Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I am feeling slightly melancholy.

I have no real reason to, I know this. At least intellectually.

It's Spring Break. The house is quiet and mine for a few blissful hours. The sun is shining. I slept in as long as I wanted to. There is beautiful music coming from my computer.

Yet still.

My emotions don't always have to make sense. They don't exist to be justified. They just exist. They are. And while sometimes I think I do need to snap out of it and move on, I also think that feeling and really just sitting with your emotions is important. Not wallowing. Just learning to be.

Just like how I usually don't (can't) fall asleep without music, but last night, it was perfectly quiet. And that was exactly what I needed. I went straight to sleep.

Melancholy because last night was my last time being in the Emergency Department. After only seven weeks, I had found a place where I felt comfortable. A place where I felt I fit. Because of the people and the environment and the newness and the sameness and learning and talking and being bored and flying high on new experiences. All of it. I just fit. That's the only way I know how to say it.

And then, I had to say goodbye.

Knowing perfectly well that I will probably never see any of those people (patients and employees) again. The jokes and the pain. The experience and newbies.

Those memories will start to fade. Already, they're blurring. Despite my writing and recording in that little notebook.

I just hope that while the specifics will fade, the important things will stay. Most notably, the way I felt while there. In the midst of it all. Belonging.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I listen to the thudding of my heart for several minutes, marveling at my body's complexities.

I work to clear my mind, focusing solely on the blood pumping from my heart and on the air entering my lungs.

I work to push away the guilt, the fatigue, the aches.

The in and out slows.

I have control over my body.

Or sometimes I think I do. 

The blood pumping through my vessels, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide taking place at a rate and scale I cannot comprehend.

Despite my relative ignorance, I work to control what I can.

I empty my mind, which in turn slows my breathing and heart rate.

At its roots, it is all connected.

The neurons and blood cells, the heart muscle and diaphragm.

I am in awe of its complexity.

My life, which I am fond of calling complicated, pales in comparison.

No matter how much I complain about it, my body is much more in sync, in control, aware of its purpose, than I will ever realize.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Straight out of the Camera

This week I decided to post all of my weekly shots as they are. I didn't crop them, or adjust the brightness or color temperature. This is as I saw them through my viewfinder.  In all of their imperfections. I think that while I've been getting better at editing, I've also become to reliant on the post processing. I'll just assume that any mistakes I make can be corrected, later. I've gotten lazy. And I don't like it. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The woman’s laugh
reverberates in the small space.
The space is too small,
too small for her
loud fake laugh.
The laugh that never reaches her eyes.
The laugh that dampens the mood of her visitors.
They shrink smaller and smaller.
The plastic chairs do not offer cover,
No protection from this woman
and her laugh.
This woman they used to know.
The woman who laughs to hide the pain.
The woman who won’t tell them what they already know.
The woman who is killing herself
But hides it with a laugh.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekly Winners

New lens
It just arrived on Friday, so I have yet to really spend time with it.
However, I think it's safe to say that I'm already in love.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Cells are filled with organelles, all with specialized functions and definitions. All of which must be in my head. So I'm all happy and bouncy and smiley.

It's just what naturally happens when I talk about any medical stuff.

And the random thought just passes through my mind that if I hadn't gotten sick, I might not have discovered, or might not even have, this love for medicine. It was this brief thought that just came in and then left.

And then I sat there for a moment and actually thought about it and went and dragged that idea back onto center stage. Because really.

What if?

What if I hadn't found this thing that I'm so passionate about and that makes me so happy? Sure, I probably would have found it, or something else.


But no, this is the path I'm on. And this path, right at this moment, is me ending the day smiling. And I found myself feeling grateful for my illness. Which just sort of stopped me in my tracks.

I've never felt that before. Nothing even remotely close.

I've recognized how it has changed me, but acceptance is a far cry from grateful. I mean, why the hell should I be grateful for something that took my health and freedom and happiness for three-plus years? Thing I am just now starting to get back.

But there it is: grateful.

I love the path I am on right now.

And tonight I realized that my illness has given me the insight and compassion and passion to pursue a difficult and demanding career. It's given me empathy and sympathy. It's put me on a path that I love, that makes me so ridiculously happy. And for that, I'm grateful.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

in vs out

I don't like relying on people. People are fallible.

I would rather be self-sufficient.

This isn't to say I don't want any relationships. I do.

When I am in pain or trouble, or just when the going gets tough, my first instinct is to turn inward.

I don't share.

My instincts tell me to keep it in, to bottle it up.

Yet I know I can't go through life without relationships. Without leaning on others.

I don't want to, because all that pain and conflict just starts eating away at me.

So it may not be my first thought to turn to someone else, to ask for help, but I'm trying.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Once, I rose with the sun.

Once, I greeted every day with a smile, and there was always a “good” in front of my morning greeting. Now, there are loud, blaring alarm clocks. There are grimaces of exhaustion. And you should consider yourself lucky if you get more than a grunted “Hi”.

The smiles and appreciation of the day come later. I find them now in my friends. In our mocking comments about worthless homework, whispered stories about boys during class, late night texts, sharing almost-forgotten secrets and observations.

Once, I loved school.

I looked forward to the start of a new day of learning. Now, I see school, high school, as a hoop that must be jumped, in order to get to the good stuff.

I have high hopes for college and the years beyond.

I dream of once again seeing every morning as a good one. I dream of eagerly heading to work. I dream of finding friends that I can totally be myself with.

I dream of the perfect life. A life I know doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. And although I know this perfection doesn’t exist, I keep dreaming, because dreams are important, and they let me know what I want, even if it’s completely unattainable. They carry me to a place devoid of alarm clocks and fatigue and irritation with the daily grind.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Every person deals with stuff. And the only person who really knows what that is, and how it is affecting them, is that person. It's great to pretend to walk in their shoes, or be a really good listener, but there's no way to really know. 

And when you are dealing with something hard or difficult, it's easy to feel like no one else gets you and that you are going through the hardest thing in the world and no one else can compare. Even when you remind yourself of the people living without basic needs being met. Like food and water and shelter. Or even the less basic needs that I am lucky enough to have. Like having a computer and internet and a blog where I can vent about my problems.


We all have problems.

But seeing as how I'm really talking about my problems and perceptions (that's my new theory on life: that everything, everything depends on your perception), I might as well say "me" instead of "we".


All I really wanted to say with all this is that it's good for me to be reminded of other people's problems. It is so incredibly easy to get so wrapped up in my life and my issues that I forget that other people have problems too. That no matter what the problem looks like to the rest of the world, the feelings that we have as a result of it are just as real as people with other problems.

And now I've sort of lost track of what I was saying.

I think it's good for me to get out of my own head and life and just recognize what other people go through. To recognize that I'm not the only one who is good at getting dressed and going out and looking fine, just fine.