20Zing! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Listen to my Heart

Travel, explore, learn.

If I were one to have a mantra, I suppose that might be a contender. It certainly sums up a lot of what I have done in my life, and what I want to continue to do with my future. Since many of my closest friends follow a similar life approach, we moved forward from a tightly-knit Kentucky community to a nationally scattered support group. However, we’ve agreed that once a year we will re-join forces to bring in each new year together.

2010 – We kept warm with positivity, love, and cheer in Chicago, IL.

2011 – We kept cool with adventures, mountain hikes, and green chilies (ok, not so cool with that one) in Las Cruces, NM

 In lieu of new years resolutions, during our time together we complied the following list of phrases that we wanted to incorporate into our year. They became our 2012 Zing! Phrases.

1. Upfront & Flawless
2. No repeats
3. It’s a lot, but I like it
4. Experience the experience
5. Be a better person
6. No fear in the New Year
7. Elevate (AltiTUDE!)
8. Dark and Dirty!
9. Advance the night
10. Respect the process
11. Loose/Lucid/Limitless
12. One step ahead
13. Graduation or Death!

If this year was to have 13 mantras, I suppose these would be contenders.
I am trying to lead this post towards the eventual answering of the inevitable question on your mind:
“Why on Earth would you want to do such a thing?”


Short answer: so that one day people will be asking, “Why on Mars would you want to do such a thing?”
Why did I feel so inspired to apply? In yesterday’s video post, Dr. Tyson speaks about how we want to feel connected, feel relevant, feel like we are participating by just being alive. To add to this, I propose that we also want to able to make impacts, make changes, make things different by working hard and devoting our lives to doing. 

When I read that first article introducing me to the concepts of the study, my initial response was: I would be perfect for this. Close article. Back to thesis writing. Reopen article. This would be perfect for me. Close. Write. Reopen. I could help send a manned mission to Mars. It’s a lot, but I like it. Repeat. It’d be difficult, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a lasting impact. No fear in the New Year. And so, exactly one month ago, I decided to apply.

2013 – We will be together once more in a currently undetermined location. Perhaps it will be my last hurrah before traveling to Hawaii and entering the analog habitat for the first of 120 days. Travel, explore, learn.

Questions of the Day:

Fellow applicants, what prompted you to apply?
Readers, is this project something you would consider? Why or why not?

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6 thoughts on “20Zing! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Listen to my Heart

  1. It was the day before my birthday and I wondered what this year would bring. I wanted something different, unique, an adventure, but couldn't think of anything. I woke the following morning to discover this project.

    I love advances in technology and I think they are important for people to embrace. However, I also feel that it can benefit a person to step outside the luxury of home. To put a group, or a project, above oneself.

    That's what this is about for me. If I make it, supporting the projects of each team member and as a by-product, learning about there project. And, of course, knowing that we played a part when the spaceship lands (hopefully in our lifetime) and the first astronaut steps out onto the surface of Mars!

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  2. I believe in the magic of birthdays. Mine is actually ON New Years, so those phrases are also for my birthday!

    Technology is a big interest of mine as well. On the rare occasion I get frustrated with my phone or computer (No, I didn't mean to type/click/select THAT!) I try and remember that what fits in my pocket now is more powerful than the technology that helped us reach the moon.

    I hope you're ready to learn all about some algae. I'll be posting about my graduate research and proposed experiment in the future.

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  3. Hi Meredith,

    I applied simply because I could. For the first time ever, a study needed volunteers exactly like me and there was nothing stopping me from applying. Every time a call for applicants for something awesome or the other has come around I have been disqualified by something. Usually it's because I don't live in Europe or the US, where all the good stuff happens.

    There was no reason not to apply – so I did. I only heard about HI-SEAS a week before applications were due and I pretty much dropped everything to get my application done in time (and think of decent experiments!) But I did, and now we make with the waiting. 🙂

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  4. Hey Ani,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! It was really wonderful of the coordinators to accept pretty much any and all applications and give them a fair chance. Congrats on getting your application completed and submitted with only a week! Thinking of decent experiments is definitely a tough job. I ended up changing my entire proposal experiment at the last minute. That was a challenge, but I'm really happy with the result! May I ask where you live if not in Europe or the US? I'm excited to have international readers!

    Meridith

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  5. Mars would be very Dark and Dirty. Just sayin'.

    I think this project is really amazing, I guess I wouldn't apply at this time in my life because I'm so stimulated by my own research at the moment. I heard an interview on Science Friday a few months ago from one of the first civilians in space. He was talking about the personality characteristics necessary to go on a manned mission to Mars. I will try to find it and send it your way.

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  6. I would enjoy hearing that interview! Might be a good thing to post on here for all to enjoy. I'm so proud of you for being such an enthralled and dedicated scientist. It's crazy to think that during the time I would potentially be in the Mars Analog Habitat, you'll be starting your second semester as a Ph.D. student!

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