Musings on mortality, time and a shitty diagnosis.

On paper, I’m the healthiest person most people know.

As an avid fitness junkie, former Division I athlete and could’ve-been-nutritionist, cancer as a young adult was never an idea on which I chewed. Health and fitness has always been an element of my personal brand. So much so, that although it pains me to admit this; at one point I even had a Fitstagram.

I’ve lived life to the fullest since I was a teenager — of course(!) I’ve never grappled with my own mortality.

In fact, for the past 24 years…


Writing, to me, is a bottle of champagne.

An idea for an article will wake me up at night. Sometimes it’s a headline, sometimes a zinger one-liner and sometimes it’s just an uncontrollable draw to create and release.

If I don’t jump on it immediately, the idea starts gnawing at my stomach. It’s like a strange, masochistic pain.

Days, weeks, months pass and slowly a couple of glasses-worth pass their way through my stomach, neck, throat, finally (finally!) free to roam. They bubble beyond corked thoughts, tears and ideas that never made it to the surface.

But only enough…

Why I feel sh*tty and why that’s a problem.

I let it slide the first time.

He went in for a kiss during a work happy hour in front of some colleagues. Since it was public, I playfully declined with a turn of my head and an awkward point to my cheek.

But I didn’t want him to kiss me at all — I didn’t want him within ten feet of me.

He insisted. To avoid bruising his ego in front of a crowd, the side of my face was a peace offering.

After huffing over my rejection of a…

Thoughts, reflections and wistful pride of success served on a silver platter.

My 24th birthday was on Friday, June 5th. This was the same day I accepted my dream job.

I’m humbled, grateful and excited. Per usual, I had a “How-To” Medium article teed up on the topic.

But somewhere in between international protests, eating up DiAngelo’s White Fragility and juxtaposed conversations with my parents on salary negotiation advice for this particular role— I’d be remiss to write another career-related post, without addressing my privilege (the white, wealthy, able-bodied kind) and how it’s allowed me to get here.

The very…

A photo of me and all my friends

It was a grueling, anxiety-filled two weeks preceding the news. Having been recently promoted onto my team, if the cuts reached the dermis, I’d be one of the most vulnerable.

With the announcement that the majority of our department would be eliminated, it came as little surprise when I received the dreaded Zoom invite from HR. More surprisingly, however, were the invites delivered to 90% of my team and 80% of my former team.

As we each received our respective meetings and sensed the impending doom, something beautiful happened: we began leaning on each other. We had a hourlong group…

Seven hours seated next to every stereotype of a shitty passenger, only mashed into one person.

“Oh, so in your world, you can just reserve overhead bin space?”

I’d just gotten comfortably situated in my basic economy middle seat — seatbelt on, oversized backpack securely jammed beneath my feet — when I witnessed her come in with a vengeance, spitting venom at an elderly gentleman.

The gentleman had just switched seats with a young couple and their already blubbering baby, in an attempt to spare the sanity of nearby passengers, such as myself. …

One year ago today, I realized I was smart.

The discovery bubbled to the surface, slowly, after 22 years of being filed away in a sea of manila folders. It was always there, tucked amidst the resumes and pamphlets and memos that read:

You must not dream big, for you must shrink yourself.

You must not reach, for you have further to fall.

You must not speak, for you are no more worthy of words than your counterparts.

I never conformed to academia. After diving into athletics my first year of high school, I knew my ticket into higher education…

This post is part of the Modern College book project, in which we will be publicly documenting our experience writing a book on college with the help of the community.

“What’s so important on your laptop?”

My trademark was sitting crisscrossed at a hostel bar, laptop out, earbuds in. A particularly nosy backpacker would plant themselves across from me, hungry for conversation.

Our exchange would invariably seep into this: what on earth could take precedence over the beauty of [insert country] we were currently exploring?!

I’d shrug, smile bashfully and respond with one word:


I was finishing the final year of my Bachelor’s through the…

This post is part of the Modern College book project, in which we will be publicly documenting our experience writing a book on college with the help of the community.

This past week, Alex and I continued the dialogue on how to best tackle issues that plague the modern college experience.

Notable for me was a conversation with a friend on financing her higher education and now, one year out of college, the inevitable of monthly student loan payments.

As I was introduced to the nitty gritty pieces of the puzzle (like semesterly qualification and the 6-month post-grad hold out)…

This post is part of the Modern College book project, in which we will be publicly documenting our experience writing a book on college with the help of the community.

We ended last week with shared insight, eagerness, and excitement. After interviewing a few current college students, Alex and I felt like we were gaining a sense of direction and some positive responses to our thesis statement.

Our two key takeaways included 1) foresight into the reality of our target market being separate from the population we’re actually writing for and 2) topics spanning beyond our personal experiences in college…

Kasey Altman

Tech, travel & words. Probably frolicking.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store