What makes a hero

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Wow, it even looks magnificent

Ever since the naïve age of 12, my mother instilled in me the importance of taking care of my face. My mother, ahead of her time, wanted to avoid her daughter from developing dark spots and acne craters she was often plagued by. And so it became routine, every night and every morning. 

A slight bragging moment here: I never went through a ferocious acne phase, which can be attributed to good genes or my skin care routine. Although what I lacked in awkward facial anomalies, I made up with my never growing body frame (my 5th-grade graduation t-shirt still fits, only a bit snug under my armpits). 

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photo taken by me

 

The Virtues of Isolation 

In the ’80s, the Italian journalist and author Tiziano Terzani, after many years of reporting across Asia, holed himself up in a cabin in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. “For a month I had no one to talk to except my dog Baoli,” he wrote in his travelogue A Fortune Teller Told Me. Terzani passed the time with books, observing nature, “listening to the winds in the trees, watching butterflies, enjoying silence.” For the first time in a long while he felt free from the incessant anxieties of daily life: “At last I had time to have time.”

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