Plato believed that we lived in a world of
images, three-dimensional shadows of the true one. What we see with our eyes is nothing more than a cheap imitation of its true state.
example, the chair we see before our eyes is nothing more than a shabby image of the true chair that exists. We carry on everyday with
flawed perceptions of the true ideal form.
Life After College:
Year 3 - In Transit
[Thursday, November 25, 2004]
"Um... is it that time of month or something?"
"Yes. I've had my period 6 times already this month."
I don't know why I'm so emotional today. I just had my period last week, so it can't possibly be PMS. I told my best friend Kenmore that I'd been officially waitlisted yesterday at Upstate, and then for some odd reason, I burst into tears. I don't know why I started crying - it's not like I haven't known for days. It kinda freaks me out though. I don't want to be one of those girls who cries at weird moments.
What is it about male best friends that makes you cry? I don't do it around my girl best friends. I think it's because they're inherently male. It makes you feel a little safer, like you can be a bit more vulnerable. Because they're guys. They're strong and stuff. And perhaps because guys always have that slight machismo attitude, you feel like you don't have to keep up the facade of being a brave strong independent woman - postfeminist/GloriaSteinem style. You feel like you can give in to those little girlish tendencies that you've been told to hate as signs of weakness, largely because guys expect you to be like that anyways. Usually I hate the machismo, and actually - even at times like this I hate it. It now predisposes me to give in and sob like a weak woman when I had been holding up so delightfully well. I recognize it as a part of life because let's face it - men and women are different. I cry sometimes at long distance commercials and kodak advertisements, depending on the time of month. But it doesn't mean I have to like admitting it to men. Men have this tendency... give them a hand and they take the whole arm. Show one sign of weakness, and it's not that you just had a "moment", it's "Look! She's crying!". Then at every other moment, it's "Aw, are you gonna cry again? HRM???"
Not that it particularly mattered this time anyways. After I told Kenmore about the waitlist, he said, "I have to go. My parents are waiting downstairs." So what do I do? Do a little staring out at the rain and try to figure myself out. Make myself a cup of rooibos tea and stuff my face with dry roasted edamame from Trader Joe's until I feel better.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, November 24, 2004]
Shoot the messenger.
I got waitlisted at upstate. I got the letter today. It's kinda pathetic that as a NY resident, I can't even get into my own state schools. This doesn't bode well for the remainder of my application process.
Instead of being sad or disappointed, I'm just feeling a bit disgruntled and overall weird. It's very discouraging as this is the first word I've heard from any med school. Now I'm feeling a little unsure about the remainder of my interviews. I have a weird desperado feeling.
I'm most sad about the little 4wd SUV that I've been pricing out on the web and that I'll never get to buy now. For the snow in Syracuse. No car for Ink =(. I had a name picked out for it and everything!
I guess this also means I'll never get to smooch the tour guide. Too bad. He was awfully cute, even with the bright red patch between his nose and his lips from having the flu.
Posted by ink |
[Sunday, November 21, 2004]
Your two children are a real piece of work, Mister.
Recap. A few months ago. Dad: "Ink. If you ever need money, you know I'll support you."
me: (absently) Um hmm.
Dad: "I don't want you making any sort of important decisions when you're financially stressed."
Apparently, he'd heard some piece on the radio about med school girls stripping when they were strapped for cash and he became worried. Whereas I'm happy that my dad is willing to support me should I fall onto hard financial times, I'm more disturbed that he would think I would make such a choice. What kind of daughter does he think he raised?
I think more importantly, as of last night, I'm wondering what kind of son he raised.
I had dinner with my younger brother last night as I was in Boston for more med school interviewing. After checking up on whether his opinion of sex had improved (it had not), we turned to other things. That was when he mentioned that he received an email solicitation from some listserve he's on. It was from Chippendale's, asking for applications. What kind of listserve is this?! He and his friend are sending in a video application. "Just for fun", he said, "Wouldn't it be funny if MIT boys were chosen for Chippendale's? I bet it'd make the Boston Globe." I stared at him. Does he really think he's pulling the wool over my eyes? I know that if he was actually accepted, he'd do it. After all, not only do boys like to be objectified (especially teenage college boys), but they like even more to be flattered. And, what is more flattering than being chosen by Chippendale's? It's like an underscore to every drunken baseless boast that they're hot stuff and every girl wants them.
I looked at him challengingly. He laughed, a little embarassed, and admitted that if he was accepted, he'd probably try it for a few days. "Just to see what it's like," he said. Ah ha. I knew it. I have a brother who not only is blah about sex, but also secretly wants to be a stripper. If my dad only knew...
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, November 16, 2004]
I've decided that applying to medical school may be one of the worst forms of torture available to the American student. As every school is on rolling-admissions, I find myself anxious every single day, as any day could possibly bring news. This coming Monday marks the 2-week anniversary of my Upstate interview. I'm supposed to receive a congratulatory phone call before then if I'm accepted. After which I'll tear all my clothes off in joy, run around the hospital lab, and be escorted out by security.
I've had my cell phone glued to my waist all week. My dad treats my med school applications like it's a fantasy basketball league. Every day, he eagerly pounces on me when I walk in the door after work, "Any news?" When I read SDN (which is the bane of my existence as it makes me completely and utterly neurotic. Even more so than I normally am. Imagine that), he peers over my shoulder to ask if anyone else has posted news in the discussion forum about where the schools are in their process.
The SDN discussion forums themselves seem to be nothing but a congregation of salivating psychopaths with OCD. Otherwise known as, premeds. As an individual who took the August MCAT's instead of the April MCAT's (which, in premed talk, means that my application gets to the schools super late since technically, August MCATers aren't supposed to apply until the following year), the only thread I follow very closely is the August MCAT-specific one. There, kids from all over the country write.
"I heard news from Penn State. I have an interview!".
Hrm - this means that Penn State has finally reached the August MCAT applications. I might be hearing soon.
Three days of no news later, and I'm trying very hard to hold myself together and not be a gibbering mess, wondering why Penn State hasn't contacted me. Instead, I appease myself by neurotically clicking "refresh" on my email while calling my own cell phone from my work phone every other hour, just to make sure its working. This can't possibly be a healthy way to live.
After having made it through most of the process sane, it's disturbing that I'm finally starting to crack and show, what my brother calls, "premed qualities". Please God. Don't make me a psychopath like the rest of them.
Posted by ink |
[Sunday, November 07, 2004]
The 5 hour drive to Syracuse was pretty, but long.
At 11 pm tonight, I suddenly realized that there was no shampoo in my hotel bathroom. And as I explored more, I also realized that there was no hair dryer. After a phone call to the front desk, where the guy (who was new) said that he doesn't think they have any, I called Red Roof headquarters to confirm this incredible fact. I haven't stayed in a hotel since my corporate days, and it had never occurred to me that there may exist hotels that dont offer such amenities. I had to get into my car and cruise around Syracuse at 11 pm, looking for a store open this late that sold mini-shampoos and travelsized hairdryers. As my first med school interview is tomorrow morning, I'm not about to toy around with anything. Least of all my psyche. I suppose this serves my spoiled little corporate ass right.
Posted by ink |
[Friday, November 05, 2004]
The donut around my middle.
I just realized that only one portion of my jeans is starting to fray. And its not the bottom portion near my shoe as usual. it's the portion on my inner thigh right up near my crotch. I think its time to initiate an exercise regimen.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, November 03, 2004]
Bush made my mother cry.
She cried this morning as soon as she saw the polls. She knew even before Kerry conceded that it was over.
I was just stunned. I can't believe we're going to have 4 more years of crap. I can't believe it. Of course, if Kerry had won, I would've been similarly stunned. Partly because I always have a hard time believing that politics ever improves. My mother said that we have to move out of the country now, and kept mentioning Asia and the UK. But then she changed her mind and said that the climate abroad probably wasn't favorable for Americans right now since Bush was just re-elected, and perhaps we're safer staying here.
I couldn't turn on the television today because I didn't want to see the celebrations going on. It'd sicken me.
At least this means we'll get 4 more years of simian jokes. Jon Stewart for president!
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, November 02, 2004]
I woke up this morning at 7 am to find my mother fully dressed at the door. My mother is on short term disability because of neck surgery. She can't even stand up long enough to cook a full meal. But there she was ,at 7 am, with her most comfortable shoes on her feet, her neck brace in place, her purse, her painkillers, and her voter registration card clutched in her hands. She's never voted before, ever. Not even in Taiwan.
Let me tell you about my mom. She's a petite little Asian woman with short curly hair who doesn't give a damn about politics because 99% of the time, they don't address her issues anyways. As long as she gets her paycheck and her kids are in school, she's fine. But this year - oh man. She's glued to the television every evening, watching Chris Matthews on Hard Ball, and then Oprah, and then back to CNN. I can't even get her to switch to the sitcoms she normally loves. In our household, its politics overload every night from the television. And she mutters at the television constantly, with the occasional yell. At the DNC in Boston, I went to a rally and held up a sign that said, "BUSH IS BAD FOR MY MOTHER'S BLOOD PRESSURE."
She decided to walk to the voting booth today, because the doctors told her she couldn't drive yet. She made sure she had her bottle of painkillers in her purse, and left the house when I did. I made her bring her cell phone, just in case she started to feel pain on the way there, she could call and I'd leave work to pick her up. I offered her a ride, but she waved me away, saying that if the Iraqi's can handle having their country bombed for imaginary weapons of mass destruction, then she could handle a walk through the suburbs to the local elementary school.
So you can imagine my consternation when I pulled into the parking lot at work and saw that I had a missed call from my mother. I called her back anxiously, only to hear her excited voice pipe up, "Hello? I just voted! I made sure my voice was heard! Because every vote counts! I'm part of history!"
My mother is such a victim of marketing.
Posted by ink |
[Monday, November 01, 2004]
The way you want to wrap me up inside your smile.
I miss the kids. I find myself thinking about them almost every day. It's like a bad breakup where you find your mind invaded by thoughts of that other person, wondering all the time what they're doing at this very moment. I find myself fantasizing about what it'd be like if S. lived with me in the U.S. I imagine he'd sit beside me in the car as I take him to school. I'd tell him to put his seatbelt on, and he'd scowl, "No!" I miss the days when I'd spend my morning commute daydreaming about potential dates instead of 10 year old South African boys with HIV.
There are ironically amusing parallels between the potential dates and my 10 year old South African boys. Both situations are equally unlikely, especially since my potential-dates-of-choice tend to be people like Rivers from Weezer or Vince Vaughn. I don't need to tell myself that adopting S. is out of the question. But a part of me can't help but wonder what things would be like if my life was different. Say, if I was a 35 year old woman with a steady job instead of a 24 year old girl with massive student loan debt in the midst of a career change.
My friend Ewood questioned whether such experiences are good for me. "You're sensitive," he said. I resent that. Perhaps I did get attached to S., but how can you not when he's so bad on one hand, but then becomes anxious when it seems like you're mad at him? How can you not love someone who cries against you and tells you that he loves you? How can you -not- be touched by something like that coming from an orphan? And how can you feel anything but helpless when you leave him behind in South Africa and return to your parents' cushy little home in the suburbs?
big change, the choices we make
in life, gut instincts, on-the-whim
hairpin turns, the search for truth, the desire to be happy, the journey to finding out what
makes us happy.
being young and clueless, hoping
that we're not blindly leading ourselves to our own demise with every
tentative step we take, the pitfalls of dating, the trials
and travails of being a young woman in the post-feminist era.