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Onwards

The end of this year is fast approaching and it has been a year of adventure, growth, and change. I hope that the next year will continue as such. I am looking forward to all that it continues to bring. Cautious optimism.

While it is good to look forward to things, there is always the joy of the journey.  While in Australia I got extremely homesick and started yearning coming back to California. This depleted the pleasure of the moment and thankfully I was able to realize that. All it took was a conscious change in attitude, a reframing of the mind, so to speak. This can be done in any circumstance where there is suffering. Realize that you are suffering. Source out a why behind the suffering. There may often not even be a why behind the suffering, but the validation alone is often enough. Then change your perspective.

If you cannot change the circumstance, you can change how you think about it.

Dangerous Love

This past weekend has been spent surrounded by very inspiring individuals. Makers, do-ers, discoverers, searchers. And yet all so humble. I suppose that is what drives the medical profession, or scientists in general. We are usually never satisfied.

Right now I am frustrated at myself with my lack of motivation and inspiration. With my lack of purpose. It feels pointless and frustrating to live like this. A life with purpose is everything. Find purpose and you have everything. Purpose can always change. But to live without it is meaningless. It is a waste.

I know that I will find purpose again, however, right now I am in limbo. I know that I should be studying for the NAVLE, which I am. But that is purpose in itself. There is no passion behind it. Purpose should be self-driven. You cannot help but think about it. You cannot help but obsess about it. I want to find that something again. My dangerous love, where are you??

Want

For some reason, I see wanting as weakness. To want something too much puts excessive expectation into the matter. Hope for a job, a relationship, or any other result can often lead to disappointment. But harboring too much non-attachment is also no way to live. A balance should be sought and letting go should be practiced. However establishing and adjusting that balanced tightrope walk can be truly difficult. When do you know when to let go or when to hold on a little more? When does wanting something become harmful instead of uplifting?

Better

"A better version of myself could have prevented this from happening. The better version, the genuine version, I'd like to think, could have caught the small thing that became the big thing. I figured that if he wanted to go home, I wasn't going to stand in the way. I didn't make a mistake, in the usual sense of the word, I just didn't try hard enough." TEDx.

These small regrets haunt us. What if, what if...I guess from these we learn to be better since these mistakes sear into our brains. Push us to open up, push us to give and do more. Sometimes it's because these mistakes are irreversible, that they make all the difference. Regret is a heavy burden that can only be lifted with stronger shoulders.

Sleepless... Part 2

One of those sleepless nights has brought me here. Pondering about relationships, school, the future, and the unanswerable questions. All of it just churns around without conclusion. There is no one concrete issue bothering me. I suppose general uncertainty and fear are what unifies all these topics.

We wish we had the answers, some assurance of what is going to happen in our lives. Or even confidence that what we are currently doing is worthwhile. However life is not like that. These black and white polarizing sides that we try to side with are the furthest thing from reality. Life is shade of grays, constantly changing without definitive answers to any of it. Maybe these are all just nihlistic delusions and a mechanism of coping. But thats the way I chose to get by right now...

Breathe

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Ah to breathe again is a blessing. I am trying to cleanse myself from the misdeeds of the summer, from all that was seen, from all that was lost. A time to process, meditate and let the dust settle before life sends me on another run. I see now how life comes in waves. At moments they engulf me to the point where I feel that I cannot swim and will surely drown. However it always settles, and I come up for more air. Right now I am trying to cherish the peace and quiet but I know before long the madness will start again. These peaceful moments remind me how there is more to life besides accomplishment. They remind me how there is beauty in simplicity and joy in absolutely nothing.

Surgery

"Every surgeon carries about him a little cemetery, in which from time to time he goes to pray, a cemetery of bitterness and regret, of which he seeks the reason for certain of his failures."

The month long internal medicine rotation once again reaffirmed that I am not meant for clinical practice. My place is in the OR where there is peace and I can hear myself think. I see so many parallels between surgery and life. How you win some and how you lose some. How nothing is perfect in a surgery, but a life will go on. Unless if it doesn't. But then again, death is just part of life. Life is filled with decisions, so just make them or live with the regret of not making them. We are all going to die, so make the best of it, with each surgery, with each day. And remember to breathe... 

This was my first time seeing a thoracotomy, a perfect preparation for the cardiothoracic surgeries up in Davis in February. Also my first hemilaminectomies, which I got to see several times and b…