Saturday, July 2, 2016

Growing Up

Wow. It's been a while.

A friend recently reminded me that I have a blog, and that it wouldn't be a bad idea to update it. Crazy concept, I know. So here goes.

I recently finished up my third year of undergrad. I am still holding on - for dear life! haha - to my pursuit of medical school. It's been a rocky journey, but I have learned a thing or two about resilience in the last two years. Here's to hoping that life doesn't have more major lessons planned for me any time soon! Yeah, right.

This summer, I'm splitting time between Minneapolis and Cleveland!  I spent the first couple weeks of the summer at home. In the short time I was there, I had the chance to watch my sister go to prom, celebrate Memorial Day weekend with family, try a vegan doughnut, and reconnect with friends. It's always a nice feeling when you can go months (or a year!) without seeing or talking to someone and then pick up right where you left off. Sometimes I want to pat my high-school-self on the back for making good friends. Would that be lame? Probably.

While I was home, a friend and I celebrated National Doughnut Day at Glam Doll Donuts! If you're a Minneapolis native and haven't visited the bakery, I would highly recommend it - especially if you're vegan. The shop is outfitted in a fun, retro vibe complete with a photo booth and the variety of flavors won't disappoint. While we were enjoying our donuts, the line to order was pushing its way out the door.

Now, I'm back in Cleveland. I've been here for around a month and will be for another month or so. I'm starting to hammer down the whole fending-for-myself thing. My weekends consist of cooking lessons on the phone with my mom and I just updated my personal expenses spreadsheet on Excel. Is this what being an adult is like?

Other than growing up, I'm doing research for my capstone, and it's been a positive learning experience. Last week, I was having a conversation with someone about whether I'm more interested in the research side of medicine or the clinical side. Until recently, I would have easily said the clinical side because I really enjoy the doctor-patient interaction, but also because I hadn't had extensive research experience. However, after spending a month doing research on something I'm really passionate about and with the guidance of an invested mentor, it's dawning on me that I also really like research.

Luckily, research hasn't been the only thing Cleveland's good for. Watching the city come alive for the NBA championship and then celebrate the Cavs winning has been unlike anything I've ever seen before. I had never watched an NBA game before this year's championship series, and I found myself getting swept up in cheering the Cavs on. My friends and I watched each game religiously and I felt like my heart would break if Cleveland didn't win the championship. At present, the city is gearing up again. This time, for the Republican National Convention. This is my second time being in the same city as the RNC, but I haven't been this close to the action before. Case Western is renting out housing to the Riot Police and the various medical institutions that litter University Circle are preparing for the worst.

As I reflect on my summer so far, it's hard to ignore the turbulence that has been rocking the world around me. Lately, it seems like the news has nothing to offer other than tragedies, frustrating politics, and further evidence that we are slowly losing our humanity. However, it's also a time when I find myself counting my blessings and trying to be the best person I can be. I have to believe that if enough of us pour out compassion and embrace each other's differences rather than snub them, it might be enough to swallow the hate. Maybe that's all I can do right now.

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