Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stay Young, Stay Free, Stay You & I'll Stay Me

There's this song I used to absolutely love running to called "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous. It serves as today's Tuesday Tune (since I was driving the majority of the day Monday and missed out on Music Monday). The upbeat and melody is enough reason to love it, but for me, per usual, it's the lyrics that really captivate me. My favorite line goes as follows:

"We're only young and naive still
We require certain skills."

I give you permission to have a dance party of one to this song right now.

Isn't it great?

I recently bought this poster from Holstee's Poster Sale last week. It's a nice addition for my growing wall of inspiration. "Foolish" is a bit provoking. I'm not by any mean advocating we all act a fool. But, for me, it reminds me to stay silly. A reminder I appreciate. And, then, I thought about this song. 

I first heard this song when I had just recently graduated from college in 2012, and these words rang so true for me. Trying to navigate post-grad life totally felt like I was out of my element - missing the skills I needed to cope with the transition from that cookie-cutter K through college plan into the this-is-adulthood-do-whatever-you-want-in-the-sequence-you-want plan. 

I know I'm not alone with these "am I adulting right?" thoughts, These thoughts are most prevalent when it comes to thinking about our career paths and relationships. We are all too often critical of ourselves, of our actions. At least I know I am. I wonder how I come off to others, how they are perceiving me, how I perceive myself. I think a healthy dose of self-reflection and introspection is necessary, but there must be a balance.

There must be a healthy dose of love and acceptance for ourselves and for others. For all of their idiosyncrasies and charm. Children have this quality. To be silly and make their own fun. It's an amazing quality that we quickly unlearn in a world full of rules and order. Again, I feel there needs to be balance. Especially when we're interacting with others. We could pore over the research about social contracts and even the unspoken rules of "playing it cool" while dating in the modern age.

Or we can just be ourselves? Whatever that means for you. I feel like when we are honest about who we are and present that, ever-changing, dynamic individual to others, we have nothing to lose but fear and anxiety. We gain freedom.

I wrote the title of this blog off the top of my head because I just wanted it to rhyme. But, I really kinda like it. Isn't it liberating to feel that you're free to be you and I can be free to be me without the fear of judgment? So, just a simple reminder to you, my friends. Stay you! Whoever that happens to be at the moment. 
Another reason I just love Holstee! 

Fridays with Friends: Supporting Local Businesses

See the impromptu video below!
(This is what happens when my friends take me on errands...)

Check out Royal Event Consulting at:


Monday, November 21, 2016


I'm home! 

Being home for a whole week for Thanksgiving break is quite the privilege. It's kinda awkward because I still have classes that are recorded online, so technically I'm still in study-mode. But, I will tell you it is refreshing to study in a new space. Well, a new yet familiar place. White Rhino Coffee. So, turns out writing and studying in coffeeshops at home is just as effective as when in Lubbock.

So, there's this shirt that I bought when I was a the thrift shop, and it's super comfortable. I also love that it has the outline of Texas on it. And, I like it's time-tested truth: "Home is where my heart is". I absolutely love being around my family. And, the older I get, the more I appreciate being home to spend time with them altogether. I drove from Lubbock to Dallas for the first time all by my lonesome this break and it was glorious! I love the company I've had over the years on mini-road trips, but there was something particularly spectacular about traveling for a substantial distance solo. One of the magical moments was turning in to the street where my parents live. It's like each time I return, the trees are more majestic, the skies are more expansive. And, since it's Fall, the mix of colors were absolutely amazing. (Sorry I didn't take a photo, I'm a responsible driver *wink, wink* - no but really! I don't know why I winked). Then, I drove into the driveway, opened the door, and was greeted by these wonderful humans who I'm lucky enough to call my family.

Home truly is where you heart resides. And that means that no matter where you go in the world, if you can tap into your heart and find comfort in memories, then you're home. No matter if your childhood home is still the place where you parents reside or not, wherever the people you grew up with are, is home. This is a simple truth. I'm not blogging anything ground-breaking epiphany. I just thought I'd share the reminder because in this hustle-bustle society, it's so easy to forget life's simple truths.

That somewhat brings me to today's selection for Music Monday, the most beautiful cover of Pat Benetar's "We Belong" that I have ever heard. It's done by an artist named Today Kid.

I first heard it from the Chase commercial (below). Which is an absolutely precious commercial.
(I'll address another one of my favorite topics - interracial dating in another post, by the way!)

I chose this song for today's post because the style in which he does this cover is very centering to me. My favorite line remains the same as when it is the original rendition and it comes towards the end/resolution of the song, after the potentially sad lines: "We can't begin to know it, how much we really care". I love this line. I feel that it can apply to so many different areas of life. In this song in particular, it's a romantic relationship that continues to unfold. With family, we can come to learn how much we really care for those once super-duper annoying little brothers. Similarly, in the spirit of connecting with others, it can even apply to how much you can come to care for those people who you've only just met. For me, that line represents all of that, and this song just makes my heart feel super happy.

Welp, that's all I've got for today, folks! Hope you enjoy the song, and if nothing else, the sentiment.

Stay golden, my friends

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finding a Better Way to Pursue Passions

So, I have a confession to make. Here's the confession of a second-year medical student with a Masters degree in Public Health and a desire to take this blog to the next level. There are some days where I seriously question whether or not I will continue this journey towards becoming a physician. I have battled the feeling of academic inferiority ever since my sophomore year in high school when I got my first C as a final grade on a report. It was in Honors Geometry. The thing is, school work has never come easy to me. Contrary to popular belief, I actually am not a genius. I have pulled all-nighers to understand difficult material ever since middle school. I always had the take advantage of extra problem sets and tutors to really grasp challenging material. So, you can imagine that this struggle of academic confidence has amplified almost a thousand-found here in med school.

But, then I think about getting past all of the exams and the grueling late-night study sessions, and I envision a future where I'm working with a team of talented, healthcare professionals to improve the quality of life of our patients. That's when I remind myself that it is all totally worth it. 

Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDoggMD)
About two weeks ago, we had a presentation by Dr. Zubin Damania, CEO and Founder of Las Vegas-based Turntable Health. He spoke of "Healthcare 3.0" - the idea that we can achieve a healthcare system in which everyone - patients, health care providers, and administration are empowered. It was such an inspirational reminder of what I envision for my future of a member of the healthcare system. 

Similarly, he has a ton of videos on YouTube where he features his parodied songs hitting on important topics surrounding healthcare. So, here we have a physician who also makes music videos on the side. A serendipitous example of how you can eventually pursue a diverse array of passions. Check out ZDoggMD's personal shout-out to Finding a Better Way!

But, isn't that what life is all about folks? Being constantly inspired by different passions and pursuing them synergistically - honoring both without neglecting either. And, if your passion causes your path to change course, that's okay, too. I think Dr. Peter Prentice (not a real doctor) from The Mindy Project (a real show that I love): "You're allowed to change what you want in life, people do it all the time." And, I personally think that if you can try to stay as true as possible to your passions, you'll find that your path can align in such a magical way. 

So, maybe I will succeed in maintaining this blog, the vlog on YouTube, and anything else that I can think up along the way as I journey this path of becoming a physician. It's definitely a better mental way for me to proceed, anyway. 

On a different yet related note, I'm finding that studying in coffeeshops is so much better when I understand the material the first time around. Thank you, Behavioral Sciences unit, thank you. You're making this Psych major and MPH in Behavioral Sciences & Health Promotion master smile a little bit brighter. 

Stay golden, my friends! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Humans of Coffeeshops

I'm considering starting a new series inspired from my post yesterday. Or maybe I'll merge it with my previous Fridays with Friends video segment. I cannot express how delightfully random my conversations have been of late. People are so interesting and intriguing. So, possible new the blog series!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Humans of Starbucks

I just had one of the most wonderfully random conversations with this guy I met at a Starbucks I've been frequenting lately. I know I literally just posted about how much I love studying at coffee shops (I looked it up, technically "coffeehouse" is more accurate, but literally everyone says coffee shops, so have at it), and for a girl who doesn't even drink coffee, I find this ironic. But, I just had to share my impression on this interaction.

Here's the thing about people. We're so human, and we sometimes forget. Let me explain.

I feel as if so often we feel that we are disconnected from each other. The whole concept of other, someone being different and a part from me, creates an unconscious disconnect in social settings. For example, when we're standing in the unofficial designated area where we wait for our order, don't we just look at our phones or talk to the people we came with and generally avoid eye contact with the person right beside us? I'm not saying this is a bad thing, necessarily, I'm saying it's a natural thing. And, that's why we get caught off-guard when someone says hello. At least I was caught off-guard today when the guy said, "Hey I'm waiting for my tea to steep, so lucky you, you get to chat with me while I wait." And, no, this was not a pick-up line or him hitting on me or anything like that. Not that kind of funny story. That's for another post I'm working on. But, it was literally just that. A chat because, why not?

And, my friends, if anyone is a good candidate for a random chat, I'm your girl. I live for these kinds of study breaks. I actually live for any type of study break, really. I'm taking one right now. It helps me focus.
Semi-staged photo to prove I was actually studying before writing this post

In the past couple of weeks, I have had random chats in a coffee shop with a law student about how I wanted to act as a witness for their mock trial and met a girl in the same program as one of my friend's girlfriend. It's a small world, y'all. I know being in a college-y town greatly increases my ability to proclaim that it's a small world, but even in the big city of Dallas, I've had similar experiences.

Quote I saw on Pinterest a while ago that I realized pretty much sums up the paragraph below
Every one has a story or some insight or perspective on life that we don't share. In learning their point of view, some things make us go, "hmm" or "whatever" or "me, too!". I think I just wanted to share this to encourage everyone to strike up random conversation every now and then. It might be good for our mental health. (I am unofficially saying this, I have no idea what the research is on this). Speaking from experience, it has definitely made my days more interesting, if nothing else. I've been telling my friend Courtney that these types of experiences are the spice of life. I have literally used that phrase about 10 times in our text messaging thread over the past couple of weeks. (I wonder if I can turn it into a hashtag. How do I get that permission? Will find out later...) So, share a smile, a wave/head nod, kind word, whatever. In short, as one the great poets of 90's pop music The Spice Girls once said, spice up your life.