Finding ways to certainty in a time of shambles

My first call with Jen was in July of 2020 while I was on a road trip in Utah with one of my best friends from college. I was matched with her a few weeks after my orientation with Social Call, an organization I found on Google on a Sunday afternoon, when I decided that I needed to expand my perspective beyond the Silicon Valley millennials. I felt lost, trapped, locked in the box of my San Franciscan three bedroom in the middle of a pandemic. Four months into the pandemic, and I started to feel like a hamster, running…


On a Thursday afternoon, while sitting awkwardly between my volunteer buddies and the chit-chatting of Medical Assistants around me, my caffeine-driven brain searched desperately for an entry point for conversation.

“Are those shoes new?” I glanced at Ryan’s white converse. And here goes another time-killer topic.

“Uh. Yeah?” He looked at his shoes, turning them side to side. He was on auto-drive. His eyes gazed blankly at the floor space, scanning for something interesting to join my efforts to kill time. His eyes landed on my feet and for a second, real Ryan kicked out auto-drive Ryan. …


This is a short one for my piano teacher, my history teacher, my Latin teacher; my uncles, my aunts, my grandparents; my brother, my sister; my best friends and my “more than friends.” This one is to all of you — in however small or great amount — have blessed me, loved me, and watched me grow from “this big” to “this big.”

When I turned 18, my dad took his hand and put them about 8 inches apart. He said to me, “I watched you grow from this big,” then he put his hands to about 5 feet apart…


In the summer of 2017, the plan was to be on track for my lifelong goal to apply for medical school. But I decided to toss that blueprint into the back burner. It was time for some soul searching. And so I dropped my MCAT classes, packed the first $1400 I made and bought a one way ticket to a little old town in Eastern Europe, the continent that I felt for the first time, for as long as I can remember since I was a little kid — joy. …


“I don’t know if I want to go to med school anymore.”

I held the phone inches away from my face the way I did when I was young, expecting my parents to scream through the phone to lecture me. That was always something I could appreciate about growing up away from my parents. The few times that I got scared of their yelling, I just had to hold the phone far away, imagining that they were only talking to me.

It was my fault, I haven’t been talking to my parents too much since college started. So many things…

Charisse Yeh

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