Why 2018 Will Be The Year I Stop Caring About What I Deserve

It was a December in the late 90’s, and my school was on break for the holidays. I was spending the afternoon with one of my best friends and we were passing time as only kids know how. We were upstairs in the “play room,” whose prime open space had recently been colonized by her dad’s treadmill. “How does this work?” I asked, already standing on the belt. My friend started to respond but I was too busy punching buttons. The belt was whirring, and I was jogging, then running,…

Why The World Needs More People Like My Surgeon

I was ten years old when I made my first career decision. “I don’t want to be a doctor,” I told my parents one night at dinner. Both entertained and disappointed (they are Indian parents, after all), they asked me why. “Do you know doctors have to look at people’s pee? That’s gross! No way!” During a visit to the doctor earlier that day, I peed in a cup for the first time. Nuh-uh. No thanks. Though I always respected (and slightly feared) my doctors, it is only recently that I could truly appreciate…

Why 28 Is The Year I Need To Do What I Want

Each year on my birthday, I reflect on the year behind and the year ahead, the person I am and the person I aspire to be. I don’t need to write anything down, but I like to. I want to. This year, I drove two hours north of San Francisco along the coast to spend my day outdoors. Long rides always remind me of how I learned to plan my pees as a child. I was (am) obsessively compulsive about restroom cleanliness, and refused to pee in public restrooms if they did…

What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Choosing (And Keeping) Our Words

There is an adorable elderly man with an ice cream parlor in San Francisco’s Western Addition. His eyes sparkle with authenticity; his smile glows with friendliness. He is the kind of the ice cream server you stop to see, even when your lactose intolerance says you shouldn’t. He is the kind of man who, when he meets your parents, will tell them that he enjoys your visits, but that you don’t visit too often. No matter how my life changes, this man and his ice cream parlor have been my constant. His eyes and…

Why We Need To Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“Because I said so,” was a common explanation I heard growing up. As was, “As long as you live under this roof you’ll live under my rules.” Whether it was making my bed or going to a dinner party none of my friends were going to, there was no negotiating with my mom. I frequently had to do things I didn’t want to do. That’s just how it was. Life looked something like taking a math class I didn’t want to take “because it’s a pre-requisite,” going to piano class “because it is Wednesday,” and going…