I Wanted to be a Doctor but I Changed My Mind

About 15 minutes ago I was trying to Google search what was going through my head, this thought that was causing pressure on my chest and my eyes to water. And then I typed in, “I wanted to be a doctor but..” and what I wanted to read was not there. Not anywhere. So I am creating the content that I want to read, this is why my Google search is the title for this post.

Why is it about wanting to be a doctor, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. For 19 years of my life, my dream was to be a doctor. My pediatrician inspired me by his bedside manner, treating ME, the young child, as the patient and not just talking to my parent as if I was not there. Children are people too, you know. So around the age of 6, I was dead-set on being a pediatrician, just like my own doctor. I didn’t give in to the whims of those like my peers who wanted to be a ballerina or an astronaut, not even an astronaut ballerina (although that sounds pretty cool). I put the blinds on and focused on health and science in my schooling.

blinder

Me with my aspirations. [Source]

Fast-forward to my sophomore year in college, sitting in an organic chemistry II lecture and trying to follow the teachings of my professor. As soon as I can write down a chemical reaction, he erases it from the board to begin a new one. There are doodles of eyes and butterflies in the corners of my notebook pages and I’m feeling lost. It feels like the soul has pulled away from my body and is just watching as I’m sitting there in a room with 100 other people aggressively jotting notes down and highlighting their textbooks. I felt so separated from everyone else in that room. Then I had a moment that I had dreaded; the soul came back and I said ‘a-ha’. I had an epiphany.

I didn’t care about it. It’s logical that science and medical knowledge is imperative in the education process of becoming a doctor, I am not contesting that. What I am saying is that part of being a doctor is not what gave me the passion for it. Sure, I was intrigued by diseases and watched surgical videos, I even bought that fancy copy of Grey’s Anatomy (and was a fan of the show as well). I was totally immersed in the lifestyle of an aspiring MD.

What turned me off was the feeling of being in a National Geographic documentary where the strongest thrived and the “weak” weeded themselves out. It was survival of the fittest and packs started to form. The students who were “guaranteed” a spot stuck together and sneered at anyone else they saw as competition. The atmosphere was too cold for me. I don’t consider myself a delicate flower but it all seemed very robotic to me. There was elitism when we were all in the same boat; studying pre-med.

So I left. I changed my major to psychology and felt better about my purpose in life. I’m focusing on mental health and it’s combined models of medical and wellness. As some of my readers may know, I am currently in a Master’s program in counseling, and I feel at ease with my decision.

What’s the point of this post?

There are times when I remember how badly I wanted to be a doctor. I remember my daydreams of walking around a hospital in my scrubs, being warm and kind to my patients, making sure I was giving them the best care possible. During these times, sometimes I cry. Not because I regret my decision, but I cry for my 6 year-old self. I didn’t give her the chance to daydream about wanting to be an astronaut-ballerina when maybe I should have. I cry because I devoted so many years of my life to a dream that I didn’t live up to.

That’s on me.

And that’s okay.

I have a belief that we all have paths to follow, and it isn’t written anywhere that our paths are a straight line. There’s bumps and crossroads and detours but we still get to where we need to be at the end of it.

Moral of the story: It’s okay if you had childhood dreams that didn’t pan out as well as you liked. We change as we grow older so why can’t dreams change too? Changing your mind about something isn’t so much of an ending but a beginning. A new way of seeing the world, meeting new people, new opportunities. Whatever it is, if it’s worth taking a chance on it, it doesn’t make you fickle or weak. It makes you strong for giving yourself the chance to try it out.

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The Girl

Humble beginnings.
Just we three,
Mom and dad and me.
I’m the girl who befriended Pooh Bear,
Who taught me to always be kind and to share.

My first love was books, that much was plain to see,
My reading was at a second grade level, just after age 3.
I’m the girl that played alone and stayed inside,
Drawing, writing, reading and making friends in my mind.

I was not hurt in these tales that I read,
There was no yelling or fighting on adventures I tread.
I’m the girl that slew the dragons that made her cry,
But more and more came up, no matter how hard she tried.
Rainbows shrouded in rain clouds, innocence fading.
I yearned for happiness,
so I’m the girl who grew up waiting.

At home it was always ‘we’,
and all of the sudden it turned to “three”.
I’m the girl who felt worthless, alone.
And then her heart soon grew to stone.
“I am never enough”, the girl cried.
“Not good, not perfect. I am not wanted.”
Her tears never dried.
I am the girl who couldn’t see reality,
and that caused the death of the innocent me.

Darkness followed as I grew,
learning to hide it from them, and you.
A mask so clean, so precise,
and after so long,
I fooled myself in this guise.

Not all is tragic, for then I soon discovered a bit of magic.

I’m the girl that met a boy,
Broken glasses and scraggly hair.
He taught me friendship and bravery and that magic IS real!
When I touch my heart , I smile… magic is what I feel.
We are what we choose, that is our gift.
I’m the girl who learned this, from the boy who lived.

I’m the girl who fell and got back on her feet,
And found she still had dragons to defeat.
Mask cracked and thrown to the floor,
I’m the girl not afraid to be herself anymore.

I’m the girl who began to live her life.
Helping in any way I could,
Cleaning Mother Earth and healing others wounds.
Music and sports and all the awards,
making up for all that I’ve missed.
I’ve finally found a future to look towards.

I’ve lived my life, so what have I learned?

A little consideration from a silly ol’ bear.
The power of choices from a wizard with messy hair.
To be a shining rainbow in someone else’s storm,
because life can be tough as soon as you’re born.
That laughter and imagination and dreams are forever,
and a symphony is only beautiful when everyone plays together.
That words from books bind us with chains,
linked soul-to-soul, tied by our pain.
Life is ours to create for ourselves,
this is an absolute MUST!
But don’t forget, all it takes is faith, trust,
and a little bit of pixie dust.

© 2017, An Offbeat Bluestocking


Would you look at that, I’m back! After such a long absence I have returned with a poem. This originated from an assignment I did for one of my classes which asked to reflect on my childhood and times in my life that impacted me the most.

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The Real Me

Today was a bad day.

No, nothing eventfully tragic happened today..honestly I had a string of really good days lately so this bad day was completely unwarranted.

You see, there are times (usually when I’m happy) that I have this thought creep up in the back of my mind. You’re going to suffer later. You have to balance this good day with a bad one soon. 

I always try to avoid it but sooner or later, there is a day when the tears still come.

I don’t know if it’s bipolar disorder..I don’t know what is wrong with me that I am wired to believe that when I have an extremely good day, a bad one is sure to follow because God forbid I just be happy.

I find this unusually ironic. You would think as a graduate student studying counseling that I would have everything under control. In fact it seems quite the opposite. On days likes today, it feels like everything is unraveling and I am left with no shred of who I was left.

Or maybe, who I thought I was. I don’t really know.

Which brings me to the point of this whole blog post.

I had a thought. Maybe it’s a ridiculious thought, or maybe it’s the way of the truth coming out in its signature harshness.

Who is the real me?

Is it the me who is always smiling, laughs freely and can enjoy everything that happens in a day? Is it the me who sees a purpose in everyone and everything and tries to keep true that love is infinite and unconditional deep to its roots?

Or is that just the facade that hides the real me? The smile being my defense to hide my secrets of insecurity and worthlessness. Is the real me the one who cries because she finds no worth in herself and tries to fix problems that are not her own and find only pain when she fails to do so?

When I am in the moment of either a good or bad day, both of these versions of myself feel more real than the other. So which is it?

I need to figure it out.

Is it normal to be this self-aware if suffering from a mental illness? Would I even dare call it that? Not to say I would be ashamed of saying it if I did…but at my caliber of self worth at the moment…I don’t feel like my problems can match up to those of others.

I didn’t mean to start off the new year with such a negative post. But this is real life. This is my life that I document and to be honest, life isn’t all sunshine and daisies.

I want to be as authentic as I can to myself and to all of you. I’d say it is easier to do so behind a computer screen but I digress.

To those of you who also have bad days..don’t give your power away to circumstance. Don’t let yourself sink into the hole that you created to drown in. I’m down but I’m not out. I will fight to get out of that hole.

There’s something that I found myself repeating today:

Make it a good day. 

 

I hope it helps.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Going to be Hopeful

This is another post about the election…however it’s not so much about the election itself but my attitude now that it’s over.

Though this may be just the beginning for a new president, I know there are still tremors of fear rumbling throughout the country. There are people that are scared, I can understand why. There are people that are hopeful and I’m trying to understand why.

Even though I’m disappointed in the results, I know this won’t be the last time it will happen. There will be other presidents that I won’t agree with. Statistically, I can be sure of that. For now, the only thing I can do is have faith in my country.

I’m not going to denounce the government because things didn’t work out the way I would have wanted them to. It is the way it is and I have to accept it.

I’m still upset but eventually I will get to acceptance. At least now, I see it as a destination down the road to realization. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy road for many people, but that point will come where we say, “Life is still going on. We’re okay.”

I had a chance to vent today during class and although I felt shaky afterwards (my hands were literally shaking) and slightly embarrassed from being so passionate in front of my peers, I felt better just talking about it. Standing on my soapbox and saying my piece helped me reach my own realizations (even if I did call Trump a ‘hairy cheeto’).

Maybe if we just talk about the elephant in the room instead of avoiding it like the plague, we could actually get somewhere with our differences.

Dialogue is a beautiful thing, so if it is at all possible to keep a civil conversation going about any topic that people have differing views on, then by all means we should keep it going. I won’t downplay protesting or other ways of exercising rights, I’m just saying that I believe in the power of talking things out.

Being aware of the problem is the first step to healing and talking helps bring out the awareness.

Thank you for reading.

 

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Productivity High

It feels so nice to be done with a to-do list.

By giving myself several things to do each day (save for the weekends) I am not only able to keep myself busy but also have that sense of accomplishment once all the points are checked off for that day.

And just a while ago I finished my to-do list for today. Granted, it wasn’t much..just starting and finishing an assignment that’s due this week but after being sick this past week (bronchitis of all things) I feel good to just spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

I don’t know what it is about that giddy feeling I get while I’m crossing something off my list. Is it the sense of productivity? Actually having a tangible thing to grasp and knowing that yes, I am doing something with my life?

Does anyone else know what I’m talking about? Please, share with me if you do get this sort of high just from crossing out ‘do the laundry’ on your list.

Have you completed your to-do list today? If not, don’t fret. Do what you can today and give yourself rest. Don’t overwork yourself.

Let’s take it easy and even though it’s Tuesday, let’s enjoy a warm hug to gain strength for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

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Live Like There’s No Mañana

This past friday, I was in a waiting room where I overheard a elderly woman from out of state talking to a local man. It was just small-talk, just a casual conversation. She wasn’t talking to anyone and I suppose he either wanted to talk to someone or make her feel more comfortable.

It was a small waiting room, relatively quiet with few people inside (including myself). I won’t excuse my eavesdropping but like I said, it was hard not to listen to the only conversation in the room.

She was visiting for the season, as many people from up north like to do (Winter Texans) and said that everyone here lived in the ways of ‘mañana’, ‘tomorrow’ in English. Which means she implied everyone here likes to just procrastinate and do things tomorrow.

I live in South Texas which is a predominantly Hispanic region and to hear someone say that made me upset. I might even be offended if I’m still thinking about it although it happened days ago.

Now, my knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Where did you read that load of garbage?” I’ll elaborate on this in a minute. But, I kept quiet.

I wanted to wait and see what the man (who was Hispanic) would say as a reply.

He didn’t argue with her statement. He just repeated her comment with a submissive chuckle.

I was disappointed.

I wish I had said something. But I didn’t.

I didn’t because I had everything I wanted to say jumbled up in a ball in my throat and was afraid what I truly wanted to say wouldn’t come out.

I don’t like to start confrontations but this really affected me. I would have wanted to tell her that she was misinformed, not in a rude way but in a serious way. I wanted to say:

“Excuse me ma’am, but you are misinformed. I have lived here all my life and to hear someone who visits here once a year make assumptions about my culture is offensive.

I come from a people who work hard in order to support their family and will make any sacrifice to make sure they survive.

I come from blood who worked ungodly hours in the fields just so they can have enough money to buy food, pay bills and make their livelihood.

My grandmother had to sacrifice her education by leaving school in the 3rd grade because she had to help her family work picking in the fields.

My mother sacrificed her childhood to work summers by working in the scorching sun, picking cucumbers and wearing thick, hot gloves where the thorns still pricked her skin.

I come from a family that had to work before the sun came up until after it went back down. There was no time nor luxury to save it for ‘mañana’.

It is because of their hard work and sacrifice that I get to say I have not had to work in the fields. It is because of them that I can proudly say I have an education and am currently working on my Master’s degree. It is because of my family and the importance of hard work that I take my education seriously and am dedicated to my studies because I want to make them proud.

So if you think we are lazy and like to procrastinate, then you need to get to know us better.”

That was what I wanted to say. But I didn’t.

Unfortunately, I am almost certain of where she obtained this piece of misinformation. Currently, there is a controversy circulating around a proposed Texas textbook about Mexican heritage culture. This book is filled with factual errors, seems to promote racism and also has important information missing that explains the importance of Mexican culture in Texas. Here is an excerpt from the textbook that has since been removed due to the controversy:

“Industrialists were very driven, competitive men who were always on the clock and continually concerned about efficiency. They were used to their workers putting in a full day’s work, quiet­ly and obediently, and respecting rules, authority, and property. In contrast, Mexican laborers were not reared to put in a full day’s work so vigorously. There was a cultural attitude of “mañana,” or “tomorrow,” when it came to high-gear production. It was also traditional to skip work on Mondays, and drinking on the job could be a problem.”

Having misconstrued information presented in these textbooks could be highly problematic for the 5 million students that would be taught this in Texas schools. Just like the elderly woman, others would start presuming Mexicans are lazy. What would it do to the self-esteem of Hispanic students who, like me, have families that worked to the bone just to put food on the table?

And now, with all that is going on after this election, do we really need more stereotypes against us?

Protesting against this book is not over and will probably will not be until the Texas Board of Education makes their decision later this fall.

I am proud of my heritage. I am proud of my family and all they have done.

I will live in the present and do everything that I can because like they say,

“Live like there’s no tomorrow.”


If you would like to read the article I quoted in this post, you can follow this link:

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/14/493766128/texas-textbook-called-out-as-racist-against-mexican-americans

Thank you for reading.

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Thoughts After Day 1

I didn’t post yesterday.

I got home late and by the time I was relaxed enough, I was ready for some well deserved sleep. So I made the excuse of being sick and tired. Just mentally, physically and emotionally tired (and still a little sick).

However today I won’t let a stuffy nose stop me from writing. After today’s events what with the protesting and the hate crimes already beginning to escalate, I cannot find it within myself to keep quiet.

While scrolling on Twitter used to be a fun pastime, now it only serves as the horrid reminder of this reality we now live in. I see posts of people describing verbal and physical attacks against them by Trump supporters. There are videos of people showing their vehicles vandalized with derogatory words and TRUMP in capital letters. There are also videos of people beating up elderly and saying they deserved it because they voted for Trump.

This is wrong.

All of this hate is just so wrong. But it’s real.

It’s so real that it hurts and I wish it was just a nightmare. But it’s not.

No one deserves to be ridiculed or threatened because they are a different color or believe in a God other than your own. No human being on this earth has the right to say their religion is the right one.

No one deserves to be hated or demeaned because of what language they speak, who they identify as or who they love.

No one deserves to be treated as inferior just because of what their heritage is.

We all deserve respect.

It hasn’t been easy for me these past few days, and I know it won’t get any easier. I just can’t help but verbalizing my emotions into something tangible and structured because in all this chaos, I need something to remind me in the future that I have a voice and can be heard.

We can be strong in order to persevere.

What am I saying? We ARE strong.

We are strong and kind and won’t stop fighting for what we believe in because that is our right.

It is my right to speak.

It is your right to choose if you want to listen or not. But the important thing is that we ALL HAVE RIGHTS.

I have my beliefs and I believe that it is the good and kind people that make America great.

We are not our political party first. We are not Republican or Democrat first. We are American first.

I am standing my ground and doing what little I can to show my support to all those out there protesting and making their voices be heard.

These words may not be eloquent, they may not be inspiring. But they are mine.

 

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