Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day One

Does anyone else approach each day as their new beginning? The older I get the more I realize that true happiness requires serious work every day, and a true commitment to being present and aware. It is an art, a practice. I did not start this in my earlier years. Like many I spent years numbing myself and self medicating. This doesn't always mean drugs and alcohol. It can be done with anything in excess and intense focus designed to block out feelings and being in the moment. It can be food, exercise, work, the relationships we choose, obsession with fashion, technology… You name it. Pick your addiction, or your life anesthetic. That said, most things are fine in moderation and that includes the aforementioned being present and aware. We can't live 100% of the time in such a raw hyper-attuned state. That would be destructive as well. Thus each day is my Day One, trying to find the right balance for that day. Each day is different. I guess it's the effort that counts.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Real Connectedness

I recently watched a little clip on Facebook (yes, one of those "You will think twice about being on Facebook if you click… THIS"), and I have been sensitive to it's truth ever since.

I feel so… desperately… alone. I feel like a failure.

I want to dig into this, to figure out why. My life is by all accounts pretty perfect. I have a wonderful, close, supportive family. I have an incredible and loving husband. I have a hilarious and adorable dog that is the light of my life. I have tons of interesting, lovely friends. I have a great career as a physician and I love the people I work with. I am financially stable with minimal, manageable student loans. Everything should be great, and it is when I step back and think about things like a rational human being. And yet…

What stops me from enjoying my life? I think I have substituted this digital "connection" (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for actual conversation. I feel validation only with the ticker marks of likes/favorites/retweets/hearts/comments etc., and I have lost the ability and or need to cultivate feelings of validation from my relationships or more importantly from within. I don't know what to do. Here I sit with plenty of people to read my thoughts in the electronic venue of my choice, and yet I can't be my true self or reveal my true thoughts. People only want to see the good stuff, whether they love it or love/hate it. It's a trap. We are shouting our accomplishments, our desires and our ideas of the perfect life into a void or at very best over the cold distance of the internet. I am really more alone that it seems. Maybe we all are.  I personally am left feeling alone, ashamed, untruthful, isolated, and left out. And still I consume more. I pore over Instagram and see what people are doing without me. I study Pinterest intensely trying to understand how everyone it so much prettier, more stylish, and cooler than I am. I kick myself for being "unpopular" and "not funny enough" on Twitter. I feel barren when I look at everyones children on Facebook. I feel like a loser when I listen to Podcasts knowing I will never be worthy of an interview. Is this insane? I think it is. When did my prerequisites for pride, happiness, and self worth get so warped? Will anything ever be enough?

I can't remember how to reach out. It's like communication means nothing anymore. I don't know how to fix my problem, I still don't fully understand what my problem is. But I know that I need to face it head on. I will try writing my way through and out of it, it seems to be the only thing that helps. That is probably, like anything, why I avoid it. Well, here's to trying. Real connectedness, most importantly with myself.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why I Want To Be A Ghost

I am excited to become a ghost (fingers crossed) because I LOVE staring at people. I love me a good, uninterrupted observation sesh; and I would be absolutely giddy if I could just gad about and peep into peoples medicine cabinets. It’s not about judgement; it is sheer curiosity. I want to know peoples morning rituals, how they get ready, and how they wind down at night. It isn’t personal scandal that interests me; I am far more drawn to finding out what sort of cosmetic products are lying around.

I would also float around peering into closets. I want to know how often people dry clean things, how they organize their clothes, and what brands they favor. Shoe storage versus display is also something I would enjoy surveying. Likewise for handbags and jewelry.

I would be so polite, not a haunting sort of ghost. Maybe every now and then I would leave a little note saying something like:

“Don’t worry. I’m a ghost, but a good one. I just want to say I really learned from how you put on your eyeliner. I wish I had eyes to line. I can also see how well it works that you actually let your conditioner sit for 5 minutes. I should have done that. Again, I mean no harm, and thank you.


I'm Going to be a M*****!!!!!!!!!

That’s Right, a Mentor! Did you think “Mother”? That’s what I was trying to make a play on. Well, it’s almost as big you guys. I got the news today… I’m going to be a “mentor” to a girl in college that is interested in going to medical school!

I am going to mentor the hell out of this girl. I have the responsibility to give her a peek into the window of a career in medicine, and a life in medicine. So now comes the question: How do I “mentor”? I hope she doesn’t ask too many medical questions. Between you and me, I am TERRIFIED when “civilians” ask me medical questions. For some reason these are always the hardest (The other day I nearly blew a fuse trying to explain “antihistamine” versus “decongestant”, and got really frazzled when someone kept asking what to give their child for a runny nose)!

Well as far as deciding to go to medical school, I’m going to tell her the truth. I never wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be something “cool”. I was good at science and studying and stuff. Seriously you should see me take some notes with multi-colored pens, I can make a WICKED chart, and my flashcards pretty much rock. Really it was the path of least resistance that led me to medical school. I honestly sort of defaulted into it. Fortunately it turns out being a doctor is pretty cool. I work with amazing people, and I meet delightful patients every day each with a new story. My work is tremendously interesting, varied, intense, AND I get to basically wear pajamas every day. And I don’t have to look cute (just clean). If I had to pick out outfits and look pretty? Ugh. I would die of stress. Give me someone coding and bleeding any day.

I work really hard, and I miss a lot of fun stuff on work nights, but my life is great! I found the coolest guy in the world to marry me and deal with my craziness through thick and thin (unlike the guy who said he could never be “Doctor and Mister”).  My guy thinks blood is gross, and he thinks it’s cute when I talk doctor. Residency is rough, but now that I’m out, I have a life! I have girlfriends, I love shopping, I get quality Netflix streaming time, I am up on celebrity gossip to my hearts content, and I sometimes have Nicki Minaj stuck in my head in the OR. Basically I am living the dream.

I think I can sell it, right? What else do I need to tell a young lady considering a medical career? What would she (or anyone) want to know about being a doctor?

Monday, June 13, 2011


This is my closet. Shhyeah! Right!

Last night my lovely friend Wandie came over to help me sort through my closet. By this, I mean she came over and we drank copious amounts of wine while watching a Mischa Barton four part interview with Fearne Cotton. I think we both agreed that our lives began with how ridiculous this interview is; I highly encouraged anyone reading this to immediately stop and Google the aforementioned interview. It is almost too good to bear.

So once we were all sauced up with wine and Mischa Madness, we were ready to attack the dreaded wardrobe. I recruited Wandie for the task because 1.) She is awesome, 2.) She inspired me with her fabulous Closet Visit (on, 3.) She is a pop culture junkie like me, and 4.) Because she can drink wine like a champ. I wanted Ms Allison to help me in my quest for style as well, but alas, she is in the Land Down Under. Not Hell, quite the opposite- Australia. I wanted Ms Lindy to help as well, but alas she is in Nantucket. Ah, the lives of these stylish ladies.

So we headed up to my modest yet jam packed closet. Note to future closet excavators and exorcisers: Wine is A MUST. I cannot emphasize this enough. Wandie needed wine to even look at some of my "adventurous, um, er, experimental and quirky pieces; and I needed it to bear the embarrassment of presenting some of my questionable items. Let me tell you, getting your closet weeded out with another non-biased party is not for the faint of heart.

You see, for me (and I suspect many if not all others) clothes are complicated. They are who I am, who I want to be, who I admire, experiences I've had, experiences I want to have, landmarks in my life, and my relationships with others. For example, I am extremely emotionally attached to anything I bought with my Mom- Our shopping trips are our bonding time, getting rid of a piece bought with my Mom seems to violate our bond despite the fact that she fully supports a good closet cleaning. There are also dresses I've worn for certain events: The BCBG kimono dress I wore for my last surgery end of the year dinner; the sweater dress I got in France with my Mom that I wore the night Jeff and I got engaged (double whammy); The vintage dress that I wore when we had our minds blown at Providence, the Theory sweater and pants that I wore as my one "dressy" clinic outfit as an intern.... It goes on and on. Oh, and don't even get me started on all of the funky thrift store blouses. Am I just supposed to accept that I will never be that girl? DAMN!

Then there is the IRO silk dress I bought right after I found out that I had a residency position at UCSF... A private, celebratory thing.  I mean, how do I just say "Meh, it's just not happening" with all of this???

Well that is just what I did. As Wandie scowled, critiqued, analyzed and occasionally gagged; I had to present and defend each item in my closet, or just roll over and cast it aside. She coached me through it like a pro though, saying things like:
"You need to make more room to wear all of your beautiful things"!
"When were you a pregnant hippie"?
"Wow. This really is what Jesus wore".
"You have ninety of this, but not as ugly"!
"You aren't a little old lady"!
"That is BOXY"!
"Ugh, Alex, no!!! Just NO"!
"I can't even look at you right now".
"Um, were you larger then"?
"No one needs to wear pears. Nothing about you says pears".
"Too precious".
"You can't do ironic or quirky. Let it go".
"Now this is all amazing and chic. HOW CAN YOU LET THAT BE NEXT TO IT"?
"Are you a PIMP? You don't even look like a prostitute, but someone who sells them"!

...And so on and so forth. She truly was like, um, a Biggest Loser coach or like Simon Cowell or something. And you know what? I lost. And my closet is singing. I also feel very free, and unburdened! All of those unworn and unflattering clothes really wear on you (pun INTENDED), they become quite the albatross. The end goal is to look in my closet and just SWOON... As opposed to fall victim to the onslaught of guilt, insecurity, overstimulation, and identity crisis that come along with a cluttered, incongruent closet.

There. Have I talked about clothes enough? I am planning on taking some photos of what goes, what comes in, and how it gets organized...

And I can't stop laughing about Mischa Barton.

To see my source of inspiration, check it out!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Margaritas. For your health.

So tonight was fantastic. After a long day in the OR, with a difficult airway followed by a heart wrenching story, I headed to dinner and drinks at Marix with my forever bestie Ms Molly. Just what I needed. We even found this super cool sidewalk square on our way walking to dinner (the treasures you find when you actually WALK in Los Angeles??!!!).

Now there is a rerun of SNL with Shannen Dougherty? Are you kidding me? How much love and nostalgia and present day awesomeness can a girl take? OMG they are spoofing the Van Halen "Right Now" video... Um, right now. 

Okay so this will be it for my delightfully drunken girls night blog, but suffice to say I am happy. 


In all seriousness, I have a post for tomorrow about today that will be pretty sad... but for now, ain't nothing gonna hold me down! Viva tequila!