catharsis

It’s terrible, but every time I have a major exam coming up, my mind always wanders to memories of Penn State, to traveling, and to different times. Maybe its because when I’m not studying for an exam, I get to actually enjoy Philly and lose myself in the now, whereas when I AM studying for an exam, I stay in one place, I don’t really move around that much, and while one side of my mind gets bombarded with scientific information, my artsy mind goes crazy.

Speaking of that artsy side, this year would definitely be spoilage of that side.

I’m not sure why, but today I missed college a lot. As silly as it sounds, this year I’ve learned that life stage really does reflect how you ‘age’. Even though I’m not even of drinking age yet, suddenly I feel like my time for exploration is decreasing rapidly. My dreams, aspirations–do I still want to reach for those goals? What exactly DO I want out of medical school? Do I still want to go into academia? This year has made me reconsider the decisions I made after my first research experience and reevaluate the direction I thought I had already decided on. What do I really want??

Right now, the answer is still yes, I DO still want to do research. You know you are a true science dork when even after months away from journals and articles, you still get a rush from reading about some scientific discovery or experiment (heh ^__^’). But at the same time, I’ve felt so detached from the science world because of 1. the demands of medical school, where there is never an end to the information we should be stuffing into our heads and 2. so many other distractions that have slowly leaked into my life. This leads me to my next point and frustration:

Why is it that I get so easily distracted by other things?? It would be so simple to tunnel vision myself towards my career goal and just be focused on becoming a scientist, but this year I’ve massively spoiled my artsy side. In the last six months, I’ve been able to 1. check out art galleries 2. practice sewing 3. actually sketch a nude model (!) 4. practice cooking/baking 5. do some photography and 6. follow way too many blogs on sewing, baking, cooking and crafting. Don’t get me wrong: while it has been really awesome to destress by doing these things, my personality is dangerous for this kind of situation because every time I start something, I want to be the best I can be at it. Which means when I bake, I want to be crafty and experimental. When I sew, I want to make really neat, really creative things. When I photograph, I want that perfect picture. To me, it is usually all or nothing. After all, if all those bloggers can create things like that, why can’t I??

Oh wait, I’m a medical student, remember? And most of those bloggers are stay at home moms. (Oh, YEAH…)

So therein lies the problem. I am still way too ambitious and way too stubborn to say no. The voice of reason in the back of my mind constantly tells me that there are niches for certain people in this world, and each person is suppose to fit only a couple niches–not all of them. Why are there designers in this world? Because they decided to devote their lives to it. Why are there chefs who make amazing dishes? Because they’ve decided to invest their time into mastering it. These designers and chefs are all good at their skill because of a combination of talent and devotion, and their willingness to sacrifice both time and lifestyle choices in order to achieve their level of skill. Plus, usually the best designers are mainly designers; the best chefs mainly cook. There may be some crossover, but there is usually one skill that clearly shines above the rest–that is the skill the person has decided to devote their time to.

For me, my problem right now is that I still want to be a designer, chef, seamstress, artist, AND doctor. To any sane person, I would definitely be considered crazy. And I’ve finally realized how crazy this sounds. Really, Sharon, what exactly are you thinking? Why can’t you just pick something and be willing to sacrifice the rest? Because in the end, while it is super cool to know how to sew, do you seriously foresee a future as a stay-at-home housewife?? What are you doing wasting time (and LOTS of money) getting an M.D. then???

But of course, obviously, I chose to go to medical school because that IS what I want to do. A snap back to reality usually in the form of an exam reminds me that I AM still in medical school and I AM supposed to be working toward becoming a doctor right now. While my insides whine in protest, I have to remind myself that these other things are supposed to be hobbies, not side careers. I can still pursue them, but not to a level of ridiculous perfectionism. I need to know when to stop and remind myself to focus, focus, focus.

So maybe that is part of the reason I miss college. It was so easy to tunnel vision myself and focus in those 2 years because my goal was simple and clear: get as much scientific experience as I can so I can establish a foundation for later on. What happened to that goal? Now that I think about it…huh. This year my priorities have interestingly shifted from becoming a critical thinker to ‘being well domesticated.’

HAH. Oh dear.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think being well domesticated is a bad thing at all. But wow…it is quite funny to actually stop and try to characterize what exactly happened and why I feel so torn. To be fair, I guess my goal this year WAS to experience life to the fullest as a first year, before things got extremely busy and definitely science/medicine engulfing. That makes me feel a bit better–sometimes you have to know to enjoy life somehow too, right? Right?

Anyways, I guess that answers my question then. Phew. The purpose of this rant was mostly to sort out my thoughts and figure out why I keep having a hard time focusing. Let this be a lesson to those who are reading this–there is alway a time for everything, and there IS a niche for everyone, but nothing comes without sacrifice. Keep in mind that the people who are most successful in their fields are the ones who have devoted their lives to it–if you want to be those kinds of people, you have to sacrifice something. If don’t want to become those kinds of people, don’t regret your decisions later. Sometimes we really need to sit back and re-prioritize our lives.

personal side note: I know I’m paying in sleep credits right now, but that rant was extremely, extremely de-stressing. Also, I didn’t get to visit my professors the last time I went back, so hopefully I can do that this upcoming weekend. And I really hope I can give the HS a long overdue visit. It would be nice to see my mentors again 🙂

and, happy Jesus’ resurrection ❤ ^__^

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