“This person was meant to be a dad.”

So, I was driving back from Chicago to, to Michigan with my dad ‘cause usually I take the train, but this time I was moving a lot of boxes with books in 'em, and so I needed somebody to drive me back. So essentially what I was doing, I was trading books with books. I, I was hoping that somebody could take my books, bring them home, meanwhile, I'm bringing my books back here. But yesterday I was with my dad in the car and we -- my dad’s a very quiet person, like a lot of the time I don't know what goes on in his mind, but when he talks and like shares stories and gets very personable, he's genuinely like a good person. Like, you know, when you look at somebody who's like a dad or something, you're just like, "This person was meant to be a dad.” I feel the same way with my mom, I’m like, “Yeah. She was definitely meant to be a mom.”  But specifically with my dad -- my dad and I have a lot of good conversations, the downside is unfortunately a lot of them happen when they are drunk, where I get the most “dad lore," the most juiciest pieces of backstory for my father. But yesterday we were just talking. My dad's an alumni at MSU, and so we were driving by because we were going back to my apartment and he, he takes a look around like a liquor store or something and he's like, “Oh man, I just used to have a ball there.” He's like, “I would go crazy and blah blah blah blah blah,” ‘cause my dad was a frat boy. Like, this I know. I know what type of frat he was in, I met some of his frat brothers, and to me that's like the hardest part to believe because my dad nowadays is like this very strict military guy, like, “Oh, I'm in the army, like, I never do anything.” And especially because I think both he and my mom hi- -- like, hold my sister and I to not so high standards, but they definitely think that we are better than they were in high school and college.

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“I was projecting my own self-esteem onto this girl who has no opinion of me.”

I was in class the other day. I'm currently on a study abroad trip in Dublin, Ireland and we did the still face experiment. We paired up with people and did an experiment where it was it from an outside perspective it looks like a staring contest, but we would close our eyes and look away, and then on the count of three, these two people would sit dead across from each other, open their eyes at the same time and stare at each other. And when -- the theory is that depending on how -- what stage of development you're in, you will feel some sort of reaction, um, when you look at the other person.  So me being the mentally unstable, insane person that I am, I close my eyes and look away. He goes, "three, two, one, open your eyes,” and I opened my eyes. I look at this girl straight in her eye, and I -- and my entire body does a backflip. It just completely freaks out and I'm like, "She hates me. She hates me. She hates me. She hates me. She hates me so much. And I'm going to die right now." But then I realized because we were talking about projection earlier in class, I realized that I was just over identifying with this feeling and I was projecting my own self-esteem onto this girl who has no opinion of me.  And that's what I've been doing my entire life is just projecting my own self-esteem onto other people and the circular reasoning of constantly being self-reinforced. Um, they hate me because they're doing this, and you know myself esteem is so low. It just keeps looping and looping and looping, you know -- er, it's my self-esteem is so bad because people hate me, and people hate me because of my low self-esteem, and it just circles around and around and around and around and around and around. And now that I realize that I've been doing this my whole life, I might be able to change it. Twenty years of this kind of sucks, and I feel stupid because I didn't figure this out until much later in my life, but this could actually be a massive game-changer for me.

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“I’ve graduated high school now, so like what do you do after high school?”

Most microwaves have a spinning plate on the inside. When was the last time you were so dizzy you feel like your head was spinning? Oh my gosh. I -- it's funny, because I feel like when I was a kid, I used to like just go around and circles and like um, like my house was --  like we rarely had any furniture, so like I would just spin in the middle, and it was really fun because like my head got dizzy and like it was kind of like when you stopped spinning it kind of felt like the world was kind of falling down upon you, if that makes sense. I don't know like, kinda seems scary, not gonna lie, but it was kind of fun, I used to do it all the time. I don't know why I do- don't do it anymore, you know, I think it's just part of growing up. I guess I don't want to say that but like, you know, I've graduated high school now, so like what do you do after high school, you know what I mean? Like I really just don't know what to do with my life anymore, I guess. Um, yeah, I just I felt like I want to like accomplish everything in one day but obviously that's not how it's gonna work. We can't  accomplish everything in just one single day, you know what I mean, success comes with time, and you know, we should -- could just do a little by little each day, you'll see the difference later on. Um, see that mindset doesn't work on me, and I need to like -- I need to learn that mindset.  And that's kind of the mindset that I want to take over this summer. Like I don't want to be sad if I don't accomplish everything in one day, and you know, I guess today will be like the first day of my milestone and all the goals I want to accomplish. So after this recording, I'm gonna write down all the goals that I want to accomplish over the summer and have like a reminder on like  my phone, you know, say like you don't have to accomplish everything today. It takes time, success takes time, so just take it little by little every day and don't -- you don't have to struggle as much.

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“I cannot stand up. I cannot use my leg.”

Oh, “Tell us about a scar that you have and how you got it.” Um, so mine's not even like, like a laceration scar but it's a, like, muscle scar I guess. Like, it was an internal scarring. So this is like -- my sister hates when I tell this story, she gets so defensive but it's literally all her fault. But when I was probably in fifth grade, sixth grade, so twelve, thirteen, it was winter time and my family, we have snowmobiles. We've always had snowmobiles. And my sister was driving our snowmobile around our property. And we would always pull each other on sleds and so I was being pulled on our little saucer sled, which is, you know, the circular sled that you can do like three-sixty spins and turns and stuff like that. And so when you go around the corner you obviously, like, whip out farther than the snowmobile and we were going around our house, and because I was spinning in the saucer, my -- I was going back-first, I guess? So I was looking behind me, if that makes sense. And so I didn't see me barreling towards, funny enough, our horse trailer, our metal horse trailer. And I'm sitting cross-legged in the saucer and I come in contact, middle of my thigh, right into the metal corner of this horse trailer and I smack -- hit, hit so hard I'm pulled off the saucer. My sister doesn't realize that I had hit the horse trailer so she's going, and I am in such immense pain. All I can do is just lay in the snow, like my leg is on fire with pain. So I just lay in the snow and I am like, I cannot stand up. I cannot use my leg. And luckily my dad was out working in his workshop, which was right by where the horse trailer was. So he saw me laying spread eagle in the snow, crying probably. I can't remember. And he picks me up and brings me inside, and lays me on the couch and we get all of my snow gear off and stuff like that and I had a massive bruise. Massive hematoma on my right leg, on the side of my leg. And oh my gosh. And growing up -- and I still -- I'm still like this -- my…

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“I decided to write letters to my future self for like the next 14 years.”

“Have you ever written a letter to your future self? What story would you tell them if you were writing one right now?” I have wrote a letter to my future self. Actually, I think it was on New Year's about two years ago, I decided to write letters to my future self for like the next 14 years. ‘Cause -- you know, like all the way up until I was in college in like 2034. So I wrote letters to my future self then, but you know, those future letters are still not there. 'Cause like a few days later, I forgot what I wrote and I wanted to read through them all, so I just ripped them all open and wrote them -- and, uh, read them. So yeah, that did not last long whatsoever. “What story would you tell them if you were writing one right now?” Um, I would tell my future self, "Life's going great right now. Sports are going great. Your friendships are going great. Um, and I would say {blows raspberry}. "Know that sports own a special place in your heart, and without them you're a completely different person. So continue to do sports because that keeps the you -- that keeps yourself you. So just continue to do the things that you love. And make sure to make time -- and make sure to make time to just, you know, take a break, have peace with yourself and do something you truly like to do. "Because if you're focusing too much on school work right now, you're not having any fun. You're not truly yourself. So, schoolwork is a priority, but sometimes you have to take breaks, or else your mental health is not going to be good. So just keep handling things and doing things you like along with the schoolwork that needs to be done." So I would probably write that letter for when I was in college, because I know there's a lot of work that goes into college. But I feel like my future self needs to know to still make time for things that I love to do, so that's what I would say.

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“So much soup was all over the entire rotating disk.”

So I got my stuff, I put it into the microwave, and I put it in for -- either it, it was either two or three minutes. Think it was three minutes. And I put it in there and then I left to go do something. So I was like, "Oh, it's just microwaving, it's not like anything bad's gonna happen." And then I come back like a minute or two later, and I look inside and there's soup all over like the rotating disk, and I'm like "No!" I freak out, and I'm like, "Oh my gosh!" And so I stop it because apparently the heat of it was making the soup bubble out of it or something like that. I didn't really understand it. Either way, it was not working well. So much soup was all over the entire rotating disk and I was freaked out and so then, "Oh my God, I gotta go clean this up." And so I went -- I went to the girls bathroom because I was in the cafeteria and there's a cafeteria -- there's a bathroom inside the cafeteria. But that bathroom only has -- what's it called? Dryers. No, uh, towels. And so I was like, "Ah!" and so the closest bathroom was pretty far away, and I didn't want anyone to see the mess I had made, and so I had to run, run, full sprint there to go get some towels. And then I got 'em and then I wiped it, but there was still more soup and I was like "Ah!" So I ran back to that bathroom, got more paper towels, and I finished it all up. And then this time, I was like, "Okay, I learned my lesson. I'll get -- I'll get more paper towels and I'll wait for this thing to cook and I'll watch it cook." So I watched it cooked -- so I watched it cook, and it was still experiencing the same problem. It was so dumb. And so I kinda -- I think I layered it with a paper towel on the bottom so all the soup would go on to the paper towel. Either that or I just waited for it to be done so I could just like clean it. Or I would like, stop it every few seconds to like make sure it didn't get too…

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“Then nine months after my first ear was implanted, I heard a melody for the first time.”

[Note: The audio for this diary may require adjusting the volume settings on your device.] My sister and brother-in-law drove to attend my recital, and my sister kindly took my cell phone and recorded my performance which took six and a half minutes with the three different songs that I played. I got a, a big clap when I finished. And then my teacher stood up, and she asked me to share briefly with the audience some major facts about my musical journey. That gave me the opportunity to tell them that I went slowly deaf until I was almost completely deaf. And I decided to get cochlear implants. The implantation of my first ear was so successful that I was overjoyed, and I decided to get my second ear implanted because then I would be able to hear out of both sides of my head. I was warned by my surgeon that the cochlear implant device is only a speech processor. It only covers the frequencies that are within the range of the human voice, but the piano with 88 keys has some keys that are much above the range of the human voice, and also keys that are much below the range of the human voice. And he warned to make my decision carefully about implanting the second ear because I might never get music back. It was an agonizing decision, but ultimately, I decided to go ahead and get the second ear implanted. The thing that swung my decision was the fact that, as my sister pointed out to me as I tried to discuss this with her, human relationships are the most important thing. If I have to give up music in order to hear the human voice better, then so be it. Because human relationships will connect me to the world and prevent me from becoming socially isolated. So I went ahead with the second implantation. Then nine months after my first ear was implanted, I heard a melody for the first time. Previously, between surgery and that date nine months later, I listened to music, but it was all just a jumble of sounds that did not mean anything to me. But then nine months after the first operation, my brain had grown enough neural pathways that I was able to assimilate the sounds of music and perceive a pattern, a melody. So I…

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“When do you learn to multitask?”

I recently had a baby and as such spend a lot of time around a baby. Um, this is my first kid and really the first baby I've spent much time around. Um, I'm the youngest sibling and cousin and just was not raised around little, little kids. So this is my first time spending any significant amount of time with a young child and it's really interesting to watch them grow and change so quickly. It's really fun. But something that I noticed today was just how incapable she is of multitasking. And granted, the things she's able to do is a very short list. She can eat, cry, sleep, poop, pee. But I was feeding her and she kept pausing, but I couldn't figure out what was going on. She was clearly hungry, she was, like, kind of ravenously eating and then she'd stop and then she'd start again, stop, start, stop, start. And normally when she's hungry like that, she just lays into the bottle and destroys the entire thing. So I was thinking, like, "Why is she doing that?" And then I started noticing or hearing, feeling that she was farting every time she stopped and it was just kind of a funny reminder that like, she can't -- she doesn't know how to do both of those things at one time, at least right now. She's very intentionally focusing on eating and then very intentionally focusing on farting and then back and forth, back and forth. It made me think of the question that was posed about -- around when have we -- I -- we, the royal we, tried to multitask and how did it go for us, and just made me realize that I guess a couple weeks ago, I would have thought that there's certain things -- especially like farting can be a voluntary thing that you choose to do. I would have suspected that as a baby it's an involuntary thing your body just does, but I don't know, the way she was going back and forth made me feel like it was a voluntary choice she was making. It's something she was doing so it m- made me start to think about when do you learn to multitask?

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“It looked like boiling water…if the water were cookies.”

I failed at making cookies and they're like -- so I, I thought -- cuz for some reason I was just craving cookies, right? So then I went to make the cookies. I did all the right ingredients and I looked up, like, how to make sugar cookies cuz I was gonna make chocolate chip, but we didn't have any more chocolate chips left, so I just made sugar cookies. And so I looked up how to make sugar cookies, but, um -- so I added all the right ingredients and I added all the right amounts, but something was wrong. I think it was the flour. I think I didn't mix it well enough, cuz there was still chunks in it. So when I rolled them into balls and put them on the, on the pan or whatever, they were like bubbling in the oven like i- if -- it looked like boiling water, but if they -- if the water were cookies. So they were like boiling and then when I got them out, it was all just like one cookie, like one really hard cookie, and half of it was burnt, and half of it wasn't cooked at all. And it was just really bad.

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“The bagels are evil.”

My partner and I both lost our battles with a Panera bagel yesterday, so. When we began our drive back, we stopped at Panera, so I was like, "Let's pick up some bagels that we can have Monday morning." So, I was going in the office earlier so I was leaving first. I was awake on my own and I've cut myself the same way on a bagel before where it's like I'm kind of sawing at it towards my hand. And so I'm actively thinking about it. And I was like, "Okay, let me hold the bagel a bit further from my hand and let me be careful." But I don't know if I was just thinking too hard about it or I just, you know, shoulda gotten out the cutting board and, and cut it on there instead of cutting towards my hand, but I learned my lesson because I immediately got caught near the end and, and sliced my hand, I'd say pretty badly for me but not too badly. I didn't have to go to, like, the ER or anything. Didn't cut anything important. I bled a lot because you know, it's my hand and I, I gave a decent like centimeter, two centimeter long cut across my hand between my finger and that -- my thumb and my index finger. And it was very frustrating and it hurt a good amount and now it just feels like -- I'm a day later now and it just feels like -- it almost just feels like I have a bruise there. So now it’s like the cut's still there and it's healing. I've been changing the Band-Aids and it just feels bruised. It still feels tender there. So I, I have felt awfully dumb about that and definitely not going to let myself cut any more bagels like that for the foreseeable future, hopefully for forever. Hopefully I've learned my lesson for good but apparently it wasn't enough the first or second time and cutting it worse the third time is definitely good re-encouragement to be more careful about that in the future. But then my partner, after I'm at work, they send me a text that just goes, "The bagels are evil." And I was like, "Please tell me you didn't cut yourself." But apparently she stepped away while it was toasting. And hers was a…

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