Archive for the ‘Blessings’ Category

New Year’s Review

In Blessings, Rants on December 31, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Here comes the necessary year-in-review post.  I think this post will be short – I had an exceedingly blessed 2010.  I recall the near depression I was in at the end of 2009, thinking that there was very little life could throw at me to make me feel lower.  I knew that 2010 had to be better to me than 2009 had been, or else I probably would have started doubting the existence of God…yes, it was that bad.  And 2010 swept through with more blessings than I can probably even attempt to name.  First and foremost, I started med school.  That alone would have been enough, but God kept blessing me every month.  For that, amongst other things, I thank Him.

Looking back at 2009 – rough.  It did end on a pretty nice note (i.e. a few acceptances), but the path to get there was arduous, to say the least.  I wonder how appreciative I would have been of 2010 had I not lived through my 2009.  I am of the firm belief that trials and tribulations not only produce patience, but also empathy.  Had I coasted through these past few years, or even life, I would have run the risk of being colder. Of falling prey to the mentality of “Hey, I made it – why shouldn’t you? Why should I feel sorry for you? Why should I help you? Pull yourself up.”  I am truly grateful that I am not that person.  So, I guess I owe some thanks after all to 2009, R.I.P.

Now, 2010.  I thank you for the myriad of memories I have formed in my new, wonderful home in (arguably) the most gorgeous city in the nation.  I am happy to say that I am (finally) officially on the way to becoming a doctor.  I thank you for the many doors that have opened in my newfound field for me to pursue my curiosities.  I thank you for rebuilding my confidence – both in myself and in my fellow-man.  I thank you for the wonderful people I have met on this year-long journey and for allowing me to open up and disclose.  For learning to trust and take risks.  For daily pushing of myself to explore new things.  For assuring me I am exactly where I need to be.  I have laughed. I have cried. I won more than I lost. In sum, I survived and am a better person because of every last experience.  I take nothing back.  There are no mistakes – it all happens for a reason.

And now, for 2011. I am excited for what is in store for me.  There are a few doors starting to peek open right now and I am excited to see what lies behind each. 2011, I am ready for you! So, as they say down here, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

The Anatomy of Happiness

In Blessings, medical school on December 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I just got back from a little holiday shopping with my wonderful mommy (love her!), and aside from realizing that I have lost my tolerance to cold, I realized how ridiculously blessed I am.  Yes, such an epiphany struck me in the middle of Barnes & Noble, of all places.  How did this all come about?  Well, while perusing the isles looking for different gifts for different people (self included, of course) I came across a display that caught my eye.  (Ironically, my mom was looking at a bunch of natural medicine books)  Anywho, this display was of Dr. Alice Robert’s “The Complete Human Body: the Definitive Visual Guide” – and visual it is.  Actually, I consider it beautiful.

Over the years, I have learned how much of a visual learner I am.  As such, page layouts and picture and color choices greatly affect the way I process information presented in books.  I literally stood there in the middle of the store flipping through page after page of lymphatic drainage, anastomoses, muscle, and bone, and looked like a kid on Christmas morning.  At a point, my mom stopped reading her book, turned and stared at me gawking at the busy, shiny pages. I have spent the past 4 months going page-by-page through the human body, but this book was more captivating than Grant’s or Netter’s or Grey’s human atlas of anatomy.  She jokingly asked me if I wanted one for Christmas, to which I seriously responded yes.  Then, I guiltily admitted that everything I was reading I had just learned this past semester in Anatomy.  Every.thing. Lol – NERD!  Whatever.  I still want one, I just won’t be pushing for a Christmas arrival.  I think it would make a fantastic book for my nonexistent coffee table 🙂

But that infatuation speaks to how enjoyable my life is right now.  That’s right – in med school, I absolutely love my life.  For the first time in life I am 120% certain that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  While I might not know exactly where I am going, I know that 1) I am in the right profession and 2) at the right institution, speciality TBD.  That feeling – that warm, radiating, indescribable sensation – is priceless and brings a smile to my soul.  Or rather the peace and joy that feeling brings my soul radiates through my entire being and makes me smile.  Sure, there were multiple times this past semester when I prayed to God to make anatomy end (right around the time we reached the perineum and our cadavers were lying pelvis elevated, legs spread, revealing all for the world to see…ugh).  However, at the end of the day, I love what I’m doing.  I love gaining practical knowledge, I enjoy the deep thinking exercises known as SP, TBL, and PBL, and I actually love the soothing repetitiveness of sitting out and writing and re-writing pathways and lists until I know them inside-out.  Of course, having an amazing and fun class does nothing but help matters.  In sum, I.am.blessed. I.am.happy.

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

In applying to med school, Blessings on November 27, 2009 at 7:10 am

Today is the day after Thanksgiving; I have MUCH to be thankful for.  Like most everyone else, I am thankful for a wonderful support system of family and friends.  Especially the ones who stood by me through last year’s crazy application process.  I’m blessed to lack nothing I need (not want) in life, to have good health (though lacking health insurance, I smile), and to hold multiple jobs in this rough economic time.  This year, my thankfulness is extended to blessings in the medical school admissions cycle. First and foremost, I am thankful for finally having been accepted into medical school after years and years of hard work, time, and money. Amen! I could really end with this one statement, but that would make for a rather short post, so I’ll continue.

I am also thankful to have been accepted so early in this application cycle.  Talk about a stess relief! It’s priceless to know that no matter what happens in the subsequent months, whether that be in my personal life or in this crazy process, that I will definitively be a doctor in a few years – provided I don’t go and get arrested or something stupid like that…no worries there though.  It takes all pressure off possible future interviews. It’s even more beneficial that the first school I was accepted to is a school I love and can easily picture myself at. To give you a short synopsis of what happened, I applied early, had a first round interview at this school, was basically told I was “in” on interview day, received official notice of acceptance as early as possible, and I then mentally declared “Game Over!”  All worries and apprehensions were layed to rest as of October 16th, 2009. What a blessed day that was…a day I will never forget!  In addition, I am grateful to have had multiple acceptances – choice is lovely! 🙂

Next, as a tangent off my last point, and as a fellow SDNer put it, “I’m thankful that I will never have to apply to medical school again, and yet also thankful that I went through it at least once in my life.” As crazy as it sounds, I am thankful to have done this process twice. Yes, you read correctly, twice! Doing it once right from the jump is great and all (and certainly much cheaper and the way to go if possible), but in reality, about 50% just don’t get in anywhere on go around 1.  For me, there is something to be said about literally being crushed to pieces the first time around and having the resolve to summon enough energy to reassemble myself (with God’s great glue!) as a stronger applicant for the next application cycle, and without having to take an additional year off between rounds.  I feel pretty great holding acceptances at schools that flatout rejected me last year without so much as an interview.  I know that an acceptance this cycle means so much more to me than one last application cycle would have meant. And, granted, I hear that applying for residency programs very much mirrors applying to medical school, so I better get used to it, but to not have to deal with jumping through any more hoops or fighting to prove myself to admissions committees or even to my, at times, self-doubting psyche is the best thing this pre-med girl could ask for. I’m over this one major hurdle and have a few years to adequately prepare for the next big leap of faith. I’m game. Bring it!  Clearly, my adrenaline is pumping full-throttle this year.

Furthermore, I am thankful for batting 100 in interview conversions.  Granted, I have only had three interviews (3 I am extremely appreciative of!), but all three have turned into very quick acceptances.  All my interviewers verbally expressed how highly they thought of me as an applicant and as a future physician.  This definitely helped soften the blow of out-right pre-interview rejections and helped boost my self-confidence as an applicant.  One of my bigger fears entering this application process was that my GPA would hold me back.  I did just okay in undergrad and excelled in my post-bacc program, but had no clue how med schools evaluate my subsequent mediocre GPA.  While I think the A’s in the post-bacc certainly helped my cause, out of the horses’ mouths it is apparent that my ECs and life experiences count a great deal (or at least at certain schools). I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such opportunities and to have been able to be of service to so many even at such a relatively young age. God is good!

Also, I am grateful batting 50 for schools I applied to in general.  That’s 4 interview invitations (just got an invite the other day) and 4 pre-interview rejections, with many schools screaming silence or Hold.  With every rejection, my mom does a great job reminding me that there are plenty of others that are crushed right now and who would kill for just one interview, let alone an acceptance.  Trust, I was there last year, I know that she’s 100% correct on this one. And I know that as the cycle progresses, competition starts to increase, however, at the moment I am convinced that all I need is to get my foot in the door with an interview invite, and I’m fairly certain I’ll do a good job “selling myself” to the school.  After all, who knows me better than me other than my Maker?

On that note, I must say that I am thankful that this crazy process has drawn me closer to God and has strengthened my relationship with Him, and not the other way around, as I’ve seen happen to some scorned pre-meds.

In sum, I am grateful that I am blessed beyond measure.  All I can do is smile from deep down within my heart and scream Thank you, Jesus!

aside: I’m also extremely thankful I will not be participating in this year’s Black Friday! Neither as a retailer nor as a consumer. I swear, this day can bring out the worst features of mankind, and I’m in a full-on positive mood indefinitely. Would hate for that to be ruined by some silly sale!