“For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Too often, we find ourselves trapped in the mindset of “have to.” I have to go to work. I have to study. I have to go see the new patient in room 6. I have to make time to workout. I have to meet up with my friend for dinner.

I know I am not alone in this.

We, professional students, get caught in the whirlwind of our responsibilities and our interests. To-do lists that stretch far too long down the page serve as our lifesource. We are unfailingly hardworking. We schedule naps. We schedule social time. We fail to be spontaneous.

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“Here’s to the unknown, the smiles and the tears and the laughs we haven’t had yet.” – O.L.

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! The quote that serves as the title of this post is an excerpt from a poem I discovered earlier today. Simple in its construction, the poem has great depth. I want to share the poem, “Honest Toasts for the New Year” in its entirety before I dive into the rest of this post.

New Year’s Eve and we are all
holding flutes of cheap champagne,
with people we don’t know
or don’t care for, or we wish we could
just leave behind with this year
and we are all toasting,
glasses raised above crooked halos.

Here’s to the friends we lost,
the friends that left us behind,
the friends we haven’t met yet
and the friends that are bound
to be more than.

Here’s to the knives wedged
between shoulder blades
and blood slick ribs,
grazing our hearts as we breathe.
Here’s to the pain
that made us stronger.

Here’s to the resolutions we didn’t keep,
the ones we will make again
and again and again,
but habits are hard to break.
Here’s to consistency.

Here’s to the lips we kissed,
bruised, bit, lavished
and all the lips we will come
in contact with in the future.
Here’s to love.

Here’s to the scars
and the pieces of ourselves
we had to cut off to make it,
the fractures of glass that we are leaving
in this hellhole of a year.

Here’s to the unknown,
the smiles and the tears and the laughs
we haven’t had yet.
Here’s to next year, the New Year,
hopefully it will be better
and we will learn just as much.

Feel free to read the rest of O.L.’s poetry at this link.

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“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” – Melody Beattie

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Happy New Year! My hope is that all of you have an amazing 2016 filled with love, happiness, adventure, and unforgettable moments. If you’re anything like me, you see the start of the new year as a moment to reflect, grow, and become a better person. I love making (keeping few, breaking some) resolutions. I make resolutions at the top of the year (which I reevaluate at the start of each month), prior to the start of Lent, and on my birthday.

As some of you faithful readers probably would have guessed, I have a system for making resolutions. I start with five categories — academics, personal health, faith, passion projects, and relationships — and make 1-2 goals per category. In short, these resolutions push me toward finding more balance in my life.

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Liebster Award

You may have noticed that over the past few months, my blog has been…barren. In that period of time, I began and finished anatomy and embryology. Last Friday, we took the NBME Anatomy Shelf exam — a national anatomy exam — and tomorrow we begin the integrated curriculum (full steam ahead for Biochemistry, Genetics, Physiology, and Histology). In a few days, I’ll share a reflection on my experience with anatomy (and embryology?), some information about how to prepare for the NBME Anatomy Shelf (what I did and what I wish that I did), and more updates about my life at TUSOM!

Over the past few months, I’ve received a few nominations for the Liebster Award and I want to take the time to thank the individuals who nominated my blog and to answer some of the questions the nominators sent my way.

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“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” ― Taylor Swift

If I had to describe the last four weeks in one word, I’d go with whirlwind. Rather than bore you with prologue and pretense, I’ll just jump into a recap.

Four weeks ago: (1) my roommates moved in, (2) I finished MPH summer coursework, and (3) celebrated the end of summer courses. My roommates — Grace & Amanda — moved in and they are absolutely phenomenal human beings; I feel pretty lucky to have such great roommates. Both Grace and Amanda were able to join in on festivities.

Brittani — one of my friends in the MPH program — suggested that we throw a party to celebrate the end of MPH classes. Every good party has a theme (#amiright) and we decided to have a curry cook-off. Ben and Emi respectively made Taiwanese and Japanese curries and Brittani b(r)ought Jamaican curry.

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“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

That has been my mantra for this summer of exploration and growth. I want to break down sort of what has been going on since the last time that I posted about my adventures in NOLA

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