Coming of age

I believe I grew up in a rather conservative Chinese family. They’re the type of parents who’s not going to go over the birds and the bees with you or even go near that topic. It’s rather typical for my Chinese parents. I remember I getting my period so clearly. I was kind of looking forward to it because you hear about it in middle school (especially during gym class!). There was somewhat of a “welcoming to womanhood” party because my mother cooked a bowl of longevity noodles with an egg. Now that I think about it, I think the egg was symbolic. I’ll be blasting out eggs from now on as well. lol.

I don’t know how I learned to use pads but the only type we had was the brand always. I’ve never given it much thought and just used it up until after college. Period is already annoying and messy but the worse part was the pads. I’m not a fan of always.

I’ll compare the three brands that I’ve tried on comfort, packaging and absorption. I wish I knew of all the options out there before! Now that I buy my own, I’ve been experimenting.

1) always – regular:

yellow packing. Way too obvious, I guess they don’t understand how we want to be discreet.

Plastic-y feeling when you wear it. It cuts into the side of your legs. Long term wear is very uncomfortable. I can’t believe I used it for so long. I didn’t get to buy it so I had no choice.

Absorption is okay. It does its job and sometimes there’s a film of stuff that just…stays on top. Not pleasant.

Oh, its wings don’t work very well because they’re short and the stickiness come undone over time. They become scrunched up and don’t stick.

2) Stayfree – regular:

blue packaging. I still don’t know why they pick such color…I think that’s still too bright.

It’s so much softer than always and feels like cotton. No plastic itchiness from this product. Kind of bulky.

Absorption is also okay. I don’t recall having much trouble with it.

The wings are decent. They’re wider than they are long. Wish it was longer.

3) Kotex – athletic:

I don’t know why they have a particular product for athletic activities because I feel like you don’t need to be doing exercises to require one such as this. I believe regular movements need something like this too.

Big thumbs up on its shape. The one and only one that I’ve seen so far that has a smaller shape in the front than the back. This fits on the underwear so much better.

Black and small patches of color on packaging. More discreet.

The pad doesn’t feel like cotton or plastic. You really don’t feel much of it. This was a pleasant surprise. It is rather comfortable. The length of the pad is nice as well. It’s long enough that you won’t stain the back of your underwear but not too long where you feel like you’re wearing a diaper.

The pad did a very good job in absorpting the fluid. The fluid was completely absorbed without leaving behind wet and sticky stuff.

The wings are very decent. They are of good length and width that they did not come undone part way through the day.

I must say so far Kotex athletic is my favorite pad. There may be even better ones out there but right now, I’m really digging this one. I think the price of the product is usually the reason we opt for one over the other. I think the brand always is slightly cheaper than Kotex and Stayfree. Kotex is slightly cheaper than Stayfree.

I decided to try out Kotex this time because I had a 40% off coupon from CVS and the Kotex package had an extra $1.00 off as well. I also just earned $1.00 reward from CVS too. So, I had $7.00 off the product. I got it at 1/2 the price. It was a really good buy. I’ve been using the CVS app very often. They like to offer me lots of 30-40% off coupon on one item. Their products are likely a little pricier than Walgreens/Duane Reade. The coupon helps.

I’ve tried tampons once. Maybe due to personal reasons that I find it really uncomfortable to the point that it hurts. I prefer to stay with my pads.

I also really like Carefree liners. They’re the right amount of thinness and curved shape in the front and back. The store brand liners are just straight and thick. The surface area of these liners don’t match my underwear. Too small! I wish liners had wings too because I like to use them towards the end of my period. Won’t Carefree please make the liners with wings? 🙂

I hope this post is helpful for someone who’s also experimenting or just starting their period journey.



It’s been a while since I last blogged and a lot happened along the way. As I come closer to another milestone in age, I start to dread getting there. I never imagined myself having to deal with being somewhere and someone at this point. I definitely find myself to be more on the naive side of things growing up. I wanted to be in my own world. I used to beat myself up real bad mentally when I mess up but I’ve toned it down over the years. I decided to be kinder to myself but stress seems to overwhelm me even more. With the predisposition of certain illness and mixture of high stress, I ended up having that particular issue. We can only try to take better care of ourselves and realize and correct our behaviors. It’s not uncommon to have people in our lives who are not the most optimistic or even kind towards us. I’ve been blessed with friends who are kind to me when I’m not being kind to myself.

Last month, I made a trip to my hometown in China. It’s a really small town with not much going on but it’s a lot cleaner than I imagined. I’d praise it for good waste management for sure. It was a rather private matter that I made the trip with my family. I don’t think I would’ve gone had I not been coaxed with a trip to Japan after the family matters. Since I came to the US very early on, I have no attachment to this “hometown”. I try very hard to avoid extended family and family friends because they are all too dramatic for me (and fake). Whether it comes down to greed or gossip, they have a whole lot to spread around. I’m simple minded and want to keep my life simplified from unnecessary drama from others. I try to be as kind as possible and not to put my emotions on others. Unfortunately, this was another unpleasant trip to my hometown (last trip was ~15 years ago). What upsets me the most was something my oldest sister said to me. I’m sure at some point I’ve made it clear that I don’t care what others are saying and that for being my sister, I’d hope she would be kinder towards me and not be a hypocrite. Her response was, “You have no idea what people are talking about behind your back and it’s the truth”. I’m sure it’s along the line of lack of career accomplishments , “foreign” boyfriend, and maybe dumb things I’ve said or done. Should she really be an instigator? Like, really? You’re seriously going to be berate me and put me down with what others are saying about me. It’s too bad people closest to you can be so rude.

I haven’t accomplish much in my adulthood. I started work much later than others and stayed in school far too long. I don’t make a decent wage and definitely cannot support myself living in NYC without my parents. But I am grateful for all the comfort I have currently because of my family. Right now, after not getting into schools, I want to apply again but for something else a little less stressful and competitive. I still have to write those emails to professors who helped me with my recommendation letters. I’m not sure how to put it that I want to change what I’m applying to this time. Then again, who are we to judge? One step at a time. I still haven’t completely given up on what I applied to the first time. But it’s something I feel like I need to get back to at some point but just not now. Am I feeling too old at this age already? Yeah. But, all it matters is I’m alive and well. I get another chance to try. Then again, maybe next life time when I am even smarter and better at taking standardized tests. Thanks for another day. 🙂

Best we could

Just a few months ago, a dear GWN mentee whom I had met when I first started the program, she passed away. Mona was one of the sweetest and welcoming individuals I came to know but sadly didn’t keep in touch.  Her unfortunate passing made me very sad. I took the time to remind myself of how much more I need to spend time with people I love. I find love and comfort in being with my mom, second sister and my best friends Viky and Carmen. I cherish the time I have with my second sister. Our relationship has transformed over the years and continue to become stronger. I really appreciate it. In the memory of all the dear and young people I knew who passed away, I remind myself to appreciate my relationships even more and to push on ahead when there are difficulties in life. Life is short and fragile. I hope wherever they are, they have peace. 


Every step so far feels like a struggle and then the feeling of uncertainty just throws it completely off. Fear is pretty strong right now. But I’ve already made so much effort to get past it. There’s so much I need to accomplish that it’s becoming daunting. There’s always the thought, I could’ve made it easier on myself b/c I’m rather simple. But this inexplicable push from somewhere inside me just ask me to do it. 

Not enough

To some point I feel delusional that I can get past this deep bold boundary to the other side. I really don’t care about competition but it’s still matters to compare. I just don’t feel enough. There’s been more instances of, “maybe I really am not cut for this”, “this is so difficult “, and “I’m really tired”… Why can’t I just give up? It’s really difficult when time and money have been invested for more than 2 years. It’s even more sour when he’s fighting a very similar battle of finding self worth in this competitive world.