11 June 2017

It's interesting to me how different people communicate. Sometimes the way we respond to one another is so natural and easy, the conversation is innately engaging. Yet sometimes it feels like we are just skipping along the surface, not reaching thoughts of any true depth. I don't know if it ends up being that certain people are truly engaged and others are just faking sincerity, if being tired means you can't make the effort, and sometimes I think people really just don't know how to continue a conversation and show that they care. 

I'm trying to research it a bit. I like this TED talk with some basic conversational skills. This is actually one of those topics that I feel comes naturally for me, but I do think that for many people it takes a lot of focus and energy to stay in the conversation. 

"Listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply." And for me personally it's as easy as being sincerely interested in people. 

The Good Old Days

29 May 2017

As I was looking through pictures over the past month trying to narrow it down to just about 10 that I would post here I realized... this may be the happiest time of my life. I think about Andy from The Office saying "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them" and I am sitting here thinking... I might be lucky enough to know it. 

When I was getting my bachelors at JMU I remember thinking that I wanted to be doing so much more with my time. I was happy, but I kept thinking that I might look back and have regrets about not getting even more things in with my friends. 

Now, I don't have regrets about my time at JMU. I was so incredibly happy there for so much of my time. That was such a blessing for me, especially considering the hardships I faced then. 

But now... it has nothing to do with school but everything to do with the people I am surrounded by. As the pictures for this exact post were uploading I realized that I had such a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to showcase; it would be impossible to catch up and share everything that has happened and how wonderful my time has been. And that was only for one month! 

Just this weekend I met up with my friends four times. We had dinner at Sweet Nola's on Friday after our hospital shifts to talk about our weeks and what we learned. Then on Saturday morning we met to get coffee and hunt pokemon. In the evening we went to a Drag Show and hooted and hollered all night. Sunday morning I shared a brunch with family at Regions 117 before rounding out the afternoon and evening with a game night and canoeing. That is just this weekend. 

I'm not sure that I've ever had friends as good as these. People who also don't have a family to define them, people who view friendship as I do, as a bond that makes you family. And as a self-described introverted extrovert, I have a group that fits me so well. I get to recharge with them all the time doing so many different activities. I feel more alive and happier than I have in a long time and I didn't even fully realize it until now. Of course that feeling has been there for a bit but it wasn't until I looked through these photos that I realized this is a time in my life where I am truly, soulfully happy. 

There are events on the horizon that cast a shadow over these days of course. One of my best friends is leaving soon for a residency and I honestly don't know how to handle his departure. And I know in just one year the rest of my friend group will be looking outward and towards new adventures in life. It's the nature of things, but it doesn't make it any easier. 

For now, I'm trying to enjoy these last days while the group is intact and bask in the realization that these are indeed the good old days.

Prove It To Yourself

04 April 2017

I found this post-it in a bathroom on a stall door and I really appreciated it. This week is tough, I think every week is actually pretty tough when you're pursuing a degree. Some days I forget, but I am powerful. I have grown so much as a person over the years and my skills are constantly pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. I'm proud of the work I've put in and I can't wait to see where the work takes my friends and me. 

The fact that some random strangers out there want to boost others, that's the type of boost we could all use. Maybe it's not a post-it, but think about something you can do to encourage someone today. A stranger, a friend... we're all in this together after all. I know this one lifted me when I needed it. You never know what difference you can make. 

Alesation Trivia Night

28 March 2017

We had a team of five compete in our first ever trivia night at Alesation, one of the local breweries in town. There were about eight rounds or so total including topics such as: general knowledge, meteorology, disney, star wars, history, and food. 

We went in to have a fun time and actually ended up taking 1st place! The best part really is hanging out with your friends though. I was surprised at how much knowledge we had between us. We ended up with a free round of drinks due to winning a particular round in the competition. We had a great night and hope to do more in the future.

Drag Show

27 March 2017

Last night MB and I went to our first drag show with Will, a veteran. The Hideaway Cafe is a coffee shop in Winchester that hosts a variety of activities every month from action committees, writing workshops, to drag shows. The owner, Victoria, makes you feel like you are immediate friends upon your first visit and remembers you when you come back. The cafe is wonderful!

Will and I were joking with MB about our fraternity, Kappa Epsilon, and our mascot is the unicorn. It's well known that everyone in our fraternity gets along extremely well and is a hard worker. We are very proud of our brothers and our events and we get along like a family. It's a running joke that there's no way we can actually be that happy (we are!). So when this coloring book was discovered under our wine table we were in giggles.

Then the show started at 8pm and there were three queens and a king. Let me tell you, this was a show. It was so upbeat and so much fun! Their outfits were awesome! The energy was high! 

They exude confidence and charisma. We were having a blast watching and interacting with them. The show was sold out entirely (Will bought the very last ticket). 

I would 100% recommend going to a show if you're into this type of thing. You won't be disappointed with the evening! Just be ready to get interactive and scream your lungs out.

Corn Hole

26 March 2017

One of my friends is in a fraternity that hosts a corn hole tournament annually. We went out to support her and her event to watch the teams compete in a bracket, dance to some music, and hang out on one of the first warm days of spring. 

We got to catch up with a few people from pharmacy school that we haven't been able to properly chat with for a while. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon with friends and relax. 

Picture Dump

25 March 2017

Since I have a lot of catching up to do I'll try to put some pictures out there of things I've been up to lately.

Long study days


Enjoying these beautiful days.

Friday dinners.

Juggling organizations and academics.

Practicing skills as we're finishing up pharmacy school.

P3 Phollies Fun

20 March 2017

In pharmacy school P3 year is your final didactic year before rotations. My study group has decided to partake in a scavenger hunt that consists of a variety of activities to do as a group and with faculty. We've dressed up like faculty members, cooked lunch and delivered it to them, we will be ordering a pizza to be delivered in class (with permission), counseling animals on DM, and more. 

I think it's a great way to finish out our final year making memories together before we leave. I love my friends and we all love our faculty. It's going to be a challenge for us next year I think. We are all looking forward to our rotations and putting our knowledge into practice; each of us finds working with patients very rewarding. It'll just be hard to not see each other or our faculty each day. I'm grateful to have this sort of "last hoorah" to celebrate our success over these three years.

Sunsets and Fluidity

11 February 2017

Tonight there was a sunset reminiscent of cotton candy. The blues and pinks were blurred between tree branches as I walked Odin through the neighborhood. The colors and unusual warmth in the air for February made me feel hopeful. For the future, for friendships, for relationships. Some days the uncertainty of where I am headed causes a sense of unease, almost like when you feel you're falling in your sleep. Faith is a funny thing; I believe everything will always work out and we need to live in each moment while balancing that carpe diem lifestyle out with a bit of planning and goal setting. For now I'm taking advantage of where I am in life, surrounded by friends and am trying to use my final didactic semester to strengthen those relationships. In this moment I feel fluid, and I think I'll stay in this state for a little longer. 

My Salvation

05 February 2017

For the past month or so I've felt like I'm floating adrift at sea, part of myself lost. Unable to put my finger on the exact reason for those feelings my time has been spent reading, listening to music, and staying in a sort of meditative and introspective state. 

It used to be that I would turn towards God. When I found myself in times of doubt and conflict I would play music and read. Then my faith was cut short. And I turned to writing.

Writing was how I released my stress, my frustration, and my joys. Being able to put feelings into words and create a picture of my thoughts was incredibly freeing. Words are such powerful objects that are underutilized and under-appreciated. The only thing holding me back was that I needed to feel passionate before I decided to pour out my soul onto paper. For so long it was easy, feelings and thoughts came and flowed through me, lighting my soul on fire and coming out molten and ready to be molded into stories. 

Then I lost it. It. 

What is it? 

I didn't know. 

In the past when I felt lost writing was it. How could I now be sitting, with a blinking cursor flashing in front of me, teasing and tantalizing but with nowhere to go? This doesn't happen to me. I don't have writer's block. I don't try to write, I just do. 

Now I needed my escape and it wasn't there... 

But writing wasn't my escape. It wasn't my salvation. 

My salvation is in people. 

It's in the connection, the spirit, the ability to be part of something bigger than myself. I am only me when I am an emotional anchor. My fulfillment in life comes from helping others carry their burdens, to lighten their loads. Somehow that had slipped away from me. My relationships, through the fault of none, had turned superficial. There wasn't time to delve into the soul of my closest companions, neither for them nor for me. We had been there, done that.

But, of course, relationships are more than that. And for some of us it comes easy, baring our souls to others and spreading out who we are, splaying our soul for all to see. For others, it's not so easy. 

One friend reached out to me, overwhelmed with life and the balance we are trying to keep and it wasn't until she talked to me that I realized why I had been so empty. It is when I find another soul to share the love, joy, and burdens with that I am complete. After that spark I have reached out to others and told them how I feel about them. There are still others that deserves to hear so much more than I can ever possibly tell them... about what they mean to me and the person they've made me. 

Sometimes, despite what I've believed, words aren't enough. 

City of Stars

03 February 2017

I tried to write out how La La Land has made me feel over the past month, but I can't capture it. I wrote out some paragraphs and it didn't do the film any justice so I deleted them all and decided to reiterate that you must go watch it. 


30 January 2017

I find my head so full of thoughts that I can barely form an idea of how I'd let to get them out on here. Each thought is crowding the next, fighting its way to the forefront of my mind. The problem with not writing regularly is that by the time I come back to it I'm overflowing with a need to get so many different thoughts and experiences down on paper. Perhaps it's time for another round up where I can lay it all out succinctly and slowly start sifting through it? 


  • Traveled to Des Moines
  • Feeling an internal crisis about my future
  • Enjoying friends
  • Missing friends
  • Juggling academics so well I could teach a circus act
  • Felt one night as a miserable failure
  • Another night was very much a success
  • Joined a writing workshop
  • Starting to make a mean espresso
  • Feeling absent
When I look back over that list I can understand why it's so challenging to figure out where to start. A lot has been happening. I miss my sounding board for my thoughts and ideas. School has become such a race and focus (5th gear, hah!) that I've barely been able to stand still for long enough to actually think. It's my last didactic semester and, finally, I think I'm okay with that. I'm ready to take some time for me, my family and friends, and hobbies again. Not that I expect it to suddenly be easy. I am and always will be someone who works for everything, but I'm hoping to find a little better balance in my fourth year before residency (hopefully!) starts. 

For now I'll leave it at this and plan to come back, to share and to think. 

La La Land

06 January 2017

La La Land was a shockingly beautiful movie. No one in the theater moved until the credits were done rolling; I left with tear tracks down my face and a full heart. I have a feeling that this is a movie I will always return to, it's an instant classic. 
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