I can't believe it's been a year since I posted. A lot has happened this year. I feel like a completely different person than I was last year -- more mature, more capable, more wise. I've never been in a better place in life, and the contrast to the emotional instability I went through for the ~6 previous years has made me feel so, so blessed for my current circumstances. Blessed for my boss, who is so supportive of all my endeavors and personal/career goals and who has taught me a great deal in science and in life. For my parents, who are my biggest cheerleaders and have gradually become my best friends. For Jason, who is better than the best boyfriend I could have imagined. For all my friends -- current and future lawyers, educators, politicians, doctors, scientists, engineers, artists, leaders -- who are now scattered around the country doing some really impressive things in the world.
I feel like the past year has been extremely formative. While I've always considered medicine as a career choice and tried to keep my options open, it wasn't until this year that I decided to go for it. I spent the past year taking some pre med classes (introductory science classes), volunteering in the hospital, shadowing doctors, and doing research, and all these activities have strengthened the conviction that nothing else will make me happier. I'll be applying this summer for a fall 2012 matriculation; wish me good luck!
This year has been a trying one for me and Jason. Jason also had a lot going on: he started a new job in a management position in manufacturing at GE aviation, which has him rotating to different plants every 6 months. Thus, I had the opportunity of visiting him in new places around the country: mississippi and boston so far, and in the future, long island and whippany, NJ. Having never really been apart while dating at Duke, the long distance relationship it was a difficult adjustment. Between my being up to my eyeballs with class and work, and his working 80-hour weeks, sometimes our relationship suffered, but now that class and MCAT is mostly behind me and Jason's upcoming rotations will be more local, I think we're closer than ever and starting to seriously imagine what our life together might be like in the future.
As is typical for a couple who probably sees each other once every two months, Jason and I had the most magical weekend together last week in Boston. It was the day after my MCAT when I boarded the bus to new york city and then another bus to boston. I was on a total MCAT high, my head still racing from 4-5 months of daily studying and preparation culminating in 5 hours of maximum focus. The weekend that followed was just nearly perfect in every way. The weather cooperated, and we got to spend entire days roaming through the neighborhoods in boston, stopping to share only an iced coffee and a few moments of rest on the sides of streets. After working up an appetite, we'd enjoy a slow meal after the restaurant's dinner rush and languish in the serenity of a warm summer night, our faces flushed from blueberry beer and the day's adventures. Everything seemed to follow a later schedule than usual, or following no schedule at all -- breakfast at eleven, lunch at two, dinner at nine, sex in the afternoon in the dark, cool confines of his apartment.
Just writing this all out makes me miss Jason, his adorable autumn wheat eyelashes and the freckles on his arms, the way his laughs curl. How he indulges my nerdy side and teaches me about cars, planes, and the physics of daily occurrences. Of course, real life is not like the "vacation weekends" we spend with each other once every two months, but I am equally as excited for sharing a mundane routine together like doing errands, going grocery shopping, cleaning the toilet, etc.. As a very private person and only child, I've always had reservations about the idea of moving in with Jason so soon, but it's been >3.5 years of dating and I'm starting to look forward to it. I can't wait to go apartment-hunting in preparation for his last job rotation in new jersey. Last night, Jason and I were talking about how fast the future is arriving. I can't believe I'm edging towards my "mid twenties" already! Chinese toddlers and children are beginning to refer to me as "a yi," the chinese term of respect for women of their parents' age. It will take me a long time to get used to that. At least I still get mistaken for a high school student in my research lab! People often tell me college is the best time of one's life, but I think my twenties are going to be wonderful :)
I have so many reasons to be happy, and I am. I am really deeply happy.