Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Glenn Hansen via Unsplash

During the summer of this first year of COVID-19, we moved from the pulse of the city to the outskirts. Still within the city limits, but decidedly far away from all the action, it immediately felt so quiet.

It’s been just a month living in “the booneys.” Out here, my roommates and I can afford to rent a small house rather a series of tired bachelor suites or damp basement dwellings.

The groceries are cheaper. The space is plentiful. Coffee is only $1.50. But I cannot shake what I’ve come to know as “those little town blues.”

A Line Up At Main…

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kiyun Lee on Unsplash

Massive Open Online Courses, also known by the adorable-sounding acronym MOOCs, are not your typical university classes. For better or for worse, MOOCs have garnered a lot of attention, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, wonder no more.

How Do MOOCs Work?

What even is a MOOC? Well, MOOCs are courses that are accessible to anyone with an internet connection — no special software required.

Image for post
Image for post

Have you considered diversifying your investment portfolio?

Of course you have.

Have you considered diversifying the tools you use for investing?

Maybe not.

This is exactly what financial management firms are beginning to do. Industry-wide changes are happening right now in global finance, and artificial intelligence ( AI) is at the forefront of those changes.

By utilizing AI capable of machine learning, the way we invest is drastically changing. Algorithms are becoming the core decision makers for companies processing multibillion-dollar transactions.

And it’s working.

What Led to the Rise of AI?

For years now, program code has been a tool for financial trade, so using computers to aid us in investment strategy is certainly nothing new. What makes AI used for trade transactions different is that it can adapt when exposed to new data. …

Image for post
Image for post
The Sarcophagus of Harkhebit was excavated by Service des Antiquités de l'Egypte in 1902, then purchased from the Egyptian government by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1907. Photo from The Met, Creative Commons.

Harkhebit’s sarcophagus is different from the imagery of Ancient Egypt that so many of us are used to. When I saw the sarcophagus on the museum floor, I was instantly intrigued. The material, the artistry and the morbid subject of its purpose hooked me in.

The Beginning of the End

Harkhebit’s sarcophagus originates from the Late Period — specifically between 595-526 BC [1]— a relic of a time considered by many experts as the last traditionally Ancient Egyptian period [2]. This was a time when the art and traditions of the Old Kingdom pharoahs was still valued.

After this, Egypt would pass between the hands of one invading country to the next; it would not be an independent nation again until 1952 CE [3]. …

Image for post
Image for post
Traditional workplaces can be overwhelming for persons with health struggles, chronic pain or atypical brains. Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

I have always struggled to maintain a conventional job. You know, 9 to 5 in an office. Or set shifts at a restaurant job or a retail gig requiring constant human interaction.

For those of you who suffer from chronic or even temporary health conditions, you know the struggle. If you’re going through treatment, you simply cannot commit to a firm work schedule. If you struggle with mental illness, have chronic pain or are on the spectrum, you may not be able to sustain work in traditional job settings.

The gig economy has been an awesome way to supplement my disability support. Having an income also gives me greater independence, or at the very least, a sense of having exchanged a product or service that is valued by another. …

Image for post
Image for post
Hildreth Meière, American painter and designer (1932). Photo by Peter A. Juley & Son via the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Among the hidden architectural gems of America, you will find Hildreth Meière’s work bringing personality and intrigue to each building she decorated. Many of her pieces, such as the sumptuous mosaics of the AT&T Long Distance Building, are scattered throughout New York City. After seeing a few of her creations in person, I could not stop thinking about them. I had to know more.

Hildreth Meière was born into a financially stable family in New York City, in the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens. That helps, being financially stable. But she was also incredibly talented, and even at a young age her potential as an artist was noted. During her attendance at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, she designed costumes, sketched and painted quality works. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

You gotta save for retirement. You gotta save for an emergency. Those are my two directives when it comes to finances.

For most of my adult life, I did not consider my ailing health as an emergency, nor as something that should be invested in. That is, until one morning when I was having coffee with my boyfriend at the neighbourhood coffeehouse.

“…I think it’s too much money for me to spend, though.”

I was decrying the pain and duration of my illness to him. “But there’s this treatment I’ve been researching — it has high response rates. …

Photo by Caroline Selfors via UnSplash
Photo by Caroline Selfors via UnSplash
Photo of suitcases by Caroline Selfors via Unsplash

Diane Keaton’s epic meltdown in Something’s Gotta Give about sums up how I deal with travel anxiety. Crying. Instability. All-white outfits.

Surely there is a better way.

I’ve tried ignoring my anxiety while in new and unfamiliar places. But that means not dealing with the anxiety properly (or at all). In the end, that can make things worse!

While you cannot completely avoid anxiety during your travels, you can take steps to keep it in line. Here are my top picks for managing anxiety when I am far from home.

Slow down.

Trying to fit in as many activities as possible on your trip can backfire if you are already struggling with anxiety. When the red flags of anxiety begin popping up throughout your trip, it is wise to slow your pace to prevent your anxiety from escalating. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Stephen Isaiah via

Whether your stress comes in the form of the daily grind or a traumatic incident, learning to be resilient is essential to successful adulting. Resilience can be summed up as an adaptation that allows people to maintain or bounce back to a place of mental stability, despite having experienced distress (Herrman, et. al, 2011). For myself, resiliency does not come with ease. And that’s a bummer because it’s clearly advantageous.

Resilience can be summed up as an adaptation that allows people to maintain or bounce back to a place of mental stability, despite having experienced distress.

Truthfully, some people have personalities that just get the hang of resiliency better than others. If you’re on the emotionally stable side rather than being prone to neuroticism, you’ll find it easier to achieve resilience. Extraversion and agreeableness are also considered personality traits that can give you the upper hand in combating stress (Friborg, et. al, 2006). I happen to think that I’m a very agreeable person. For all the rest of you, you’ll just have to keep reading. …

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Photo by Alina Grubnyak via Unsplash

This article discusses suicide. If you are in need of support please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255 or access their website for hard of hearing, deaf, Spanish or chat-style support at

Perhaps the best way I can describe major depressive disorder is perma-sadness, excessive guilt and the sensation of being separated from everything and everyone by a sort of glass wall. This is only based on my experience, though I’m sure you can relate to some of the symptoms. Just like with any illness, there is a spectrum.

Depending on the subtype and severity of the depression, symptoms can range from uncomfortable to entirely disabling. I find that not everyday is a bad day, but most days are slow, low-functioning days. Below is a list of common symptoms of major depressive disorder that I’ll discuss in greater detail. …


Mel Graf

Content and blog writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store