Exploring multiracial identity

Photo by NoWah Bartscher on Unsplash

I.

I stood in front of the school building, an Asian-European mix six-year-old, fresh off the plane. I was surrounded by kids who insisted that I prove that I am a genuine Mongolian by using the traditional Mongol script.

The communists forced Mongolians to use Cyrillic letters, and the country still hasn’t fully transitioned back into using the old writing. Many Mongolians can’t read it to this day.

I was a transfer from Europe — in the middle of the school year. I looked too white, had a strange surname, and could barely read Cyrillic. …


The case of Bali

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Are you working remotely due to the pandemic? Love it? Are you contemplating moving to a location that fits your personality and lifestyle requirements better? Now you can, but be mindful of where you go and how you go about it. You don’t want to end up bitterly staring into the horizon, questioning your life choices as people do acro yoga around you. How did I end up here, microdosing mushrooms and getting Bitcoin mansplained to me twice a day? If that sounded too specific, it really isn’t.

I lived on the road for over a decade, and every time…


Here is what you can do instead

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I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you that the world's plastic problem is at a critical level today. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age to the Steel Age, we delineate society’s epochs by their primary material for fabrication. Ours will most likely be called the Plastic Age.

Microplastics and the plastic waste in our oceans, food-chain and even air are harmful to humans and wildlife. In one study, 100% of the mussels tested contained microplastics.


Suicide Prevention Month

Break the stigma, and stop dismissing suicidal people

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Ever wonder why there is such a vast difference between how we perceive those who are suicidal and those who committed suicide? Subtle signs and cries for help often get dismissed. But dismissal is not uncommon even when someone directly reaches out for help, confides in people around them.

While everyone considers a loss by suicide a tragedy and wishes they have seen the signs, when someone is suicidal, people around them can feel irritated, try to avoid them, dismiss them and don’t believe they’ll ever “do it”. Then they despair and wish they hadn’t done it. …


Unintentional gaslighting and toxic phrases

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I love my Mom more than anyone in the world, but it is undeniable that she is the source of some of my insecurities. But that does not mean that she intentionally set me up for failure in my relationships or life.

Whatever we tell ourselves, our parents have an immense impact on our lives. And even parents with the best intentions are prone to repeat broken patterns, toxic behaviours that they have inherited from their caregivers. Everyone has unconscious coping mechanisms they use to protect themselves. …


Use these strategies to increase your quality of life

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Ever heard someone saying, “Beyoncé has the same amount of hours in a day as you do”? Way to make everyone feel bad for no reason. The truth is that she is wealthy enough to have people to work for her, so she essentially has hundreds of more hours in a day than you do. The richer you become, the more time you can buy yourself. You can buy your freedom.

But what does wealth mean to you, personally? It will look slightly different for everyone, but I’d wager it involves freedom one way or another—to work on projects you…


Beyond the obvious tragedies

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If I had to choose a single word to describe how the world at large feels like, I’d go for frustrated. Not because a global pandemic and its manifold negative consequences are only worth our frustration, but because we are getting fed up with inconsistency and stupidity on every level of our society.

No matter where you are in the world, there will be people in the government, businesses, random strangers and maybe even your friends and family making you feel furious.

No government was ready, but they could have been

When it all started at the beginning of 2020, our governments had no idea what they were doing…


Things I wish I knew in my twenties

Photo courtesy of the author: Erawan National Park, Thailand

Every year, around my birthday, a slight panic sets in. It is not the “productive, getting-things-done kind”. More often than not, it is the kind where I sit in despair thinking about what am I doing with my life, stalking people my age being so much more successful — (whatever that means) than I am.

But you know what? Not today, Satan. This time, I would like to reflect on and share the most eye-opening truths I have learnt in my thirty-one trips around the sun.

The past only defines you; if you let it.

While you have zero control over some success and happy life components, you do…


And thanks for all the cash

Branson aboard Virgin Galactic — source

“We’re here to make space more accessible to all,” a buoyant Branson said shortly after embracing his grandchildren following his flight. “Welcome to the dawn of a new space age.”

I can only imagine the beady-eyed expressions of Bezos and Musk while watching Branson beat them both to space. After all, he received the least media attention of the three, then quietly won the “billionaire space race.” Of course, Bezos completed his trip not much later on board Blue Origin. Back to that later.

Will space be accessible to all? SpaceX sends its first fully private crew to space for…


Is your life worth living for one hundred years?

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My great-grandfather lived for 103 years. He was alive when I was born, and he was healthy and of sound mind his entire life. But I remember as a child asking if it was right to go on living and get old in a world that values youth above all.

We are seemingly blind to the great privilege of longer lifespans in the 21st Century. In just the past 200 years, human life expectancy has increased exponentially, giving our lives new potential horizons.

For the first time in history, more people are alive over 64 years old than less than…

Ono Mergen

Environmental scientist. Rethinking culture, future, equality, science, and climate change. 🌍 Sustainability, Branding 📧 For projects: ono@onoceans.com

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