Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Right Place and Time

There is something to be said for being in the right place and time.

There's a phrase my mom says: 这个是天规定的.  The translation is basically, "This is mandated by heaven."  The concept of a "heavenly mandate" is an ancient one.  Heaven decrees that certain things are meant to be, and certain events happen at certain times for a reason.  How we interpret that and what we do with it is up to us.  It's not exactly fate or destiny, but is along a similar line of thought.

I did my pediatric rheumatology rotation last month and pretty much loved it.  Towards the end of the month, one of the rheumatologists told me that he received an email with an application for a resident to apply for an award to attend this year's peds rheum conferences essentially for free!  How could I pass this opportunity up?  Imagine my joy at receiving the award, and I'm off to Orlando for the conferences next week!

If I didn't do that rotation that month, and if I hadn't heard about the application, I wouldn't have the opportunity to attend these conferences.  Right place and right time.  On a larger scale, matching in California for residency is probably meant to be (though it doesn't always feel like it).  And perhaps dating and finding "the one" (out of many possible "ones") is a matter of time and place as well.

That's not to say that this concept means I should be passive about things, like destiny or fate.  But rather, when the right time and place produce an opportunity, I must not let it slip.  For who knows where it could lead?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

In Other News . . .

So what's up with me otherwise?  A quick summary:

I passed USMLE Step 3!  Woohoo!!  Really, the odds of me passing were vanishingly slim but you always worry on test day.  I was amused that I did worse as the patients in the questions got older.  Definitely affirms my training in pediatrics, lol.  Also my highest sections were Behavioral/Emotional, Musculoskeletal, and Immune/Infectious Diseases.  Fascinating, because it leads me to . . .

I'm like 95% sure I'm going to pursue fellowship in pediatric rheumatology.  It's definitely one of the least "sexy" subspecialties because: 1.) there aren't many procedures, 2.) it pays less, and 3.) it's not well understood.  But I find it fascinating.  It commonly affects joints (as you'd expect), but it can really affect almost any organ in the body.  And I seem to be one of the few peds residents who kinda likes (or at least doesn't mind) teen patients.  It's also a rather "rare" subspecialty, there only being 26 fellowship programs in the country (for about 60ish spots).  There's an estimate of about 1/2 the number of peds rheumatologists in the country as there needs to be.  As one senior resident described to me, doing this fellowship is basically a golden ticket to practice anywhere in the country that I so desire.  Yeah, I'll make less money.  But to echo one of the peds rheumatologists that I worked with, "I didn't come from money.  So this pay is pretty good to me."

It's astounding how stress and sub-optimal nutrition leads to weight gain!  I seriously gained like 15 lbs in residency so far.  No bueno!  I just started working out and slowly ramping things up.  I'm woefully out of shape, but that's what I get for being on inpatient rotations for 5-6 months in a row, working on average 6 days/week, and up to 80 hrs/week.  Where in there is there time for working out, much less healthy eating?!  For the first time in many months, I have the time and there wherewithal to realign my health to where it should be.  I've been a poor example for my patients.

Today I was eating lunch outside with one of my co-interns.  And she remarked how nice it felt to have the wind blow on her face, how normal it felt, and how sad that she was thinking that in the moment.  But it IS sad.  This residency thing is not something I'd wish on someone else.  Fuck that, if I could re-do things, I wouldn't re-do this.  But I've already come this far and I'm going to see it to the end.  Because at the end of it all, I have a chance to regain normalcy.

Recently got into a new show, Looking.  It centers around 3 gay friends in SF.  It's entertaining.  About halfway through like the third episode, I realize that one of the main characters, Patrick Murray (played by Jonathan Groff), is basically me in a lot of ways.  He wants to have a good sustainable relationship, but sucks at it.  He's conservative in his actions and tends to thinks before he acts (sometimes too much).  Anyway, a good show to check out.  :-)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dating: A Hesitant Proposition

Dating: a hesitant proposition.

That's what it seems to be with me.  I've had 2 friends hint as much recently, though they didn't explicitly say so.  I'm the kind of person who, when using dating sites, like to get a decent conversation going before meeting up (or giving out my number).  Perhaps I'm too cautious, or slow, or conservative or something.  Not entirely sure.  Here's a brief history of things:
Tristan: Half-Asian/half-Mexican guy.  Pretty cute guy, chatted for a while on the app Jack'd.  Finally met in person at a free outdoor play in a nearby park.  He was rather late, the play was like half over.  Afterwards we went to my apartment to watch a movie.  He loved to kiss and we ended up fooling around . . .  We continued to text for a bit afterwards, but then we both got busy and lost contact.  He recently "resurfaced" on Jack'd after having ended a long-distance relationship (some time after we had met), but hasn't been very responsive of late.  Dead end.

Jack: Asian guy.  He kind of annoyed me, was more sexual in his texts than I wanted.  He was very late when we arranged to meet (like, 2-3 hours late).  I was furious as it totally upended my plans that weekend.  I was internally still mad the whole time we hung out.  And he smoked, that's an instant turn-off to me.  We continued to text intermittently for a while, then stopped.  Dead end.

Dan: White guy.  Rather interesting, as he's like 9 years older than me, and he actually approached me on that app.  Intelligent, sweet, but ADHD (which he legit has as a diagnosis, lol).  Met him at a time when I wasn't really looking for a relationship (other than friends), as I was on a string of super busy rotations.  He was always 15-30 min late (seems like a pattern . . .).  He got into his head that we'd be somewhat friends with benefits, but he took the FWB further than I expected, lol.  He gave great head . . . like, teeth-chatteringly good.  We continued to chat over wine when he's in town.  He's interviewing all over the place and travels a lot, so it's hard to predict where he'll be.  Dead end (of sorts, given the unpredictability of his schedule).

Dean: White guy.  Short (and I'm by no means tall) but really cute.  Is a chef.  Chatted with him via the app, then text and finally had time to meet in person (he has an equally hectic schedule as I do).  Met at a cafe, this time I was about 5 min late because I couldn't find the damn place!  We ended up talking for like 5 hours.  It was really good to connect with something like that.  Alas he smokes, but he's been trying to quit; I guess that helps . . .  Anyway, he seems open to meeting again.  Door cracked open?

Vivi: Asian girl.  Cute, funny, smart.  Is a pharmacist.  Recently got a puppy.  Met at the same cafe as Dean.  I liked how laid-back and funny she was.  We had good conversation until the cafe closed, and then continued for a little while before she had to go home to attend to her puppy.  Probably the best prospect, though her schedule is weird (but at least it's fairly predictable).
I'm honestly not entirely sure how I feel about any of the people above.  The last 2 people have piqued my interest, but I don't know.  There are people I've met in the past who, in retrospect, consumed a large proportion of my attention (one of whom, as I have blogged about recently, abruptly decided to cease all contact with me).  There are people from my past who I still, from time to time, pine over.

Sigh.  I don't know what I'm looking for.  Yet I feel like time is running out.  This wasn't part of the "plan," lol.  I envy the people who "fall in love at first sight."  I mean, what even IS that?  Maybe my personality is just too guarded.  I need to let things go.  Which reminds me, watch this: