Every Breath You Take
Just breathe. Take a step back, look behind, and marvel at the progress you’ve made. It’s important to charge forward, undeterred and uninhibited. But sometimes, that’s all we will focus on. It’s important to continue advancing and to not become complacent. It’s easy to dwell upon the progress that is yet to come. But just breathe. A while back, I wrote about the joy of learning and knowing as well as the path. It’s important to relish in the journey and not always focus about the end goal of learning. But I wanted to take the time to expand on that philosophy as well, because it’s not just about being able to take a step back in learning but it can be applicable in everything that we do in life. Although I would love to be the perfect and infallible person that I imagine, I know that I have my flaws and weaknesses. Of them, the most prominent is my inability to say “no” at times because of my internal desire to appease and satisfy everybody. Now, I realize that it may sound like it’s a time management problem, but I think it’s a little different. Time management, to me, is managing how much time I spend and dedicate to certain activities within a day. However, my weakness is that I am lacking in determining just how many activities I can when I take on additional responsibilities. On good days, I can complete everything that I need to do as well as prepare myself for any unexpected situations in the future, which is what I believe is good time management. However, on bad days, I might come across someone that needs some extra help so I inherently take on some of their burden and it eventually shifts my time table and schedule so that I need 28 hours in a day to complete everything to my liking. Although it may sound selfish that I only want to complete what I want to complete, I think it’s a necessary characteristic to have because it ensures that I can be reliable when it comes to completing tasks, however, it’s also an indicator that I can be rigid and inflexible at times too, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to accept. It all just depends on what I am doing and what is being asked of me. Simple as that.
We all inevitably get distracted from time to time and we get caught up in a web of ideas, projects and muses of our imagination. In a sense, at times it feels like there are 9 Muses in my imagination, and they each take an hour away from what I’m trying to do. It’s during these times of my life, that I just try and help everybody that I can, from tasks as simple as alphabetizing forms to as difficult as building a wooden bed frame inlaid with metal that I have to weld together from scraps around our workshop, all within a night. It’s in those times that I’m faced with my trials and tribulations, and that I become more and more consumed with the idea that I need to start and follow through with all of these new thoughts and ideas, that I need to capitalize on what little time I have left, and that I need to deliver satisfactory outcomes all for the sake of satiating my imagination and thoughts running amuck. It’s this kind of transgression to my sanity that I feel like I have to juggle 22 Faces, 22 different personalities that can appease others as well. All of this, builds a cycle of internal anxiety that ends up directing my attention into even more tangential directions as I try to figure out ways and methods to help simplify all of my newly found tasks. But as I mentioned before, it’s in these trying times that it’s the most important to pause, breath, and come back to the present in peace so that I can continue on with clarify, drive, and impact. With a clear mind, time doesn’t whiz by, my frustrations aren’t amplified, and my patience is infinitely more deep. Otherwise, my work is poorly done, my mental state is frustrated and disappointed, and my nose erupts in blood that rivals even the most exaggerated anime characters.
But especially with this summer, I’ve been faced with new levels of responsibility, unhindered autonomy (it’s redundant for a reason) and the many opportunities to pursue my own passions and interests in the coming future. It’s been nerve-wracking because I’m starting to get closer to MCAT season and medical school admissions, but it’s also compounded with increasingly difficult courses, extra responsibilities in extracurricular activities and jobs, and unfortunately, the unwanted burden of underclassmen watching my every action. Despite all of the work and stress ahead for me, I will take a step back every once in a while, just to relax and breathe. I’ll take a day trip throughout the city and just read, I’ll reflect on how far I’ve come and not come to terms with how much more I still have to do.
We can’t help it. We can’t avoid it. In fact, we are all doing it right now.
I am now a lead support technician for my department, so more than just a glorified tech grunt, but I actually manage the servers that we use for deployment, capturing, security, etc. I am a student ambassador that represents my university openly to prospective high schoolers and their parents by leading them through tours and personally reaching out to them and maintaining a constant contact as a resource and a source of student-opinions and thoughts. In this past year, I’ve also started out as a research lab technician at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine! In a sense, this summer has allowed me to pursue interests that I have always wanted to pursue and it’s given me the opportunity to really focus in on my own passion driven projects.
As I said before, it’s all about the journey and so far, it’s been a terrific first few steps in what I want to be doing in the future! Although I might not be doing the most exciting things right now, I know that it will lead to a host of life-changing projects and in the end, lead to a never dull moment in the future that I am going towards. Every day, as I step off the train, I’m doing things that are more and more relevant to my passions in life. That’s not to say that everything is smooth sailing though, I still face the same turbulence and disturbances in life. I’m not expecting perfect peace, but right now, instead of all the work cut out for me, I just want to look back and see how far I’ve come in the past 20 years of my life. There is so much more for me to do in the future, but I also have so much more space for peace and quiet. It’s a rush, but it’s also a slow journey. I want to look back and realize how much I loved doing something, and not for the sake of completion. I want to interweave my passion, love, and peace into every single thing that I do. Although I struggle at times, I know that in the end, I’m not living my life to satisfy others, but I’m living my life to pursue my dreams and passion, and if it happens to satisfy others as well, that’s just a bonus. At the end, I want to be able to look back and see that everything that came out of me or my actions will have peace, love, and passion intimately woven throughout.