Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reflections on a Lost Life

When I was (much) younger, I had a picture of how my life would happen. I pictured things very simply. I saw myself going to college (University of Wyoming) where I would room with my best friend (Sarah). I’d major in something artistic and fun (violin performance) and minor in something equally funky-cool (creative writing). Along the way, I’d find romance and break hearts before finding the one perfect man who would sweep me off of my feet and into the sunset. We’d get married, get jobs teaching so that we could have our summers to live semi-spontaneously. We’d buy a pretty little house that would always be spotless – the dishes (and china) would always be clean and displayed handsomely. The laundry would always be found in neatly folded piles. There would be a place for everything, and everything would always be found in its place. We’d go on weekly date nights where we’d rekindle the magic of our early dating days. We’d always have enough sleep, time, and (somehow) money to do everything we could dream of doing. Perhaps I’d write a great symphony…or maybe a bestselling novel. We’d be blissfully happy, ever after.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I look back and I realize just how much time changes things. I’m 27, halfway to 28. Not only am I in my late twenties, my late twenties are quickly on their way to leaving forever. How about a reality check?

I did go to college, although when it came time to apply, the University of Wyoming had been relegated to a mere “back-up” school – the thought of going to a place where I’d have a built-in network of contacts left me with a bad taste in my mouth. After a deal with my grandparents regarding college financing that I just couldn’t turn down, I made my way to Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) – and somehow found myself in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I never did room with my childhood best friend – but did manage to find a core of girls that are still my besties today, even though we don’t see each other much. I re-evaluated and decided that music performance and creative writing were simply not going to give me a solid foundation – I wanted something steady and stable – so the artist in me died a quiet death and lo! A scientist rose from the ashes. I got a degree in biology and spent my summers working in nursing homes and doing basic science research into the molecular pathways of lung and esophageal carcinoma (apparently). I made back-up plan after back-up plan and took the GRE, PCAT, and MCAT (for grad school, pharmacy school, and medical school, respectively). I got accepted into Ph.D programs for toxicology and microbiology, several pharmacy schools, and medical school. I went to medical school in southern California. Those four years are still, to this day, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s hard to describe medical school to someone who’s never gone – I say that it’s probably the Marine Corps boot camp of academia, except that it lasts for 4 years instead of 3 months. Somehow, I found myself becoming a pathologist…in Vermont – a choice that I think few people, including myself, really understood. Along the way, I found romance; I don’t necessarily think that I broke hearts, but I certainly had mine broken once or twice – and to some degree, I don’t think I ever really healed completely. There are parts of me that are bitter and wary and walled off tightly – I guess that’s what happens in love and heartbreak. I did manage to find a decent man. He’s not perfect, but perfection is hard to come by. Our dating days are long gone – we’re generally too tired to do more than watch Netflix on the sofa one night a week – goodbye romance. Perhaps we’ll meet again one day. I don’t own a home (thanks, $300,000 medical school debt) but do rent a nice townhome that’s probably way out of my budget. There are always dirty dishes in the sink, piles of unfolded laundry, and nothing is ever in the place it belongs. There is never enough sleep or time (thank you, insane hours of medicine) and definitely never enough money. I wonder how my life changed track so drastically.

I know that in the overall scheme of life that I shouldn’t complain. After all, I had the opportunity to go to college and graduate school. I got accepted to and (somehow) graduated from medical school. Even though it doesn’t pay nearly enough, I have a job and relative job security. I have a roof over my head, clean clothes to wear, and I always manage to pay the grocery and water bills. In spite of all of these blessings, I still feel discontent. In spite of all that I have been given, all that I have earned through hard work and dedication, I want something more. There’s a gap in my life – a spot waiting to be filled. But I don’t know where that gap is or what it needs for completion. I feel lost, rudderless, and adrift. I feel as though I’m trudging mindlessly along in a straight line to some destination, and I feel uneasy knowing that wherever I am bound is not the place I need to go. I have this irrational urge to wake up one quiet morning and leave. Leave the cell phone, leave the pager, and leave the responsibilities that choke up my life. I don’t know where I’d go – someplace where I could find myself, wherever that might be. I just want, for one moment, to feel free, to be spontaneous, and to find deep contentment. I want to find a purpose, something to love so deeply that it hurts.

I feel guilty for wanting these things, for wanting to leave this life behind, for wanting something different. It’s nobody’s fault – only mine.

What kind of person am I, to feel this way?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Newest Obsession

My current obsession is a newer group on the music scene, Mumford & Sons. They're a relatively new folk rock band out of London, and I think they're pretty fabulous. Seriously. Check em' out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love the Way You Lie

Oh Eminem, I have missed you. And now you're finally back...with a pretty disturbing but otherwise awesome ditty. You've put out some great tunes in the past (you're one of my guilty pleasures), but you've finally gone and done it. You've put out what will probably be your most socially relevant tune. Your lyrics, my man, are sick. I'll admit it - I love, love, love this song. I love that you don't glamorize the destructive cycle of domestic violence - you give the audience realistic glimpses into the minds of the men and women who live in these relationships every day. I also appreciate the layering of emotion from both you (the abuser) as well as Rhianna (the abusee). It's brilliant. Really brilliant.

Admittedly, there are some aspects of the video that I don't really understand, like why you are wearing a wife-beater and hopping around in a wheat field like an overexcited, hormonal bunny-rabbit or why Rhianna is running around half-dressed in front of a major house fire (isn't she worried about 3rd degree burns over a significant portion of her body?). I still love it. Good job.