2003 in Review

First Quarter

After doing child psych, I was really conflicted. I loved working in the child and adolescent service, but it was so hard. Everyday, I'd come home emotionally drained. Eventually, I decided that I couldn't do child psych, because it got me so angry every day, so frustrated because most of the kids are the way they are because their parents abused them or mistreated them. It was emotionally too much, but I never wanted to be cold to that sort of human suffering. So in the end, child psych was not for me. But it was nothing but fun being on a rotation with M.

Then, OB/Gyn! It started off hellish, but after 4 weeks slaving through surgeries and countless pap and pelvics, I found out that I actually really like OB/Gyn. And I could never do it. Half the women told me to my face they'd never see a male OB/Gyn, and with malpractice costs it'd be a terrible idea. But if I was a woman, I'd do OB/Gyn in a minute.

Second Quarter

For Spring Break, I stayed in town and did nothing. I tried to upgrade my computer, but I ended up wasting a lot of money. Started surgery, and I really enjoyed working in the ER. I called a laundry list of people for the Baskin Robbins free scoop night and only managed to get two people. For free ice cream. How pitiful is that? Went to the museum with F to the museum, then Hooter's afterwards!

Started surgery with M! We were like ill-behaved children. It was the most fun I've had on a rotation in a long time. Then, vascular kicked my ass, and I have to say that no human should have to do that. Memorial Day came and went, and I did not have a date in the meantime. But at least I got to grill. I got drunk, again, in R's basement.

Third Quarter

I worked on my golf swing at the range, only to determine that I suck. Went on a canoe trip and ended up in the ER. My laundry sock streak ended. In the past 4 years, I've only lost 2 socks. The AC broke and we were very warm for a while. Went to the museum with I and R, and sushi! I started climbing again, after a 12 year hiatus. Bought gear, a Nalgene bottle, the works. Learned that I can apply a coat of Rain-X to a front windshield in about 3 minutes.

I went on several trips to look at knives, egged on by F. I finally broke down in December and bought a set of Henckels. I frequented the sauna for a month or two. I found out that my aunt has terminal cancer. I started getting into punk and emo music. I had the damnedest time writing my personal statement, which went through 3 revisions before coming out in its limp form. I had my standard Labor Day grillfest, with the standards in attendance. I spent two months trying to find a decent bowl of naeng-myun. I picked up a new laptop thanks to my old computer's uncanny ability to cease working. And I tried to quit smoking again, and I failed, again. I did go for 5 weeks without, but in the end, I broke down. And in September, I began my quest for apple cider. I changed my haircut, who's to say if that's for the better or worse, or if anyone even noticed. And I came upon the realization, as September came to a close, that I might have Seasonal Affective disorder.

Fourth Quarter

I went to a concert with D, I started cardiology, I bought canvas tote bags, because somewhere along the way, I picked up some eco-nerd into my persona. I discovered Starbucks, only to discover that I prefer a different local coffee house. It IS true then. Starbucks really is good for independent coffee houses by increasing the prospective market. I had my whole big deal about bill splitting, to the point where I treated about $400 worth of meals this year. I bought a new PDA because my old Handspring (wrought with all sorts of problems to begin with) shattered.

I tried to get drunk on Halloween to wash away my troubles, and I failed, and I ended up so depressed the following weekend that I formulated a plan to kill myself, and the only reason I didn't follow through was a pack of cigarettes and a holy day of obligation. In retrospect, I should've gone to the ER and had myself committed. I stopped eating for quite a while, and I lost around 15 lbs as a result. I found that I can actually starve myself down to 1000 kcal a day. I had to force myself to eat. My brake lines went out. Thankfully, I wasn't suicidal at the time. After several long talks with a few close friends, I managed to pull myself from the edge. I am pretty sure now that some component of this is seasonal affective disorder.

I took Step 2, and passed. I swore off drinking to get drunk. Never again. I made the switch from briefs to boxers. I went to visit my dying aunt. I came to the realization that when I climb with R, I always injure myself, and when I climb with I, I always strain something or work something till it's sore. I went with I and R to Thanksgiving at R's, which was the most educational Thanksgiving ever. Me and I had a slumber party. I was talking to some friends and telling them that according to her, I snore like a little boy. Then, silence. It took me 5 minutes to realize the obvious next question: why does she know how you snore? My aunt died. I feel happy about it, and I feel guilty for being happy. Happy that her suffering's over, but how could I feel right hoping that she would die sooner.

I started Neurology. I got to see so much of my college friends, they're such a welcome sight. I saw Handel's Messiah with D, which was an excellent performance. I ruined a sweater. I rediscovered the art of being a gentleman. I wrote a million Christmas cards. I got some touching cards in return. I went South for Christmas and that's pretty much a wrap on the year.

Rebuilding burnt bridges

I got a few cards today, and a piece of homemade fruitcake. Now, the cards are always welcome. Man, I love cards. And one card from S was especially sweet. But the fruitcake was entirely unexpected. I was glad, because it came from someone that I haven't talked to in so long, and we parted on such bad terms, and it was nice to hear from her again.

I am not the biggest fan of Christmas. As a holiday, it has more religious significance to me than anything else, but still, it always ends up being a wonderful time of year because I hear from some friends that I haven't heard from in a long time, or I'll get a card and it'll be the nicest thing that I've read. There is an untold amount of love that can be given in card form, and this year, I got so many wonderful cards. If any of you read this site, all your cards are very appreciated, and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.

Tooting my own horn

There's something funny about crushes, because they're completely nonsensical, but sometimes, something will pop up or remind you, and it's like nothing ever changed. I was thinking about one of my old crushes today as I flipped through my old letters and cards. And all I could think was what a tragedy.

I don't often toot my own horn (that sounds dirty...) but I think we would've been good together. We got along like peaches and cream. We were both so full of foibles and quirks and sharp edges to cut yourself on. We were both so flawed, but flawed like puzzle pieces. It's like, if you have two round spheres, they can never get that close. Only a little bit of their surfaces can ever really touch. But two puzzle pieces, with their odd sides and rough bits, they can interlock. We were like two funny shaped puzzle pieces, trying to find the places where we fit.

But we never locked together. We were like bookends, always being kept apart by one thing or another, and then when we got too close, one of us would put more stuff in between. And only looking back now do I see that we would've been a good fit, but it's a little late now. It's a little late to be digging up the past and trying to relive it. It's a little late to feel bad about it. I have far more immediate things that I can feel bad about.

In a foul mood

I am... temperamental right now. Perhaps that's too gentle a word. I am in a foul mood. I'm not depressed. I'm not sad. I am, for lack of a more descriptive term, angry. And you know what? You people don't deserve me cheery or happy. You haven't earned it. You got cheery me as a matter of course. You got cheery me because I was trying to be cheery me. You didn't have to suffer through moody and depressed me like my friends from high school and college. You didn't have to deal with smoking myself to death me. You never had to witness distraught me or sorrowful me. You didn't have to put up with me through all my shit. You don't deserve to see me cheery. You have no right to see me cheery when you contributed no part to all the work that went behind that.

I've spent so much time trying to be cheery and happy and pleasant, and you know, that's all bullshit, and I'm done with it. I'll be what I want to be and how I want to be and when and where I want to be, and I'm done with trying to please you and humor you and play to you. I have spent far too much of my lifetime acquiring a boatload of fair-weather friends.

I'm ready to move

I feel pretty good today, and I don't have any reason to be so happy. It was yucky outside. The neurology service looks to be... messy. And all in all, it was certainly not the best day I've had. Still, I feel pretty good right now, and maybe it's because I'm confronting things in my life that I've always viewed as internal problems. You know, I've always viewed everything wrong in my life as a deficit, a weakness, a failing. I've never really entertained the possibility that problems in my life may not be within my power to control. How's that for a shocker. And I have every right to be angry with life about that stuff, but as far as hating myself goes, there's not a lot of ammunition there.

I felt so good today that I didn't even entertain the idea of going to student health to see someone for depression. If in one week I can accept that I am a good person, I don't hate myself as much as I thought I did, and that I have every right to be frustrated with my life, and that certain things are beyond my control, then I'm in the fucking home stretch. I'm not trying to be cheerful anymore. I'm trying to be me. I'm trying to be outwardly true to my internal feelings. As I told S, positive steps. Moving in the proper direction. I may not be moving fast or far, but I'm pointed the right way, and that's more than I can say for the last 4 years of my life.

I really wish that I could meet someone to share my life with, not in some grandiose sense, but I wish that I had someone to open up my life to. And not having such a person in my life has been handicapping, because it makes the hard times harder, and it dulls the good times. Friendship is a boat that can only take you so far. I'm not expecting to be married in a year or any such nonsense. I'm simply saying that it would be nice to meet someone that I could trust with my heart. You know, I've spent so much time guarding it, protecting it, keeping it locked away from danger. I just would like the chance to love.

That's an absurd or outrageous desire. It's basic. It's what we all want. And if I can't find what I want here, then it's perfectly reasonable to find somewhere that can accommodate my desires. If no one within 50 miles of this city can appreciate who I am and find in me something special, then I want nothing to do with this city and I'm ready to move the fuck on, because I think it's not an absurd thing to say that I am special and that I have a myriad of good qualities, and that the only absurd thing is that it has been so hard in this damn city to find a woman that would even entertain the notion of dating me. What a load of shit. I'm ready to move today. I should've moved a long time ago.

"You are superior to mollusks in every way but looks." -Dogbert

I realized today that I'm the dating world's equivalent to oatmeal, or gruel, or rice cakes, or something devised with the auspices of being good for you, but with such a bland taste that it's practically unpalatable. From now on, I'm going to carry around a packet of brown sugar, and when I get turned down, I'll tear open the packet, sprinkle it on myself and say, "Wait, wait, I'm more appealing now!" Sadly, though, this will do little to combat the fact that I'm still Asian and still in the Midwest, still getting shot down left and right, and still entirely hopeless for finding a date in this city or within a 50 mile radius. I think S is right. I am in desperate need of a move to a state as far away from where I am as humanly possible. I'm like a winter coat in Arizona. Somewhere, someone is in desperate need of me, but certainly not here.

I also realized that Korean food is the best food in the world. I've managed to fill my belly with Korean food with weekend, and I'm very happy about it. I miss my mom's cooking. I miss coming home to a Korean meal, with soup and everything. I miss all the weird little things that my mom did that I cannot replicate. I tried cooking something, and my mom picked me to pieces. More soy sauce. Less sugar. Stir more. Leave it covered. Add more garlic. Arg! I cannot replicate any of my mom's recipes, so my only hope for a life full of nutritious and delicious Korean food is to find some Korean girl who is in desperate need of a green card. If you are such a girl, you should consider e-mailing me. When we meet, you should come bearing soup.

Today was not a good day

I feel like shit today. I guess I wasn't feeling all that great yesterday either, but I didn't think I was this bad. I couldn't eat today. I ate an apple, a granola bar, a cup of OJ, and a handful of chips (~900 kcal). My workout was sorry. But you can only do so much after not working out for 4 weeks.

I wish I could say that there was some precipitating event, something that set me off, but I just woke up feeling shitty today. My light therapy seems to not be doing the trick anymore. And all I can think is that I've still got 3 more weeks before the winter solstice. If this really is seasonal affective disorder, then it's certainly the worst I've had yet, and I still have all of winter to go. I wish at least these bouts of depression had some sort of predictability. I wish there was some rhyme or reason to it. I wish I could make sense of it.

So I think I'm just going to call it quits early tonight. Yes, I realize that 7PM is a pretty early hour to turn in, but maybe I'll feel a little better after some sleep. Maybe I'll get hungry and wake up and eat something. I really don't want to have to start forcing myself to eat again.