarcity in a way I never had to. I was born into a democracy where individualism is encouraged. The family-centric values from traditional Chinese society are held very loosely here. Having to live with two different value systems is honestly a lot to make sense of.  

Asian countries tend to be based on the collective unit over the individual self. Working for the family or the community instead of yourself. You don’t normally follow your dreams. My mom built my brain for war by giving me the 36 Strategies of the Three Kingdoms in graphic novel form when I was 5 years old. She also gave me books on filial piety around that time too.

You’re supposed to help the elderly and respect your elders. Individual thought is not encouraged. It’s very much built on power dynamics. You function inside a box. I had to pave my own way outside of this construct for my own sanity over time.

Live stream aired on Tuesday August 25, 2020 via Twitch