Category Archives: Reflections on Reality

First Code: Part 2

My resident says to call her after I finish my work. It’s early evening, and I’ve just returned from a teaching session, which was relatively uneventful except for a code blue announcement that made us pause our discussion on antibiotics. Two sets of closed doors had muted the words so I didn’t catch the exact location, but it hadn’t been in a place close enough for us to respond to.  We had finished talking about penicillins and moved on to fluoroquinolones.

I click the mouse to sign my note, adding it to the plethora of documentation in the electronic medical record.  As a medical student, my information bytes don’t count towards anything, but I go through the motions to help me prepare for when they will. I pick up my phone and I punch in the five-digit extension to my resident.

“Before you leave, stop by the computer room at the emergency department. I need to talk with you,” she says.

A brief flash of anxiety. Does that mean I messed up on something?

Take two flights of stairs down, make a quick turn, press my badge to the reader and wait for the beige emergency department doors to ponderously swing open.  Two turns down two more halls, right and right again. I slip into the computer room where we often type up our notes and slide onto a stool next to my resident, slightly breathless.

She swivels her chair to face me. “I have some bad news,” she says gently, her eyes meeting mine. “You know the code blue called this afternoon—”

Somehow, I know what she’s going to say, and everything instantly goes still inside me.

“It was for Ms. ——. She died.”

Silence inside me, the eye of a hurricane.

You died?

You were not supposed to die.

You were supposed to get better in the ICU and come back to our team and I was going to take care of you and you were going to get physical therapy and get stronger and go home and you

were

not

supposed

to

die

This wasn’t part of my plan.

You were alive yesterday.

“She might still be at her room… you could go see her if it would help you find closure,” my resident says.

I know I need that closure—I need to see you one more time. You were my patient for nine days. You were my responsibility. You still are my patient.

I’m biting my lip the whole way down the hall.

I’m not going to cry in the middle of the hospital.

I show up at the wrong ICU on the wrong floor and have to stop to look up your room number on the computer.  Backtracking down a floor, I try again.  This time I get it right.

As I approach your room, counting off the numbers on the walls, I see the curtain is drawn. The room looks deserted; no legs or shoes are visible beneath the fabric hem.

The early evening sunlight spills though the window and the curtain is a glowing sheet of sea-foam green. I peek around it before entering to see if you are still there. Your familiar gray hair spills onto the pillow as I catch sight of you.

I still clean my hands with the slippery foam sanitizer as I step into the quiet ICU room.  Habit, I suppose.

It is so still.

No beeping monitors, no waveform peaking and falling with the rhythm of your heart and the pace of your breaths. For the briefest moment, I entertain the thought that maybe you still are alive. Maybe they made a mistake, and you are just sleeping.

I’ve wakened you so many times over the past week, stirred you from sleep to check your heart and lungs and to see if you’re still having nausea. Maybe I can wake you again. You look so quiet, your eyes closed tight, lashes interlaced. You could be asleep.

But as I pause, I realize there is no breath in you.

That’s when I break down, standing alone beside your bed in the same white coat I’ve worn since I met you. I touch your forehead—your skin is smooth over your skull and not quite cold—and brush away your strands of hair.

I am still crying beside you when the nurses arrive to begin preparing your body, removing the stiff plastic tube protruding from between your lips, pulling off the array of cords and bandages we connected to you in our attempt to stave off the inevitability of death.

One of the nurses gives me a hug and hands me a couple of paper towels.

“She was my patient,” I say by way of explanation. “I’ve only been on wards for six weeks,” I add, trying to excuse myself.

I’m a novice still. I have not seen death like this before.

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Perhaps with time, I will stop crying so much when this happens, when time runs out and red bleeds to blue.  Perhaps I will grow to accept that the air we inhale at birth is only on loan and must one day be returned to the sky.

But you were my first.

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Faces

I’ve been thinking about wrinkles, and it’s making me kind of happy. I know that sounds funny, but I’ve decided that I want to live and love so much that when I am older, I will see crinkles like starbursts around my eyes and find laugh lines jump-roping across my cheeks. I want them so that when I look in the mirror someday, I will see all the memories and all the people I have loved etched indelibly in my skin.

I want to see them in the corners of my eyes and around my mouth and along my nose because I want to know, at the end of everything, that I lived life as fully as I could and loved as much my heart could hold.  And maybe then some.

I don’t want to see my face when I look in the mirror.

I want to see a lot more than that.

All right, right now

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I love the idea of time and space being a fabric with folds and multiple dimensions.  It intrigues me like a song sung in a language I cannot understand: mysterious and perplexing, even, but also deeply beautiful.  If time and space are woven together, I wonder, what if I were able to loop back in time like a backstitch formed by needle and thread?

What if I were actually a time traveller?

My mom told me about a thought experiment she tried recently, where she imagined that she was a few decades older and had been granted a wish to go back in time to the present day.  What would it be like, she wondered, to live this moment–this afternoon in January 2016–with the perspective of her older self?  The poignancy of her description struck a chord deep inside me, and it came to mind again today while I was driving through Palo Alto beneath a brooding sky.

I realize that I spent a lot of time last year wishing for the future.  It’s because my vision of my future self often feels more comfortable than the skin I’m currently in…the future me is confident and experienced, someone who has navigated her clinical rotations, finished residency interviews, graduated from medical school, and survived her intern year.  She is taller (which is completely unrealistic, since the growth plates in my bones fused long ago), wiser, and stronger.  At least, that is what I hope.

While it is important to have goals and a vision for the future, I’m beginning to understand at a deeper level that they should not obliterate my ability to experience and enjoy the present moment.  It does me little good to dream if doing so makes me sleep away the life I have right now.  I want to wake up.  Even if my present life feels overwhelming and intimidating at times, I want to stay open to however it unfolds.  This is something I’ve been focusing on more recently, and I’m gradually seeing that many of the things I’m afraid of are shadows cast by my own mind.

The mind is powerful, capable of either intimidating or inspiring me with a simple flip of perspective.  So as I was driving today, I wondered what would happen if I were actually 70 years old and no longer able to practice medicine because my body couldn’t keep up with my soul any longer.  Perhaps I’d have silver hair cropped close to my head and tendrils of blue veins winding beneath rice-paper skin.  Maybe I’d be sitting in a chair by a window with dust motes catching the light.  Or maybe I’d not even have lived that long.  But if I did live to that age and were granted a wish to return to this week in January, what would I think?  What would I do?

I don’t think I’d be wishing for the days to pass quickly.  I don’t think I’d be as afraid of failing, either, because I’d know that my mistakes had helped me learn and grow into the person I had become.  I would probably be wildly, vividly grateful to be here, in this very moment, a Stanford med student and a daughter and sister and friend.  To be nearly 26 years old and very much alive.

It’s hard to keep this perspective; honestly, it’s easier for me to worry and wish for an imaginary future where things are easier.  But I know that sort of a future is simply a mirage, and that life is always going to be challenging.  It is for everyone.  And I’m starting to be much more okay with that.  I am part of humanity in all its joy and agony, and I may not love everything about that but I do love being human.

This year, I’m going to try to stop more frequently and realize that I am all right, right here, right now. 🙂

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Halewright

One Test to rule them all, One Test to define them; One Test to bring them all and into knowledge bind them

Like Bilbo and Frodo did in their times, I am about to embark on an adventure beyond the borders of all I have known.  (Did I actually just compare medical school to the Shire?)  This morning (since this post has taken me past midnight to write), I’ll begin my two-month journey of studying for the USMLE Step 1–an eight-hour long exam which will test all the medical knowledge I’ve learned in the past two years of medical school.  To speak with a bit of poetic license, it is the exam which will determine my destiny.  It is the One Test to rule all tests, the score to end all scores, for the grade I receive on it will influence how desirable of an applicant I am when applying for residency in a few years.

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Thankfully, my future is (in reality) influenced by more than just the score I receive on this test.  Nevertheless, the Step 1 is a very important exam, and I’ll be devoting about 10 solid hours a day to studying for it.  Factor in time for meals, exercise, and the ebb and flow of natural life, and I’ll be starting my days around 6 AM and ending around 9 PM.  As intense as this will be, I’m excited about this block of time to study and really see how everything fits together.  I hope that I will be like a hawk soaring high above the landscape, taking in a panoramic view of everything that is going on so I can hone in on details and dive for deeper understanding.

I like to think of funny things like that.  It makes life more interesting to me. 🙂

Levity aside, it’s going to be an intense two months.  For me, a bright spot is that I’ll be studying with a very close friend, and we’ll be sharing the journey together.  As the old proverb says, “a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved; a joy shared is a joy doubled.”  I’m looking forward to teaming up with my friend to make deeper connections with the material as we grow into the doctors we dream of becoming.

That dream, however, is something I’ve been thinking about recently.

Very recently, for a few bleak weeks, I lost sight of who I wanted to be in medicine.  After nearly two years of studying and training, I felt that my path had led me into a seeping bank of fog.  I couldn’t see my way forward into the life-giving occupation I had imagined when I applied to medical school, and I began to feel increasingly lost.

For several agonizing days, I felt that I had lost my purpose.  After pushing myself in my studies for months while simultaneously struggling with the fact that life goes on even when you don’t feel like you have the reserves to deal with it, I was beginning to burn out.  It’s something that happens, and it’s a real thing.  I don’t think I burned out all the way, but reflecting on the past months, I see that I was beginning to.  I’m okay with admitting that because I know it happens to others too, and I hope that we can begin to dialogue about it more since doing so will help us, our colleagues and our future patients.  It will validate our own human experience.

It’s okay to be worn out sometimes.

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What helped me re-engage with my purpose was a recent encounter where I didn’t feel listened to.  It was a situation when I wanted the comfort of being heard, and I instead felt more like an avatar for my electronic medical record.  The interaction was relatively brief, but served as the wind to blow away the fog I had been muddling through.  I realized at a visceral level that, as a medical professional, I want to help my patients feel heard.  Even if they don’t always want to open up to me, I want each person to know they have had the opportunity to talk and be heard.

Yesterday, I watched a fantastic TED Talk by Dave Isay called “Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear.”  Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps, which started as a recording booth at the Grand Central Terminal in New York to allow anyone to record an interview with another person.  In his talk, he discussed how empowering and validating it can be for people to tell their stories.

Of recording interviews as a radio broadcaster, he said “Over the next 15 years, I made many more radio documentaries, working to shine a light on people who are rarely heard from in the media. Over and over again, I’d see how this simple act of being interviewed could mean so much to people, particularly those who had been told that their stories didn’t matter. I could literally see people’s back straighten as they started to speak into the microphone.” (TED)

This was the other light that helped me begin reconnecting with my meaning in medicine.  I want something more than the technical skills and knowledge can give me; I want to be a healer through stories.  I want to be an artist who creates a space for people to speak themselves into existence.  Going back to the creation account in Genesis, words are what brought substance out of the void.  I think this is what can happen in our lives today when we pay attention to what people have to say–when we pay attention to their experience and their feelings and thoughts and what it means for them to be a human and a patient.

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I’m finding my way again, one step at a time.  So as I study the names of medications like ticlopidine and ticagrelor or diseases like loa loa and acute sclerosing glomerulonephritis, I’m also paving the way for stories to be told.

Since I love words and neologisms, here’s a word I’ve crafted to describe what I want to be:

Halewright (noun)

From Old English hǣlu-whyrta, corresponding to hale (health) + wright (builder, creator)

Someone who aids in bringing healing and wholeness to other humans through the act of listening to their stories.

And so the journey continues…

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The Color of Hope

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This evening, with the dusky sunlight suffusing the air with gold and pearl, I stopped to snap photos of some autumn leaves.

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I love autumn.  It’s my favorite set of months, and each time I remember that it’s fall now I’m filled with anticipation of Thanksgiving, family time and the coming holidays.  I adore pumpkin spices, warm cinnamon, fresh apples, steaming lattes and crisp evenings.  And I love the colors of the season.

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It’s splendid to watch the trees change color.  Green turns to red turns to brown and gray, like a sunset in slow motion fading to night.

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This summer, though, I watched with dismay as some of the pine trees on campus faded to brown.  I don’t know why this happened.  Perhaps it has something to do with the drought we’ve been experiencing, but that doesn’t explain why so many other trees survived.  I’m guessing it might have been an insect infestation or disease of some sort, but I really don’t know.

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I don’t like this kind of color change, this dulling to rust and brown.  Evergreens weren’t meant to be brown like this.

It’s not at all like fall.  The brilliant red leaves of the liquid amber can fade to auburn, and the flaming bracts of the trees outside my window can dull to a muddied gray, but that won’t stir the same vague sense of loss that these dying pines awaken in me.  There is something lonely about a lifeless pine.  Perhaps it is because I grew up where pines stretch to brush the azure sky, singing in the wind.  Or perhaps it is because I know it will be at least half a century before a tree this thick-trunked and tall stands in this place again.

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Fallen pine needles, like the strains of a song fading into silence.

It makes me wonder…why is it that the same series of color changes can stir anticipation and joy in one situation, and sadness in another?

As I thought about this, I realized it’s because with the autumn trees, I know the time of leafless branches will be followed again by spring.  It’s not permanent, while these dead pines are.  They won’t bud again next year.

But the other trees will.

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And so fall colors are colors of hope.

I paused to catch the simple yin and yang of a feather against a fallen leaf, the soft, gray down of a mourning dove’s plume against the crackling backdrop of earthbound foliage.  The similarity of their form is striking, perhaps further highlighting the sharp contrast of their textures.

It’s like life.  The dichotomy of what we experience–the good against the bad–ultimately helps us to more fully recognize and appreciate the good.

I suppose this is why we do what we do in medicine.  Our work is built upon hope–the hope of something good on the other side of suffering, whether that takes the form of a cure or the giving of comfort.  As I delve further into my life as a second-year, I’m beginning to realize everything is deeper, bigger, and more complicated than I had imagined.  I spent some days these past few weeks shadowing in the ICU, and sometimes I’m left wondering how I fit into this intricate network of human suffering and joy.  What can I give?

I can be a hope-bearer.  I can help people find hope.  Maybe it’s not the hope of everything turning out how we wanted or planned, but rather the hope that springs from knowing there are people who truly care and love.  I still have a lot to learn about this, but this is a beginning.

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Red.

This is the loss of green.  The loss of the fresh, living spring and the vibrant, bursting summer.  But it is still beautiful, so beautiful.  I can love the fall because I know the trees will bud again, and this hope frees me to fully embrace the spicy, glorious, flame-filled wonder of this season.

This is the color of hope.

Grounding Moments

Late in the morning, I sat on a stone step near the Clark Center and planted my palm into the freshly-cut grass beside me.  The sunlight danced through the leaves of the slender tree to my right, scattering confetti of light across the vivid green patch of lawn.  I could almost feel the coming autumn in the air.  Since September has begun, some mornings carry a slight crispness that make me think of misty dawns, fire-colored leaves, pumpkins and home-baked joy.

I probably didn’t draw much attention sitting there with my hand in the grass, surrounded by the glass curvature of the Clark’s windowed walls.  On the outside, I was a student breathing in the sunlit air.  On the inside, though, I was struggling against a vague loneliness that had unexpectedly caught me in the middle of my day.  I think it had something to do with not sleeping quite enough this week, if my drowsiness earlier that morning was any indication.  After class, I wandered down the walkway and settled down on the step, feeling the beauty of the golden leaves against the clear blue sky even as I grappled to understand my own emotions.

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And I determinedly pressed my hand to the ground.

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Last week, a wonderful friend from my class shared with me what another classmate and friend had told her about experiencing the moment–about feeling the earth beneath your hand and the sunlight on your face, and realizing in that moment you are there, alive.  So here I was, my eyes closed and my face to the wind as I tried to regroup myself for the afternoon.

That’s why I was sitting there with my hand in the grass.  And I was reminded of the simple yet intricate beauty of a few willowy branches waving in the wind, painting the sky.

I was reminded just how good it is to be alive. 🙂

A Photo Essay in Textures

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I was heading back from med school today when I paused to snap some photos at Memorial Church.  It was a bright afternoon, and the alcoves were boldly patterned with shadow and dashes of afternoon sunlight.  

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On an impulse, I switched the filter on my iPhone to the tonal setting and peered around, catching the interplay of light and dark.

 I have long loved the concept of chiaroscuro, the dance of light and shadow in photography and other forms of art.  More often, though, I focus on the palette of colors around me–the different shades of green in the sunlit leaves, the heaven-sent blue of the sky, or even the dull black of the asphalt beneath my shoes.

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In the absence of color, however, my eyes were instinctively drawn to the patterns and textures around me.  Rough stone, shadow-ink, arches of light.

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Even an anonymous bicyclist passing by me became a whirling dance of shapes and shadows.

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Later this evening, after watching an instructional video on placing IVs, I paused to examine the snaking paths of my own veins.  We’ll be practicing on each other, and I’ve never had an IV before.  It looks like it’ll be more complicated than drawing blood, and I’m mainly nervous about having one of my valves get in the way of the thin plastic catheter we’ll be threading into my vein.

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Yes, I’m a little nervous.  But this is an essential part of my training and a skill that will enable me to help others.

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Maybe my stethoscope will be a bit like my camera filter…it provides a new lens, teaching me to see with my ears, to notice things I might miss otherwise.  Reminding me to pause and listen, which is a good thing to do any day, regardless of whether or not I’m in the hospital or classroom or clinic.  

It’s easy to let life and others slip by.  It’s like how my heart is always beating; blood is always pulsing through my veins, but I rarely stop to think about it and appreciate this rushing gift of life.  It’s only when I see my blood flashing into the hub of a needle that I really remember it’s there, or when I have to palpate for a vein, or bandage my finger after a mishap in the kitchen.  But it’s always there, just like everything around us.

I can hear the pulse of this life in the footsteps around me as I cross the med school sidewalks, or in the rhythm of voices lost in dialogue.  And with a clock to my ear, I can almost hear the heartbeat of time.

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Campus bell tower – September 2014

Leadership Session & My Credo

This evening, my classmates from the summer Leadership in Health Disparities Program and I came together for one of our leadership discussions with Dr. Jane Binger and Mark Gutierrez. It was so wonderful to be with my teammates from this past summer; although I don’t get to see everyone as often now because of our schedules, I treasure our times together. LHDP was, and continues to be, an incredible blessing, and I am so thankful to all the wonderful people who have made this program possible: Mark, Dr. Fernando Mendoza, Dr. Ronald Garcia, and so many others!

We talked tonight about “modeling the way,” which is an important component of leadership as described by James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their book The Leadership Challenge. Over the summer, we had read and talked our way through another book by Kouzes and Posner, The Truth about Leadership, and we’ve now continued to discuss practical aspects of leadership as medical students and future physician-leaders.

Part of leadership involves defining our values, which allows us to recognize what we share with those around us and empowers us to live authentic lives. As part of the preparation for our session, I wrote out a personal credo to outline some of my own personal beliefs and values. This isn’t something that I spent a long time writing and polishing; rather, it is a glimpse into what I value and who I hope to be. I haven’t arrived yet by any means, and I’m still learning how to live out some of these things, but I wanted to share them as a sketch of what I hold in my heart. It’s funny that they came out sounding a bit like an epitaph, but perhaps by looking back from the future, I can live my life moving forward.


She was not afraid to live her life out loud. She did not hide who she truly was, yet she still found common ground with all those around her and listened to their points of view, remembering that all humanity shares the joys and sorrows and struggles of life.

She valued people above things. She remembered to dance in the rain, to share her umbrella, and to run through puddles with children.

She knew her limits but did not fear them, and she always gave her work her best attempt. When she fell down, she never failed to get back up and try again.

She lived for more than just the praise of those around her, and in her own quiet way, she was courageous.


I want to live an authentic life. I think often about how I fit in…although as a general rule, I think a lot. This is a question I imagine a lot of us have, and being a medical student has a way of amplifying this. I feel that we don’t talk about it all that often, though. It makes sense; if someone is wondering how they fit in, they probably won’t mention it to everyone.

Well, if you’ve had that question, you’re not alone. I’ve wondered it too. Even something as wonderful as being a medical student at Stanford (and that’s saying a lot!) isn’t enough to dispel the uncertainties that seem inherent in my life as a med student. I’m learning that it’s okay to ask the question.

It was remarkably timely that during our session this evening, we talked about how fitting in is now what we’re not about any more. We can’t just define ourselves by our roles and degrees; we need to know what we truly believe and live it out. In order to effectively lead, we must live our lives as examples.

For me, some of the key points I took from this is that it is important to find my voice and recognize that I don’t have to change who I am just to be accepted. There is balance to this, of course, and it must be done with respect, but I cannot be an effective leader if I am always trying to reshape myself into what I think people want or expect. It’s okay to be unique. That’s the heart of diversity; we all bring something valuable to the table, even when we don’t see it at the moment.

Your life story is unique, and no matter what has happened in your journey, there is something you can take from it to inspire others. Your story doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s in order to be valid; I know that when applying to medical school (and even now, as a medical student), it is so easy to be continually comparing ourselves to others.

I’m reminded of what a UC Davis medical student told me when I was still a pre-med. His advice to me was this: Don’t lose what makes you special.

So I package these words up into a gift and pass them on to you. Don’t be afraid to sing with your face to the falling rain or to dance barefoot in the puddles, even when the world is wearing boots and bustling past with its eyes on the sidewalk.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carry On

It’s been one of those days where you come up at the end of it feeling rather exhausted. I keep getting this picture in my mind of the swirling ocean with water as deep and dark as the night sky traced with clouds of foam, and I’ve just surfaced after a long plunge beneath the waves.

Even as I write this my thoughts are wandering about my head, wondering how the pressures in my lungs would change if I took such a dive, and what impact this would have on the respiratory control centers in my body.  I’m guessing this is a side effect of studying for today’s Human Health and Disease exam on the respiratory system (and antibiotics and neoplasia).  We just finished the exam this morning, and although it was intense, I’m happy to have made it through.

I wish I had something more original or profound to say at the moment, but since I’m pretty tired I’ll instead comment on two quotes which help me to find perspective when I need it most.

The first quote I’ve known for a long time, and it holds a special place in my life. My mom taught it to me years ago and it’s been a part of me ever since:

Mistakes are opportunities to learn.

For example, I’ve been tempted to get tangled up in frustration with myself for not planning my studying better.  (I can now empathize with bacteria a bit more, as I’ve finally found common ground with them. We both underestimated the power of antibiotics.)  The antibiotics are more challenging to learn than I had thought/hoped, and looking back, I should’ve started memorizing the information about them earlier than I did. Lesson learned: make flashcards promptly.

The second quote I just came across yesterday, and it was a great encouragement to me.  These words by Winston Churchill capture the essence of the perspective I need at this stage in my life:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.

These words remind me that this is a journey, a process. It’s a continuum of sorts, and things change.

In a way, this is the same perspective that the seasons give.  Springtime is not final, for blossoms must mature into fruit that ripens and eventually falls from the tree.  Winter is not fatal, for the tree blooms again.  What counts is that the tree sends its roots down into both the warm, rich soil and the cold, frozen earth, that it stretches its branches heavenward in both the bright sunshine and in the slanting rain.

Trees, I think, could be called courageous.

While I know there are times in life when failure literally can be fatal, I am reminded in moments like these to also step back and see the bigger picture.  And then, with the ocean before me, to find the courage to plunge in once again and swim.

This Moment

I’ve been feeling a bit worn out today.  Nothing in particular happened, although I’m guessing it may be influenced by the knowledge that I have my first block exam for Human Health and Disease at the start of next week, and I still have lots of information that I need to wrap my mind around.  Antibiotic and antifungal names, actions, and uses are presenting a particular challenge for me at the moment, although I’ve bought some nifty blank flashcards and plan to do all I can to drill these antimicrobial names n’ natures into my mind this week.

Sometimes, on days like today when I’m tired and would rather be doing something other than studying, I lose sight of the unique beauty of the day.  Just now, I was looking out my window while going through some online modules for an elective I’m taking.  The wind has been blowing all day, and the way it scatters the sunlight and shadows across the ground reminds me of autumn breezes.  I love autumn because it means that Thanksgiving and Christmas and family time are coming, and for a moment I found myself wishing it was November.  After all, the holiday season only comes once a year, and for me, the weeks leading up to it are so ripe with anticipation that you could almost juice them for cider.

But then a though struck me—spring only comes once a year also.  Today, April 22, is a single day, just like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.  In fact, each day only comes once a year, and this particular moment only comes once a lifetime.  I’ll never have the afternoon of April 22, 2014 again.  Doesn’t that make it something to be treasured?

From this perspective, the very air is alive with possibility.  The next breath I take is as fresh, fleeting and beautiful as a shooting star tracing the arc of the midnight sky, or as a hawk catching the currents of the heavens and spiraling up into the blue.

This moment is a gift.  In truth, the fact that I can study right now is a gift.

So I shall get back to studying.

And if you’re feeling a bit tired too, I hope you find refreshment in this moment, this very moment of life.