Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

Story by Aviva Loeb, illustrations by Katie Wheeler.

I’ve spent the past year battling a slew of weird symptoms and health problems. Finally, in March, I received a diagnosis. It’s been a terrifying experience that has tested me physically and mentally — a constant, nagging reminder that life can turn on a dime.

Sometimes I’ll feel normal for weeks in a row. Those days, when I feel okay, I wonder whether any of this is even real. But other days are spent frantically emailing my doctor to make sure my latest flare-up isn’t a sign of something more serious. I’m still figuring out how to approach my diagnosis. Should I talk about it on a first date? Tell my friends if I’m feeling particularly awful? How bad does my health have to get to justify taking a sick day?

Teaching in the pandemic is tough. But after a whole year, there are important takeaways.

I run high-school art classes online and in person

I used to feel ashamed crying in public. Now I embrace it every time.

In 2020, I started keeping my ‘crying diaries’

I used to laugh off anti-Asian jokes. Now, I will stick up for myself every time.

It’s been too easy to downplay racism in the past