Embrace the beauty in living life unfiltered.

Thank you for reading my stories, laughing along, and being brave enough to share yours! 



When did you last belly laugh? 

I recently went on a trip to Paris, and on the way home, my sister and I were looking at
the sketch of the bald eagle on the first page our passports. For some reason, we could not stop laughing. My sister was doing impersonations of the bald eagle, and how we imagined this imaginary eagle to have posed for the sketch. It’s clearly a sister thing, but we could not stop laughing. Nostrils flaring and all.

Where do doubt and shame show up in your life and how do you tackle those feelings?

The thing I am most ashamed of in my life is how I have treated my mother over the
years. My mom is the most giving person I have ever known, and she has given me food off of her plate, has wrapped me in her sweater when I was cold (even though she was too), and has stood in the rain when it meant that I didn’t have to. I am deeply shameful of how much I have abused her selflessness with the amount of times I’ve squelched her, ignored her intelligence, or been enraged by her deafness in one ear (by no fault of her own). I have come to realize that my behavior is much linked the fact that I see my mother as just that, my mother. I have worked hard to be conscious of the fact that she is a whole human, and that motherhood is just one part of who she is. And I have noticed that letting her talk and having her feel heard has helped me see that she is more than just my mother. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret how I’ve treated her in the past.

If there were one small act that could be contagious, what would you like it to be?

This is a hard one for me. But I think it would have to be the act of a smile. It is the
simplest act of human connection that can make a person feel validated, loved, wanted, or even just seen. And I think most people just want to be seen and feel like their existence is recognized by those around them.

Technology: love it or hate it? Do tell.

Love it. Ugh, I don’t know! Hate it! I love that technology, most notably the internet,
opens the door for so many humans on earth to have access to knowledge. Wikipedia = best invention. In my mind, what makes a human being tick is the undying thirst for
curiosity. Now I’m going to get into my whole philosophy thing… so here goes. We all
have capax universi, the potential to know everything. Yet we know so little, because the mind has infinite curiosity! And through learning and knowledge, we bring ourselves out of curiosity, and into a deeper understanding of the many things upon which we might wonder. And for me, the internet is a tool for people to do just that. However, I think technology in the form of social media is something that is hard for me to like. I feel that it allows for the broadcast of a misrepresented version of our lives with the click of a button (or two or three, depending how many filters you use).

High & Low from this year?

I generally consider myself a realist (my euphemism for pessimist), but surprisingly I
don’t have much to say about any lows this year. Last year was easily the worst year of
my life, and so this year, there has been no real low in comparison. So, on that note, my beautiful high from this year was a birthday trip to Paris that left me in awe and wonder. I might sound like your typical tourist, but the Eiffel Tower was mesmerizing, and there was something special about the communal experience of laying eyes on this structure shoulder to shoulder with thousands of strangers who had come from all parts of the world to see the very same thing. A dear friend of mine was able to meet my sisters and me at the tower and we all walked up it together, the sun illuminating the whole city and blanketing us with an afternoon heat.

If fear didn’t exist, how would your life look differently than it is right now?

I would probably be a surgeon. But there is fear of debt, fear of failure, fear of the
unknown, fear of someone’s life in my hands, fear of knowledge, fear of clinical
autonomy, fear of being married to my work, fear of time spent away from family, and fear that I wouldn’t be the very best. However, I have absolutely no shame in not
becoming a surgeon. I am doing something that I love, I am fulfilled, and in reality, fear does not exist.

With whom, doing what, when, or where do you feel most at home?

I’m most at home with my immediate family (two sisters, mom, and dad), any place, and time.

What keeps you up at night?

I am deeply fearful of what my life looks like without parents. My parents have been the truest source of emotional support and love in my life, and to know they will inevitably be gone makes me wonder if I can survive without them.

Picture your most joyous day. Name three elements that help comprise that perfect day. Name them all if you'd like. 

I was just going to write to you, Jennifer, and say that I didn’t want to answer the
question. But I’ll be more specific and say that I don’t want to answer because it feels
artificial to me. The joy that I derive in my life is drawn out over days and months and
years of repeated connections and experiences with people, and there is not one day that contains that all in my mind.

Lesson you wish everyone knew?

I’m going to go with a spelling and vocabulary lesson here, because I’m a stickler for that stuff. I wish everyone knew that the word “mischievous” only has one “i" and that it is pronounced in three syllables, not four. I also wish people did not use the word “literally” when they actually mean “figuratively.” Like, you did not just literally die over how delicious that cheesecake was, because if you did, you’d be dead and wouldn’t be sitting here telling me how delicious the cheesecake was.

Book that changed your life?

Pride & Prejudice. And I only read it once. I was 22 when I read it, and I would read it
on my one hour train ride from Connecticut to New York for work. It took me weeks to read because I had to sift through the complicated sentence structure and read over sentences two or three times, not to mention the expansive vocabulary. But when I finished, I felt a sense of accomplishment in reading the book, and I also felt that the book so elegantly described the all too familiar judgments we make and rejection we
assign so easily to those we don’t really know. And of course, the protagonist’s name is Lizzy, so I felt a connection to her. I definitely think she and I would have the same Myers-Briggs personality type. Ha!

What question would be hard for you to answer?

“What is the purpose of my life in this vast universe?” I’m really not an “everything happens for a reason” type of person, nor a “it was meant to be” type of person, so the answer to this question always eludes me.