“What I want to be when I grow up involves a lot of physics.”

"When's a time when you were proud of yourself for achieving a personal goal?" Well, what I want to be when grow up involves physics, a lot of physics, but I'm not very good at physics. Like I understand it, but when it comes to tests, it kinda goes down the drain. So yeah, but anyway about a week or two ago, we got our most recent physics tests back and we saw our score for the first time. And I got a hundred percent which I was really proud of, so. It was like my first one hundred percent. So yeah, I dunno, I was really happy about that. And it was kind of a hard test too, so it was good.

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“She was so out of my league that I just never gave anything any kind of thought.”

I'm going to talk about a time where someone dropped hints on me that I just wouldn't believe really. And it goes back - this all kinda ties - what a early 2000s week - ties back to my job, my first job, at the pool house kitchen at a country club on the east side of the state. There was a girl there who taught tennis lessons, she was my age, and I was smitten the day I saw her, and the more I got to know about her, the more she knocked me off my feet. And you know, it was just gonna be a thing where it's like, “Yeah, she's amazing, period. End of story.” She seemed so far out of my league, so amazingly far out of my league. She was so intelligent, so bright, so like weirdly funny, and she was amazing in almost every way. She was so out of my league that I just never gave anything any kind of thought. And one day we we struck up a conversation over leftover birthday cake from a children's birthday party we hosted at the club, and I was super nervous and probably very awkward and whatever. I can't remember really what we talked about much, but I do know that, you know, shortly after our discussion she ran into me and, you know, asked me if I was going to the Fourth of July fireworks celebration at the club, and I mentioned that I was considering that and she basically was like, "You should go with me. Here's my phone number." And she wrote down her phone number for me and gave it to me, and I was like, "Yeah, that's nice of her. What a - she seems like a nice person." And so I called her with much trepidation, and we set up a time to meet at the Fourth of July celebration and turns out she brought like four friends, and so maybe I had for a moment, maybe I thought that perhaps she liked me, but once I saw the friends show up, I was like, "Oh, this is not a date at all. That was the stupidest thing you could have ever thought. This is just a big group hangout thing." And plus, she brought a guy too among her groups of friends. And so yeah, so then we…

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“I feel like I’ve got a lot less stress around eating…”

Note: This diary contains a discussion of restrictive eating. So I'll continue what I was talking about with my relationship with food. Yeah, I’ve recently I just been noticing that the changes I've been making and choosing more whole foods, even though they may be higher calorie, is giving me an opportunity to reconnect with my body and check in with my body, and feel just like the sensations of fullness and hunger, in a way that I honestly have not in a while. And so that feels really promising for me since it's something that I've kind of struggled with for a while, especially like since early college I would say. So maybe about six or seven years. Yeah, and I feel like through this process, I have gained some weight over the last year, and it's starting to level out, which is awesome. I don't feel like I've noticed too many changes in my weight lately. But yeah, I'm just noticing that the changes I'm making, on a psychological level, in not restricting food and, you know, not seeing food as good or evil has actually given me the mental and physical satisfaction that I have been trying to find from my food. So yeah, that feels really good. I feel like I've got a lot less stress around eating. Which like I mentioned earlier, you know, obviously you have to do it for survival. So this was kind of a big deal for me and I'm really excited about it.

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“I’m so proud of my sister for doing that kind thing to all those young kids.”

"Lots of places around East Lansing have opened their doors for free to MSU members this week to help. What is something that you've done to help someone who is hurting? What's something that someone else has done for you?" So I can kind of speak for my sister.  Excuse me? So, she goes to the ski hill a lot - Oh no. and when she sees little kids who fell, who're hurt, she'll go down and help them up. And that's just the kindness that she brings. How do you know about that? Do you stalk me at the ski hill? And actually this is just like -  and I'm so proud of my sister for doing that kind thing to all those young kids. She's like giving it back, her, like, stupidness to the world, and it's really really sweet that she earned back some of her smartness. Hey, I wish I could say that the same thing to you about helping and stuff, but I really can't so... Toys for Tots. Oh, yeah. Toys for Tots. She totally didn't have to tell me about that for me to remember. Okay. So every year I raise money by selling golf balls and Petoskey stones. You can contact my mom if you want any, and then we take all the money and buy toys for Toys for Tots and give it back. Like this yearm I raised 19 toys and I'm already starting to raise money for next year. Which is ridiculous. So if you want to donate, just contact my mom.

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“It reminds me that I can chill out a little bit.”

"When you're upset, what is something that brings you comfort? Is there a particular food or TV show that is comforting to you?"  Like, I - for me, it's always kind of ice cream. I really, really like ice cream. Which is kind of like - even if it's winter, I will have ice cream as my comfort food. It's just kind of what takes away all the stress. It reminds me that I can chill out a little bit. I don't have to be this stressed out. I'll get through it. There's nothing that I haven't been able to push forward through in the past. So this is going to be fine. It's gonna be chill. And, like, who cares if I don't move on to the National Spelling Bee? Like, I'm one step away from that. Who cares? Like, I've studied hard up to this point. I have another month of studying to go. Who cares if I don't make MAGS when I swim? Which is the state competition. Like, I'm not even going, I'm going to Hawai'i. Who cares if I get an A minus on my robotics thing? I still have an A in that class. Who cares if, like, social studies is a little bit stressful? I can study hard. These are all real scenarios that I'm stressing out over right now. And right now, I'm kinda telling myself, "This is what you have to do." Even without the ice cream. So, I mean, comfort food works, but you can also kinda mentally prepare yourself for things, too. As far as a TV show goes, it used to be Survivor, but now it's not really, like, a TV show, it's more so playing on my phone or playing Fortnite or FIFA or Battlefront, just - or there's another Xbox game we have called Gang Beasts. Like, any one of those things and I'll be a-okay.

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“He wasn’t letting me feel unimportant.”

"What is a famous person or an important person I met that turned out to not be that great?" I'll answer it actually as a famous person or an important person I met that turned out to be that great. I was living in Rhode Island, and it was such a weird way that this happened, but I was in a meeting and somebody was asking me, it was like a external partner, you know, "Who am I?" Kind of a little bit about myself, and it was pretty standard that people might, like, prod about your professional or educational background. So the person asked me, you know, something about what degree do I have. And so I said, "Oh, I have a master's in public health." And usually that's the end of the conversation but this specific person was like, "Oh, like, what specifically did you focus on or what did you study?" And so I said, "Oh, like, global health, uh, infectious disease." And the person was like, "Oh, have you heard of Paul Farmer?" Who was like my idol and I was like, "Yes, I've absolutely heard of Paul Farmer." And they were like, "Oh, cool. Well, my husband coordinates some sort of speaking engagements at one of the local universities and, like, Paul Farmer's gonna be there tonight. Do you want to go?" And I was like, "Oh my God. Yes. I absolutely do." So they gave me instructions, and I don't know, got me a ticket, which was so generous, and I went, and it was him and then I forget the name of the other person that was there, but he was part of, I think it was a two-person team, that discovered the virus that causes HIV. So they were talking about global health just generally and some of their own personal and professional experiences.  And afterwards, like so many of the students just left. I was like, "Oh my gosh, like why aren't they trying to talk to Paul Farmer?" So I got in line, and I didn't have anything to say other than just like - 'cause really, it was reading about Paul Farmer and Mountains Beyond Mountains that got me into public health where I just thought, like, "Yes. This is what I want to be doing." So I just wanted to say that to him which I'm sure he hears a lot. And…

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“Thoughts and prayers to the Spartan Community today.” 

I was just hoping to briefly share my condolences to the Michigan Diaries team and Michigan State Community today. Just seeing some really tough news that I, you know, can only imagine the kind of feelings that everyone's going through in the active shooter situation. So I, yeah, just wanted to offer, you know, some more words of support. Definitely have the team and the Spartans on my mind. And I saw that class schedules and sports schedules and stuff are canceled. 100% understandable. You know, I can keep making recordings. I think the planets will wait for Michigan Diaries whenever you're ready. You know, if we gotta take a week off, you know, I'll still be here. So. Or if you want to continue the pace of normalcy, I would understand that as well. Yeah. Just I have to imagine really, really tough day for everyone in East Lansing. So my thoughts and prayers to the Spartan Community today.

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“Monday isn’t really the worst day. I think Tuesday is probably the worst day.”

So what would make Tuesdays better? If they were Friday. Like, if you had two days of school, Monday and Tuesday, right? Tuesday is like a Friday. That's what will make Tuesdays better. Like, here's the thing. Here's my analogy for all of the days of the week. So Monday you feel blegh like, “Why do I have to go to school?" For like, for kids who have to go to school, you know. “Why do I have to go to school"? And then Tuesday it's like “Ugh, I have no hope, I've already dealt with Monday, but I still have three more days to go,” 'cause Monday you're still kinda - you just got past the weekend, you might have exciting stuff to share. It might - they might ease you in a little bit. Tuesday’s where a lot of the tests happen and where like a lot of things go wrong. Wednesday is kinda like, eh, right? Because you have like a lot to go, and you've already done a lot. So you're kinda worn out, but you still have a lot to go. Thursday you can kinda see the end, but you're still a little bit worn out, and then Friday you just like forget about being worn out and you're like, “It's Friday, let's go. I have this to do on the weekend,” and then when Monday comes, you can talk about it. So Monday isn't really the worst day. I think Tuesday is probably the worst day, but what would make it better? If Tuesday was Friday.

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“I’m so proud of myself because I advocated for myself…”

I'm really proud of myself today. I advocated for myself, and without my parents, physically, my mom even there. I had a doctor's appointment. And I went alone, which was huge because I like never do that. And I'm so proud of myself because I advocated for myself too. I needed a certain blood test, just because like I've been feeling tired and stuff, so I wanted like my thyroid and iron levels checked. And it's huge because I asked for it, like I'm always afraid to do that, like I don't really ask for what I need. I just kinda like hope the doctor will order it, like, without me asking. So that was so huge for me, that I actually said, “Can you please order X test for Y reason?” Feel like that's one of my huge steps towards like becoming an adult. Because, like, I have a job, I have my license, I've been going to quite a few doctors appointments alone, which is huge, like, I've called and made them, too, you know, scary. But yeah, I advocated for myself, which is a big thing because I always don't want to inconvenience people. So I just like kinda don't bother them about it. But I knew what I needed for my health. And I asked for it and it was easy. She ended up ordering the test and some other tests, too. I just need to speak up for myself and advocate. Because that's how you make it in the real world.

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“I would never change that about myself.”

"The Roman gods had the power to change form whenever they wanted. What's one thing about yourself that you'd never want to change?" My nose. For a long time, I was embarrassed by my nose. It's big and bulbous. And I was always embarrassed by it. I thought - you know, and it has all these blackheads on it. And it has this little line of blackheads too, right above the bulbous part, on the, like, straight part that, like, cuts it. With little like - it's very noticeable. It was very noticeable when I was a teenager, not as noticeable now, and my family used to call it the equator. And I was so embarrassed by it, so embarrassed by it. And then my wela died and I was very - it was very sad. It was a hard time for me. You know, I had moved out of my parents’ house my senior year into her home to help her. She was going through dialysis, and it was... It was hard. We were very close. And we went to - up to Michigan. I think it was, like, that next summer. And I had talked to some of my - some of her relatives, my relatives, her sister specifically [name], who is still living, and we talked about my nose - and they call it up there, her sisters call it a strawberry nose because not only does my wela have it, but all of her sisters have it. It's a [family name] nose, they call it a strawberry [family name] nose. Because it’s bulbous like a strawberry and it has the little black dots, very typical [family name] nose. This made me feel so connected to her. You know, I feel bad for people who have, like, this body dysmorphia where they need to utilize plastic surgery to change these things about themselves. Because as a person who's loved by her family and who loves her family, I can look in the mirror and look at certain features on my body and say, “That I got from this person, that I got from this person.” And it feels good. It just feels right. And it's comforting knowing that she's still alive in me. Not only in her stories and her memory and her morals, but like in my appearance 'cause I look so much like her. So,…

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