Right Brain: Questions

Back when I was living in Singapore, my family hosted an annual Lunar New Year party every Spring. On that day, friends and relatives would pack into our modest, three-bedroom apartment, fold pieces of circular dough over dollops of meat, trade red envelopes stuffed with money, and slurp pieces of shrimp and napa cabbage out of a steaming pot. After I left for North America, I made a new tradition of video calling my relatives on the evening of New Year’s Day. Year by year, they watched as I grew, matured, and took on new identities: from acne-riddled teenager to young adult, from undifferentiated high schooler to college graduate and, in a couple months, from medical student to the first doctor in my extended family. That was when my conundrum arose.

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