With how intricately social media intertwines with our daily lives, it is getting harder with every passing day to unplug all together. At the start of the year, I came in thinking I would deactivate Facebook so that I could focus on school, distraction-free. I soon realized, however, that student-made study guide, tips, and news were all usually shared on Facebook first. I have always been one to Snapchat adventures when traveling, but in school, with students who are considerably younger and therefore, part of a generation that snapchats every mundane detail of their lives, it is easy to be sucked in to that culture where you constantly reach for Snapchat. Likewise, memes are huge for this generation and I constantly receive tags and messages on Instagrams of memes applicable to our daily lives. I speak of this younger generation as if I was considerably older, which I’m well aware that I’m not. However, I do see an uninhibited addiction to social medial from my younger classmates, whereas I always seem to have this internal battle of what might be considered “too much”. Thus, due to this inner turmoil, I figured Spring Break would be the perfect excuse to simply unplug. Yes, that means all those streaks that I had going on Snapchat will dissolve. And I’ll have to go a week without hearing inside jokes on Facebook messenger or getting class updates in our Facebook groups. But I think, this will provide some clarity and peace of mind that I have long sought after. What can I say, I am trying to turn my life around – trying to move away from waking up in the morning and immediately checking all my social media accounts. Move away from agonizing over snaps sent without a reply back or unread messages. Will it be difficult? Absolutely – like an addict, I have this itch, this urge, to check everything due to FOMO (fear of missing out). Let’s see if I can last the next 8 days. Cheers!
On today’s “On This Day” surprise courtesy of Facebook, I got a throwback to March 18, 2009 – the day I found out that I was accepted into UCLA. I remember everyone was anxious to hear from UCLA and before I received my acceptance email, I had heard that many had been rejected. When I saw the word “Congratulations” light up on my computer, I was so insanely happy. And of course, I did what any teenager in 2009 would do – I wrote a status simply saying UCLA :]. I got a lot of congratulatory messages from friends, but I also received this comment from a former acquaintance – ” I guess they only accepted power nazis this year.” And just like that, miles away, years later, I felt triggered.
I have been struggling with this issue a lot lately. This perception of me that everyone else seems to have when I don’t perceive myself that way at all. Back in high school, I was president of a club that grew from 50 to 500 members. We were so big, we had to start meeting in the gym because a classroom just wouldn’t suffice. So when you’re trying to get the attention of 500+ teenagers during lunch time, you have to be assertive. You have to be loud. You have to have a commanding presence. But of course, when I did this, I was automatically deemed the “power nazi”, even though back then, I was one of the sweetest people you would ever meet. It bothered me then, and it bothers me way more now. Because I’m 99% sure that if it was a male president who tried to assert his authority at at a meeting or an event – a male who was organized and stuck to agendas – he would have been called a boss, not a “power nazi.”
But I digress. Fast forward eight years, and once again, I feel weighed down by this sadness that others perceive me as someone I am not. They see me as a radical feminist (because in this town, any word spoken against men or gender inequality automatically deems you as a man-hating liberal), a gossip, a weirdo. Some seem me as “too smart”, while others don’t see me as competition at all. I am a mother/planner to some, but then I’m too irresponsible for others. One guy who I met early on last year and who I thought shared a lot in common with me, apparently was turned off by the fact that I held the door for him once. He waved me off as too aggressive because I am proud of where I come from and I challenge those who are too ignorant to realize there are other countries in the world other than India. But maybe, they are all right in some way – maybe I am an aggressive, weird, organized, young soul, who makes mistakes and has flaws. I just wish, they would acknowledge that at the end of the day, I am a good person. I do what I can for others. I try to do good. I try to make others laugh. I try to make life better, more meaningful.
It has been difficult finding my tribe, but this weekend once again proved that I desperately want a group, a clique, a family. I have friends and I have some closer friends, but I still feel as if I’m floating, not necessarily tethered down. Or perhaps all of this is just a combination of PMS and being homesick. Spring Break can’t come fast enough.
9 years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test for my AP Psychology test and was dubbed ENFJ, or “The Giver”. Despite numerous claims that this test is unreliable, I continued to score the same results taking the test 6 months and then a year later. I was convinced that this was my persona. However, a lot has changed in 9 years, and honestly, all I can say is thank god, because when I read my posts from 2009, I cringe with embarrassment. 17 year old me had completely different perspective on life – more optimistic, more naïve.
I finally reached a point in my life where I am satisfied. I am where I want to be in at least one aspect of my life. So that being said, I decided to take the test again, and lo and behold it is almost exactly the same as my results 9 years ago. Except, I am leaning more towards being an introvert than extrovert. But if you look at the breakdown below, you can see that I am pretty much split 50/50. Taking the test again, after a glass of wine, leads to pretty much the same results, except as you can see below, the scale has tipped back to being extroverted.
It’s almost 2PM this rainy, Sunday afternoon and I still haven’t found the motivation to watch these last three lectures. Finding motivation has been hard this weekend. On one hand, I could journey to MANS and get myself into ‘school mode’, but I know I won’t retain the information. I think it’s the latter that’s keeping me from starting these lectures on the pelvis. I need to be in the right mindset to tackle such an intricate concept.
Among my bouts of daydreaming, I think about my life before and can’t help thinking that that “A” was an entirely different person. I enjoyed my life where I made money, but at the same time, I am more satisfied where I am right now, actively working towards my future. I guess every step I made was a step forward in a sense, but here I am – hundreds of miles away from home – taking medical school courses! I’m interacting with future physicians, current physicians, and academics who blow my mind by their passion. I think that’s why this past week has been so dull – without anything to do, I’m left daydreaming, or bingewatching TV, or eating my weight in snacks. So unlike my peers, I’m very excited that classes are back in session tomorrow. Yes, six MGA lectures taught by a meticulous professor sounds daunting, but it’ll give me the drive necessary to keep going and not just sit here and think.
Let’s be real, when have I ever not been in some sort of awkward stage? Pre-teen years, teenage years, young adult years – maybe it’s just me, I am and will forever be awkward. But being in school at this stage of life has been a bit unnerving. They said the average age for medical school is 25 – so really, I should think great, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. However I feel like I’m caught in the middle. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the South where marriages tend to happen sooner. Or maybe because it’s a relatively small town. But I feel like I’m caught in between two types of people. On one hand, you have the fresh out of school students who want to continue living out their college years by going to parties, drinking daily, and goofing around. On the other, you have the students who are married and/or have children and despite their age (as some of them are younger than me!), they are very formal, by the book, with no interests in socializing. I know I’m not twenty-one, but I’m also not an “old fart”. I want to hang out with friends, watch Netflix, maybe go to a movie, hike, etc. But I also don’t necessarily need alcohol in the picture to have a good time. I want friends who are at a similar point in life where I am – they’ve grown a bit so they’re not searching for the crazy, but who still enjoy exploring and winding down.
It’s funny, you would think that after deciding to take a break from school last June and focus on work and traveling, I would have had all the time in the world to resurrect this blog, catch up on my Goodreads book list, and reacquaint myself with the girl who began this blog. But life literally escaped me. True, I tacked on a few more responsibilities and I engaged in #teamnosleep more often than not. But there are periods of last year where I can’t even tell you what consumed my time. When I try to recall last summer for insistence, I need to pull out my Google Calendar and visibly see what my time commitments were – and I think the summer flew by simply because I was following that motto “work hard, play hard”. In 2016 alone, I worked over 2000 hours as an ER scribe. And this didn’t include the occasional babysitting gig, my weekly shift at the local yoga studio, or my new position as Anatomy/Physiology STEM Coach at a nearby community college.
That being said, I feel such a void currently now that my hectic scheduled has dwindled down to simply school. And I know that’s a good thing – to not have to worry about financial commitments and to simply be a student and learn. I haven’t experienced that since high school! But at the same time, for someone who followed a routine – “work in the ED from 6P-4A, teach Anatomy/Physiology from 9-5P, repeat” – I feel out of my element. Additionally, I’m away from my support system – my friends and my family. Besides the occasional text or Snapchat, I am completely and utterly alone. It is difficult to simply not fall into a whole, and that is why I am so grateful for classes that I am taking, which keep me motivated.
Anatomy is one of my loves. I fell in love with the subject when I took it at my local community college and then gained respect for it when I dissected a donor and proceeded to use that donor as well as others to teach the lower-level Anatomy classes. Do I have an edge? Well slightly, but that doesn’t mean I came in with all the knowledge. I was introduced to multifidus, the branches of the axillary artery, and I finally now understand the brachial plexus (because for some reason, it just did not click in my head years ago). But what I am learning, specifically clinically-oriented Anatomy, has been absolutely riveting, that I want to learn more, I want to learn everything – what’s before, after, and under. So when other students ask me if I study a lot, I laugh, because I honestly waste more hours trying to decide whether I want to resurrect this blog than memorizing innervations. That doesn’t mean I don’t study at all, but when I review the material, I do it with the intention that I will be using this information when I treat my patients.