Snapshot.

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Meditation and freedom, surfing down white clouds. Dancing on the Sun, White Birds, and Gorges in the mountains. Old friend reunition and dissembly. Birthday celebrations. Christmas eve excitement. Blessed remix: Nahko Bear and Tem Blessed. Laughter turned to tears: sinking to my neck in powder. Afterlife ponderings and a Christmas miracle: a sliver of silver.

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Millions of colored lights, frosty breath, rosy cheeks. Eggnog and rum, crowded together plucking crab. Seeing the mechanics of Santa’s workshop for my first time, and spending my first Christmas with small children. Realizing the transformation my sister has completed: incredible mother, superhuman bearer of another; and embracing my unbelievable luck to share DNA with such a remarkable human.

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Christmas dinner with the elite. Warm with expensive wine, new acquaintances, new goals. The house of my dreams, and the graciousness that I aspire: welcoming all, feeding all (with leftovers), providing gifts for all, caring for the tiny humans of all. Inspired by an inventor: Q Hydrogen Power. A new favorite friend: “teacup” house pig/wolverine.

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The proprietor of my heart: such drastic changes now. Smart beyond his years, learning to ride on the back of a bike or aim a spray bottle for attack. He can blow his nose (somehow this is the most baffling to me). The brief windows between illnesses and infections expose his expansive spirit: he is gifted. Small beads of his personality are beginning to show: kind and playful with other children, loves to make others laugh, candid and direct. His tiny brother rooted in the womb is acquiring drastic changes, too: a calmer persona, an animal calling (a monkey, in contrast to his wild brother who had humpback whale bellowed into his womb).

 

 

White Toes, Cosmic Clothes, and Corn Rows.

I’m the girl who hides corn rows for meetings with the surgical teams.

I’m messy, abrasive, impatient, and demanding. I shed more than should be humanly possible, I have an extreme addiction to coffee, and I shower on a purely as-needed basis. I don’t trust easily. I am guarded. I am incredibly stubborn.

Some of these I am working to change, and some I am not. I will still wear my galaxy pants and give colorful strands of fabric elephants as wedding gifts and rant for far too long about Buddhism philosophy or the mind-blowing evolution of cancer.

Because I’m the girl in the white coat with a balance spear around her neck, a worry-person in her pocket,

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Seed of Hippocrates.

It feels like it was just yesterday.

They sit clustered around the walls of the room, exchanging nervous laughter and mindless chatter. This interview day is the product of four, sometimes more, years of hard work and study. Countless parties missed in exchange for study time, hours scribbling notes as professors recited equations and molecular formulas and theories of physical laws; all to earn this one day, this one chance. Slick, dark navy suits with crisp white collars, glossy heels, perfectly combed hair. This is the day to determine whether you will be chosen to learn the art of medicine, or not.

It is funny how quickly we forget these moments once we have been granted the open door. We grudgingly show up to lectures and continue to apologetically miss parties for study time, yet we forget how badly we desired that word: acceptance. Thousands of people would die to be in our shoes; we are the chosen ones. The anxious smiles in that small room are an instant reminder: I was here once. I sat in those chairs, the uncertainty of my future and the excitement of possibilities swirling in my stomach as they plucked us off, one by one. But what I remember the most from my interview day was an overwhelming, bursting pride. We were here. We did everything we could, and now it was in their hands. Do what they may. We were here.

Strive for something that scares you. Dig your nails deeper despite your fear, despite the uncertainty. Discover your purpose and place all of your faith in it. Create scary goals, make massive changes,

and plunge forward.

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Through the Mountains.

Every time I pass back over the mountains, he has morphed. He is no longer a staring, squirming infant, or he is no longer a babbling, giggling baby. But this time, I arrived to find a walking, clever, independent toddler. This strange child, because he is now a child and not just a baby, plays games and rides his four wheeler in the living room and holds his own bottle as he falls asleep. He does as you do, tries to make you laugh, and knows exactly what he likes and what he doesn’t.

 

Time is ridiculously subjective. Just a few days nestled in the snowy valley of the mountains, and it lifted and rejuvenated my heart as much as a full week on any beach.

 

She tested hundreds of recliners as I chased his wobbly steps through the maze of chairs and couches: I’d throw her a nod of approval or point to which fabrics I liked before running after him again. We gazed at cowboys singing country-flavored Christmas carols while munching on pulled-pork and laughing off our chairs. My father’s smile, one of the genuine ones and not the strained type I have seen far too often lately, as I followed orders and shyly tapped on the unfamiliar shoulder of a black coat. The unforgettable joy of waking up and rolling over to see my favorite face bouncing and smiling at me. Juicy eggs and Donald Trump hair in the bathtub. Fondu and crispy peppers with the most elite around us. But my priceless favorite: trudging back to the car, with him exhausted and heavy in my arms, smiling at the glistening world around us. I wrestled him into the car seat alone, and as I growled and knawed at the furry beanie in his outstretched hand to his continuous laughter, I realized I would do anything – absolutely anything – for this tiny human.

Indescribable joy,

and love.

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Brahmavihara.

It is the first big snowfall I have experienced living in the city.

 

Waking up to the untouched depths of snow surrounding my apartment, but snuggled up with a hot cup of coffee in my cozy tower above, made me feel an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude.

 

I was planning on writing more, but for now,

 

I am bliss.

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First Semester Completed.

Snippets of my first year:

  • Blowing into hearts late at night in the cadaver lab.
  • Sweat glands.
  • Rushing into HSEB on a late night and scanning my ID badge to unlock the doors, stopping dead in my tracks to relish in the overwhelming realization: “I’m really here.”
  • Dr. Condic using a garden hose to demonstrate the bowels protruding and herniating back into the developing body
  • Cutting my first umbilical cord.
  • Painting bones on my Layers of Medicine instructor.
  • Experiencing my first true defeat, when I discovered the umbilical clamp I was inventing had already been invented.
  • “Janet?”
  • Losing my Gassy Antelope.
  • Does it feel heavy or light?
  • “Pars. Posterior.”
  • Listening to patients with Miller Syndrome – “Accept your challenges.”
  • “Did you hear about Paris?”
  • “Lindaa, you’re not listening!”
  • Epididimus.
  • Field force.
  • Squealing in delight when I discovered the left lung’s lingula.
  • Sitting back in my chair, astonished at the $300,000 treatment for Hemophilia A, and realizing how much I took my own health for granted.
  • Eating dinner with a neurosurgeon and realizing my partner in life needs to be my biggest support, instead of a source of hardship.
  • Spending all night drawing out cranial nerves on the whiteboard in the basement of the library.