What my time as a lockdown long-hauler has taught me.

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Spring 2021 saw the blossoming of ameliorated Covid conditions across the world’s vaccine-rich (read: vaccine hoarding) nations — a spree of semi-normality that persists to this day insofar as the Delta variant allows it. When I thumb through Instagram stories, I’m greeted with bustling bars and beaches, bare faces, and a barrage of aeroplane window POVs that speak of summer holidays as we knew them in the before-times. …

Save your heart’s time and energy by spotting projection in advance.

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Falling in love always calls for a leap of faith from the outset: as passion pulls us towards the edge, we either stand back or propel ourselves forward to plummet through bliss and terror at a breakneck pace. Of course, when we leap, we do so in the hopes of landing on something soft, warm, cushioning, in the hopes of finding ourselves surrounded by genuine, supportive love. …

When everything collapses except capitalism.

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‘It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.’ Attributed to both Frederic Jameson and Slavoj Žižek, this quote provides a powerful summary of Capitalist Realism — a collective mindset that has come to circumscribe not only our current reality, but our notion of what any future reality might contain, as argued by Mark Fisher in his novel by the same name.

By the time these words reached me in December of 2020, as a result of my newfound participation in a weekly Discord radical reading group (in itself…

And it was still the happiest day of my life.

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Last night, I received the call I had been waiting for all my life, or at least for as long as I have been old enough to wait for longer than five minutes and for anything other than candy. A charming, considerate, humorous, and intelligent voice that had become familiar to me over the past few months as the voice of my dream manager announced that I got the job.

The job in question? An incredibly handsomely-paid tutoring position on an internationally representative team of outstanding graduates in every conceivable…

It’s a once-in-a-million-lifetimes kind of thing.

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Cynics and sceptics, I know I lost some of you at the title, so I’d like to begin by addressing you in the hopes that you make like Yoko Ono and John Lennon and Give [This] Piece A Chance. In my defence, I have never been the kind of person who harbours mystical, or even vaguely positive, beliefs about romantic love. As the independence-obsessed child of an ugly divorce, a recovering pessimist, an occasional misanthrope, and a critical thinker of almost pathological proportions, nothing comes more naturally to my mind than poking holes in…

Where order is more confusing than organised chaos.

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A couple of days ago, an American colleague sent me a text lamenting a week-long backlog in her local Covid-19 vaccination schedule, and, for the first time in ages, I felt relief rather than sadness at the fact that we weren’t able to converse face-to-face. She would never need to know that right before I sent over a seemingly sincere ‘That sucks!’, I rolled my eyes — a gesture perfected through practice by those of us who’ve grown up in the nations comprising Western Imperialism’s periphery. Can someone say ‘first-world problem’? …

Trying to buy perfection only makes you less perfect.

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Although I must confess to you that I have never read a single work of Leo Tolstoy’s, I nevertheless feel entirely confident proclaiming that his spot among the literary greats is deserved on the sole basis of the words with which he opens his celebrated classic, Anna Karenina:

‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

Read superficially, this seems puzzling and patently untrue: adultery, divorce, domestic violence, terminal illness, and, above all, poverty, are among the contributors to many, if not most, families’ unhappiness…

We need platforms that delete our posts by default.

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Are you ready to write your autobiography? Will you ever be, and would you even want to? Halfway through my twenties, I’d like to think that my story is still unfolding, and I’m certain that I’m not yet the right person to tell it. For most of us, the idea of our 15-year-old self articulating our life’s definitive narrative is the stuff of nightmares — a nightmare I couldn’t fathom imposing on 35-year-old me.

Besides, confining a lifetime of struggle, magic, and everything in between to some finite number of words…

A culture vulture’s guide to covering new ground while maintaining the moral high ground, as well as a healthy mind, body, and wallet.

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Nothing is quite as enchanting, expansive, or inspiring as immersing yourself in new surroundings. As any travel-junkie can attest to, truly engaging with a different country and culture is a surefire shortcut to discovering and developing parts of yourself that you could never have dreamed of while stuck in a space that is saturated with routine.

Unfortunately, for the majority of us, a change of place remains off the table over a year into the global C-word p-word, and it’s natural to be as nauseated with boredom at our daily domestic doldrums as we are with our own thoughts and…

Cleo Kalista

Carving out hacks for the Good Life through critique and creativity. Obsessed with society, culture, and growth. Probably listening to Turkish psych-rock.

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