Plain Jane

As I’m writing this, my face is covered in make-up, which it tends to do around 2 or 3x a year, usually coinciding with photo shoots or somebody’s child’s birthday. Most other days, I just slap on a concealer and some lip moisturizer and call it a day. What strikes me as funny (and it’s been weighing on my mind lately, you’ll know why in a minute) is because my rush photo shoot was because a senior colleague at the Society inquired if I may like to change my photo. The photo they had been using presented me under an unflattering light. I remember that the new members were rushed into submitting a photo with a blue blazer that very same afternoon and we were herded outside the back door of the stage under some alleyway to take a photo in someone else’s blazer. I don’t wear make-up, my face does tend to get dumpy under poor lighting and my eyebags (unless hidden by a mountain of concealer) get magnified and emphasized. Just remembering why I had to retake my photo in the first place

Dear Ivy (aka I.V. aka Internet Void)

As this blog just serves to be my little corner of the internet, I felt a little brave (but vulnerable) to type this out here.  I worry. I worry a LOT. But these days, my topmost worry is about MONEY. Given my background, that is terribly ironic.  Ironic-bad as in it makes me cry to think I am at my mid-30s still having no secure financial ground under my feet...  Ironic-amusing as I had promised my younger self that when I grew up, I would NEVER let money drive my actions nor let its absence drive me to start arguments with my partner or emotionally "deprive" my offspring. Also because I AM that (annoying older) millenial who always thought that money is a tool, not a goal. I am ashamed to say this, but because this is a very lonesome cave, I can shout about it (in all CAPS) without much concern. I'm freaking SCARED, internet void  Can I call you Ivy for short?  It seems better to pretend I'm writing a letter to someone... also makes me sound a little less cuckoo Eve

Lessons learned from counseling

 A wise friend once shared that on becoming a parent, she realized that for sanity's sake, the best step would be to "throw" all her child psychology books out the window and stop worrying about "shoulds" and "musts." She vowed to learn parenting by reading her child, and not a book. I tend to agree. More than other parents, moms (or dads) in my profession are even more hyperaware of the numerous ways parenting can go wrong (or right), deftly skirting the mistakes most newbie parents make and (I imagine) hitting target milestones almost every time. I'm especially conscious of this being that I had always dreamed of being a Mama and had started my own Parenting Tips mini-book (for my eyes alone) since med school, wanting to bring my realizations of parenting learned from others and from clinics into MY own journey; as preparation for when the time actually came. The thing that I'm realizing now is that the difficulty with parenting books and adv

Random thoughts...on writing and the comfort of your own company

  I miss pouring out all my feelings on a computer screen. There just is a difference VS writing it out on paper. I can edit, I can read what I wrote immediately without having to struggle over reading my own chicken-scratch handwriting and my hand doesn't cramp up as much. When I was pregnant, my wrist was immobilized hence even writing or typing was impossible. These hours in the evening (the magical 10-12 pm Golden Period) is usually where I become pensive, reflecting on the day that was and where the "spirits" swirling around me and the voices inside my head make itself heard the loudest. BFF mentioned the other day how I was her journal, how writing seemed weird to her because it felt like talking to a wall. I wonder if journaling is something only privy to an introvert's arsenal. That would be a shame, though. Journaling and writing to yourself in journal, or even talking to yourself thru a tape recorder (if you're a better orator than writer) speaks

On not being enough...

 As this part of the internet seems hidden from most eyes, I feel it more liberating to write free-range here than any other platform. I purposefully delayed writing during my pregnancy because for most of it (probably 2/3 of it), I admittedly wasn't "in" it. This is crazy, especially when I think back on the luxury (time! we were rolling in it!) of open space and reflection it afforded.  But it's that tricky thing - Fear - insidious and deceptive - that continuously robbed me of what was THERE. Every week, old fears (disguised as anxieties over "new" events) would surface and had me on a mental hamster wheel of thoughts, comprised mainly of the following: "How can we survive this?" "If I can't pull myself together, what does that mean for LO?" Having binge-watched many of the "alta" vloggers that peppered IG and Youtube to "prepare" in my spare time didn't help either. The glam / breastfeeding/ baby-wearing/ b

Lessons from 2020

I subscribe to Mark Manson's newsletter "Mindf*ck Monday". If you don't know him yet, he is this young-ish (actually my age) writer who dispenses life advice from the more practical, sobering and Stoic end of the spectrum (of self-help). See his Youtube channel (a gold mine) here. I'm familiar with many "self-help" literature (being that I used to gobble these authors up since I was in high school) and I like Mark's no-nonsense style. Like a big brother you chat with from time to time, who has traveled a little farther and seen a little more than you.  Anyway, he asked his readers for their most important life lessons from 2020 and I wanted to share mine. I have not yet written about my birth experience, baby's first few months, etc (they will come in time) but I felt like sharing this as it was time-sensitive. Plus the last few weeks of a year usually get me in the writing/ reflecting mood. 1. The "worst case scenario" - no matter how

Pregnant in a Pandemic

I first saw that phrase on a friend's hashtag on Facebook. I thought "how cute" but then being 21 weeks along, I knew that it was anything but. This is my first pregnancy. At 35 years old....which in uterine years, is somewhere between Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep age.  We used to call first-time mums my age as "Elderly Primigravid" calling to mind images of women with gray hair in buns, hobbling along and supporting themselves on a cane while trying to maintain balance. I had not anticipated this. At 16 years old, I had drafted an autobiography which included a crystal ball prediction of where I would be at 21..30...35 years. This milestone was a 30 year old milestone. But life doesn't read 16 year old crystal ball predictions. Having gotten married only a few months before, getting pregnant almost immediately after was an achievement. Despite straddling the "Elderly Primigravid" age, I was pleasantly surprised and set about unearthing all my o