So, there are a few sentences that I think are highly mockable. The first, actually is a phrase- “First Annual.” I loathe those two words together. The first sentence occurs as soon as a plane lands and multiple people get on their phones to tell someone, “I just landed.” Whhhhhyyyyy?!?! You are not at the gate/off the plane/getting your luggage. This call only accomplishes making you sound like a tool to your nearby, soon-to-be-former seatmates. And while on one hand, who cares what strangers think, it still makes you sound like an idiot.
The second sentence is always along the lines of “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s November/Summer’s over/the year’s halfway done/etc.” While I truly believe this is a really stupid thing to say, there is definite validity to the feeling. So, I guess I think it but try not to say it that often. That being said, I feel this way currently. I think part of it is that my life has changed so dramatically in the last few months. I’ve moved back down to San Diego, started chief year and, most unexpectedly, ended my relationship with Mechen. There’s not much about it that I want to put on a blog, but although overall it’s a good thing that I’m definitely ok with at this point, it’s pretty amazing to go from super-together with future plans to single. It’s been fun with some dates already but still, unexpectedly different and a big change from my life even just three months ago.
It reminds me of Stephen Jay Gould’s lecture I saw in college where he talks about the “punctuated equilibrium” theory of evolution. That evolution is not a smooth, ever-constant velocity spectrum of change but rather periods of equilibrium punctuated by dramatic change in a relatively short time period. This fits on a micro-level when I think about my life and the idea of major life events in general. So much of my life is packaged into discrete units of time- high school/college/med school, internship, Japan, residency, my two long-term adult romantic relationships. When things change, it tends to be a pretty sudden shift. So far, I’ve been happy with all my forward progress but I definitely want to continue to embrace dynamic improvement. I went to a yoga class where the teacher told a pretty hokey anecdote but, nonetheless, resonated. She spoke of when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel and a young apprentice asked how he could become a great artist and Michelangelo said, “Paint. Always paint. Never stop painting.” While I doubt this ever happened (and even if it did, I doubt it was in English), she carried the story on to say, “What if we all lived like this? Every moment of every day, we lived. ‘Live. Always live. Never stop living.'” And while I think it’s hard to always be “on,” it gives me a certain sense of mindfulness to appreciate each moment as a gift and try to make the most of it. The idea already complements the gratefulness I feel on a daily basis when I appreciate all I have. Most of this perspective has mostly come from what I’ve seen as a doctor. To me, I appreciate that I have two strong legs I can walk and run on rather than have lost them; I can breathe the air without needing an oxygen tank; I don’t have cancer; I can wipe myself after using the restroom rather than needing someone else.
Anyway, this is what I’m thinking about as it is, afterall, almost November! Things are coming up like the rest of my chief year, a new place to live, an old place to leave behind *sniff*, new dates and planning a board study plan and a big July vacation. It’s all, actually, super exciting and I feel really lucky.