Thursday, February 16, 2017

Don't Ask Why Things Can't Be Different, They're Perfect

It has been over a month since I've written a blog post. I find this frightening. Okay, that's a wee bit dramatic. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun and being more personally reflective. But, today I want to publicly share something I've been reflecting on this week.

Lately, I've become more aware of how I compare myself to my peers, my classmates, my friends. Don't get me wrong, I have always known that I have done this. I mean, I live in our society, and I'm 99% sure a side-effect of that is social comparison. I suppose it is more accurate to say lately I have observed the thoughts more rather than getting completely consumed by them.

I am going to be completely openly honest and fearlessly authentic here, so buckle up your seat belts. In the past two years, I have felt as if my life has been in a stand-still. The majority of my closest friends have been married and now have children or are pregnant. They are getting homes and becoming more established in their careers. I feel no where near any of that. Admittedly, these are things I thought we all would experience together. See, up until a couple of years ago, we had gone through so many major life events together - college, first boyfriends, horrid breakups, etc. I guess I just subconsciously assumed we'd all experience these "adulting" stages in life together.

I have come to understand and accept that medical school puts you on an interesting timeline. I have often heard it said that here (in med school), "the days are long but the years are short". Considering that I'm already more than halfway done with my first year, this certainly rings true. It's like time is flying by yet your life looks very similar to the way it has for years: the life of being a student. Uncertain of where you will end up at the next step, in our case, for residency or thereafter. It's not like a "regular job" for a while. You are learning and working, but you're not really making money. You're accumulating loans. It's all very psychologically intriguing really. Especially when you're a "nontraditional" student like me and enter medical school at 25 rather than 22.

But, I've come to understand that I really need to slow down these comparison-types of thoughts in order to logically process them. I have to continually understand that my path is uniquely my own. There are no right or wrong turns unless the ones I deem so. We all have the privilege of writing our own story, so we should strive to embrace that rather than trying to apply the plot twists and characters of someone else's.

That brings me to the line in one of my favorite songs that prompted me to pen these thoughts. From Minnie Driver's "Everything I've Got In My Pocket":

"When you're staring out into the sky, see what you have & don't ask why things can't be different. They're perfect."

Being here in Lubbock, I have begun to truly appreciate the sky, the sunrises, and the sunsets. I don't think I really ever have in life. Not like this. With the wide open west Texas sky, it's majesty is impossible to ignore. It is just so clear & obvious here. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Live Life from an Open-Hearted Space

Happy Martin Luther King Day Monday, y'all! It's been a while since I've posted a purely Music Monday post. Today's song is an old favorite of mine by The Shins, "Simple Song".

My favorite line pretty much sums up why I love the song:

I think that last word is technically "home", but let's just roll with the hope theme. 

I've been thinking lately about authenticity. Interestingly enough, it was the topic of a Bible study just last week when it was on my mind. I pondered what it meant to me for me to live from an authentic head-space the majority of the time. And, I discovered that oftentimes that means taking a nuanced approach to circumstances and decisions that might not seem like the logical choice to outsiders looking in. 

Authenticity made me think about being open-hearted. I quickly Googled an official definition for this, and describes openheartedness as 'showing or being motivated by sympathy and understanding and being freely communicative'. I love this definition. It reminds me that when we do approach seemingly difficult decisions in our lives, we should lead first with a heart of understanding for those involved and for ourselves. 

Which brings me to the song lyrics. We literally need one another to make it through. I can't tell you how much just in the last couple of days I've texted my best friends for advice and encouragement and daily ridiculousness. We really don't have to go it alone. 

Similarly, I like the idea that hope is something critical, an essential component to getting along in this life. With openheartedness, the hope is that we can be true to ourselves and others in a liberating way. 

I like to think that the legacy of MLK and others like him reinforce this concept of openheartedness. Striving first to come from a space of sympathy and understanding before discrimination. So, in the spirit of his legacy on this day, and in the spirit of openheartedness, I encourage you all to liberally be your truest self in this life! Stay golden, my friends.