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The Art of Enjoying Solitude

Monday, February 15, 2021

 



There is something enticing about being in my own company, or perhaps with a silent four-legged partner, walking down a dirt path. I can hear and feel the crunch of the gravel beneath my shoes, the wind whispering through the trees, and the sun peeking out from behind the leaves. At that moment, the rest of the world washes away while I contemplate and organize the thoughts busy in my mind or wash them away with the music from my earbuds. The moment is mine entirely and nothing else matters. I ponder over the complexities of existence dipping my metaphorical toes into existential ideas while attempting to hold on to the literality of life. Or maybe, I am sitting bundled up in my blanket cocoon with a book in my lap immersed in a world so fascinatingly different from mine filled with characters who are now a part of my being as I savor each page that my eyes scan. As I put my book away, both mourning and rejoicing in the ending of another world, I bask in the soothing quiet, and cozy surroundings. These moments are special and integral to my well-being.


    Even when my family of four lived in a tiny two-bedroom apartment, I would search for my pockets of escape so that I had my alone time during which I could escape into my through a novel or my own imagination. My mind would be free to unravel its thoughts and ideas to entropic proportions to the point where it almost mimicked an out-of-body experience. My favorite space was the top bunk bed in the bedroom I shared with my sister. 

Rejected... Reasons Men and Their Mothers Turned Me Down for Marriage

Friday, January 29, 2021

 




As I sit here in my bedroom pondering the inexplicable intricacies of life and being human, my mind took a turn towards the complex topic of marriage and relationships. Perhaps watching Bridgerton also brought up memories of reaching the marriageable age in society and how that went for me. Being a Pakistani woman, my mind naturally raced down memory road and decided to focus on how I achieved rejections in my life amidst dressing up in colorful clothes and looking presentable to the aunties always watching me. The fact that I can sit here and laugh about the absurdities of my culture and chuckle over what these people conveyed to me at that time is an accomplishment in itself. I have decided that others should be just as entertained as I am on the various reasons for rejections and also consider the underlying seriousness of it all. Though this seems funny to me now, experiencing their brandished verbal weapons at that time was significantly jarring and resulted in the upheaval of my life. 


Ushering in 2021

Friday, January 22, 2021

 




We have ushered in a new year, 2021, and my thoughts are all over the place. Instead of making New Year's resolutions, I wanted to withdraw and not think about anything. In moments such as this, I tend to forget what and why I am doing certain things. For example, I have felt less and less enthused about keeping up with my blog. I started off strong, but then I felt my motivation wither away as doubt crept in. I became focused on whether anybody cares to read my words and if they really matter. When I type, I don't remember what I wish to say as if my words are like a dream slipping through the cracks of my brain as I try harder to conjure them up. But then I remember that I am doing this for myself just as much as I am doing this for others. Sure, I want my posts to be relatable to you and perhaps I will find a few like-minded individuals over time, but this is also a form of therapy purely for myself. 


    The funny part is that I am in a much more stable place now than I was a few years ago and my brain is content in keeping the harsh blips in my life distant buried memories. I should have started this when I was living through my nightmares to help myself cope, but it always worried me they would find it and this kept me away from displaying my agony to strangers. But it makes me happy knowing that there are those out there who are able to voice their concerns and pain because I know how challenging and difficult that can be. I have decided I will continue with my journey and my thoughts even if this becomes just a memoir for me because I can take a look back and watch my journey and thoughts unfold. This is also the reason I used to enjoy writing in journals but I never continued long enough to observe my own progression because my journal would be discovered or I would be paranoid that someone will read it. 

Missed Connections

Friday, December 18, 2020

 



Did you ever meet someone during your childhood and realized you and this person have an amazing connection that if allowed to flourish, would result in a beautiful strong friendship? I most definitely did. Looking at kids now, I wish I had a phone number I could have given these girls as they affected my life for a short period but their memory is still fresh in my mind. I wonder what they are doing and where they are now. Most of all I wish they are happy and thriving in this crazy world. 


    One of the girls I met in elementary school and we became friends in grade three. By the time I reached grade five, we were really close friends who would enjoy sitting and chatting by the sandbox and talking about everything and anything. My relationship with her was different than the dynamic with my other childhood friends and I felt as if I could pour my heart out to her and she would not use this against me. She made me feel safe in a world where I was unsure of who I could trust. I had such vivid memories of my mother picking me up during lunchtime once a week to take me for my weekly seasonal allergy injections. These were bittersweet days for me because I hate being poked but I looked forward to the Burger King meal I would get for lunch. Once I returned to school, I would run towards the sandbox and find my friend waiting for me there. I would sit there talking to her while mindlessly grabbing on to the warm dirt and squishing it between my fingers. I watched as it oozed out from the gaps between the fingers. There was something so soothing about the grainy feel running across my hands. I would continue to rake the earth until I reached the cooler, damp earth a few inches down. The cool earth soothed my fingers so I would clasp it tightly in my hand and squeeze it so it would burst out from between my fingers. 

Surviving a Pandemic

Monday, November 23, 2020

 



    After an utterly exhausting week that left my cortisol levels reaching new peaks in this interview season there was a long and hard crash. I felt exhausted and almost as if I would blackout from the sleepiness and nothingness filling my brain with black. So I let my body steer me in the direction it needed to go and succumbed to the fatigue. I slept for half a day and all night. But now, I am ready to take on what comes next. If I forced my body to continue in the condition it was, I would have crashed or remained in a state of perpetual exhaustion which would draw out my agony for a longer period of time and reduce my efficiency and motivation, anyway. I decided to take a break from everything to enable myself the chance to get back up on my feet and feel some semblance of rejuvenation or peace of mind. Alas, I feel that I will be unable to feel at peace until I hear some more news of any kind. But what can I say, I am going to accept that this is my life for now. During this time I pondered and mused over what I could possibly share with my readers in the midst of my mental crises. There is so much to say and so many more stories to tell but I want to wait it out a bit. Talking about the difficult periods in my life while undergoing a mental breakdown is probably not the healthiest of ways to cope at this time. So I started musing what could be motivating and inspiring to me in a time like this. Perhaps I need to branch out a little bit more in my desire to talk about everything. So much to think about indeed but let's start with a story from today.

Closed Doors and Open Hearts

Monday, November 16, 2020

 



This month I feel anxious and the sense of gloom and defeat washes over my senses as I gaze out into the gloomy, rainy weather outside my window. I am warm in my blanket cocoon, but my heart races, and I feel the cool clamminess of my feet as they touch each other under the blanket. My body is in fight-or-flight mode despite no sense of current impending doom. Yet it is all around me, washing over me. This residency interview season, already delayed due to the pandemic wreaking havoc over the globe, changed the rules of the game in ways that were both good and bad. My interviews this season will be virtual, good, and bad. The trickle of rejections weighing out the interview invitations seems to be crawling at a snail's pace, bad. I don't know what to do with my time and I hate not knowing. The wait until March will be filled with sleepless nights going over the mistakes I made during my Zoom interviews. There is no escape for my mind because the world needed to shut down for a while and slow its pace so that it could recover and breathe. But my breathing rapidly progresses and I pace across the room until I decide it is too cold to walk around without my blanket shroud. 


    My mind cannot stop reminding me of my mistakes during my recent interview. Why did I not mention my strengths more often? I wondered if the program director thought my excitement and pleading eyes bordered on desperation. I sigh as I continue to stare out into a grey world cut starkly with the green of the cedars and pines lining the front yard. The stoic serene quality of their straight trunks extending to the sky normally brings a sense of calm over me but today they loom over me with foreboding, blocking me from the outside world. The slow pattering of the rain hypnotizes me and I dissociate into a different realm of everything and nothing. I am transported to my past achievements and failures, failures mostly. I don't know what I would do if this doesn't work out. What if I cannot continue working on becoming a physician, what will I do with my life? Nobody would be surprised if I didn't make it, everyone already doubts I will match anywhere. My own faith in myself wavers and oscillates over the day, week, and possibly month. 

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