Opening the Window

Happy Winter!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve just finished my first full quarter of medical school. Winter break started last weekend, after a rather grueling week of final exams. Finals week began on December 9th with Developmental Biology and culminated on the 12th with a marathon through Anatomy, and I’m happy to say that I passed all my courses! The pass-fail system at Stanford is a beautiful thing.

And so here I am, in front of my laptop once again. After having been away from my blog for so long, I’ve felt a bit sheepish about coming back to it. Throughout the quarter, it has been hovering at the edges of my consciousness, surfacing weekly as one writing idea or another would come to mind. Each time, I would put it aside, waiting for a better moment…

For a day when I was less busy…

For a time when I had some splendid reflection to share…

For an afternoon when I felt more like writing…

Unfortunately, being a busy medical student with perfectionistic tendencies, such a moment has proven to be elusive (if not non-existent). For the past several weeks, I’ve been wondering how to pick up my blogging again with at least some measure of dignity and grace.

Scratch the dignity. I’m diving in.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about perspective. The themes of perspective and motivation surfaced in my Practice of Medicine course this quarter, and more recently, my mom and I have had some great discussions about perspective and life. It’s something that I was thinking about the other day while debating with myself the best way to begin blogging again. I was tempted to put writing off for a few more days (read: an indefinite amount of time) because the inertia of starting again seemed too strong. I felt rather defeated by the whole thing and, frankly, was lacking motivation.

If feelings could be expressed as scents, this one smelled of dust blanketing cloth-bound books on a forgotten shelf in a forgotten attic.

With a conscious shift of perspective, however, the bouquet of scents changes. A window is thrown open, letting a current of clear air fill the attic with the summer scents of citrus and fresh grass. Inhaling deeply, I ask myself, why now?

Why am I thinking about blogging now?

Why am I not waiting until later this week to think about it?

Since I’m thinking about it now, I realize, I must have some motivation to begin writing again soon. And with this change in perspective, I feel a little stronger—a bit more motivated and empowered to start again.

A few more things had to fall into place before I came to the point of writing tonight, but I’m beginning to appreciate more fully the power of perspective. That, and the power of encouragement and support from family and friends.

The dust begins to blow off of the books.