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the gospel according to april

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1/8/10 10:46 am - One of those year-end quizzy thingies

No reason, just to take inventory of my life
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Had major surgery, actually got over Kai

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Kept some, not all. Made semester resolutions mainly, not full year ones. The only full year one i made was to try to be more positive

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
not that i can think of...but sarah is definitely much closer to popping these days

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. And I will miss him forever.

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the country this year :-( didn't get to do the ethiopia fellowship this summer as planned...

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 11, because we lost Lou.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving, actually. Staying in school even that ill.

9. What was your biggest failure?
health haha.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Where do I start? 2 Surgeries, blood transfusions, mono, multiple anaphylactic reactions, 5 hospitalizations, bronchitis 3 times, pneumonia once, and my usual migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression. By far my least healthy year EVER.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
MK woodside hobo

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Monica, Andrew, Lillian, Anneli, my parents. Everyone who stuck with me through the major illnesses and helped me through the surgeries and recovery, and helped me study through the whole thing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well I don't think it's polite to call them out by name on the internet...so i'll call them out by initials LD (really OD i guess), LU, AV,

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, Medications, and textbooks

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
the occassions i did well in school, when i was first dating lanre (don't ask why?), surviving and moving on

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
empire state of mind.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
depends on the day, but i guess for the most part happier

b) thinner or fatter?
Much, much fatter. like, 43lbs to be exact. Stupid mono and surgeries and not being allowed to work out.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer. Further in med school debt.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying, being ill

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In florida with my grandma, celebrating and her friends' houses and eating good food.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Either my mom or Nathaniel

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
No. But i did love someone I was dating, i just wasn't in love.

23. How many one-night stands?
I didn't have sex in any, but i mean, there were a few one night hookups that i left in the middle of haha

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Such a hard choice. Dexter, Glee, Weeds, United States of Tara, How I Met Your Mother, Nurse Jackie, So you think you can dance, the last season of the L word. Clearly i can't live without showtime. clearly

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope, same old same old.

26. What was the best book you read?
More, Now, Again by Elizabeth Wurtzel

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Chopin. I realized I'm obsessed with Chopin.

28. What did you want and get?
Fully over Kai. To pass everything in med school. To survive the medical emergencies. this beautiful Michael Kors purse.

29. What did you want and not get?
Sanity. A better work ethic. 

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn't really get to see many movies this year. Off the top of my head, i really can't think of what was the best.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24. On my real bday, I was in florida, hung out with my grandma, went to a casino night at her club, then went out to bars with Tiana and her friends down in florida and got drunker than i should have. Then for my NY birthday party i had a joint party with Julie, and we went to an awesome chinese place and had a huge dinner then downstairs to the club and danced and drank and hung out. Courtney came to visit and i had her and tyler, monica and karl, and me and my bf at the time, which was awesome, along wtih a lot of great friends like andrew, dave, lillian, dahab, rachel, randi, hana, carol, julie obviously, etc etc. Great, great night ending with a limo ride home.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being so sick. Things not ending with Lanre so messily.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Leggings and long shirts with slouch boots. Things to try to hide my weight gain. The color purple.

34. What kept you sane?
Haha what makes you think i'm sane? The thing that kept me closest to it was monica, with andrew and therapy being close seconds.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Kat Dennings (Norah from nick and norah), Jason Segel (funnies man alive)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Marriage equality votes.

37. Who did you miss?
Monica cuz i didn't get to see her much wtih studying for boards and third years, Lady when she was living in Laos, Sam on occassion.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My surgeon? I would say Leigh, but i really met her in 2008, we just started hanging out and got closer in 2009

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Abstinence is the only way.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"You can turn off the sun but I'm still gonna shine"

12/18/09 02:54 am - crazy little thing called life, and a new semester's resolutions

"hey self, it's 2am and you've been working forever, it's time to procrastinate" (even though i've done much more procrastination than work in the past 12 hours). Well, I have officially made it through what i have deemed to be the hardest part of my life. I declare it over, even though the boards and six months of intense academic insanity is coming up. I ended everything with kai and managed to stay away without being dumb enough to go back, or resume contact, for over a year. I learned how to accept the loss of the person I considered my best friend, while still cherishing the good times we had together. I managed to remediate the only course I failed in 1st year. I managed to get all 90+ averages in the last semester last year. I made it through mono, strep, multiple allergic reactions, cholecystitis, multiple surgeries and transfusions, an NBME exam right after surgery, the start of second year, medication changes, and other such life-altering events. I barely blinked. I didn't accept that there was any other option to push on. The idea didn't even occur to me until last Saturday, actually, and by that time I considered it for about 24 hours before realizing I was being ridiculous. What a fall. Saw the Jets beat the Pats at home for the first time in nine years. Saw the Giants-Eagles game live that probably determined the rankings for the NFC East for the rest of the season. Saw Groovaloo, an awesome dance troupe and show in Union Square Theater. Rallied for gay marriage all over the place. Saw a senate vote in NY (fail, but still epic), saw the passage in DC. Realized what truly wonderful friends I have, and what a great family; solidified my support system for the rest of medical school. Genuinely grew as a person, I think. Saw great friends get married, get engaged (congrats Rocki!!! since you're the only engaged friend who might read this haha), travel the world, break down, and repair. Saw people for who they really were, whether i liked it or not. Learned from my own mistakes and other peoples' mistakes as well. I may still be living off of loans, in a dorm-like apartment, and even be more dependant on my parents now than i was years ago, but I have grown up so much in the past year, and finally feel like an adult.
I am, however, still a real student for one last semester before I enter the wards; this means I will make the same promises to myself that I make every semester and always fail to keep. This will be my last chance (hopefully, haha) to keep them. So, here goes: 1. I will wake up, drag myself out of bed, and attend classes, even the optional recorded lectures, every day unless I am really sick or have a family conflict/emergency. 2. By doing this, and studying a little EVERY night, I will not fall significantly behind and have to cram before tests and pull all-nighters such as this. 3. Because I will be so on top of things, my schedule will not fluctuate so majorly, and I will be able to schedule in time to food shop, cook healthy meals, and not order take out more than once per week. 4. I will also be able to schedule in gym time, 30-90 min, 4-5 times per week. I will regain my physical shape that I lost by being so sick, and in doing so I will regain some health, some immune system, some natural endorphins, and some self-confidence. 5. I will MAKE the time to enjoy myself, and do something out in the city with friends at least once/week, whether it's a museum, movie, the ballet/ a dance production, a concert, a great band at a dance club, or even a game night in someone's apartment. 6. I will play my Wii at least once every other week. It seems lonely, and I always enjoy it. Why have nice things if they stay hidden away unused? 7. I will work my hardest to stop putting myself down whenever possible, and reward myself when I've earned it. 8. I will do more for SEOM and my other extracurriculars while I have the time before boards lock-down. 9. I will work my hardest to be above the mean in every class, but accept it when I don't succeed in that goal, and celebrate the small successes like passing. 10. I will stick to a study schedule for the boards that doesn't interfere with my semester's schoolwork, my workouts, or TAing Pathology, as that is a form of studying in itself. 11. I will remember to appreciate my family (and call them, especially my grandma) even when I'm stressed, and turn to them and my friends when I feel like I need to get away or turn off my brain, not pot or alcohol or guys or any of my more unhealthy vices. 12. I will limit my useless procrastination, and use procrastination time to take care of the little parts of life that I generally feel overwhelmed by because of school, like laundry, cleaning, communicating not-via-internet, paying bills, running errands, and working out. and finally, not an every semester goal, but certainly a this-semester goal 13. Not let the boards intimidate me to a point of serious anxiety. Not let other students' panicking about the boards intimidate me or make me  panic. Have enough faith in myself that whatever system I set up will work. I will not tell myself that I can't do it, that I'm not smart enough, or that I can't fit all that info in my head; first off, I'm clearly smart enough if i'm here, and second, no one can fit all that info in their head, that's the point of this torture. I will set mini-goals, work my hardest to acheive them, and be satisfied with what I acheive if it is within reason. AKA, I will not beat myself up about anything under a 235, even if my goal is a 250. I will have reasonable expectations and keep in mind that a 188 or something is passing, that a 220 is the national average, that a 230 is the sinai average, and that a 230 is really enough to get an internal medicine residency. I will also try to remember that this is not the only factor for my future, and won't treat it as though it is. I will keep my clinical skills up to snuff and plan my vacation accordingly so that I can hop into third year confident, physically and mentally fit, and even a little bit rested.  
To be pro-active about this, I am going to start over break. Yes, really. Once I am done with the neuro test and in Florida, I am going to work out each morning. I am going to go to bed early enough and force myself to get up at 7:45 to work out, so that I can get my body into a new rhythm of sleep/wakefullness, and make a habit of working out or studying in the morning. I am going to get that extra-credit neuro assignment done by at least 24 hours before the due date, so that I have time to proof-read it, can make sure I have time to find an internet connection to send it, and have time to trouble-shoot any problems that might arise. With the exception of New Years day, I will maintain this schedule of rising BY 8am every day, even on weekends, and trying to be asleep by midnight each night to attempt that full 8 hours. When I go out late, whether or not I sleep in will depend on the day of the week, the number of days that week that I've already worked out, and whether or not i'll have time later that day to take a nap if I feel like I haven't gotten enough rest. With any luck, fixing my circadian rhythms and increasing my endorphins, as well as the light therapy lamps I'm getting for christmas, will help the whole depression thing and keep my moods and anxiety stable through the very rough time that is boards season. I realize that this is a lot to expect from myself, and that my track record doesn't really point towards success in most of these goals. I will not make any new year's resolutions, only new semester resolutions. If I falter, I will push myself to get back on track quickly instead of letting things all build up. I will learn to work with the more than adequate levels of pressure medical school puts on us normally, without the added pressure of being weeks behind and prepping for an exam (like, oh say, right now, when i have 25 lectures and a lab to learn and have only gotten through 4 lectures, no lab, the test closes sunday night, i have to pass it to pass the course, and i'm going to DC friday-saturday, long island saturday-sunday, both for parties). This is not the type of studying that promotes long-term recall and real understanding, and I will not accept it anymore. That is that.

11/27/09 12:48 am

i didn't get something i needed today. i don't know what that was, only that i didn't get it. I just really need a friend right now. The worst part is, i have one right here in this room with me and can't even ask for the help. i can only write that i need it on a webpage no one will ever read. i'm feeling really close to the edge right now.

11/6/09 01:47 am

Just remembered I had this, even though no one reads it anymore, not even me. Thought to myself "hey self, it's 2am, you've been in the library since 1pm, it's about time to continue procrastinating, in any way you can", so here i am.

The past six months, maybe the past year, have been the biggest, scarriest, and most incredible roller coaster ever. I know I'm not off of it yet, but I still can't believe I've survived. Being a patient sucks. Having surgeries, blood transfusions, things pumped into you, things taken out of you, it's crazy... I definitely have a much stronger basis for empathizing with my patients in the future. Having my best friend put in my foley because I couldn't pee and didn't want anyone else going down there ever again... well I just have to say that Monica is the best friend one could ever have haha. One minor decision about going to the ER that night or going to bed, saved my life. Nutso.

I don't think I'm ever going to psychologically recover from this summer fully. I do think, however, that I will learn to respect myself more and eventually acknowledge that everyone else is right, and it really was strength I showed to pull through that, and two days after being released from the hospital, rock that NBME exam, and start second year of med school a week later. At the time I felt like I was just doing what I had to, but looking back I realize that I actually did the impossible. I only worry that I might be out of miracles.

5/7/09 12:47 am

Medical school is exhausting. But fulfilling. Most of the time, at least. Although, if you're not careful, it can make you afraid of sex, hot tubs, air conditioning, food, poop, day care centers, nature, the northeastern US, the southeastern US, hospitals, IVs, necretizing faciitis, being a baby, being an old person, losing your spleen, hot tubs again, and of course, being within five feet of another human being.

1/25/09 02:38 pm

that might have been the best birthday celebration i've ever had. i was really, genuinely happy last night, in a way i can't even describe. i don't know if it's possible to feel that way long term, but i now have something to aspire to.

1/17/09 10:30 pm

This birthday was so much fun, and yet, depressing. This is first birthday i've spend without sam in..... in at least ten years. not sure exactly how long, but at least that. it's wierd. and i'm on this trip to florida, which i planned with kai after i realized i wasn't going with sam. i'm not with either of them, obviously. and i didn't see it coming. but, i'm having a great birthday, just won big at the casino night, monday i'm going to the real casino, and i'm about to go out with Tiana and peeps to a bar and celebrating. I miss Lanre though. A birthday kiss via text is nowhere near as nice. But the intention is all i need. It's nice to have a really great boyfriend who treats me right, and isn't secretly a terribly person, but is genuine and sweet.

12/24/08 11:44 pm

[1.] What did you do in 2008 that you have never done before?
had a joint bank account, broken up with kai and known it was for real, dated a really intelligent guy on my level, played guitar hero, gone to medical school, dissected a human, thought maybe there is a god.

[2.] Did you keep all of last years resolutions?
I lost forty pounds, so that one was good, and i gained an inkling of self respect, so i'm part way there

[3.] Have you any resolutions for next year?
lose more wieght, gain some confidence, do better in med school, learn my shit as best i can, be more social, be less anxious

[4.] What countries did you visit?
ummm the united states. haha this is the first time in years that i don't have a better answer for that.

[5.] What would you like to have in 2009 that you didn’t have in 2008?
A partner who doesn't lie and cheat. great grades. real love. happiness. money.

[6.] What date in 2008 will remain etched in your memory?
May 17. June 5th. Dec 10th. Dec 16th.

[7.] What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into Sinai. Getting away from unhealthy relationships.

[8.] What was your biggest failure?
Losing my best friend. Not realizing or admitting to myself what was happening earlier and protecting myself.

[9.] Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Yes. But i overcame it.

[10.] What was the best thing you bought?
Clothes that fit. Plane ticket to florida. a month ago i would have said a bass guitar as a very special present, but now i have to return it.

[11.] Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Kai. Certain other friends, who know who they are, but i'm not immature enough to name on a pubic internet forum.

[12.] Where did most of your money go?
1. Medical school
2. med school apps
3. clothes
4. food
5. gym

[13.] What did you get really really really excited about?
The possibility of a wonderful future with someone i thought was the one. freedom. Starting med school. anatomy. manhattan. losing weight. staying vegan. mental health.

[17.] What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing out, panic attacks, losing people i loved.

[18.] How will you be spending Christmas?
In florida with my grandma and her friends, then doing christmas late with my parents, chris, and my new bf

[19.] Which LJ/OD users did you meet for the first time?
no one, i don't really meet people on the internet...except sdn i guess

[20.] Did you fall in love in 2008?
No. I thought i was in love for a long time, but it was with someone who didn't really exist and was all smoke and mirrors. I did fall in lust at the end of the year, and that might just be better.

[21.] How many one night stands?
None, i wasn't a ho this year. Haha i guess i had a one week stand when Ous came to visit, but thats only cuz he lived so far away.

[22] What was your favourite TV show?

[23.] Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I would love to say yes. I wish i hated him as much as i feel like i do. But in reality, no, i don't hate anyone who i haven't hated for years.

[24.] What was the best book you read?
I'd be ashamed to say baby moore, so i'm going to go with my sister's bones. or the nelson demille book about the lion. wait, no, it was i know why the caged bird sings. yeah, that's it.

[25.] What was your greatest musical discovery?
John Legend

[26.] What did you want and get?
Into mount sinai. to move to manhattan. to know the truth.

[27.] What did you want and not get?
To really be with kai. honesty.

[28.] What was your favourite film this year?
hmm that's tough. it depends what mood i'm in. i'm going to go with Milk right now.

[29.] What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Had my med school interview at mount sinai. Went out to happy hour and dinner with all my best friends from high school and college. Went down to florida to celebrate my grandma's 80th.

[30.] What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Not being lied to, made fun of behind my back by my closest friends, and winning the lotto. Not necessarily in that order.

[31.] How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
It definitely improved infinitely. For the winter, sweater dresses, skirts, tights, and HEELS.

[32.] What kept you sane?
My parents, surprisingly, and some wonderful friends, especially monica.

[33.] Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
I guess i'd have to go wiht tyson beckford.

[34.] Which political issue stirred you the most?
DOMA (defense of marriage act), the presidential campaign.

[35.] Who did you miss?
All my '07 Princetonians. Sam. My grandma. Kai. Courtney. Racquel.

[36.] Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
No matter how well you think you know someone, you don't really know them at all.

12/22/08 08:27 pm

Christmas in florida is wonderful. All of the presents, none of the freezing. If i didn't miss one certain person so much, this would be perfect.

12/16/08 05:24 pm

:-) i feel so much better about everything. finals and life and everything.

i kind of can't
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