Things Are Not As They Seem

Happy outside, sad inside? It's hard to say.
Happy outside, sad inside? It’s hard to say.

I read an article recently talking about the comparison syndrome and how it’s become more prevalent as technology evolves. We all look at our friends’ photos and status updates on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, et. al., and we always see happy, smiling faces. In turn, it makes us jealous or sad when we see how ‘perfect’ everybody else’s lives are.

But really, we don’t see the whole picture: everybody always shows a happy face because, well, who wants to post about sad moments? In the end, we just need to remind ourselves that we need to take care of #1 (ourselves) first; don’t worry about what everybody else is doing!

I know I constantly have to remind myself about this, because I do feel that bit of jealousy and envy when I see how awesome all my friends are doing. I’m happy for them, of course! But I also have to remind myself: I too have a happy yet imperfect life. I appreciate my life as it is and wouldn’t trade it for anybody else’s.

Just a good reminder for all of us.

Pet Peeve: Lack of Follow-Through

Seriously, people. FOLLOW THROUGH. Image courtesy of stockimages at
Seriously, people. FOLLOW THROUGH. Image courtesy of stockimages at

This example is in no reference to my previous post regarding the potential connections I made between colleagues; this incident happened several months ago.

An acquaintance had posted on Twitter asking for financial advising, and I was happy to refer her to someone in my leads group at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. However, once I made the introduction, my leads group colleague reached out to her and she never replied.

I find it highly unprofessional and just plain rude when people don’t follow through, ESPECIALLY when they are the ones asking for the help/assistance. Why even ask your network for resources when you’re not going to follow through? Do the work yourself after that; you’re on your own.

Of course, I feel that all of us (to some degree) are guilty of this; hell, there have been several incidents in the past year where I know I dropped the ball on some people.

Still, it’s a pet peeve to me and make me not want to make introductions sometimes.

Always Connecting Others

I love to connect others together! Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut from
I love to connect others together! Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut from

Today I’ve spent aspects of my workday connecting friends and colleagues: a few colleagues I’d met at previous conferences over the past two years are in Barcelona right now for the Mobile World Congress and I had noticed them using the hashtag #mwc15. I figured, Why not connect them all? As I write this, hoping at least a couple of them will be able to meet! How cool would that be?

Also introduced two friends to one another in Boston: one works in Boston but commutes from Maine, and the other lives and works in Boston. Hoping that they will be able to connect IRL and that one will be able to help the other find good housing in the Boston area!

I should mention, all of this connecting/networking has been via Twitter, which I sincerely LOVE for doing stuff like this! Twitter has been my forte since probably 2010/2011, when the platform really started to gain critical mass. Somehow, I thrive off of hashtags and connecting others, even if I can’t physically be there to make the connections myself.

It’s a natural gift that’s only come out since I moved to Denver; I really am grateful for this skill, though, and hope I can continue to use it throughout my years.

So, Now What?

What are you looking forward to this month? Posted this on Ignite Denver's social channels earlier today.
What are you looking forward to this month? Posted this on Ignite Denver’s social channels earlier today.

Welcome to March 2015, which seems to have crept up on all of us so suddenly. Just think, after this month, we’ll have already completed the first quarter of the year. Time flies.

If you have been following my blog during the past couple of months, you will have noticed my monthly themes. Keeping up with #30PostsBefore30 and #28ChineseMemories these past two months has been great for me to maintain a daily blogging ritual. I can’t say if I have gained more readers through my daily blogging (have been quite busy lately and haven’t checked any analytics or stats), but I have enjoyed writing for myself every day.

Now, it is March and I am honestly not sure what to do about this month.¬†Getting the last several posts written for February was a bit trying for me; I couldn’t think of a theme to consider in time for March. The last two months’ worth of posts were highly reflective and personal for me: I almost feel like if I continue on the same trajectory that I may run out of things to reflect upon from my past.

I know I can go about just blogging daily about the mundane ins-and-outs of my present-day life, but I’m afraid with that simple plan that I may lose motivation to blog daily. The monthly theme helped keep me focused on one unifying topic and kept my creative juices going.

Hard to say what I will do for this month, but I suppose I will commit to blogging daily, despite what I had just written in the previous paragraph. Onward!

#28ChineseMemories Day 28: The Bridge Between Worlds

Throughout this month of blog posts, I have talked about aspects of my childhood and my present life, celebrating and maintaining my Chinese heritage. I am grateful to be able to celebrate who I am: ethnically Chinese yet culturally both Chinese and American.

Yet, it hasn’t been an easy road to travel to come to this appreciation, even to this day. Before I entered into grade school, I thought I had a normal childhood and a normal family; but once I entered into grade school and was exposed to the other children in my hometown, I realized I was very different from them, yet the same as well.

It has been a struggle to really embrace my identity as Chinese-American: as my Ignite Denver talk above shows, I have had many moments of just not fitting in with any group I encounter. My mostly Caucasian classmates treated me as the different one; when I met other Asians, they had a hard time comprehending that yes, even though I looked similar to them, I was American.

And from either side, I have encountered that discrimination, that insidious racism in many ways: the judgmental looks I get when I am out with my wonderful partner, Ryan; the condescending tone from Caucasian ladies who’ve adopted daughters from China and assume they themselves know more about the Chinese culture than I do; and just, the bewildered looks I receive when I speak “perfect English”.

I am me, Helene: Chinese and American.
I am me, Helene: Chinese and American.

I don’t regret my identity, but I hope that in my lifetime, the feelings I have had over “explaining” who I am will diminish; that it won’t be strange for my children to celebrate multiple cultures and appreciate them all; that honoring one’s¬†ancestral heritage will become the norm instead of the exception.

We may be a world of melting pots, but there still needs to be celebration and appreciation of our distinct cultures.