Reminder of why you're able to be here.

Life is uncertain and fickle. It’s easy to forget how much others help us become the people we are. I don’t want to forget all the wonderful people who have helped me, intentionally or not, be happy to have the life I have. This is a constantly evolving list, mostly for myself.

My mother for everything. I see herself in my thoughts and words constantly. She believed in me more than anyone else. She taught me humility, to be content in the things I have, to always do the right thing. To be selfless even when I don’t want to.

Judy for giving shape to my professional life. For inspiring me to be better — a better scientist, a better thinker, a better mentor, a better person. For being a friend and a role model in equal measure. For being a goal to aspire to. For believing in me and taking a chance on me over and over again.

Josh for being a cornerstone of my academic growth. For giving me a vision of what I could be if I was sincere, thoughtful, dedicated, and above all, kind.

To Ken, for being an ideal to aspire towards. For showing me that knowledge can be beautiful and that sharing it can be the most joyful experience. …I’m tearing up too much, will finish later.

To my friends, who I do a terrible job of reaching out to and conveying how lucky I was to be able to have them in my life. You made my life sparkle in so many colors, I often find myself just sitting and basking in the afterglow of gratitude. I hope you all know that I have love in my heart for each of you, even if I have never had the chance to express it.

Tommy, for being a constant unwavering source of wit and joviality. For seeing me through my worst and being able to see the best in me. For being a better friend to me than I could ever be to you. I am grateful.

Frida, for choosing to to be my friend no matter howw far I fall. For choosing to look past all the performative nonsense and choosing to still think fondly of whatever’s left after that. For being kind and a constant friend.

Yina for being one of the first hands of friendships extended to me in this country. For showing me how deep one’s vessel for friendship can be. For smiling even when others couldn’t. Some anime shit.

If anyone who knows me comes across this, don’t cringe too hard and if I’ve been able to touch your life in any way, keep me in your heart for a while. :)