Friday, August 12, 2011

My New Year

Here I am, making my first big step into the wide-world of blogs! I have enjoyed reading several blogs in particular over the years, and I even wrote a temporary blog to document some time I spent abroad last summer, but this will be my first real attempt at making a contribution to the blog-o-sphere.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a blog in the past but the issue of time always prevented me.
Time and I have a long-standing, complicated relationship. In my opinion, Time has always been extremely stingy and needy with me. Although the real culprit here may in fact have been school and my own masochistic, over-achieving need to constantly study and overload on courses. I have even spent my past few summers taking classes and working. Basically, school has always been my excuse for not having time to do certain things.

It is likely that I would have kept myself in this cycle for several more years since I had planned on going to medical school as soon as I graduated from college (which I did in May!), however, I encountered a few bumps in my road (as we all tend to) that have caused me to take a slight detour from my original path. I still have every intention of going to med school and becoming a doctor, it's just going to take a little bit longer than I originally had planned.

I have both some negative and some positive perspectives on this state-of-affairs:

The Negative
  1. It kind of freaks me out when things don't go according to plan (My name is Mandy, and I have a Type-A personality). Don't get me wrong, I can hang pretty well with you spontaneous folk out there, but when it comes to long-term goals, I need a plan. So when plans have to change and I have to readjust, I tend to get a little lost and scared.
  2. Studying has always been my security blanket. It's a good distraction. It's safe. Plus, I'm a total nerd. I can not honestly remember the last time I had absolutely nothing to study for. My studying career has pretty much been a long stream of college courses, MCAT studying, summer college courses, high school classes, even summer work in high school. Imagine my shock and dismay (remember, I don't adjust to change very well) now that my safety blanket has been torn away from me (some of you out there probably think I am off my rocker for being upset that I can't study anymore, but to each his own I say!). What do I do now? Well, this is where the positives come in.
The Positive
  1. Dude, I actually have time to do all of the things that I have been wanting to do for so many years! I can bake and experiment with cooking to my heart's content, I can go to concerts and shows (funds permitting of course), I can finally put dents in my queues of knitting projects, movies to watch, books to read (Golly! I can read books for fun again!), and television shows to watch, and I can spend more time with my family and friends. I can even try my hand at new things! AND, I now have the time to write a blog where I can document all of my new adventures.
  2. But the thing I am most excited about having the time to do? Traveling and exploring. I am such a sucker for any form of travel, whether it be a road trip to a new state or backpacking around Europe, solo or with family and friends, I am gamer than game. So, it is probably a very good thing to attempt to get a bit of my extreme wanderlust out of my system before I start on the long doctor-path.
  3. Honestly? There's a good chance I would have burned myself out had I kept going at the pace I was. Sometimes, we need someone or something to slow us down because we can't see just how fast we really are going. I know that I need this time off, I was just too stubborn to admit it until I had to.
As you can see, there are more positives than there are negatives, but I definitely still struggle on a daily basis with the negatives. Yet, I am doing my best to overcome this struggle by keeping those positive outlooks. There are two quotes that I believe can sum this up (Get used to this because I am a fan of quotes. And parentheses):
"We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us" - Joseph Campbell

"Don't wear fear or no one will know you're there. You're there."
- Cat Stevens

This blog is my (small) attempt at letting go of the year I had planned, accepting my new one, and at being a little more "there".

I hope some of you out there will join me in my new year as I finally take the time to explore new places, music, projects, recipes, movies, books, and oodles more.

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