Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ex Cineribus Resurgam

"Do you have anyone in your family who's a doctor?"


"Then how do you really know you want to be one? How do you know anything about the health care environment?"

It's been one year, four months, and six days of weeding - the SMU faculty deciding who is and who isn't good enough for medical school. $40,000 a year to be told I'm not. As she tells me how it's impossible for me to succeed, all I can think of is what I wish I could say to her.

Who are you to judge what I am capable of doing? How can you say something so personal after having met me 15 seconds ago? How are people like you, real "educators," employed?

The ideology that only the children of doctors can become doctors is as stupid as a submarine with a screen door.

Maybe it's because I'm 19 and she is a college professor that allows her to decide my future. Or maybe it's because she really does know better, maybe this is what I will be told in my medical school interviews. Maybe I won't even get an interview.

Last week I read an article about how male medical students are 40% more likely to commit suicide and females are 130% more likely. I wish I could send an email to all my professors. To remind them that if perhaps they concentrated more on teaching their students and less on "cutting the fat," things would be different. To let them know how heartbroken it leaves me when I see so many professors ultimately fail their students.

I know that the decisions I have made are hard. Working full time and being a full time PreMed student isn't what I dreamed of when I was a little girl. But what choice do I have? I want to scream how much everything sucks right now, how hard every day is for me. I want to scream that I'm suffering, that every day I fantasize about a way out. More than anything, I want to scream that I'm doing my best.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Peace of Mind

Lets paint a pretty picture. One where every step is flooded with obstacles and the end is hidden under so many layers of clouds that it's suffocating. And if you even try to open your eyes or put one foot in front of the other, you are instantly blinded, struck down by a higher force.

Well today isn't that day.

Today I've been hired at a respectable place and I'm working. Today I made a little girl smile and ask me if I could keep a secret, that her headaches had gone away and she might actually be enjoying the hour she is forced to spend with me. Today I'm on chapter 3 - three steps ahead. Today I have a fantastic boyfriend and a best friend and a whole future all wrapped up in a little velvet box from a jewelry store about 4 miles and 12 months away. Today I'm grinning to my ears and have a pure heart full of promise and hope.

Daydreaming Again, Alice?

Q- So tell me, what do you do in your spare time?

A- Honestly? I dream a lot. And I know that's probably not the picture perfect answer you want to hear - that I save babies from burning buildings and fight crime on the weekends, no big deal - but it's the truth. During the day and during the night, that's my secret hobby. I dream of the day when someone, some place, takes a gamble and gives me a chance. I dream of the next four years, of the hard work and sleepless nights. And I'm not just dreaming of the outcome, when I can look back and say "back in my day" to my own kids, I'm dreaming of an opportunity, one that I know I've earned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Grain of Salt

When I was a little girl, I made up my mind I would marry someone successful. Even at the age of 9 I knew. But success can't be measured by what is or isn't in your wallet or the number of Facebook friends you have. Success comes from passion. And I'm not talking about what comes from a bottle of whipped cream, but the priceless kind, the one that you're born with. And if you're lucky, really lucky, that little seed of passion grows and grows and sprouts into something more.

10 years later, I did it. I found him. I lay my head down on my pillow knowing I can cross it off my life's To Do list. I can see the passion in his eyes, and the thirst that grows deep inside him for more - for independence and adulthood. I see a man that I can trust. I close my eyes and fall backward. I feel the warm wind from behind as he magically appears and catches me before the earth beneath me gives way and I fall into eternity.

Success, I have found thee.

But every road has its bumps. So what if the shortest route has a few along the way? What if it has hidden monsters and one way doors that lead to oblivion? What if every 1 in 200 people who take the same route fall off the face of the earth without a word? What if you draw the short straw and never make it home? Who will pay for those crimes? What then?

Who's the selfish one here, the greedy one? Is it me?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fake Smiles and False Hope

I used to think insecurity was to blame, but now I see that the whole damn social code is a disease. America isn't number one by selling cars or bottling wine, America is a "service" country. And when it comes to judgement day, the biggest fool is he who doesn't have at least 12 teeth showing when he smiles, the biggest idiot is the one who doesn't have a scripted list of meaningless things to say when he's forced to make small talk. When did pretending become so popular? I swear the next time I go shopping and someone asks me how I'm doing, I'm going to tell them the truth. None of that "fine, thank you" bullshit that seems to always roll off the tongue.

I wish to God people said what they felt. I wish that after a 45 minute interview, the man or woman before you had the courage to tell you the truth instead of sending you an email. I wish women wouldn't wear so much blush. I wish men wouldn't drink to pretend that they are happy.

I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here. Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness, give me truth. If I could have any superpower in the world, it would be this iridescent wisdom.

There is nothing profound or poetic in these words. I am lost.

Men, Money, and Manic Depression

I want to say I've changed. I want to say I'm a different person. But my soul hasn't aged a day. And my heart is as big as ever. I'm working so hard, harder than I ever have, and every day I thank God for the strength.

This is what I do: I endure.

I want so much from this world, but I'm coming to terms with whatever reality this is I lead. I'm making a list of things I want to do differently when I'm older, when I'm a wife, when I'm a mother. I endure today by dreaming of tomorrow, the weekend, the coming years. I'm going to med school. I'm going to med school. I'm going to med school. If I say it enough, will I convince myself? I am so so afraid, I can't sleep at night. I am so so afraid, I can't bear to admit it. My thoughts are disjointed. I am alone.

Sometimes the world is in color. Sometimes it gets drenched in secret thoughts I can't display. Sometimes I can't breathe.

I look to the sky for answers. I look up when I feel down, when my insides have been completely torn and the air in my lungs has exasperated. What do I see, you ask? An imaginary rainbow, proof of the relentless faith in myself, in us. Next year this time, things will be different. You and I will have changed. Tears, love, agony, and one last chance at a dream. At redemption. 

originally written June 13, 2010

Armenia 2009: "Send a Ray of Hope - for a New Way"

For the record, the summer of 2009 was the best 3 months of my entire life. .

Six huge suitcases, three carry-on bags, three purses, and a list of things I should have packed:
1. Cameron, duh
2. Socks
3. Bug spray, lots of it
4. Laptop
5. Books to read
6. Clothes that don't fit or I don't want to be given away
7. Toilet paper that won't make your ass cry
8. Rubber boots
9. Dad's old cellphone and SIM
10. A washing machine :(
11. Lambie
12. Towels
13. Hairbrush
14. Scissors
15. Salt and pepper shakers
They killed it. And I don't know if it was the way they joked about it, or the fact that it was so small, or how this whole country seems to have no conscious, but it broke my heart. "It's just a stupid rabbit" they all said, "it's no big deal." And I'm no animal rights activist. I see and feel things differently from where I stand, I've always known this, but today it's like I'm walking though fog.
My head hurts; I lay on the couch to gather my thoughts. And suddenly the ground is shaking and my head is spinning. Neighbors must be vacuuming, I think. But scattered screams tell me I'm wrong. I'm on the 12th floor and you don't vacuum hardwood floors anyway. As I say a silent prayer, I feel the earthquake weaken.
It took us three hours to get there, in which we complained the whole way. And suddenly I can't breath. Symphony of Stones is what they call it, but to me, Garden of Eden is more like it. Pictures are worthless here. Want to know what it's like? Look through a window into my heart. Absolutely breathtaking. I think of my parents: how can you leave this beauty for a place as vanilla as Dallas?
Since we are on the subject, I want you to know something. In your 18 years of life, there has been no girl that has loved you as much as I have, the way I have. I swear to God it's true. So unconditional and selfless and pure. And any girl who cares any less doesn't deserve your attention. I hope to God the next time you find a girl like that, you feel the same way for her, that you give her a chance. I hope to God you won't let her slip away.
A road built in one night. Some rich guy kicked the bucket, and they had to drive his body through a poor village. Unacceptable, right? So in one night they built an entire new road, a whole new route, just for him. Because here, money gets you everywhere. Not smarts, not looks, just money.
Tonight marks 49 days. I wake and close my eyes to paint your image in my mind. And as I bring you back to me, I smile like it's Christmas morning. To this day I'm stunned by your beauty. But this particular morning, 49 days later, I can't remember the exact curve of your jaw. And this one detail drives me crazy. I see everything but this crystal clear, yet suddenly none of it matters. I hate myself for forgetting, for letting myself forget, and the guilt is overwhelming. I let the tears come. Whoever said time makes everything better is a fool. Time is just an enemy in disguise.
We open the gates to find you both waiting with open arms. I drop my suitcase and fly to you. And in harmony we smile and laugh and cry. But when I open my eyes, I see that I am mistaken. There is no one here to greet us, to bless us and love us unconditionally. My soul is orphaned, and I feel your absence like never before.
It's our first night in the mountains and I'm knee deep in mud; it's as though I've gone back in time. Eight goddamn days since I've heard your voice. I can't sleep like this; I'm a prisoner in my own mind. No phone, no running water, no electricity. Only mice, snakes, and bees in this goddamn "village" to keep us company through the night. This can't possibly be 2009, it just can't.
It's 4am and we are at the hospital. Her eyes are purple and blue and bandages cover half her face. I am exhausted, but I couldn't sleep if my life depended on it. I admire her courage. How is it that I'm the older one, yet I'm always learning from her?
God knows when I will come back again, when I can afford to. I can't speak, I'm on the verge of crumbling. I think to myself that I need one last good look, a memory to put in a velvet box and store away in my heart. And as I turn to leave, I see her tears, her sorrow. There's no escaping it, my heart begins to ache.

originally written August 19, 2009

The Great Calamity

Last night I dreamed of a massacre.
Visions of life violently fleeting away.
As I sleep in my own bed, I see
A house built without a foundation,
Each room giving way to an apocalypse.
The grim, fateful steps come from every direction,
Where there is no escaping, only expecting.
Stars shoot across the black sky,
While souls take flight in silence, in vain.
Grasping the cold hands of this reality, and
At the same time, kissing this crippling affinity.
Close your eyes dear, and wait for the bittersweet end.
Pray like your a believer,
with arms outstretched like branches in the focus of winter.
An appalling array; a distorted design.
Soon the sun shall mourn like spring rain,
For tonight, the moon has betrayed us.

It's not a dream, it's reality.

Never Again.
April 24, 1915
originally written May 31, 2009

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

“And right now you are feeling exactly the same love I feel for you – the indescribable love. There are not enough words to say it, pictures to show it, colors to see it, sounds to hear it, or senses to touch it. Just us to understand it and the rest of the world to watch in awe of what we have and wonder how we have it…”

Each new day brings something to fuel the burning bright fire in my heart. Quietly in the dark, my dreams of you are caught between the stars and lost in your ocean eyes, waiting for thunder to capsize this basket of endless thoughts tossing upon the waves.

I don’t want to lose heart. I don’t want to become cold. I don’t want to lose sight of what’s worth my time. I don’t want to care about the typical things the world cares for. I don’t want to lose my weakness, my naivety, my vulnerability, my focus. You are all I want in sight. All I see, in plain view. You are all I live for; you will be all I defend. Your love is love like the ocean, deeper than endless sea. Your fruitfulness is like the mountains, and your words never fade.

And when the sun falls and the moon rises, I watch as you close your sleepy eyes. And will be there, waiting by your side when you rise.

One day, I'm going to get famous off the words I write for you, and you'll see the detail in my actions. You'll see me as someone you never knew.

originally written March 27, 2009

Trust in God, But Lock Your Car

And I claim I'm not excited with my life anymore. So I blame this town, this job, these friends.. The truth is its myself. And I'm trying to understand myself, and pinpoint where I am. But by the time I get things figured out, I've changed the whole damn plan.

These past few months have been centered around college, GPA, and work. I don't know how much more I can humanly take. I feel like I've lost track of so much, and it's as though I'm the only person in the world who has no clue. I want to run to my mother and tell her I'm afraid. When I did this as a kid, she would always look deep inside me and say what translates to something like "You will fly your birds soon and a kind hand will hold your empty hand."

So much I have taken for granted. Have you ever asked yourself, what is it that truly makes you happy? What makes you smile, what illuminates your life? So far I've narrowed it down to a few things:

1. Cameron Sutherland
2. honesty and kept promises
3. free time- you never know how much it's worth until it's gone
4. people who remember my birthday without the help of facebook

I want power in my words. I want passion in my eyes.

Just you, me, and the sun..

originally written January 14, 2009

Just Because You Own a Camera, Doesn't Make You a Photographer

There is no sarcasm in these words, and we are all perfect. I readily enjoy things I don't understand. Like you, and me. I'm not looking for answers, but I will always ask questions. We (you + I) bring others down because we don't understand. We won't ever understand. Live, work, play, think, act, lie, create, forgive, love, die alone. Are you comfortable yet?

I find that I'm not so readily accepted by others. They can find me too loud, too quiet, too open, too shy, too arrogant, too modest, all at the same time. You can never please someone completely, something I've had to learn. Everyday I try to humble myself just a little bit more. I've come from a place of surpassing ego's and ultimate lows and I plan never to go back there. I'm still trying to find myself and where I belong, how I belong. I'm one of those people that criticize themselves constantly. I tend to be intimidated and intimidating, easily insulted and at times insulting. A constant paradox.

I love the world, but I still litter.
I love life, but I still take it for granted.
I think, but I still mess up.
I cry, but I'm strong.

Thank you to everyone who has ever given a damn about me and/or my words. Seriously, it means the world to me and so much more. There are so many cooler people out there and so many better things to give your time to, but you gave it to me. I am wholly grateful. God bless you.

originally written December 28, 2008

Open Your Arms to Change, But Don't Let Go of Your Values

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time, I used to believe that if you really got to know someone, you would find that they really weren't so different from you after all. Hidden below the facades of confidence and makeup, they were really just scared children putting forward an image that we can all relate to. Deep down they had similar values and instincts from having had morals stamped in them from a young age. Once upon a time, I believed that below the surface, we really did all care about each other. It turns out I was half right about this - most people are children deep down, but they are nothing like me.

I've been so many places at this point in my life that I know I never want to return to. I've been such a mess over the years. I admit that I've been selfish and cruel. I've hurt people. I've crushed people. I admit that I've lied, that I've been spiteful, self-serviant and naive. There it is, naive, that silly word.

But who I am now is saddened by who I once was. Or pretended to be. Sure the world is rough, filthy, and uncaring, but so what? Who cares if 90% of the people I've met aren't worth the space they occupy? I swear I'm not going to spend my life absorbed with how terrible things have been or may become. I'm not that spoiled. Yes people suck, and yes there is a ton of unnecessary bullshit, but what I have to ask myself is "now what?" I want to go out and live a life defined by my own standards and values. Being a Christian never meant you couldn't have your own beliefs. I'm slowly but surely cutting out every worthless and unkind friend. I'm throwing it all away. I'm turning off my TV for a while. And on this small, miniscule journey, I've realized we really aren't so complicated deep down. It's pretty black and white and I'm tired of fighting it.

I struggle day and night to better myself. I've come a long way from a colorful past no one really knows about. Not yet.

I'm going to write a book someday.

Originally written November 17, 2008

Noah's Ark and Thunder Clouds that Don't Give Rain

In all honesty, I wrote this only for one person. You know who you are...

You're a raging alcoholic. Raging because you dont know what else to do, and an alcoholic because it's not the alcohol that takes away your rage.

I don't know what to say or do.

You look me in the eye and say "we're on a fucking yacht." The ground couldn't be more sturdy and yet you're barely getting a hang of your sea legs. I don't know how long, how far, I will have to swim to save you from these waves that you have thrown yourself into. Your cheerful words cover you up like a blanket of lies.

Keep it bright, keep it public, keep it brutal.

Despite all my jokes, the truth is that you are the most vulnerable person I know. And I can't stand to see you pretend that you're not.

I put your words in a frame next to me when I sleep. That way, when I have a bad day or feel like shit, I can look to my right and see that at least my feet have some sort of validity. I would say thank you but that just wouldn't cover it or begin to say what I really want.

The truth is I am more afraid of you than anyone else I have ever met, and if I never saw you again, it would probably be a load off my mind. But I would never breathe the same without hearing your words in my mind, or to feel the air forced out of my lungs because of your embrace.

You sat me down on a bench one afternoon after work and told me you would kill anyone or anything that would remotely hurt me. Not for one second did I doubt you. I will never doubt you. And I won't lie to you or tell you that it will all be okay. I will only say that you drink too much. And you try to forget too much. Even if you can't sleep without screaming, at least you have dreams to remind you that you're still alive, that you're real, perhaps the most real person I have ever met.

I love you, and sometimes I hate you, but most of all, I will always be here to catch you.

Originally written August 28, 2008

Good Shoes are Ones that Have the "Fuck You" Attitude Built In

Sometimes I don't scream loud enough for my words to reach your ears. Or maybe I'm merely screaming in my head and the words get lost amongst a series of memories.  Memories of driving driving driving, from one place to the next, sharing secrets, and telling lies.

When reality is out of reach and we have an answer for everything, when our biggest worry is what we may get caught doing five minutes from then, nothing takes precedent over you. Not a million words said in one picture, not the countless miles in between, not a boy, not a girl.  I base our love solely on the principle that no one will ever know me or be with me the way you are right now.

And if only I had a box big enough to put you in, I would have hidden the box away a long time ago, so that when no one was looking, and while the whole world was missing you, I would have you to myself. Where I could feel what it's like to love someone unconditionally and truly, and to know what it's like to feel it reflected, in a magical way that I would never have to ask for. Just know that you are here, in my box, in my world, and in my heart.

I love, I love, I love you.

originally written August 7, 2008

In a Nutshell

Oh you know - I take a lot of naps, secretly carry a coloring book, and believe in superheroes. Basically, I'm a five year old.


Sometimes the best thing for your body is going for a run. Other times, it's eating one more cookie than necessary and finishing it off with a giant glass of milk.

I have an old soul, but I'm working on that. And I have a full heart, but there is always going to be room for one more.

My mind is often at least three steps ahead or behind but never in perfect balance with my soul. I'm barely grasping these past few years of my life. And even though my life experience pales in comparison to some, there are a few things I have learned to always be true:

-try ALL the vegetables you hated as a child - some you will love, others will still make you gag
-take lots of pictures, of everything
-learn a skill that does nothing productive other than make you happy
-when you have a great idea, thought, epiphany, etc. write it down , right then
-carry sharpies with you - they're permanent
-ask for advice because it will be there
-it's okay to be angry
-it's not okay to hate
-love bigger than you ever thought possible
-and remind yourself that you will never be the same exact person you were the day before... And that in itself is beautiful

originally written May 9, 2008