Krish(na) ● They/Them ● ↑20

aries sun, aquarius moon, libra rising

Hello! My name is Krish, and this is my personal blog. You can read a little bit more about me and my blog here. I also have a personal site that has more about me if you care for it.

Cliques, Listings, and Webrings Under the Cut

Do I Contradict Myself? Very Well Then I Contradict Myself, (I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes.)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Accepting

Weather: Mostly Cloudy

Listening to: "So American" by Olivia Rodrigo

Reading: The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement: Everything You Need to Successfully Apply by Ryan Gray

Watching: The Legend of Korra: Book Two: Spirits

Playing: Nothing (...Pokemon Go? Neopets?)

Drinking: Iced Caramel Latte

Perfume: Sweet Tooth by Sabrina Carpenter layered with Midnight Amber Glow by Bath and Body Works

(Title references this poem.)

Feeling yourself grow up and change is so strange. Whenever I notice something different about myself, even if it's just the accumulation of a bunch of small changes finally making a bigger difference in my life, it feels so alien. When I become aware of a "shift" in who I am and what I value in life, my immediate feeling is discomfort. It really sucks that this is my gut reaction because more often than not, the changes that I notice are positive and serve to enrich my life. I think I just don't like change. It's not a matter of disliking not being in control, because as I previously mentioned, it usually is a result of me taking control that things change. I actually consider myself to be very "go-with-the-flow" and adaptable when changes occur as a result of other people. Part of it is because I've had to be, but regardless of why I'm like this I've been told that I handle stress very well when things go awry due to external influences. So why is it that when I start to crave exercising everyday, a goal that I've been working towards for ages now, it makes my stomach sink?

I'm not diagnosed with anything that would make me neurodivergent, and will never seek any diagnoses because of the implications it'd have on my life as an already marginalized person. That being said, I find a lot of ADHD and autism tips that get sprinkled across the internet to be extremely helpful. Something that people with autism struggle with is "static thinking" or "black-and-white thinking", and I find that this resonates a lot with how I think about myself. I feel like I hear about "black-and-white thinking" a lot in regards to external situations, but I personally struggle to see myself as a dynamic ever changing organism. The monkey brain in me wants to perceive myself as a static person that will stay consistent like a fictional character. But I'm not a fictional character. I am not plot driven and two dimensional. I am influenced by the world around me. For as long as I can remember, I've hated exercising, but now that I've started to enjoy exercise (or how I feel after I exercise), it fills me with a feeling of malaise because who I am is changing. Now that I have some semblance of why I feel this way, I'm trying to become okay with feeling the initial discomfort, sitting with it, allowing my perception of self to change, and proceeding on in my life healthier and happier.

When I started to spend more time by myself, I realized that I didn't really know who I was and was dependent on other people to define who I am for me. Honestly, I perceive that a lot of the world pities me and looks down on me. Once all that noise disappeared I was forced to discover who I was, find parts of myself that I was not fully aware of before, as well as find places that I was lacking in that I'd like to develop more.

Something that I used to be really insecure about in the past was being "out of the loop" of popular culture. Between being a child with niche interests and having immigrant parents that I couldn't learn cultural references from via osmosis, I often had no clue what my classmates or friends were referencing or talking about. It seems like a really miniscule thing in hindsight, but at the time I was already dealing with feelings of detachment from others, so my inability to connect with others in this way made me feel awful. At the time, there were many popular television shows that I hadn't watched because my mother wouldn't allow me to, and many popular musicians I hadn't heard of because I felt like I couldn't relate to liking their sound or lyrics. At that age, I better related to anime characters in extremely exagerated fictionalized environments and vocaloids that told elaborate stories through their songs rather than listening to another pop song about heartbreak on the radio or watching serious movies about social norms that I couldn't understand. At one point, I became determined to no longer be an "outsider" in this regard, and I became addicted to watching countless television shows and listening to music from musicians that I didn't care about just to fit in. As a combination of my addictive personality and desire to catch up socially, there was a time in my life where I'd spend hours of my day wasting it on the internet just to make sure that I knew everything about anything that I could, just so that on the off chance that I was in a social interaction with someone, I wouldn't be ostracized for not knowing about something. It was awful. I hated myself for it. Especially because I know that if I was not living with my parents, I wouldn't have been able to take care of myself sufficiently. I have a lot of interests, and a lot of my interests have communities behind them: the personal/independent web, jfashion (girly kei and lolita), vocaloid, youtubers, game dev, podcasters. Even in my more niche interests, I didn't want to be "behind". I never wanted to be behind. At some point, it got to the point where I wasn't completing the basic things I needed to survive or get done. Luckily, because I lived with my parents, I was always well taken care of, but there was always a gremlin in my soul tugging away at me for not being a normal "functioning" person. In my head, everyone was born into this world with a little handbook teaching them how to be a functional and social human and mine never got delivered. So I've always been behind, always been forced to try to catch up.

I was always afraid to even indulge in some of my interests online because I was afraid of being seen as a "fake fan" of something if I didn't go "all the way" for some of the things I loved like constantly attending livestreams, or running and being an active fan account and being a good "mutual". I was perpetually keeping myself in a state of misery because of my own toxic standards and need to be everything to everyone. But it's impossible to be everything to everyone. I thought that the only things being worth into is whatever's "popular", not the things that I personally enjoyed. But the reality is, I work in seasons. I have a lot of interests, and they ebb and flow, and modern social media and the relationships that they cultivate do not allow space for that. People are expected to "niche down" and I don't want that for myself. Although I don't believe that modern social media is all bad, it's undeniable the effect it had on my perception of people, relationships, and myself.

I sadly don't recall which Youtuber said this, but they talked about how sometimes Youtubers who decide to quit the platform and pursue a "normal" job sometimes feeling like they are "losing the game". But are they really losing the game if they are quitting Youtube to pursue a career that is better for them? Having social credit and being popular isn't everything, especially being popular on the internet. It made me think about my mindset about having to feel like I was caught up on everything. I realized that I really don't want to be caught up on everything all the time. I used to believe that it was social media feeds that were the problem— the ads, the lack of privacy, the algorithm, the shortform content. In truth that was only part of the problem for me. I discovered RSS, and subscribed to the RSS feeds of everything that I could, but that only raised new problems for me. The longer I'd avoid my RSS feed, the more unread feed items would appear. At some point, I was spending more time than I was comfortable with just clearing my RSS feed reader. I wasn't even meaningfully interacting with the content that was appearing on my RSS feed anymore. It made me realize that I needed to let go of the feeling I've felt since a young age to "catch up", even if it filled me with an initial feeling of discomfort. I will never catch up. It is not possible to catch up because there will always be an endless feed of content to consume. I have to redirect my addictive tendencies elsewhere. I needed to let myself finally "lose the game": achieving the unttainable goal that I had set up for myself when I was younger. What I thought would make me happy (always being up to date on everything) was not bringing me happiness and fufillment. So I finally let myself lose the game. I want to use my completionist and perfectionism tendencies towards building a better and more fufilling life for myself.

I have been redirecting my addictive tendencies to other places now. Rather than allowing myself to become addicted to long form content like 2 hour long YouTube video essays or the endless tiktok or twitter scroll, my hits of dopamine come from completing tasks on my to-do list and doing small things to take care of myself, including but not limited to my exercise goals. I've been channeling my addictive tendencies into becoming invested in musicians and their discographies. I have only been allowing myself to be sucked into the things that serve me. Music is shorter than television shows or movies, and if I choose to take a break from my work to listen to a song, it will only set me back in my schedule a couple of minutes rather than setting me back 2 hours or giving me task switching hangover. Music also is a way for me to connect with other people, so I am still giving myself a way to be able to form connections with others whether it's through bonding over enjoying the same musicians or being able to introduce them to something new. I am able to listen to music while doing other things (i.e. my eyes don't have to glued to the screen to understand what's happening). I love being able to decipher the stories that musicians tell through their music. It is also capable of putting me in the mood to do more of the things I like: writing and art! In the past community wise, I was spending so much time consuming other people's work for "inspiration" that I wasn't even creating my own art anymore. It'd end up turning into doom scrolling, because I'd start to make myself feel worse about not creating while also obsessing over other's work. Ever since I started sourcing my validation from myself, I'm less inclined to feel pressure to be active in communities of my interests in order to make sure that people will interact with my content. I feel lighter and free. It's a lot more fun for me to channel that obsessive energy into things that I'll personally never be a part of like the music or movie industry. It hits a little less close to home consuming these things, so I'm able to consume that content without guilt. I don't feel lazy for scrolling instead of creating. Instead, I bookmark the pages of artists and websites that I like, so that I can choose to go visit on my own terms.

Maybe there are people out there who are able to be socially aware with the happenings of the world, take care of themselves, while also being able to do heavy brain things like keeping up with their school work. But I am not naturally one of those people. I've learned what's important to me and what to prioritize, and these things might not be the same for everyone. Accepting myself where I am as who I am has greatly improved my quality of life. I don't want to be the same person that I was when I was 16 years old. I want to grow and change and blossom into the person I want to be, even if it brings me discomfort due to change and letting go of things that were once important to me. I want to accept that although I was not the best person in the past, I simply did not have the resources and the experience to be the person that I am today. I don't want to hate the past version of myself for having different priorities than I do now; I want to accept myself growing and evolving, just as humans are meant to do. I want to accept that as I gain more life experience, I will change and I will have to get used to it. I want to accept that a "future me" may contradict a "current me" and that's normal. I was not put on this Earth to be popular or understood by people. I was put on this Earth to simply live.

Went through my old Tumblr blog from 2017-2018 and found this image that I had tagged "mecore". I need to remind myself of this sometimes!

Applying to Med School Makes Me Feel Like My Insides Are Being Scooped Out By A Melon Baller (Yet I Persevere)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Anxious, but Determined

Weather: Partly Cloudy

Listening to: Can’t Catch Me Now by Olivia Rodrigo (+ her album GUTS)

Reading: My Figure Zine by Ophazines (You should read it too here) (๑>؂•̀๑)

Watching: The Anti-Trans Propaganda Film Made by a Cult Video Essay by Jessi Gender

Playing: That's Not My Neighbor

Drinking: Iced Lavender Matcha Latte

Perfume: Fireside Flurries by Bath and Body Works

I generally look forward to writing blog posts as a form of mindfulness, but for whatever reason I've really been struggling with articulating my feelings this time around.

I will be attempting to apply to medical schools again within the next few months, and if I'm being completely honest, thinking about it makes my insides turn inside out. I was supposed to apply last year and only take one gap year, but midway through the process and application cycle, in lack of better words, I fell apart. I try not to be too hard on myself about it, I was in a really dark place this time last year after everything I was forced to shoulder immigration wise on my own with little presedence or guidance. I want to be a doctor, and I want to work in the healthcare field. This much I know. Being completely candid, if I'm not doing something in healthcare, I'm not sure what else I like enough that I'd be willing to do as a job.

I'm in a better place now, but everytime I start to work on my application, I feel myself become paralyzed. It's weird. I should be excited to be making tangible steps towards what I want for my future, but instead I become full of dread. I mentioned this a couple of blog posts ago, but I don't let the world define who I am anymore. It's not a mindset that I adopted overnight. It took a lot of hard work, discipline, and a year of girlrotting to change my unhealthy thought patterns. Ever since I was a young child, I depended on the opinions of other people for my sense of self. For example, I used to think I didn't suit the color pink or soft aesthetics because I was a midsized brown person, not a pale ghostly thin white girl. I saw myself as a brutish and uncouth individual. Whenever I was in a same sex relationship, I was always seen as the "masculine" one. Whenever I saw brown femmes unabashedly embrace their feminity I felt myself become green with envy, because why were they able to ignore what "society" deemed appropriate for darker skinned femmes? I always thought that I'd be making a fool of myself if I reached for the things that appealed to me rather than what the world thought suited me best.

Since unintentionally isolating myself after graduating undergrad, I learned to listen to my own inner voice a lot more without letting other people sway my thoughts and emotions. For the first time in my life, I was free from the expectations and pressure of "keeping up" in my life. I've since come to understand that I both look and feel my best when I'm being true to myself, and trusting my gut. I feel like ive reached the point where i dont feel like i need to overexplain my circumstances and life story to validate my emotions to other people, yet im gonna have to essentially do that in my application again, and this subconciously keeps me from prepping. It feels like returning to a mindset that I've outgrown. By recounting my memories of undergrad via writing for my application and reaching out to old mentors for letters of reccomendation, I feel like I'm taking steps back in my mental health recovery even though that's not necessarily true. I don't want to have to verbalize and recount how I felt during 2020, trying to learn acid-base chemistry during the peak of the pandemic while simultaneously being worried sick about USCIS processing delays and the possibilities of Trump being elected again for another 4 year term, and not even having a voice in what happens in the country I live in because my family cannot legally vote. I am afraid of how dehumanizing and re-traumatizing it is going to make me feel trying to verbally articulate why I am American through and through despite not having the legal papers to prove it. I am afraid that I am going to set myself back mentally, only for it to end up meaning nothing if I don't get accepted to any medical schools this cycle. I am not looking forward to "traumadumping" on my applications while simulataneously having to play it off as it having not affected me for a sliver of empathy from an admissions comittee. I know that there's no way for me to truly "go back"— I was who I was back then, and between me aging, becoming wiser, and having life circumstances change there's really nothing that will bring me "back" to being my "old self" that I worked so hard to grow past. But sometimes feelings are illogical and irrational.

I am not going to be a perfect medical school applicant. I've failed classes, I've retaken classes. My grades are good, but not perfect. I don't have a 99th percentile MCAT score. During my undergraduate days, I used to live in constant anxiety that nothing I do will ever be good enough and that I'll never get into med school no matter what I do. I've lived in the United States since I was eight, but got stuck in the greencard backlog and aged out of my parents' application, so when I apply to medical school, I'll have to apply as an international student. Medical school acceptance rates for American citizens are about 40%, which is already pretty low. But that’s nothing compared to rates for “international students”, which are about 8%. Because of this, even though most of my life has been in the States, I don’t know if I have a future in this country, and living in this constant state of limbo is extremely mentally exhausting. Before I finally had time to refine my coping skills during the past year, there were many days where I could barely hold it together. It was a horrible feedback loop of knowing that I had to keep studying and working hard because I'd be stressed about my future, my mental health would become worse because I was overworking and overextending myself, the quality of my work would decrease, rinse and repeat. I had to continuously reassure my parents that they hadn't ruined my life by moving to America, and I was always afraid to voice how I was really feeling because I didn't want them to feel like their sacrifices were nothing. I felt like I was being divinely punished by god that I had to work harder than the people I grew up with just to live the "same" lives as them, just because my dad was born in the "wrong" country. I didn't understand why I wasn't allowed to do the basic things my friends around me could do: get their driver's licenses, get their first jobs, take out student loans to move away far for college. I didn't understand why I had to work 10 times harder than everyone else to be considered for an entry level job, hope and pray that said entry level job would be willing to extend a work visa for me, and then maybe, just maybe sponser a greencard for me. And then, maybe after five years of having a greencard, I can study for and maybe pass an American citizenship test. Just for a piece of paper that will give me the rights that my 14 years (and counting) of having lived and grown up in the United States isn't enough to afford me. There were many times during undergrad that I had to advocate for myself just to be given opportunities. It became so exhausting to act strong all the time. I was always so tired. I am still very tired. That's why I became a hikikomori for a year unintentionally after graduating. I wasn't able to keep the strong person persona, and I was afraid of it costing me my already limited opportunities. So I dissappeared without saying anything to my IRL friends and mentors. It was easier than dealing with the consequences of potentially letting my mask slip.

I am stronger now. I listen to my inner voice and gut a lot more. I have a better understanding of who I am these days. I give myself the space to feel sad and other negative emotions now instead of feeling like I need to act like a strong and inspirational person all of the time. I've changed my mindset to make sure that the only person's opinion that I value the most is my own. I can't change how the world sees me. I can't change how the world thinks of me. But that's okay. At the end of the day, everyone else can walk away from me, but I have to live with myself forever. I might as well be someone that I like. Hopefully along the way of being authentically myself, I reach my dreams of working in the medical field, I hope as a doctor, but I'll be okay no matter where I land. I hope that I make and keep friends who see me as I am and love me for me. I've mastered loving myself and spending time with myself while self-isolating, but my next step is mastering loving myself while dealing with day to day stressors, both from career and interpersonal relationships. I need to learn how to keep loving myself and who I am while being face-to-face with a person who pities me or doesn't think I'm worth my oats. Something that I didn't understand when I was young, is that everyone is born into this world with their baggage of sludge. Some people are born into poverty and live paycheck to paycheck. Some people deal with being born with an absent father, emotionally or physically. Some people live with particular health conditions that make living difficult. My immigration story is my baggage of sludge. I'm still me despite everything. I'm me because of everything I've been through. My history simulataneously makes me who I am and does not define me at all. It's wonderful.

When I was beginning my healing journey in 2022, a book that really helped me was Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience by Meg Jay, PhD. In this book, Jay recounts the histories of ordinary people who came out of their adversities extraordinary. Something that stood out to me was her acknowledging that there are adversities out there that do not have a label associated with it. At the time, I didn't know that there was a word to describe what I was experiencing (immigration insecurity), but it made me finally acknowledge that I was experiencing hardships in my life, and that I as a person, am not inherently stupid for struggling through it. On the contrary, I am very strong. I am extraordinary and resilient for surviving it all and continuing to do so. It is a wonderful book and reassures it's reader that they are not predestined to any particular behavior. The book does contain research, statistics and the history of psychology but were integrated in the story, in my opinion, well. I reccomend this book to anyone needs reassurance that they are not alone, and that they are resilient.

Recharging (Like a Battery)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Tense

Weather: Windy

Listening to: Traumatic Livelihood by Jazmin Bean (+ her entire debut album)

Reading: The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement: Everything You Need to Successfully Apply by Ryan Gray

Watching: My anatomy lectures....

Playing: A Short Hike

Drinking: Iced Vanilla and Brown Sugar Latte

Perfume: "Fireside Flurries" by Bath and Body Works

It feels like there's something in the air— a lot of the people around me both in person and online have either been talking about or actively have been withdrawing from socializing as of lately. I can't even be mad, because I've been feeling similarly! I deactivated my Neocities profile for like two days, but as of posting this have reactivated it. I don't want people to feel like they can't keep up with my site updates if they don't use RSS. I have just accepted that I won't have the energy to actively check my Neocities feed for a while, even if I plan on continuing to write blog posts and updating my site. If people decide to unfollow me/unmutual me over this it's whatever. I used uBlock origin's element zapper to hide my Neocities profile's views/follow count a long time ago.

Despite the seemingly social nature of blogging and maintaining a website, I actually see it as a very solitary activity. The point of the World Wide Web is for people to come across other's sites and thoughts, yes. Despite this, to be completely honest, I don't necessarily desire an audience for my blog. Something that I've personally been working on these past few years is relying less and less on external influences in dictating what I do and enjoy. I see maintaining a website and blogging as mediums for expressing myself, not necessarily as a way to socialize with other people. I think that having multiple ways of expressing yourself is important! I use this one to talk about my life in a casual way as if I were catching a friend up on the happenings of my life, without the pressures of maintaining an actual conversation. I find it really therapeutic to make it part of my routine to reflect on my life using blog posts as my medium about every two weeks. I indulge in the fantasy of being perceived alongside the awareness that nobody could be reading this, or caring at all.

Part of the reason why I feel the intense need to be alone is to recharge and figure out who I am again. A few weeks ago a video called "I deleted all my social media and made a website" by lrnjulie showed up on my Youtube recommend. Part of the reason why I chose to watch it was because I wanted to hear about the perspective of shifting over to a personal site over social media from someone who wasn't swayed to make a personal site by exploring Neocities. In it she says "...are we overconsuming inspiration from social media? I think we are because of how social media apps are designed to keep us on there looking for inspiration for way longer than we actually spend creating art. It's like an inspiration overload so none of them really stick and we're not even getting proper time to reflect on them and actually incorporate them into our art". This quote in particular was about art and social media, but I felt it resonate in my soul about my life in general. I'm the type of person who doesn't say no to things, as a result I feel like I've been spending a lot of time doing a lot of things I am lukewarm about instead of doing things that I enjoy. I've felt like I've been spending too much time exploring other people's sites for inspiration rather than working on my own. I feel like I've been spending too much time listening to other people's music recommendations rather than organically discovering what I like. I feel like I've been spending too much time looking at other people's art for inspiration rather than creating my own. I chose to disconnect from social media feeds because I felt exhausted by the need to keep up with other people, yet I keep playing "keeping up with the Jones'" in other aspects of my life. I want to break the cycle. When I think back to my happiest days as a young child, it was because I chose to let my natural curiosity take me where I needed to go, both online and offline. I want to experience life like that again, and for the better or worse it means it means I have to disconnect for a bit.

In regards to life happenings, I had the privilege to run into a friend on campus that hasn't texted me back for about 2 months. One of the rules that I live by is "I don't chase, I attract", so I let myself trust that she'd text me back whenever she was ready. I chose correctly. She looked happy to see me, and apologized for not texting back. She didn't go into details about anything in particular about her life other than mentioning having the worst semester of her life. I didn't want to prod too much if she wasn't going to share organically, so I just let it be. We hung out for an hour just talking. We didn't do much of anything other than that, but I was just happy to know that she was at least okay and in one piece. I have no idea when I'll see or hear from her again, but it was good to have tangible proof that there were no hard feelings between us or anything of the sort. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, sometimes we just need to spend time by ourselves recharging, and that's more than okay.

More Than Throwing a Rock Into a Pond and Watching It Sink to the Bottom

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Determined

Weather: Sunny with High Winds

Listening to: 777 Pt. 1 by Latto

Reading: The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement: Everything You Need to Successfully Apply by Ryan Gray

Watching: Fresh Pretty Cure!

Playing: Thirsty Suitors

Drinking: Iced Lavender Matcha Latte

Perfume: "Heavenly" by Victoria Secret

It's been abnormally warm where I live for February! It's felt really strange. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the warm weather and all the sun we've been getting, but I haven't been able to shake off the feeling that it doesn't feel right. There hasn't been solid snow on the ground other than once that quickly melted away back in January, meanwhile Winter Storm Lorraine is absolutely dumping snow in the northeast! Don't get me wrong, I'm not someone who loves winter. I genuinely don't care for the snow or cold, but I'm also someone who thrives on routine and repetition. It feels wrong for it not to be cold outside outside in February! I'm sad that I haven't had the opportunity to wear all my cute sweaters as often as I'd have liked to! I'm sad that I haven't had the opportunity to drink all the warm beverages I've wanted to! I'm sad that I haven't had the opportunity to wear all the fragrances that I think are best suited for cold weather as often!

Speaking of fragrances, I received my first "you smell good" compliment today! I sprayed some Victoria Secret "Heavenly" body mist on myself this morning to freshen up before going to lab this morning. I was really surprised when a girl waiting for the elevator with me exclaimed that I smelt good, especially for a scent that I considered to be "cheap"! I've been slowly but surely getting into fragrances as of lately, despite me never having cared about the subject before. The extent of my experience with it until last fall was just whatever scented body creams I'd buy from Bath and Bodyworks during their semi annual sales, but even then I'd always been somewhat aware of the positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, and self-confidence fragrance can have. Last fall, I suddenly had a bunch of friends become interested in fragrance and I got pulled down the Rabbit Hole with them. I even have a perfume/fragrance shrine that I've been working on locally because of my newfound interest, though it'll definitely be a while until I make it public. Unlike my friends though, I honestly only wear cheap body sprays/perfumes. Sharing my faves sometimes gets a little embarassing when they're raving about $200 to $300 luxury perfumes, but I'm sure that it's a feeling that I'll get over eventually. I remember when I was first getting into makeup I felt like I had to own prestige/luxury makeup products for my make up to be "good", but I can confidently say years later that I don't feel that way anymore. Maybe drugstore brands have just upped their game since I started doing my makeup, but either way I have no desire to purchase expensive products. I have a Dior lip oil that a friend of mine gifted me that I use so sparingly because of how expensive I think it is, meanwhile I have zero problems reaching for and using my ELF lip oils on a regular basis. I just don't feel good using expensive products, and I've embraced that as part of who I am, LOL. In my opinion, I don't really think that it's necessarily the price or brand of products that matters, but whether or not someone gets good use out of them. I don't have the disposable income to have a lot of luxury goods, go to the salon regularly, or buy my morning coffee everyday from local cafes, but I really am okay with that! In the future I'm going to remember that I spent time on myself by applying a nice scent to set my mood for the day, painting my nails because I like having nails my nails done, and making myself tasty homemade flavored coffees and teas. All that being said, I am interested to see if my perspective on any of this shifts when I finally have my first "real" adult job as a (fingers crossed) doctor or healthcare worker that actually pays more than just peanuts. It's weird knowing that I chose a career path with an average debt of over $200,000, so I know that becoming rich won't be happening anytime soon, LOL. Maybe it's for the best I don't have expensive taste.

Out of nowhere, I got a text from an old acquaintance asking me about an old research paper I published almost 3 years ago regarding healthcare equity in the United States. Despite me and this acquaintance not being super close or texting often, I've always felt super warm towards her. Regardless, getting texts from her about a paper I authored in my childhood bedroom at 19 out of the blue was super jarring! To be honest, I don't really see the paper that I wrote or research methods as super groundbreaking, I actually kind of forgot about it until she brought it up because of how long ago it was for me. It turns out that a class she's currently taking for her degree has been using it in class and she recognized my name as it's author! She texted me very excitedly that they are learning about me in class. I find this both flattering and absolutely terrifying. I'm often in my own little bubble with my blinders on, so I really do forget that the things I do and accomplish are capable of ripple effects, even if it just feels like throwing a rock into a pond and watching it sink to the bottom. It was a good reminder that nothing I contribute to this world is truly in a vacuum, whether it be my research, my website, or my actions.