A User Manual to Miribel Tran.

Hi! So, welcome to the beginning of what I think will be my public stream of consciousness, which is mainly just me writing my thoughts without much of a filter in hopes of having some sort of self-therapeutic effect or to capture these thoughts as they come up.

I was inspired to pick this back up again because my good friend recently wrote a “user manual” for himself, where he wrote an introduction that psychologically explains why he is the kind of person that he is. Not that I have much time to kill (I’m literally not finished packing for Seattle… ), but I just finished finals and wanted to think and reflect about that for myself. This past year has been absolutely crazy, and I haven’t had a chance to really reflect through text like I used to.

So… this is my user manual, my own thoughts on who I am — an introduction to Miribel. If you don’t know me that well, or if you think you do, I guess this post will probably help you learn more about who I am and why I am the way that I am.

***Also: This is the first time in so long that I’ve had the chance and time to really blast out my random thoughts in text, so please excuse the choppiness in thoughts as well as any potential grammatical errors ;)

What’s my story? Who am I?

I’m Miribel. My name is derived from a province in Lyon, France that my mother was inspired by when she visited my father. My name was so close to being Emily before my mother decided to choose Miribel.

My childhood:

My story probably begins when I was 4 years old, when my father cheated on my mother and abandoned our family to go back to France. I haven’t talked to him ever since, and I don’t really ever plan on talking to him in the future.

Me at 4 years old

I wish I could say that I was sad and traumatized by it, but for some reason, I intuitively knew from an early age that it just needed to happen. I don’t think I would be as driven or empathetic of a person if this kind of stuff didn’t happen to me early on in life. When life hits you hard at such an early age, it changes you. I felt like I was pretty much told by those around me from an early age that I didn’t matter. I made this unconscious vow that someday, I would be a person who matters.

I’m an only child raised by a single immigrant mother. I grew up with very very humble means, and truth be told, my mother and I struggled a lot on our own while growing up. I like to think that I’m a family girl and I really care about my family and relatives. I’m very close with my mother and grandmother, and they’re the main reason why I work so hard. My greatest happiness is knowing that I am able to provide for my family.

Because I was an only child growing up, I often hung out with more old people than kids my age whenever I went to events with my mother. I was pretty much their therapist. I listened to so many of these people’s stories about their regrets and fears at the end of their lives, and their words of wisdom have shaped the way that I live my life today. If I have any wisdom beyond my years, it’s due to the fact that I honestly have spent so much time observing other people and learning from their mistakes, whether it be with relationships, finances, career decisions, and so much more. People have so many regrets at the end of their lives, whether it is not doing what they wanted to do out of fear or people’s judgment, not having a strong relationship with the ones they love, etc. It made me realize I didn’t want to go down on that path, so I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time being very deliberate about the life I want to live and envision for myself.

My biggest fear in life is probably being poor and not being able to provide for my family. I’m also afraid of being forgotten. I’m not ready to leave this earth until I have impacted many many lives.

Interesting fact: I am clinically diagnosed with ADHD. I also experience a lot of anxiety and depression, which doesn’t surprise anyone at all given how much pressure I put on myself. So if you ever wonder how I was able to get good grades, be a high-functioning individual, make it into Stanford, and do a lot of things beyond being a student at Stanford, I honestly wonder about that sometimes too. It’s probably because I work so hard, make a ton of sacrifices, and have an ungodly amount of grit.

When I was young, my teachers believed I was gifted and wanted me to skip a grade. Since my mom decided for me to not skip 1st grade, my teachers tried to get me into the GATE Program in 3rd grade, which is a program for “gifted and talented” students. I took those tests twice, but I didn’t pass those tests. However, I objectively got higher grades than the kids who made it into that program. I mostly enjoyed school because of the relationships I built with my teachers, whom would serve as my mentors and strongest supporters. But one thing is that I’m glad I didn’t let the educational system’s definition of “gifted” impact the way I viewed myself. I’m living proof that tests don’t determine your worth. You do.

My Social Life:

I’ve never fit in anywhere. I don’t think I ever will. The way that I’ve trained myself to think is that I never want to get any groupthink or bias, so the people I surround myself with are literally so diverse and divergent in the way that they think. I always have one person or another to check me on my thoughts. I don’t have a set group of close friends, I just have the right friends for each different situation I’m a part of. And although I might have a large network of friends, my circle that I keep in touch with on a daily basis is very small and they’re all over the nation.

I grew up predominantly surrounded by men because of the things I was interested in, so I guess you could say I’m very comfortable being surrounded by guys and talking to them as friends. I like rap, watching sports, and fancy cars. I love hanging out with my girl best friends too, of course! But I have this weird balance of being able to be a feminine person yet also I really am able to get along and relate to a lot of guys. It confuses people a lot.

I am extremely invested in the people I care about, and I’m very loyal, which is both a good and bad thing. When it comes to my relationships and friendships, I don’t like to leave people, even when I probably should have removed myself from those toxic people a while ago. However, I genuinely really care about my friends, so I’m that friend you could probably call up at any time in the night and I’d probably still be awake and talk to you.

I am a workaholic. I don’t care about parties, boys, drugs, being a socialite, looking cool, or etc. I probably maybe party only once or twice a year. ***However, I would say that during my summer in Seattle, I’m definitely doing everything I didn’t get to do during the school year. But whenever I do party, I tend to go hard and I always have ridiculous stories the next day. On that note, don’t give me alcohol. My tolerance is literally only 2 tablespoons before I turn into a tomato. In Atlanta, I had 1 Floradora and projectile vomited within the hour.

I have a resting bitch face (rbf for short). I’m quite bubbly and very nice, so if I’m walking around campus and I don’t immediately smile, people probably think I’m angry because of the way my face looks haha. It’s a honestly such a hard life for us rbf folks out here. Don’t judge a book by its cover, I’m super nice!

I’m also an ENFP. Go crazy, search up everything you can analyze about an ENFP. It’s probably true.

My Weird Interests:

I love homes, from decorating to buying to renovating homes. Every step of the process. My mom was a real estate agent and I spent most of my summers as a young kid in the passenger’s seat of my mom’s car while she would drive around in the summer heat doing BPO reports for bankrupt/foreclosed homes. She would always tell me what she believed would have potential to make a huge profit margin, and all I can say is that it trained me to think about the world in a special kind of way. I like to see the world as filled with opportunities…. opportunities that are waiting for someone to harness its potential and turn it into something amazing. Her dream was to always own her own home one day, so one of my most important goals is to retire my mother and buy her the home of her dreams, but beyond better. If I don’t own at least 4 homes in the future, you should be surprised. I love homes.

I love the feeling of being able to identify people, products, and ideas before they’ve become. I love helping grow something from the beginning to the end, and I also get a sort of high when I am able to correctly predict things before they become mainstream or successful. All I know is that whatever I do in my life, I’m a very hands-on person and I’ll actively be a part of it from start to finish. I think that’s why I’ve grown such a fascination with and dabbled in entrepreneurship, investing, and product management. All those careers have allowed me to be heavily involved at every step in the projects and take on a leadership role.

I love boba. Boba is life. Roasted Oolong Milk Tea or Taro Milk Tea… all with 30% ice and 100% sugar. Before you want to get me to do a favor for you or slide into my DM’s, you should hit the boba shop up for me first. Boba makes me so freaking happy.

My lucky number is 4:44. I was born on 04/04 at 1:44PM. My best ideas come at around 4:44AM in the morning, and you can find me jotting down random ideas and thoughts, half-dazedly at that time.

My Most Impactful Recent Life Experiences:

  • At the age of 15, I had a conversation with a homeless man that led me to develop a mental health research project to help solve his problem. I decided to randomly apply for a science fair because my mom wouldn’t let me go to KIWIN’S DCON that weekend. I ended up being the first person in my school/district to even apply to it and won. I later won international awards, published my research, and the rest is history. It made me realize how passionate I was about creating and developing solutions to help people. I went through a rough time in high school, and pursuing projects like these were sort of my outlet and escape. In addition, these experiences in high school truly changed my life because it gave me opportunities to see the world beyond my own little bubble at the time.
  • On top of the fact that I didn’t fit in, I was bullied a lot by people growing up, and it hurt me deeply because I care a lot about people. Even though I’ve gone off to do much bigger things and now prefer to not use my mental energy on that sort of negativity (plus I’m also now mature enough to understand the source of that negativity), I can’t deny that the whole experience has scarred and changed the way I interact with people. After I graduated from elementary/middle/high school, I’ve never come back to visit those schools because of the bad feelings that might arise sometimes.
  • Probably one of my funniest accomplishments is that I made a science club in my high school, and I’m pretty sure that a decent amount of people who joined that club were people who didn’t like me. But that club grew from 60 members to 130 members within a year and made a huge profit margin. Over time, I think a lot of them actually really enjoyed being a part of the club, and they were some of my most loyal members because my club brought something of value to them. And the crazy thing is, I genuinely was happy and wanted to help them too. Even if I knew they didn’t like me. Forget flexing wealth/money, superficial stuff… when you learn to practice compassion towards those who have done wrong towards you… life rewards you in ways beyond what you could imagine. By helping others, I was able to understand the world in a different way and go on to do really big things for myself. This was one of the most important lessons of my life. At the highest expression of myself, I am a very genuine and kind person who cares deeply about people. However, if you catch me on a bad day or situation, I might be more cocky or insecure, especially if I’m triggered by those memories.
  • Everybody in my family wanted me to become a doctor, but I decided during my sophomore year of college to switch and transition to tech and entrepreneurship. I went through a couple of serendipitous experiences that were too perfectly timed for it to be just random. I’m serious. The things I went through seemed to come from the scenes of a movie. So I took it as a sign from the universe that I was called for something different. I listened to my intuition, dropped my major when I was literally a few units from officially declaring, disappointed probably all of my Asian relatives, but…. it was the best decision I could ever make for myself. I’m never looking back.
  • I completely went off-the-grid last year after I changed my career plans. I travelled to Hong Kong for a summer internship, got really quiet with myself, did whatever made me happy, and worked hard during my internship to prove myself & diversify my portfolio of experiences. Getting away from the Stanford bubble and noise helped me figure out my life and gain perspective about where I wanted to go moving forward. I came back such a refreshed person with a renewed sense of genuine, unshakable confidence. I made so many life realizations, and I love Hong Kong so much now because of what it stands for me. In the future, I plan on working abroad for maybe a year or so in Hong Kong. I love that place so much.

Where am I right now? And where will I be?

All I know is that I’m changing and evolving fast. It was only maybe like 4 months ago, that I was a Starbucks Green-Tea Frappuccino and a Boba only kind of gal, never went to the gym, and ate ramen every other day during my internship recruitment season.

Now I run 3 miles every other day at the gym, have a flat stomach, drink only black coffee (if I drink it at all), ***still love boba ok****, and am pretty much a herbivore.

My life is changing and I’m evolving fast. There’s so much that has yet to happen, and I’m really excited, yet patient for what’s to come.

If we ever meet up to chat for coffee, you probably won’t hear talking about some company I founded or any of my past accomplishments (if you’re asking for a short bio for a website or something, I mean…that’s a different story :P) If you want to know what I’ve accomplished, you can look at my LinkedIn. I’ve done a decent amount of impressive things, and I’m a self-made woman. Nothing was ever handed to me, and I’ve paved my own path. No doubt about that. But I’m seriously kinda over that. There’s too many people nowadays trying to appear better than they actually are, and I don’t want to be one of those people. Nor do I believe I have to prove anything to anyone anymore.

I’m at a point in my life where I care about building genuine relationships and helping as many people as I can through the products and projects I take on. The money, titles, and fame can speak for itself when it comes later. Let’s have real conversations.

Moving forward, I’m determined to make something of myself that is representative of who I am now and my vision moving forward. I feel like I’ve changed so much within the past few years, and I want the impact that I create in this world to be reflective of that.

I’m not perfect, and I probably never will be. But my purest intentions are that I am trying… trying to be somebody of value to the people who are willing to support and believe in me. I work hard not to prove people wrong, but to prove the people who believed & supported me that they were right. And I’m really grateful to anyone who supports me.

Well, that’s all I can think that is core to my identity. If you’ve read this far, thanks for your time reading this. You now know more about me than what some of the people around me might know :D

I hope this gives people an insight to the kind of person that I am. I honestly enjoyed reflecting on my life to write about this.

It’s 3:41AM now. Good night :)