2021 was a year of growth for me. I achieved many of the goals I had worked towards for years (humble brag: Ran a marathon, finished my PhD). I also realized that those goals needed updating because, having achieved what I set out to, I was not happy. I pursued an education until I was 27 years old and it was at 27 that I realized that I did not know what I wanted to do.
Early on, I thought that I wanted to help bring people clean water and solve water access issues. I naively thought this was a technology issue (we didn’t know how) and not a funding/political issue (we know how and don’t want to pay). I am not sure why I have consistently approached my decisions with this naïveté, perhaps because I am not sure how to get through a life when you don’t assume everyone wants to help/do their best.
I am now an ‘expert’ in assessing environmental microbiology with novel methods and I want to take that knowledge and be a force for good. Recently, I have gotten pretty obsessed with the power that wastewater based community health monitoring can unlock. I think that by understanding which populations are most afflicted with disease/pandemic outbreaks, that we can begin to help these communities. I am sure though, that this knowledge can also be used for negative outcomes. I like the promise of it though and the research side of not knowing what we will find.
I am hoping to live more sustainably this year and to try to build a community in the DMV area (how does one really do that?).