23

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Today marks the 23rd year of my life and it was an ordinary day. I went to work from 9-5 PM, came home, and had dinner with my parents. I then decided to go on a stroll around Barnes park. I’m really glad I did because it was such a beautiful day to be outdoors. The clouds were white, full, and fluffy. The sun peaked behind rows of houses on a hill with its rays extending throughout the sky. I was in awe that this natural beauty even existed in Monterey Park… and then I realized that I never walk around the neighborhood enough to notice.

On the way to the park, I walked past St. Stephen Martyr School where I used to attend Chinese school. Nostalgia struck me immediately. Moments that I once experienced as a child were now distant memories that are mere fragments of my imagination. Yet, I remember the exact location where my parents would pick me up from school, the steps that I once walked down after class ended, and the concrete floor that I once stood on with my childhood friends beside me. I continued to walk along the path that would lead me to the park and a surge of memories (more so feelings) lingered beside me. I remember walking to the park as a child with a row of students standing in front of me while being led by a teacher. I must have been 8 years old and I don’t remember having to worry about what was to come the following day or the following year. I finally arrived at the park and continued to walk along a path that led me to the side of the amphitheater. I remember my 8th grade graduation being held at this exact location and I remember walking across the stage the moment my named was called. I remember my dad being the only family member that attended because my mom was at work during the ceremony. I continued to stroll through the park and carefully examined the playground that I once played on with excitement and dare. On the way home, I walked passed the basketball court that my Dad and I would play at. We would play until sunset and I could vaguely remember him teaching me how to shoot hoops. I came to a realization that every moment we experience in our lives are a compilation of seconds, minutes, days, and years that we will never get back. Each moment is unique in its own manner and time. I became emotional and began to reflect on the significance of time and my inability to control it. I continued to reflect on the person I’ve grown to become and the values/beliefs that I’ve gained throughout time because these are the few things that I am able to carry with me through the years.

  1. I am an emotional person. I analyze my feelings and thoughts extensively. Others’ emotions also affect me to a great extent.
  2. I am more grateful for my dear friends and parents with every passing day.
  3. I enjoy and appreciate solitude.
  4. Nothing in life comes easy. Work hard and stop complaining. Anything is possible if you’re determined.
  5. I am a true INFJ. I am a “58%” introvert but it feels like I am 80%. Personally, it is extremely tiring to socialize in big groups or events. I tend to over think things and analyze everything that I say.
  6. I choose medicine because it is challenging, exciting, and most importantly, rewarding.
  7. Depression is a common mental disorder that I had a difficult time dealing with. I was constantly contradicted with my thoughts and feelings. “I shouldn’t be depressed because I have no valid reasons to be. Yet, I feel hopeless and I can’t help the way I think or feel”.
  8. I am frequently exposed to the fine line between life and death in the ER. I remember every death that I stood in front of, but what I remember most is the suffering and pain of every family member that was told their loved ones could not be saved.
  9. Aging is inevitable. I’ve witnessed sadness, regret, hopelessness, and death in the eyes of most elderly patients that I see daily.  But, in the light of it all, my heart is lifted when I witness genuine happiness and optimistic faces.
  10. There is also a benefit that comes with aging which I believe is wisdom, whether it be from experience or awareness.
  11. The #1 cause of homelessness in LA is the lack of affordable housing, not drug abuse, mental disorders, or laziness. I only hope for people to be more empathetic.
  12. I enjoy meaningful conversations that are stimulating and thought-provoking.
  13. I wish I had a sibling(s) for many reasons.
  14. I have never been in a relationship and I realized that it’s okay; though, at times, I fear that I won’t find the love of my life. I suppose I am a hopeless romantic.
  15. I am in the state of my life where I need to prioritize my mental and emotional well-being and career before I rush into any relationship. “Two halves don’t make a whole. Two wholes make a whole”
  16. My happiness does not depend on anyone else’s.
  17. I value education and find it absurd that it is limited to people of low income. Education should be available for all, regardless of income or financial stability.
  18. I am an avid listener. I think it’s very important to make eye contact and to use body language while engaging in conversations.
  19. I am caught between the constant struggle of wanting to be independent (away from home) and having the obligation to stay at home because of my parents.
  20. I have this constant fear of losing either one of my parents.
  21. Intelligence and maturity are far more attractive than the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the materialistic goods you possess.
  22. I’m not sure what I want to specialize in medicine yet, but I know the type of person and woman I want to be.
  23. I’ve grown to become the person I am today through the experiences and obstacles that I overcame. But, there is still so much to learn.

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