Monday, July 30, 2012

Because it's Monday

And we could all use a little happy.

This actually had me tearing up on Friday.
But it was a long week.
I haven't even told you guys what I've been doing this month!
I've been on the locked psychiatry unit.

I wrote about my psych experiences before:
here, here, here, and here.

This month has involved...
 a 60-year-old man in a cropped purple sweater vest blasting Call Me Maybe,
being cussed at,
talking to patients in togas made out of hospital sheets,
assuring a manic patient that we were not in fact Nazis,
trying to convince another manic patient that she really should get dialysis because you know, 
her life depended on it,
being proposed to by a patient,
seeing people come back to reality from a psychosis.
It's been amazing.
 But it also makes for tearing up on Friday while watching a dude dancing badly around the world.

To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
-William James

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Every woman should travel

I've been thinking about travel a lot lately.
Of waking up every morning and creating your own agenda.
Of sliding into that train seat excited to stare out at a new countryside for hours.
Of carrying everything you need, from underwear to your journal, around in a backpack.
Of the rainbows you see in the mist as the sun rises and burns away the clouds on Machu Picchu.
Of those glasses of Moroccan mint tea served with two sugar cubes.
Of having to take multiple showers a night because you can't afford an air conditioned hotel room in 120 degree heat in India.
Of peeing on the side of the road in the African bush on an 11 hour bus ride.
How even the days when you're in bed (or on a bus!) with food poisoning somehow are better than many of the gray days we let pass without looking at them with the childlike wonder they deserve. 

When Cate and I traveled, I never really considered the fact that it was 2 women that were traveling 'alone'.
Call it youth or foolishness, but I think I'll call that the ultimate form of feminism that my parents raised me with, to never even consider that you can't do something just because you're a woman.  And for that I'm grateful.

I liked this article.  And I agree, every woman should travel.  But every person should.
Is this really still true?
"A woman traveling alone threatens tradition and propriety. And because women often doubt themselves, we stay toward safe harbors and soft landings, hiding behind the needs and wants of others."
If so, we need to sail out of harbors and come out from hiding, because there's a whole world out there.

I never considered feeling unsafe because I was a woman. 
I did feel disrespected, dismissed, and got groped because I was a woman traveling in countries that made me glad I was a woman in America.
But I never felt unsafe.
I felt lucky.

"If you are lucky, you stop seeing the world as a series of things you do not have — a boyfriend, a baby, an adorable terrier – and you start noticing the things you do have. A healthy bank account, unburdened by mortgages or school loans. No romantic ties. Loving parents who wanted nothing but happiness for me. Years to burn. That kind of freedom is like a command from the universe to get off your ass and do something amazing." -Sarah Hepola

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Design & Sustainability / Chikumbuso

I think you all know that one of my sisters lives in Zambia.
And she brought us all one of these bags for Christmas.

They are made by women in Zambia out of old plastic bags.
A portion of the profits goes back to the woman and a portion supports Chikumbuso's community projects.
And I use mine.
ALL the time.
And I get asked about it in airports.
And my best friend just asked for one.
So I thought I should share them!

My sister brought a bunch back to the States to sell to support Chikumbuso.
If you're interested in one,
let me know!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Things / 3


 I recently found out that there is a drive-in movie theater near me (above!).
And was even more recently told that I need to stop gushing about it.
But come on,
$7 + 2 movies + pick-up truck + summer night = bliss.
Am I right?

Find your local drive-in HERE.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Magic Hour

It was that magic hour of late summer evening twilight.
The bus home from work had deposited me along the waterfront.
People were running, pushing baby strollers, lovers were sitting on blankets,
but life gave me that momentary gift of not hearing any of it, of not being a part of it, of just seeing it,
watching it like an old flickering movie frame.
I started up Depot street, an old steep hill that veers from the waterfront towards home.
The old tarmac was cracked from roots trying to reclaim their earth.
The sun glittered in through the screen of heavy summer leaves.
Green leaves became gold lined, the sun exposing their lattice lives, speaking to the life running through their veins.
A steep rocky path winked at me from behind a laden fringe of branches.
The shelter under the trees beckoned of the kings and queens we would become of unclaimed territories in childhood summers.
A land in which Queen Anne's Lace was royal, earth was magic, and sticks called new worlds into being.
And that one magic hour reclaimed a whole decidedly non-magical day.

Design / Sugarboo

When I was home,
I wandered around a lovely farm town Serenbe with my mama.
And found this in one of the shops.
I flipped through this book of love notes and had to buy it because I immediately knew who I wanted to give like 10 of them to.
It's a fun, more low-key alternative to a card.
I also wanted to buy her artwork,
but that will have to wait for another day,
when I am not a medical student.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Things / 2


I would wear them everywhere if it were socially acceptable.
And I do sometimes even when it's not.


Bikini bottoms underneath
But the boys' hearts still skip a beat
When them girls shimmy off
Them old cutoffs
-Summertime, Kenny Chesney

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 3rd of July!

Apparently Burlington celebrates on the 3rd.
With an epic firework show over Lake Champlain.
I went to my friend Mayo's house, that overlooks the lake.
Back yard.
Tiki torches.
Big band music.
Hundreds of boats bobbing in the lake like a sea of fireflies.
And fireworks bursting over our heads.
It was a dreamy, perfect scene.

Then a fife & drum band dressing in colonial attire appeared on the street,
which apparently happens every year,
and piped American anthems up and down the street with all of us marching after.
Then neighbors stood on the street and talked,
kids ran around waving sparklers and flags,
and the humid summer night air wrapped us all in the scent of honeysuckle.

I love this land.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Half Year Recap

Oh hey July!
Where did you sneak up from?
Well, since we are somehow now halfway through 2012,
I thought I'd do a quick photo recap/gratitude moment
to make sure 
I realize and appreciate all that has happened so far!


*Rang in the New Year in Charleston with an Oyster Roast and my best friend.

*Finally got to do my first clinical rotation in Vermont and learned how to deliver babies with a pretty good view of sunrise on the overnight shifts.


* Got to go back to sunny St. Andrews Scotland to celebrate the wedding of 2 of my good friends
and to catch up with other good friends!

*Finished my 3rd year of medical school clinical clerkships. Wept with joy that that was over.

 *Went to freakin' Costa Rica for some hilarious times with a great crew.

*Had the most amazing rejuvenation at Pacha Mama.

 *Did a reading month learning all about psychiatry.

*Celebrated my amazing friend's 30th birthday with a reunion of our high school friends in North Georgia.


*Had a unicorn birthday party with my family.  As you do.

*Moved out of my car.  And into a lovely house in Burlington!

*Did my Medicine Acting Internship.

*Went camping with some very flexible people 
(Charlie. Second from the left. Check it.)


*Drove home to Georgia, getting to see friends in NYC and DC along the way!
Hello home!

*Got to see my baby sister Jenna graduate from UGA! Go Banana!

*Went to my cousin's beautiful wedding Florida.

*Studied for an took Step 2 of the Medical Boards Exams.


*Inadvertently took some post-boards vacation,
which involved...


*Music Festivaling at Bonnaroo


*Roadtripping back up to glorious Vermont.

*And today I started my Psychiatry Acting Intern rotation.

I seriously did not realize that much had happened this year.
it's been a good year so far,
and it's only getting better.

So, what are you grateful for this year so far?