Friday, November 18, 2011

To Experience Perfection

I took up journaling...mostly because I had things to say that didn't need to be public knowledge.  I'm still journaling, but I wanted to start sharing my heart again because every time I do I feel like a piece of it makes more sense to me again.  Little by little.

"Oh for a dream - oh for the wishing.  Oh to keep hoping all the while knowing the delicate tightrope I'm walking between reality and dreaming.

'Until the day this love is returned to me or surpassed by another, my heart will be grateful for the experiece of a perfect love.

'And I keep praying for continued grace, peace and mercies I don't deserve..."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time Goes By So Slowly

I am, in my truest nature, an introvert.  I spend a lot of time reflecting.  Some of it is spent in public blogs, some of it is spent writing page after page of letters to people who will never receive them, I talk a LOT about what I think and how I feel, but I worry that I'm always saying the wrong thing.  Somehow over the years since graduating college I figured out how to talk to appear extroverted, but at the end of the day - I'm not.

Today I find myself lost in time.  Thinking about the last 5 years since I've left Olivet, the 10 years since I graduated high school...and how who I am now is almost an entirely different person.  But when I sit and think about years and years of change in myself, what I keep falling back on is the past 5 months in Lansing, the past 7 since I left Joplin.

Most importantly, it's been 4 weeks.  Four weeks since all of my plans changed.  Four weeks of walking on egg shells and trying to find the right words to say.  Four weeks of slowly realizing that there's nothing I can do to change the outcome.  Four weeks.  It feels like it's been forever already.  All I know is that I have to let go.  That every day I make one more change in an attempt to allow my heart to heal.  Slowly, but surely I suppose.

It's amazing what can happen in just 4 weeks.  I fell in love in just about that period of time...but I'm finding you can't fall out of love quite so easily.

Every day strengthens the realization that not only do my plans have to change, but at some point he'll meet a woman who can be what he needs.  I would probably be ok if I didn't have to know that part of the story.  Alas, it's the part of the story that gets easier each time it happens.

Onto another 4 weeks...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cliiiimmmmbbb the Highest Mountainnnnn!!!

I have a paralyzing fear of heights.  I suck at trust walks.  I don't believe in falling backwards into the arms of someone smaller than me and hoping they catch me.  And I super don't believe I can hang in the air from some tiny rope while a small person is my counter weight on the ground.  Super don't believe.

My roommate got into rock climbing this year.  He talks about it like crazy, purchased all the gear, and has avidly gone looking for climbing activities.  He invites me along occasionally, but my fear of heights and my fear of making a fool of myself are generally enough reason for me to come up with a reason not to go.

That all changed this week.  After another day of lamentations about relationships and him having to listen to my insane psychobabble, he offered the opportunity to go climbing again as something to fill my Friday night so I could stop thinking about what I may or may not rather do.  It seemed like a good way to stay out of trouble and he's enough heavier/stronger than me that I wasn't too worried about him killing me.

And so we spent all night making plans around work schedules, class schedules, and feeding the dog schedules.  I caught up on laundry so I'd have something to wear and as soon as my INSANE clinic was over, we set out to climb this lovely sheer wall of wet, cold rock.

After cramming my feet into special wall climbing rubber shoes...I did it. I climbed about 10 feet off the ground and my hands were so cold I couldn't pay close enough attention to surpass the jutted out part.  So I came down to warm the hands and reevaluate the rock face.

After watching the boys climb a few more times, I decided that this would be my last chance to conquer the climb until the spring.  So I strapped myself back into my harness, tied up all my knots and jumped back on the wall.  And after a long time of trying to find the right foot hold to keep me from smashing my head into the rock above me, I did it.  I conquered the trouble spot.  Of course, it took me forever and by the time I got to my next trouble spot, my arms were so sore and my legs were so tired and the sun was almost gone that I decided to save it for next time.  But I did it, I conquered the part which caused me to struggle for so long!!

More importantly, I didn't freak out.  Usually when I'm with other people doing things like this I apologize over and over again and I let myself get so embarrassed that I can't complete the task.  Then Grant said, "The person who does the best at climbing is the person who has the most fun."  I feel like I'm going to make this sentence my new life mantra.  Being able to be free to have fun while not feeling like I was ruining everyone's day was awesome.  Knowing I had plenty of time to just figure it out was exactly what I needed.

Now I can't wait to go again.  I didn't quite get to the top, but I'll be ready for the spring :)  Plus, now I know I need to get back to the gym so I'll be super strong and ready for next time!

Yay for new life experiences :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

To Be or Not to Be...a Cardiologist

Ok, that's not actually on the table as a real-live option.  I like heart stuff, kind of.  Mostly, I think if I could do ONLY interventional cardiology I would do it for sure in a heartbeat (ha! get it?!)

Unforunately, once you pick a path you don't get to pick and choose which objectives you complete.  You don't get to just cut corners simply because you're tired of prescribing the same beta blocker to every. single. patient.

My cardiologist this week was awesome.  He was a wonderful teacher and while he made me feel like an idiot and publicly berated me more than once, I was kind of ok with it because he was nailing me on the things I need to know.  Plus, we always came back around to joking afterwards.  I wasn't totally convinced he hated me...not totally.

So early in the week he asked me if I want to specialize.  It's probably the most frequently asked question I hear.  I told him I am interested in heme/onc, which typically receives an echo of moans of disgusted pity hurled in my direction.  This experience was no different.  He couldn't believe I was interested in such a sad and depressing field...but I held my ground and said it's what I love.  He was not convinced.

Today was my last day with this particular cardiologist.  I watched him spend the whole day teasing his fellow attendings and as we walked through the ER to see a patient he said to me, "See?  Do you really think heme/onc is this much fun?"  And for a brief moment I lost my mind and told him that after spending the last month in cath conference, even if I had any interest in cardiology before, I definitely am too terrified now.

The PA we work with could do nothing but laugh.  I had a paralyzing fear that I was going to get destroyed by this attending for basically being a giant wimp and admitting it outloud.  He just laughed along like he had no idea what I was talking about and said that he never asks questions of his fellows that they shouldn't already be able to answer and that if they can't, they won't get it wrong a second time.

Yeah...maybe so.  But seriously, I am grateful to never ever ever present in a cath conference to a room of male cardiologists.  The yelling is more than I can handle :)

On the bright side, my new favorite heme/onc fellow presented a lecture on transfusions today.  I was 40 minutes late because of my cardiology patient who showed up in the ER 20 minutes before the lecture was supposed to start, but I made it.  AND favorite fellow told me I looked interested in the lecture the whole time.  Even better, guess who has a date in the heme/onc office for the next 4 weeks with the program director of the heme/onc program here?

That would be me!

Bring on the living!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. Right Now

There's this idea you hear when you're a kid...especially when you're a little girl.  It's called "The One".  Between every Disney movie I've ever watched, a family full of stories of "The One" and my own dreams of what my life should look like I'd say I was pretty convinced by the stories.

There's a line in Ever After that sticks with me during times like this.  It's after the prince meets Cinderella and is discussing his feelings with Da Vinci.  He asks: "Do you really think there is only one perfect mate? ...Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you're too distracted to notice?"
Da Vinci: "You learn to pay attention"
Prince: "Then let's say God puts two people on Earth and they are lucky enough to find one another. But one of them gets hit by lightning. Well then what? Is that it? Or, perchance, you meet someone new and marry all over again. Is that the lady you're supposed to be with or was it the first? And if so, when the two of them were walking side by side were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first or, was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything just chance or are some things meant to be?"

Now, I don't know the answer to the question...I only know what my experiences have been. I suppose for everyone the answer is different.  I also imagine that people who have been fortunate enough to get married probably have a different answer than I.  However, I would be the first to say that I still believe had I married any of the men I loved during the time I loved him, he would have been "The One".

I recognize that this is unconventional thinking, especially from an overly romantic girl who simply wants to share her life with someone who fits.  However, I also recognize that who I was in each relationship is a far cry from who I am now.  I believe that when people get married they remain in their mindset.  Sure, there's growth from life experiences, but a person's understanding of the world is forever shaped by their spouse.  That's why you got married in the first place, right?  You believed basically the same way, enjoyed each other's conversations and didn't argue over the pettiness of life.

I would also propose that perhaps most people don't change their philosphies of life at the same pace I have.  I know that who I was in college (5 years ago, yikes), is so beyond who I would call myself now.  Which, to be fair, is maybe why I never had a successful relationship at that time - I was not being my true self during those days.

I think people will be offended by these statements, but I don't say them to offend.  Perhaps I say them as comfort to myself.  Regardless, I believe that God can change the plan when someone falls off the path.  I don't think I can believe that if your "The One" gets married to some skinny brunette in college not knowing he would meet you years later that you will be punished with a life of sadness and loneliness.  I truly believe that life is full of pinch hitters, and I would still tell you that the men I planned to marry at "those times" of my life, are still the men I would have married then.  Of course, I am not married now, even after those men of those times, so I'm sure someone will fire back that clearly God has someone more special and more amazing in mind.

I just find it hard to believe.  I want to believe in the theory of "The One", but the longer I sit around waiting and the more experiences I have in the dating realm, the more I believe one of two things:
1) There can't be just one person meant for every person, but maybe one person who works during that time of your life. (However, once you're married, you can't use this as an excuse for no longer being in that time...the point of marriage is that you bind yourselves together in a holy union and your thoughts and ideas tend to meld together.  Once you're married, you stay basically the same as you were the day you met - your core ceases to change.  Or so I say, but that's a topic for another day)
2) Something is horribly wrong with me.

Since today I am unwilling to believe the latter, I will happily go on preaching the former.  Which is simply this - God works in the nuances of our lives to bring about grace and peace into our lives...ultimately.  Which is really the point of it - free will can't exist with a God who knows what you'll do - which means we have a God who is flexible and rearranges a plan for each of us around our own perversions of the original.  Knowing that alone is enough to make me believe that there can't possibly be a punishment if the person meant for you finds his way to someone else...or gets killed in a car accident or dies from cancer. 

So the Mr. Right of right now can still be the Mr. Right of your forever, but things change and life throws wrenches and I still believe that all you can do is pray for direction and peace when things divert in a different direction than you may have expected.  Maybe Mr. Right Now will find his way back, but maybe there will just be another Mr. Right Now down the road who fits what I need for the time of my life I find him.

Or maybe I'm just the proudest person who's ever lived and can't possibly stand the idea of being so wrong 3 times in a row.  Which is a very real possibility :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Think a Change Will Do You...well...umm...

I grew up calling myself a pessimist.  I was pretty sure I was one.  I had basically nothing good to say about myself in any regard so I think somehow I started calling that pessimism.

Now that I'm older and so much more wiser, I think I'm actually an optimistic person.  In fact, I'm quite sure that people would describe me as such.  I believe in the good in people, I love my job, I believe that bad days will get better, I believe people can change and the list goes on.  However, I still think I struggle with the good things to say about myself, but I'm starting to call that insecurity rather than pessimism.

I had a long conversation with some of the besties this past weekend about how my insecurities have a way of rearing their ugly heads just about the time I think I have life under control.  Things get super good and I get super pumped and I bounce around all happy and excited and bubbly and ridiculous.  I mean...ridiculous.  Until something rolls along that is totally unplanned and uncool and I find myself falling backwards.

You know, I used to blame this on the boys I dated.  They weren't ready for commitment...they weren't willing to stick around...they didn't love me enough...whatever the excuse of the day may be.  But now I'm dating a (super awesome, way cute, unbelievably great catch) guy who is none of those things to the point that I can't even pretend they are the truth.  Even still...I have started finding myself insecure, and this time I have absolutely nothing to blame it on except my own absolute insecurities.

So here I find myself having to make a decision about what I'm going to believe about myself...and how I'm going to live my life...and what my expectations will be for myself.

To be completely honest, I'd rather live every day as a high day.  To the point, in fact, that I probably even force it.  It's hard for me to settle into routine because then I have to face the mundane that's still good and not scary.  I have been told by my family that I'm not good with the change thing...and the older I get, I'm inclined to believe them.  As much as I love a change in scenery, I don't handle a change in relationships well.

I guess the trick is knowing your expectations before blindly choosing some at random when it's convenient for the day.  Maybe that's what I need to work on.

Or maybe I just suck at communicating.

Either way - I feel like every few months I have a long list of self-help ideas to push me into a new age of existential cross examination and a multitude of resolutions that then take over my life until it balances out again in a happy optimistic rainbow town with cute little bunnies hopping around smiling all day long.  You know...until the next relational change sends me into a tailspin of emotion and insecurities that lead to me writing this exact same blog in a few months all over again.

Seriously, it is exhausting being me sometimes. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Paging Dr. Silly Blonde Girl...

You may be not-so-surprised to find that as this year goes on and my life is only further consumed by the work I do...this post will probably start looking more and more like the post of a crazy wanna-be doctor.

So intern year...the time in your life where you realize just how little you know.  As a dear friend of mine put it, "it took all of fourth year to build up my medical confidence, and about 12 hours today to take it away."  I would call that the MOST accurate description of all of the facebook lamentations I've seen over the last few days.  Literal lamentations.

I started my very first day of an intern on the busy hospitalist service.  It was great.  The attending who is the very reason I wanted to come to this program was on so the day started great...until I started having to actually see patients.  I can honestly say I do not remember the last time I wrote a note on a patient, let alone an admission history and physical...I think it was probably about the time I was last in Lansing...which make it last November.  Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I'm a little rusty.  Easy things I've been writing as second nature are taking time to think about.  I can't just rattle off a differential of ridiculousness because I've tamed the ridiculousness by going to Europe and generally not studying a whole lot over the past two months off.  So hospital day 1 was a little bit of a shake-up.  Add to it a horrible clinic day trying to figure out how to see a patient and manage a computer all at the same time and you have a very anxiety-ridden day numero uno.

Since that time I've had nurses call me asking for narcotics, which I've refused and given nitro; I've been called "that silly blonde girl" by a patient who I had left to get water for as he was asking his nurse for some (dude, if you didn't want me to get it, don't waste my time sending me to do it), and today I was graced with a blister-laden scrotum as punishment for calling dibs on a septic shoulder rather than a swollen scrotum earlier in the day.  Oh, I also called my attending "dude" today...and later in the day when I asked to see a patient with him he rewarded me by taking me in to "check on" the great bearded woman (I kid you not, there are only a few men I know who could rival the facial hair on this woman - full beard and is the most impressive display of hirsutism/bearded womanism I have ever seen or could ever imagine)...

I love my attendings, I love my fellow interns, and I totally dig my residents.  I am loving every minute of residency despite my acute awareness of my incompetence...and I'm praying daily for the patients who have the misfortune of being sick and hospital admitted at this time of year.

I know why everyone doesn't do this job...but I have no idea how there could be anything cooler in the world :)