There are fewer things I want more than to become a physician — truly, when I survey my life for my heart’s deepest desires this worthy role sits at the fundamental core. But then I ask myself, why do I want to be a physician? I have always thought it not only wise but necessary to question every little thing. I was once infatuated with philosophy and while I don’t read it as often as I used to, the inquisitive and questioning nature it taught me never left my mind. So I ask myself – why do I want to be a physician? The answer is complex yet innately obvious to me. There is no short, one-lined answer for my reasons but instead a summation of all my unique life experiences that have lead me to this decision. I have explored other career options that align with my passions: I’ve thought of becoming a professor and teaching chemistry; I’ve considered going to graduate school and being a lifelong researcher; I’ve discussed working in industry as a chemist; I’ve toyed with the idea of being a science writer and journalist. I love teaching others and guiding people to discovering knowledge about themselves through learning difficult ideas and concepts. I think learning is one of God’s greatest gifts to man – I truly believe there is nothing that cannot be learned given enough hard work and time. I am amazed by the human body, the biological systems that work harmoniously within, and the chemistry that, literally, composes all of life and the physical universe. I love reading literature because I get to live through the stories of so many different people, experience their culture and hear their thoughts. I like doing science because it teaches me how to think creatively about the problems that are causing disease and illness. Research brings together the basic science of biology and biochemistry and allows me to do the thinking, the dirty work, and hopefully, discover the solution to a patient problem. But in my searching for the vocation I want to commit my life to, each of the prospective alternatives fell short in a specific and important way. For most, I could not help people in their most vulnerable state. I was missing the intimate and trusting physician-patient relationship that I was attracted to in the beginning. Medicine brings together all of the things I have found myself passionate about for such a long time: passions true to my being, woven into who I am and who I will want to be for the rest of my life. For me, becoming a physician has nothing to do with prestige, honor, or pay. No one in my family is a physician and I’m not being pressured down this career. It has everything to do with using the skills I’ve been blessed with to do the things I love to help others live a healthier life free of disease. I don’t just want to be a physician; I want to be an advocate, an encourager, a teacher, a confidant, a scientist, and a calming, present voice amidst the stormiest times of my patients’ lives. I want to inform and educate others about science and health and learn from those around me in every way I can. I want to write and read and maintain who I am in the long nights and ceremonious mistakes that a life of practicing medicine promises. I want to some day be a wife and a doctor and execute both in the best manner possible. These are the things I envision and hope for my future. So when I feel like my pathway becomes blurred by the constant lull within me to be better, do better, and achieve more I step back and ask myself – to remind myself – why I want to do this. I am journeying this path in life, not for anyone else, but to satiate my unquenchable desire for knowledge and service, challenges and relationships, through triumph and defeat – and that alone makes this pathway my own. I will not lose myself in the circuitous trap of comparison but will instead find myself lying with peace on this beach, reading legendary Nabokov, and dreaming of my future as an endless learner, a trusted confidant, and, ultimately, a healer.
I would like to start off by saying that I apologize for my prolonged absence from my blog. With graduation coming up in less than a month (YAY), college coming up within the next few months, and everything that has to happen in between those two events, it is safe to say that I have been very busy! I have missed writing on my blog, but I have honestly enjoyed spending my time doing other things like reading classic novels, tutoring, and spending time with my family. When college rolls around I know my treasured moments spent in solitude or with my family will be no more. And although I am very excited to begin college and start studying what I love, I am very sad about leaving behind my family and current life. So I have just been enjoying the simplicity of my currently easy life (besides a few tests here and there). I encourage you to step back sometimes and love the small, seemingly unimportant moments in your life. For me, they are movie nights with my mom, coffee dates with my sister, random visits to my sister and brother-in-law’s home to see my new and adorable nephew, and nightly walks with my dad. I know come August, the days of spare time and recreational reading will be no more. So, I shall cherish the present with a “present” mind, even if that does mean I have to neglect my blog a little bit.
I have written two lengthy blog posts in my journal that I really want to communicate to you guys. But I have decided that I don’t want to do that today; today, I want to just offer some brief advice and encouragement. These two concepts are directly targeted towards myself, but I hope you derive something out of them.
- Be individualistic. What do I mean? Be you. Be the weird girl or the geeky guy. Or be the stereotypical girl and the athletic guy. If you are a combination of very opposite characteristics, be them all! No one declares that you have to be pretty and preppy or ugly and nerdy. Nobody says you can’t wear all black, listen to Arctic Monkeys and not be a Christian. Nobody says you must fall under the categorization that people perceive you as. Society is cruel; but it isn’t the law. It is something we create and it is something we can change. So be authentic, be original, and be you. You will be a happier person when you are in love with the life you have created for yourself. I have struggled with worrying about what others will think if I am “too much” of something. “Too happy” or “too nerdy” or “too weird” or “too overdressed” or “too optimistic” or “too quiet”. I have definitely experienced the repercussions of these qualities that I possess. I am often “too quiet” which is then translated as being “too good for everyone” when in reality I am just generally an introverted person. I have been “too nice” which translates as being “too fake”. Can’t someone just be sincerely nice? I have been “too nerdy” which translates as being “conceited about intellect”. No, I just am infatuated with knowledge. You like sports, I like science. You like to play video games, I like to read. You like to hangout with your million friends, I like to stay home with my family. No two people will ever be identical in personality. We must accept this as individuals and learn to express silent appreciation for the difference in interests. Stop criticizing someone who doesn’t like to talk all of the time or hangout every night. And if you are the one behind the book or with a closed mouth, be more open to conversation and social interaction. We need to eradicate the judgmental behavior that is so, SO prevalent in our society!
- Be proactive. This is huge. I recently read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. What a life changing book! In simple, The Compound Effect is a term for the concept of simple, everyday actions making a huge impact on the trajectory of one’s life. For example, eating 200 calories more than your suggested caloric intake for one day won’t be harmful. Eating 200 calories more everyday for the next six years will eventually show compounded, residual effects though. The Compound Effect can improve your life or destroy it; it can create an empire or bury you below it. By being proactive in your life, you are living your life and not letting your life live you. That might sound odd, and if it does that probably means you aren’t in control of your life. You aren’t in the driver’s seat of the vehicle of Life (of course, God is controlling the steering wheel, you are just pushing the pedal). Whenever you start making decisions in your life that improve your future, you will feel empowered! For me, being proactive means waking up at 5:30am every morning and reading my bible. It means taking the time to read books that I may not be initially interested in but will increase my reading comprehension. And usually, I end up loving the book anyways! It means suppressing the anxiety I have about my future. Being proactive means working out for at least 30 minutes a day and trying to eat balanced and healthy meals. Being proactive doesn’t mean a lifestyle change – it just means to start making meaningful, calculated decisions about how you spend your time! (Start by going to read The Compound Effect because it’s relatively short and is honestly eye-opening).
So those are my thoughts for the day. They aren’t related, but I wanted to share them. They are random, but I am hopeful they might resonate with someone. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term Eureka or the historical concepts behind it. This post was essentially an exact replication of the original Eureka! moment by Archimedes, the great physicist (not known as a physicist at the time of his existence). During Archimedes’ moment of realization, he was visiting a public bath, mulling over the problem he had been commanded to solve. Long story short, the King at the time was assuming his jeweler was replacing some of his authentic gold with a less valuable metal; thus, stealing from him and lessening the integrity and value of his crown. I just recently read this in a book of great physicists and happened to find it very fitting to this scenario. Anyways, the story continues and Archimedes solves the equation by lowering into the water and seeing it rise. The displaced water led him to the discovery of the measurement of irregular volumes (a graduated cylinder). He has a “Eureka!” moment and runs out of the public bath to the King with the solution and leaves his eternal mark on science.
Okay, my ironically fitting situation. I too am in the bath, except it’s 1:00 in the morning and I’m in the private environment of my own home. Like most of the times I spend showering and bathing, my mind evolves into this overly effective thinking machine. While just contemplating life and all of it’s various aspects, I am enlightened with a thought that needs to be written down. so. Like all writers, I don’t let the thought escape me and I write it down. I had full intentions of keeping this one to myself. It’s too deep. It’s too weird. It’s too “inspirational” or “wise”. It only makes sense in my mind. People will ridicule me. Then I realized I was falling victim to the very thing that had been placed on my mind. I needed to take my own advice and READ what I WROTE. So here you go. Just me, my late night, Eureka thoughts, and the large gulf of understanding and appreciation between me, the writer, and you, the reader.
disclaimer: It was 1 am when I wrote this. I am fully capable of practicing proper grammar and capitalization skills; however, I am choosing to let this post remain in all of its raw messiness.
1:00 am. Wednesday, December 5th. Silence, electronic illumination, and an oversized shirt. Hear, see, touch. Urgent typing. Sleepiness. Fuzzy socks but a very clear mind.
“your thoughts are like vibrant, beautiful leaves hanging from the tree of talent and creativity. the tree represents your mind. often times, your tree is full of vibrant, awaiting leaves, ready to fall to the ground and serve a purpose. when your thoughts are looking upwards, encouraging you and helping you – this is spring. spring is a blooming season. spring is bright and cheerful. during this time your thoughts are creating themselves and something in your mind is evoking curiosity. where did this thought stem from? your thoughts are at the beginning of the assembly line. they are being manufactured. assembled. piece by piece, thought by thought. essentially the leaves of your trees are becoming brighter and growing with life and energy. they have been initiated and fed with curiosity and urgency. when your thoughts are at their full potential, they are so on fire with life and ready to throw you into something so outrageously life changing, you have reached summer. your thoughts are fully developed and awaiting for you to use them. to change you, to help you grow as a person, to help you encourage someone else, to inspire you, to make your dreams come alive, or to change your circumstances. your thoughts may be as simple as the inspiration for a change of occupation or a small reminder to someone that “everything is going to be okay”, to something so complex and convuluted as the thoughts that led John Dalton to abolish the four elements theory that closed the gap between “what was” and “what is”. thoughts like these are those robust shades of greens that we adore during the summer time. the ones we obsess over and enjoy so much. during the summer season, your thoughts are energetic and ready to make their escape into the world. the time after this though – the time in which your thoughts hesitate from escaping your mind and materializing themselves, this is the extremely hot and dreary period between the beauty of a mild summer and the beginning of a breezy fall. your thoughts are trying to squeeze their life into you, trying to motivate you to deny the doubts that other people place in your mind and the thoughts that the demons inside of you create. this is the scariest and most important time for your thoughts. will you let them out or hold them? will you kill their oh so genuine beauty? from here, your thoughts do one of two things.
your thoughts become the breathtaking, anticipated leaves that create a world of yellows and reds and oranges. the leaves featured in photography sessions and Instagram photos. the thoughts that create life and inspire dreams. the thoughts that have escaped in full reality and have developed into an awe inspiring life. the thoughts that shattered doubt and choked demons. the thoughts that make people think “why didn’t I do that?” or “why didn’t I think of that?”. the people possessing these interrogative thoughts are the leaves that are dry, brown, and dead. the thoughts that had full potential of being inspiring but were crushed by fear of failure and disappointment. these crunchy, ominous leaves are the thoughts that could have created something so beautiful. something so majestic and wonderful but were suffocated by the the thought of stupidity, low self worth, and insecurity. while others frolic in the leaves of those who expressed their minds, these individuals mourn over the death of their talented thoughts.
don’t be the one attending the funeral of your rare and precious ideas.
then winter comes. a time of dormancy. a time where creativity stirs and the playing field equals out. all the trees are bare. those who expressed their thoughts are equal to those who kept theirs confined. a time of tranquility, but with a sense of urgency. a time of anticipation for what’s ahead.
spring comes again.
and there are now three categories. those who relish, anticipate, and remember their cheerful spring leaves, vibrant summer leaves, and amazing fall leaves. there are also those who decide to navigate from their previous course and nurture their bright ideas and crumbling self worth to express their ideas and thoughts this time. and the third category, those who didn’t learn the first time. those who are still under the heavy chains of the world and those surrounding them. those who will repeat a vicious cycle of hesitation, disappointment, and failure.
your mind is a tree full of leaves with potential. do you want to set them free and let others indulge in their beauty and rarity? or keep them locked inside of you and prevent the world from admiring and benefiting from your creativity, inspiration, encouragement, or ideas.
everyday is a new year. everyday you get to experience each season. everyday you have to a choice to stand out or step back. I strongly encourage you to write down your thoughts and express them to others. I think very highly of the things being created inside your mind, and I know others would too.”