For the past six years I have been fighting my way through pre-med courses, extracurriculars, my masters degree, and of course balancing it with an excellent social life. Today was my first day of medical school. It was surreal, new, and felt exactly like I thought it would. I always imagined this day to come but to be honest, at times it seemed like it would never come. Sometimes I try to retrace the steps that got me to this point in my life, but I can’t remember how I got here. Sure, there is a huge mix of people, events, and places, but I’ve heard “timing is everything” more than once in my life. It’s incredibly true and cuts to the core of life.
To give you a bit of “my story”…I struggled immensely on the MCAT…but have always tried to be genuine in every aspect of my life. I believe that this authenticity within my personality allowed for some wiggle room within my application and pulled the attention away from my scores and toward who I hope to present myself as. In addition, to strengthen my academic profile, I finished up a Masters of Science this past May. The experiences I have gained in the past 2 years have influenced me heavily and for that I am forever grateful.
The crazy part of my story began only a few short weeks ago while driving to Los Angeles to attend medical school at Western University COMP. I was beyond excited that I had a place to start medical school and blessed that I had been accepted into a great school. However, my heart and mind were in Philly, and if I were to go to school in California I knew many things would be missing. I struggled to say goodbye to loved ones, friends, and many others that have shaped my young adult life. I remember telling my mother that people have always told me “organic chemistry is the killer” or “physics is the worst” or even “medical school is the hardest thing you will ever have to do”…but after experiencing what it is like to leave everything and everyone you know behind to chase down your dreams, I’ve realized that saying “goodbye” is the hardest thing I will ever have to do.
Luckily, this past May I was wait listed at Drexel University College of Medicine, and had high hopes of matriculating in the Fall. During the long drive from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.. I got the phone call that a spot had opened up and if I wanted it… it was mine! I was speechless as I heard the words coming through the phone. I could barely find enough air to let out the, “Yes, I want the spot!”, before I started to freak out. The entire dynamic of my life changed within that 1 minute phone call. I pulled the car over… made a U-turn at the Oklahoma / Texas border and made my way back to Philadelphia to start my medical career.
It has been 11 days… a 3,080 mile journey… and an entire range of emotions since I received that phone call, but I can honestly say that I am exactly where I need and want to be.
In my short 24 year stent on this Earth, I’ve seen some cool things, met some great people, and I’m beyond excited to see where else this crazy life of mine will take me.
Go easy on me for the night has been long
I’m not quite as strong as you see me…
I came here alone and I’ll leave on my own
The next stop is home so go easy on me..
Oh! I don’t need your truth
Or a good talking to from your mountain
No, I don’t know your name and I won’t take the blame
I don’t know what you need, so go easy on me…
Go easy on me for I mean you no harm
It’s possible charm is in order…
But you’re making it hard when you throw up your guard
I’m not here to spar so go easy on me…
Oh! The clanking of swords and the war of the words doesn’t move me
See my heart barely works and it’s covered in dirt
It still kind of hurts, so go easy on me…
Oh! I can see in your eyes, you don’t realize what you’re doing
So here’s some advice: It never hurts to be nice…
If you’re not gonna be..then go easy on me.
Ever had one of those mornings where everything seems to be going wrong? Sure you have…but today is not one of those days. Perfect weather, perfect life. Lately I’ve been attempting to slow down and notice more of the little things that make me happy. For example, the way it feels when you’re walking through the city and you get that 3 minutes of sunlight before fading back into the shadows of a skyscraper. Or when you’re in a park and you hear beautiful music played by a man who doesn’t care who is listening. Or the feeling you get when the wind is rushing through your hair in the backseat of a convertible. I’ve started to realize that love for your surroundings, no matter where you may be, can truly make someone feel at peace. It’s empowering to know that with a change of mind, you can make any situation a little better.
It’s been a long two years in Philadelphia.
I think this statement encompasses both my feelings about my masters degree and all the work therein. I’ve been pushed to the edge with many things and luckily, in the end, I have come out a better person than I went in. Battered and bruised, these past two years have taken a lot out of me, but have given me more than I ever expected in return. I’ve made a few great friends, lost a few bad habits, and set myself up for success in the future. It’s hard to look at some parts of my past and say, “Yeah, that was for the best.” But lately, I’ve been doing just that. I was always the “big kid” growing up, and despite how much that sucked, it has allowed me to share my story and help many people. I’ve found the motivation I’ve been looking for to jump start my career in medicine. That’s a bold statement to say when you’re only 23. Let’s be honest, I haven’t really known myself that long, but I have a hunch this feeling is here to stay.
As the end of my stent on the East coast comes to a close, I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life.
To whatever may come, I’m ready.
“Optional sarcasm with a hint of truth.” Clever anecdotes fill our mainstream media with hatred and have the unique ability to destroy the hopes and dreams of anyone that may fall within the crosshairs.
Recently, I’ve been eager to find out what a life without sarcastic remarks may be like… more genuine? less funny? Would these two things be the worst? For as long as I can remember my life has been based around sarcasm. Looking back, it was a defense mechanism that guarded me from telling those that mattered what and how I really felt. It’s time to change.
Here’s to being real.. Here’s to being you.
Don’t be scared to walk alone… Don’t be scared to like it.
Recently, I’ve found myself getting lost. Lost in thoughts, emotions, signals, and assumptions. The more I try to control my life, the further the things I want move away. It seems counterintuitive that the more you try, the less you get in return, but this has always been a reoccurring theme in my life. For so long I have aspired to become a physician. I have lost many hours of sleep. I have lost many friends. I have missed birthdays, holidays, and weekends with loved ones. More importantly at certain times, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost myself. I gave all I had and got a little. I’ve been let down more times than I care to admit, but this year I have learned to let go, be myself, and let things happen as they may. I’m more focused, determined, and ready to move on to the next step in my life than I have ever been before.
I’ve met a lot of great people this year, some will forever be in my life, others are knowingly single-serving friends. I’ve found love. This love doesn’t know jealousy, it doesn’t know hate, and most importantly it doesn’t know how to be anything but real. I’m content with being in the present, not dwelling on the past, and not worrying about the future.
“I met a man I didn’t know and he asked me, “How are you doing?”..I should have just said, “Fine”, cause that’s all he wanted to hear… But for reasons unknown, in a sorrowful tone, I said, “Man, it’s been a hell of a year..”. I don’t really know where I’m going, and I might just be hanging around and if life is shades of grey, then I guess you could say that I’ve been waiting for a break in the clouds.”
With the future location of my medical career yet to be determined, I’m torn between warm weather and comfort. I’ve grown to love this city and it’s hard to imagine my life without it. I’m two hours from New York, Washington D.C. a little beyond that, and only an hour from the Jersey shore. Sure, Philly doesn’t exactly have “clean” written all over it, but despite the negatives, it has become my new home.
This year has been about personal growth. It has been about becoming more stable mentally, being more confident in the things I do, and doing the things I’ve always wanted to do. Fear hasn’t killed me yet, and I’m finally starting to realize that it never will. I’m going to channel whatever anxiety, whatever emotion, and whatever motivation I have into doing the things I love.. family, friends, music, and medicine. Those are the things that matter to me and from here on, those are the things that will dominate my life. I’ve cut out a lot of negativity, the people that have held me back for so long, and the things I’ve been scared of no longer have control over me. Cutting these things out of my life has definitely been for the best and has allowed new opportunities to come about. I was made to believe that darkness can overpower the light, but as of right now I know there are good people in this world, you just have to get lucky to find them.
“I’m a good man, with a good heart.. I had a tough time and I got a rough start.. But I’ve finally learned to let it go…”
There are certain things I get excited about… 1/2 off on coffee at WaWa and people that can rap any song from the Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack. My hat is off to you Mr. Mayer. Well played.
That even though I performed a barely passable version of “Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown at the Brass Monkey tonight, I did take the 12 bar break to perform a word-perfect rendition of Mr. Brown’s rap from “On Our Own” from the Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack. It’s this kind of attention to detail that I hope will come to represent my legacy. Thank you for your time.
It’s 2:00 AM on the Sunday morning after Christmas and I can’t help but think about everything that has happened this year…I usually take one day each year to have a “review moment” and it’s quite unfortunate that this year it had to happen so late…This “review moment”, if you will, is pretty similar to SportsCenter but applied to my life. I can’t help but enjoy replaying all the highs and negating some of the lows, but then again who doesn’t?
I always think to myself that I’m different, that I have something more to offer to the world’s population and it’s future inhabitants than some of the other people on this small speck in the universe known as Earth. This may seem arrogant, but it’s the truth. I don’t think I am “better” than anyone else, but rather I set my standards incredibly high, higher than most, and I try each day to meet them and usually fall short. It may seem like this is a depressing way to put it, but I feel that if I ever meet my expectations then someone, namely myself, would have achieved perfection, which we all know isn’t possible. I set the bar high so I will continually try to improve, so I will become who I want to be, so I will be the best at who I become, whatever and whoever that may be.
Always take life, one step at a time.