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For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
02 July 2017 @ 01:53 pm
Hello from the other side...

My last post I wrote before my exam but posted long long long after because I was too lazy/overwhelmed to find my password for the 823297329th time.

Since that post I was emotionally crushed by that 8 hour beast and successfully completed my first international trip. Very polar opposite feelings about those topics so let's start with the aggressively bad and work our way up to the good.

The exam was varying degrees of awful. Actually, I can't even say varying degrees it was just misery. Oddly enough, the 8 hours flew by, which sounds like a great thing, but I felt so incredibly rushed at times, especially during the last three blocks when my energy level was waxing and waning. It was such a weirdly organized exam, because some questions were unusually straightforward, but then others I had to blatantly guess and hope for the best. I can't remember an exam in recent memory that I left with the utmost regret and feeling like I had the intelligence of a fish. And usually I find some comfort hearing other people/friends/classmates express similar concerns, but for once I feel incredibly isolated in my fear of failure.

In retrospect in terms of how I could have prepared better, I should have done more questions, I should have studied earlier, I should have used my time more efficiently. I know I can't do anything about it now and I have no idea what the aftermath will be, but I honestely don't know what I will do if this goes horribly.

It's difficult because I haven't been in the mindset that I might be starting working in the hospital in under a month, but I need to get it together because I won't know my score until during/after orientation which is incredibly stressful.

BUT in a complete 180 degree change of emotions, I made in on a plane to and from Belgium. Last summer was my first solo domestic flight, and this summer I made my first solo international flight. And as much as I sincerely still believe that I did not earn this trip (and nearly skipped it to move my exam), I am so grateful that I was able (allowed?) to embark on this journey. It was kinda shitty in the beginning because from the minute I left my exam until maybe a day or two into my mini Eurotrip (and spattered throughout), there was a tremendous amount of negativity infiltrating my thoughts. Like a stage 5 hurricane that never decreased in strength and kept making loop-de-loops instead of hurricane-ing away. Like very bad.

So it never really hit me that I flew 3,000ish miles across the Atlantic until a few days in, but when it hit it was beautiful. It was honestly pretty perfect for a novice traveller like me, even Amsterdam which was my "least" favorite place. Europe was beautiful, especially Leuven, which was basically the perfect town. Great beer, food, fairly consistently good weather, and super accessible. I enjoy touristy places, but I especially enjoy places that are not intrinsicly touristy but have so much to do, which was basically Leuven.

We also made it to Brugge (twice), Brussels, Gent and Amsterdam - in order of how much I liked each place, but I didn't dislike any of them. I think my pictures are worth a thousand words, but I cannot believe how perfectly this trip worked out. Again, I do not think this was well deserved/earned, but I acknowledge how fortunate I am. I hope that someday I get to do this again, because I loved it so much.

Although I spent more time whining about my exam in this post, I feel a lot better than I did a week ago (not great, but better). That's the gist of my current state of being though.

For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
02 July 2017 @ 01:10 pm
In about 2 days, I will dive into possibly the most important (relatively speaking, maybe not content-wise) exam of my career. Needless to say this has incited more than enough panic, doubt, and self-deprecation over the past 6 weeks, all of which has been very poorly handled.

There really is no telling how this exam will go, as with many other exams. I doubt it will be easy, but the degree of difficulty is unknown, and that is worrying. Even more unsettling is the feeling that I haven't learned (or progressively have forgotten) so much information. I thought taking time off might be beneficial, but at this point, I feel like I could take a lifetime and there would be no difference.

I was thinking to myself the other day, as I do often, what an anomaly I am. With a lot of guidance from God I have made it to this point where I can say I am 2 years shy of an MD. Despite the fact that I am a poor, black female with numerous oddities and weaknesses and challenges, I have made it here. And while I often used to complain (and ungratefully still do) that nothing ever works in my favor, the puzzle pieces have fallen together so perfectly. And that is what helps me persist through the fear. The fact that, while I cannot guarantee success, He has my back, one way or another, as long as I persevere.

Studying for finals and this exam have taught me more about myself than anything else. I realized that I did very well since last year suppressing my fluctuating depression and that I need to work on addressing that. That the way I feel inside is more important than how I look outside. And that I need my friends around me to give me the reassurance that I'm not alone, even when it feels like I am.

And I pray that I continue to defy the odds with God's grace as Gabby the Anomaly, and future MD.

For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
22 May 2017 @ 01:40 am
An ode to my current favorite song.

Way to tired to post anything lengthy or full of feels, but I haven't posted in ages and I felt that a birthday (now post birthday) would be a solid time.

By God's grace, I survived year 2 of medical school. Well, up to Step 1 at least, that has yet to be determine. And I know I always say by God's grace but this is more valid than ever. Multiple times this year, include and especially finals week, I had full fledged fear of failing. Many times that I feared my mental instability would get the best of me. And He carried me through to the last exam when I had never felt so stoic about life. Step 1 will be a tremendous feat, but that last month of school was a beast, and that memory gives me chills to this day.

But here I am, 25th year of being, wonderfully supported by friends and family, trecking along to fight this next battle. And I hope that I can withstand the burden a bit better this time.

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: IU - Palette
For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
24 January 2017 @ 01:23 am
Just a brief reminder, in a world full of disappointments and fear and anxiety, that amazingly inspirational people do exist.

My physical diagnosis preceptor is a wonderful human being, and if not to be him, I want to strive hard to be someone like him. And I will use this as a reminder that no matter how difficult the task, it is possible.

6 months and counting.
Don't worry, you got this.

Current Mood: Jay Park - All I Wanna Do
Current Music: Excited
For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
31 December 2016 @ 02:38 am
As per usual, I have returned for my year in review post.

I left of on quite a sad note, so maybe I won't start with that. The beginning of this year was somewhat of a blur if I'm being completely honest. I think my motivation dwindled tremendously, and since most of the courses I took in my post-bacc were finished or finishing, this is when I began to experience more of the real rigor of first-year medical school. By the grace of God, I surived and finished the year having passed all my classes. I also don't know when this happened, but I began to focus a lot more on my internal happiness than stressing about those around me and what other think, and I can honestly say that I am in the best  mental state that I have been in...maybe ever. I think I realized that at the end of the day, only I really know how to make myself happy, and that led to a lot of self-reflection and will to change, which led to my amazing summer.

Well, as we all know, the summer began on a terrible note, with the passing of my best friend Duo. He was and will always be my main squeeze, and no animal will ever replace him in my heart. He helped me through the most difficult times for over half of my life, and whether he knows it or not, he is a large reason why I never gave up. I still treat him as if he is here, although I know he is having endless playdates with Michael's cat and Katie's dog. He was so wonderful, and I wish I were there for him more, but as I said before, I will never ever forget the fact that he held on until his mommy returned. Love you Duo!

On a much happier note, I had possibly the most amazing summer I've ever had this year. Ever. I flew to California by myself, and while it was short, I loved seeing Pratika and experiencing another part of the country and solo flying. I went to the beach more times than I probably have in total, although one of those times was sadly tainted by the break up of two good friends. I of course went to NYC and NJ as well but spent the large majority of my time in Philly hanging out with friends, doing endless hours of clinic work, and probably most importantly, exploring.

Now when I say exploring I mean in the literally sense and in terms of exercise. I walked literally everywhere. I can't count how many miles I walked this summer. To everywhere and to nowhere. I was truly drunk on the bliss of freedom to go and do whatever I want. And while I loved seeing the parts of Philly I may never get the chance to truly explore again, more than anything I am so thankful that this was the kick start to my weight loss. Again, the end of the previous semester was a bit more stressful than the first, and that compiled with unhealthy habits led to tremendous weight gain. So with a combination of excessive walking, frequenting the gym, and a diet change, I am happy to say that I have lost about 26 lbs. And while I absolutely should have lost more by now, I am so thankful that I made it this far; not many people can say they have. I feel so much better physically and emotionally. I have much more work to do in 2017, but with these newly established habits I know I'll go far; and I absolutely cannot wait to see how I'll look this time next year.

This amazing summer was just so incredibly amazing that I somewhat forgot that school was a thing, even when school was in full force. And that hurt me; a lot. I am in a much, much worse position now academically than I was last year. I managed to not get kicked out of school, but I know I have to work SO much harder than I have been. I am pretty nervous that there are only four months left and in 6 months or so I will be taking a career-defining exam, but anything is possible. I know God didn't lead me here to go this far; same goes for my weight loss.

I am also hoping, praying that our President-elect does not run this country to the ground.

I think I will leave off with three goals for this year:
(1) Do well on Step 1
(2) Lose 20 more lbs
(3) Go to Japan and come back for 3rd year

That's all I can think of for now. Tomorrow will be a people-filled day and while I am very nervous after having the apartment to myself for basically the last two weeks, I hope it will be fun.

And the song I choose is the amazing, booty-popping, Whistle by Black Pink. Enjoy~

Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: Black Pink - Whistle
For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
31 May 2016 @ 01:47 am
This will be very brief because it hurts to talk about.

Today (yesterday) I lost my first best friend, my baby boy, my love of 14 years, the biggest chunk of my daily happiness, my confidant, my everything.

While I knew it was coming soon, I wasn't expecting it to be this soon. I am somewhat thankful that I didn't have to witness the pain, and I know he's in a much better and happier place. I am also so unbelievably grateful that he waited for his mommy to come home and hold him one last time. I will never ever forget that, and goes to show how much of an amazing dog he was.

Duo I hope you are being your adorable little diva self upstairs, and know that mommy will never ever stop loving you no matter where you are. Mommy will come back to you! She always does <3

Love you baby boy.

For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
29 May 2016 @ 03:23 am
Literally in the blink of an eye, I somehow managed to survive my first year of medical school.

It is so strange thinking back to two summers ago, which honestly felt like yesterday, when I was just yearning to officially call myself a medical student after years of struggling to reach my dream. And with a few heel-clicks and prayers, two years later, I am on my way to second year.

The first half of this year was pretty rough to be entirely honest. I can't pinpoint exact reasons why, but I can pinpoint how I felt during my lowest of lows and I hope to never return to those feelings. The latter half was a substantially better turn around, and I feel more comfortable with my environment and who I am. I am terrified of what this next year will bring since I will no longer have the luxury of taking a class I've taken before, but I hope to perform my absolute best. I am so thankful for the friends I've made, because I know I could not have survived without them.

While I managed to pass every class, the year ended on a bit of a sour note related to my health that I need to curtail. I need a lifestyle change asap and while I know I can do it, putting it into action will be tremendously challenging.

Somehow things have been very stagnant with my family's current state, and now I worry that my little boy is slipping away more and more each visit. I pray that he stays healthy for a few more years, since he has been my pint-sized rock over the years.

I am so grateful to God for guiding me to this point, and I hope that my summer and next year will be brighter and brighter.

For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
31 December 2015 @ 02:42 am
Yet another year has flown by, almost in the blink of an eye.

Not too much has happened this year, but the things that did were I suppose pretty significant. I started the year smack dab in the middle of my post-bacc, unsure of whether or not I would successfully complete my program and get into medical school. I walked on with a glimmer of home and lingering fear of never getting my long-sought MD. I figured, the universe didn't want me to reach one of my dreams, it would only be fitting in my life to crush the other one too. Come February, I had medium assurance that I was not only going to do well, but officially get that acceptance in May. Lo and behold, I received my giant white envelope, boldly stating that I was to be one of 260 students in the Class of 2019. Oddly enough, my lack of doubt made it somewhat of an anti-climactic moment, but nonetheless a proud one.

I had a wonderful birthday/year-end celebration in NY, and spent the summer wandering between NYC, Troy, Philly, NJ, and CT. I got my first part-time retail job and made some great friends (and great drama-filled memories). I volunteered for a research study that works with a clinic associated with Penn, completely and entirely by chance, and worked with an amazing person who I had such a great time with. Even though I don't feel like I did much, it was definitely rewarding for many reasons, including by helping me be accepted as a clinic coordinator for this clinic. Which might I add I am thoroughly excited and terrified for, and I hope that I do an amazing job and meet everyone's expectations. I, myself, have NO idea what to expect so I can't really meet my own.

And then in August, someone decided it would be a good idea to play doctor dress up for 4 years and gave me a white coat with my name stitched (that last part didn't actually come until maybe October but still). I began and completed my first semester of medical school. I met some amazing people and made many new friends, although I'm still struggling to find my footing.

Fortunately with my post-bacc in my back pocked, I'm passing (or passed) all of my classes with not too much effort, very atypical of a medical student. Which gives me time to worry more about everything else, from maintaining my friendships, to being a better daughter, to being a better roommate, to panicking about psychos trying to ruin the lives of the innocent, to finding my own identifiable color, to learning to be happy with myself and ignoring the noise. I feel like I back-peddled a bit the past few months, and I hope to continue to grow and become a better person, a more carefree person, and ultimately a better doctor.

And as always, I thank God for helping my family (including my little boy) and me make it through another year. I hope that 2016 will be our year, a year of maybe not rags to riches but at least rags to...really nice paper towels? I'll even take the cheap basic generic brand. Of course our health is #1, but a bit more comfort and happiness and fewer cockroaches would be great too. I miss that, I miss it a lot.

Here's to a safer, happier, and healthier 2016!

And my song of the year will have to be...

The Ark - The Light
(will insert video later)
For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
24 April 2015 @ 02:38 am
In just under 2 weeks my adventurous post-bac year will come to a close. In just under 4 months I will take the first steps to becoming a full-fledged doctor, an MD, a healthcare practitioner, and a real person.

It's hard to explain to people who have never been in my shoes how surreal it feels. For many (if not most) of my peers, taking that leap to the next level was as easy as cake. Without a doubt, and few obstacles, they reached for the stars they've always wanted and got them. And this is not to discredit the hard work that many of them have endured; hard work does often pay off. But when you're someone who always has some ongoing struggle, someone who's been told "no" more than she can count, someone who has the hardest time believing she is deserving of any good forture, it's difficult to accept that this is not a cruel dream.

I know, I know. Woe is me for reaching higher education while many people can only dream of...any education. I don't think my struggles are nearly as bad as they could be and I am eternally grateful and blessed to be in this position.

But I pictured these days to be much more...satisfying a year ago. Much more joyful and thrilling. I guess its because I'm always preparing myself for the next obstacle, the next barrier to my reach my dreams. My dream of going to Japan, for example, has pretty much solidified into that - an indelible mark of unsuccessful perserverance branded in the depths of my brain to forever haunt me of what never was and may never be. I'm scarred, terrified that this is also a cruel dream that I'll be awakened from, only to discover that the obstacles persist. Whenever I get close to success, something always leads me to failure, and it's often myself.

I'm not trying to be an ungrateful, whiny snot. I'm going to medical school, I just got employed, I have a place to sleep and food to eat. I'm grateful, I really am.

I'm just in denial.
I'm always in denial.

For us who are as sad as our love was beautiful.
18 March 2015 @ 07:34 pm
It is always good to have inspiration. It is even better to set goals from your inspiration. But don't ever aspire to be anyone but yourself. There is no other you in this world, and believe it or not there is someone who does, has, or will look up to you. You will become their inspiration.

Inspiration is contagious. It creeps through the thickest of skin, seeps through the cracks of your broken heart, and colonizes in your fragile soul. There are many drugs -hate, fear, depression, anger, disappointment, sadness- that attempt to eliminate the "threat" of ambition, but it can never fully be destroyed. It thrives, and thrives, and thrives, until an explosion of passion emerges from the surface. And the remnants will hide away in their enclosure, waiting for the next spark of encouragement to flourish. And before you know it, you've transmitted your inspiration to someone else.

And now to return back to Gross Anatomy...

Current Mood: いいよ
Current Music: HA:TFELT - There Will Be