Hey guys, welcome to the 4th day of my Blogmas series! I want to start off my thanking those of you who took the time to read Blogmas Day 3: Family Love, Depression, and Epiphany. It was the longest piece I’ve ever written, and a heavy one too. I appreciate all the positive, encouraging feedback from you all while I’m sorting out a lot of things in my life.
Today was pretty eventful and a lot more light and fluffy than yesterday was. At 10:00 a.m., my brother Austin so fondly coaxed me out of bed by coming into my room and opening the curtains, letting in the bright rays of sunshine. He told me that today was gonna be a great day. He doesn’t know it, but his words, while simple, gave me courage and positivity. It showed that my brother empathized with what I was going through, cared about my recovery, and did all he could to brighten my day. Thank you, Austin.
At 12:30 p.m., Austin, Chris and I headed out to have lunch with our former college counselor, SAT English tutor and family friend, Dr. Chow. We ate at this restaurant called Grill House, which serves a mixture of all-American/Italian food. Lunch was pleasant. We briefed Dr. Chow on our first quarters (for Chris, first semester) of college. We discussed everything from grades to professors to potential budding romances (a big fat zero from all three). Chris naturally dominated the conversation, ranting about his computer science project and how, for one part of the four-person group project, he had done ALL of the work! I told Dr. Chow about how difficult it was to find time for both pre-med and competitive Latin dance, and she concluded that to do both to the degree I would like is virtually impossible. Compromise is unavoidable. It is reality.
After lunch, Austin went home, while Chris and I headed to the mall with my mother to get some clothes altered. Originally, only Chris was scheduled to go, but my mom asked if I’d like to join, and I figured anything would be better than sitting in my room doing nothing.
Going to the mall, taking in the holiday festivities and doing some window shopping was very therapeutic. It felt uplifting to be surrounded by happy people decked in red from head to toe. I explored the wide variety of fragrances from my all-time favorite fragrance store, Bath and Body Works. I did some “window shopping” at Forever 21 and tried on a lot of clothes as my mom finished up her errands. I dream about the day when I can actually afford to buy such clothes, lol… In the end, I bought a pair of dangling gold earrings for myself, as well as two heart-shaped necklaces– one silver and the other gold– for my two friends, Callista and Cassandra, whom I would be seeing that night.
The mall outing took us to about 5:15 p.m. On the way out, I ran into one of my childhood best friends’ mother! We hadn’t seen each other in several years, and boy did we have much to catch up on!
As I was scheduled to meet Callista and Cassandra at the movie theaters that evening, our reunion was ended prematurely. My mom drove me to the theaters, and in my haste to exit the vehicle, I left my phone (aka, my lifeline) inside the car! I only realized what had happened after I had entered the theaters and bought my ticket for the new animation movie, Sing. As I sat on a chair in the theater lobby, grumbling over my absent-mindedness, my brother Chris suddenly stormed in, muttering and shaking his head in disapproval as he handed me my iPhone. Thanks for saving my butt, Chris!
Once Callista and Cassandra arrived and got their tickets, the three of us headed to Chipotle to eat an early dinner before the 7:00 p.m. movie. As we munched on our delicious burritos, we caught up on the past 2.5 months of college. Callista and Cassandra, who are identical twins, just completed their first quarter at UCSB. I always enjoy talking to the twins, as they are two of the sweetest people I know, and also share a similar sentiment and understanding of my experiences.
At around 6:30 p.m., we headed back to the theaters, expecting a super long line for the new movie, which just came out today. To our surprise and relief, no such line existed! We just flounced on in to Auditorium 19, where we found very good seats near the top row. As we were pretty early, we watched about 30 minutes worth of advertisements and trailers. We split one medium popcorn between the three of us, but, as we had nearly completed the entire bag before the movie even began, we decided to buy another medium-sized popcorn.
(the next paragraph contains spoilers from the movie Sing. If you didn’t watch it yet, feel free to skip over this paragraph!)
The movie Sing, in my opinion, was very good. The beginning was a little bit meh… nothing too special. But as the plot progressed, I grew to love the characters more and more, especially the elephant, Meena, who suffers from really bad stage fright. She has an amazing voice and shows the greatest talent and potential among all the singers, but because she never mustered enough courage to perform, her gift remained hidden from the world. Such a travesty it would be if the world was forever deprived of Meena’s angelic yet powerful voice. I loved her development from a super shy, insecure and complacent elephant to one that radiated confidence and passion on the stage. My new motto whenever I’m afraid to try something: “Think of Meena!”
I don’t know what it is about films, but not matter how cliche the story of characters who overcome personal barriers to ultimately reach their dreams, I never fail to walk out of the auditorium inspired.
After the movie, the Callista, Cassandra and I had frozen yogurt for dessert. I had pomegranate-raspberry, cake batter, and pink-lemonade flavor fro-yo, topped with cookie dough, brownie bits and little jellies. We indulged and continued catching up/bonding until the twins’ mom arrived to pick us up.
As I walked up the driveway to my home, I smiled at the joy of having a carefree day of simple pleasures. Reconnecting with old friends. Going to the mall. Watching a movie. Doing these things made me feel a LOT better than I would have, had I chosen to wallow alone in my room.
I arrived home to the sound of my brother Chris, hard at work at the piano. How greatly I missed that music (and to think I used to find it irritating!). After completing my night routine, I plopped down at my laptop and began typing my blog entry.
In the middle of my writing, my dad knocked on my door, asking if he could come in. These moments are rare, as my dad is always away at work, working at his computer, or sleeping. It’s difficult to have one-on-one bonding time with my dad, like I often do with my mom, so I greatly cherish these moments when they happen.
We talked about a lot of things, like how I was questioning pre-med. When I told my father that I was having second thoughts about pursuing a career as a doctor, he replied, “Then don’t do it.” There was no malice or disappointment laced in his voice, like I sometimes hear (or maybe just imagine) when I tell my mom the same thing. His statement was matter-of-fact, nonchalant, even. He really didn’t mind if I didn’t want to be a doctor. That’s something I really appreciate about my father. Even though he is a doctor himself, he never, ever, gave any of his children pressure to follow in his path. In fact, he told me that if a young person were to tell him that he or she were interested in pursuing medicine, his first reply would be, “Think twice.” He stated that I have many other qualities that would serve me in fields other than medicine– writing, being one of them. He emphasized that college was the time to explore, and that it wouldn’t be wise to put myself in a box and limit my options to just pre-med. When he was an undergraduate student, he took random GE courses in geography and communications. The point is, at age 18, no one expects you to know for certain what you want to do for the rest of your life, and college is the optimal time to explore different interests. He described careers in writing, psychology, and even performing arts as “fabulous”! Why close the doors to such career paths, just because they aren’t medicine? What is it about medicine that attracts me? For my dad, it was obviously the passion for healing, but it was also his penchant for problem-solving and his “investigative” and “diagnostic” mind, always hungry to solve puzzles and find the root cause of problems. This is why he chose internal medicine, which is not just about performing procedures to correct an ailment, but also determining the cause of a problem based on symptoms presented and creating a treatment plan from there. In high school, he loved learning about human anatomy– a passion only strengthened by the human anatomy and physiology courses he took in college. These are some of the main reasons why he chose medicine. Now I must ask myself the same question. Why medicine?
It’s 12:16 a.m. right now, so I will end the post here and get ready for bed. Thanks for reading today’s entry!
- my dad, who encourages me to do what I love in life, and not just go for medicine because he did it
- my close friends
- (and a fourth one because you can never have too many gratitudes) finally reaching the point where I’m able to look in the mirror and accept my body the way it is