Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 4:41pm
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Being home for the past seven weeks during the COVID-19 crisis and living in my childhood bedroom when I was meant to be graduating college and moving to New York City has taught me a few things. The first — how to smile with eyes at essential workers or strangers in the grocery store under the guise of a homemade mask. I’ve learned how to make peanut butter cookies without a recipe, and how much music and art has an innate capacity to heal. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve also learned two TikTok dances. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 4:55pm
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Sometimes, writing pours from me— hours fall from my grip and the practice renders me tranquil by way of its leisurely, meditative nature. Poems fill pages and characters in lengthy plays and short stories begin to write themselves— I can see the whites of their eyes between the lines of a bright document by the time I reach their final words. Other times, writing reminds me of an unending uphill sprint. Lately, I’ve felt winded.

I digress. 

Monday, April 6, 2020 - 3:02pm
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I don’t remember when I fell in love with running. I cannot remember my first run or my first pair of running sneakers. Early on, I recall equating running to a mundanity, something I did to stay in shape and keep active as an incredibly uncoordinated individual who failed when it came to team sports. As a child, I hadn’t discovered the runner’s high or that sweaty addiction. But between cross country camps and routing solo long distance Sunday mornings, running turned into a part of my daily life — a part of who I am. I went from being a person who ran, to a runner.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 12:46pm
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In March of 2019, my younger brother Jack and I found ourselves shoulder to shoulder on an itchy cot in the lemon-scented, linoleum-tiled hallway of the University of Michigan emergency room. He assured me for the umpteenth time that I was fine, but the sharp pain in my chest told me otherwise. Jack’s pragmatic mind knew enough about my history of anxiety and hypochondria to know that I was suffering from a panic attack, and not heart failure, but he sat patiently beside me for the five enduring hours.

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 2:52pm
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In October 2019, I deleted my Instagram for a month. There was no dark downfall into obsession or an utter collapse of self-worth that prompted this decision, but I had been experiencing a plateau in my mental well-being at the time and had recognized social media wasn’t helping the problem. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 3:07pm
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In 2016, I voted for President of the United States for the first time. I remember walking to my polling place in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a freshman in college, and waiting in line with a feeling of thrill in my chest. As I walked toward the booth I felt a bit of hesitance — almost as though I didn’t have the agency to cast my own vote, and thought back to the times my brothers and I would file in after my mother to watch her vote in the town hall in our hometown of Fair Haven, New Jersey.

Monday, February 10, 2020 - 11:28pm
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Over Winter Break, my mother and I drove 90 minutes to visit the gravesite of my paternal grandmother Gail, a place neither of us had seen. We drove around the cemetery in dizzy circles and traversed plots of well-kept grass to find it, searching the site with only a rough draft of a map found online. I’d always wanted to visit the site and finally my mother decided she would be the one to take me, driven by her desire to share this moment with me and her personal curiosity.

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 5:14pm
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I will never date someone who doesn’t like chocolate. Chocolate means a lot to me. I regard it as its own food group and applaud the scientists who’ve decided it’s healthy (in moderation). So February 14, a day practically created for the consumption of chocolate, is a no brainer as the ultimate holiday for a chocolate lover. Still, there’s something taboo about an unending adoration of Valentine’s Day chocolate while being single. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 4:17pm
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I finished the book “Make Trouble” by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on a flight back to Ann Arbor from my hometown in New Jersey. As I closed the back cover of a memoir following Richards’s rise in the ranks from seven-year-old daughter of politician Ann Richards to president of Planned Parenthood, I began to cry. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 4:42pm
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On the corner of the main dirt road in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico there’s an empanada shack. It’s close enough to the beach that sand collects on the edge of the road and one can see where the ocean meets the horizon a mere 500 feet away. On a Monday afternoon, the line spirals around the block and awaiting customers fan themselves with their hands, trying to shield themselves from the unending heat of the sun. The menu, tacked up on the face of the roadside spot, boasts a few different flavors: pork, crab, chicken, yuca (cassava) and guineo (green banana).