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Non-Career Advice: Kathy Lee.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Kathy Lee / Medical student
Also: Writer / quote collector / culinary whiz  
Age: 30

Any movement drives you forward — even if it’s in slow motion. “A friend of mine who works for a scholarship foundation asked me if I would mentor some students at UCSD this year, and I told her I thought that was the worst idea ever — I’m mostly a mess these days, I said. I lost my sister this year, and the months following have been marked by loss and grief and the big changes that often accompany tragedy (including a decision to leave school and move home, from DC to San Diego). I told my friend that in many ways, I'm still reeling, and working to pick up the pieces.

She said that was exactly why I should be mentoring — because I had lived, and am still living. And I think she's right. I don't think I realized this until very recently, but I think this year, with all its challenges, has made me stronger. It's been awful and isolating in ways I never thought I would experience at 29 — and now, 30 — and for a while, I thought that by coming home to reassess my path, I was hitting pause on life. But really, I think I've just been moving in slow motion. I really couldn't see myself being OK in April, but I got here somehow, and I think that no matter what happens later in life (and I know that, inevitably, there will be more challenges and more emotional ups and downs), I will know that I can handle it - even if I am flailing all the way through.”

Thank you so much, Kathy. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here.

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