Friday, June 19, 2009

I should have been a hippie.

It just so happens that I am on my Psych rotation right now at the Veteran's Hospital in Indy. In the last week I have become incredibly close with a man who for these purposes we will call "Duke."  He is a paranoid schizophrenic who for some reason I have bonded  with quite extensively. I am quite proud of the fact that I have been able to provoke this stone cold perpetually sleepy schizophrenic to stop dead in his tracks and just bust out laughing at some of the ridiculous things that come out of my mouth. Yet, today during our session, I was asking him about where he grew up and if he lived here in town. He replied he lived here in Indy, and he then proceeded to ask me where I was from. For reasons beyond me, I just blurted out Bloomington since it was the last place I had been living. The man brought his downcast eyes from the floor and looked me straight in the eye and said, "yeah, you look like you have that hippie vibe from Bloomington."

Is it really that obvious that a psychiatric patient can recognize my undying affection for hippies? Perhaps its my unruly curly hair or better yet my love for bold and loud clothing that tipped him off, but one things for sure is he is dead right.  After living in the hippie haven, Bloomington, for two years I was able to experience them in all of their liberal glory. Perhaps it is the ease in which they can put on those long flowing skirts in the scorching heat of summer or maybe it is the freedom of not caring what others think, but I just can't help but be enamored by them.  They are creative geniuses in their own right.  While I am stressing over creating the perfect SOAP note, my hippie cohorts will let nothing get them in a bind. They rule their own schedules and they make up the right brain of our population.  These fine people are the writers, photographers, and artists of our time.  

While they might be partaking in recreational drugs, they have no fear of repercussions. They toke it up, smoke it up, all in plain sight. While drugs are not my style, I think that I could greatly benefit in a world where the stress of living up to social norms is obliterated.  A place where you can dance around wearing the loudest of loud outfits or to truly appreciate the meaning of the words "free love."

Don't even get me started on how they are the kings and queens of decreasing the carbon footprint. They are your organic junkies, bicycle loving, hummus eating, earth saving friends. They took those 4th grade seminars  we use to have on reduce, reuse, recycle to heart. They stage protests and hunger strikes to make a point. They need no violence or corruption to let their point be known.  They are the Mary Mary quite contraries who can make any garden grow. They are fruitful and resourceful. 

They are some of the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met.  They see the beauty in the world around them, and the people that populate it. They see the richness of color and diversity.  They live by no rules and celebrate a life  full of stress free events. They inspire me to embrace the moment and to live a life full of love and happiness.

If you have ever met me, you would know that I am far far from the point of refusing to shave my legs or armpits, I don't participate in recreational drugs, nor do I have the greenest of carbon footprints, but what I do have is an open mind and a yearning for a moment of clarity. In this moment I would breathe in all of the beauty of this world, live a life that is free of stress, and recognize that we all have something unique and different to contribute to this world. So maybe Duke is right in one way, I might give off a hippie vibe, but in reality I am just a wanna be in a short white coat.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Vegetarian Vacation

I have been a self-proclaimed vegetarian for about 5 years. I haven't always been a herbivore though. I feel that it was prompted upon my studies abroad to Spain. I remember how my Senora would sing a little spanish melody as she hacked into the huge hunk of ham leg that hung from a peg in the kitchen. Everyday she would shave some off and put it on my plate. I would just stare at this glistening piece of little piglet as my Senor devoured his serving in one swift fork full. After ingesting this Spanish delicacy he would lick every single finger with loud smacking noises. I never liked meat all that much before the trip and as they say this was the spark that started the fire of my so-called vegetarian lifestyle.

Today I was curious to the proper terminology of my eating habitues. I have laughed over and over about the fact that while I am not a vegan or a pescatarian I do qualify as an ovo-lacto-tarian. This simply implies I partake in milk, eggs, and of course cheese. Yet, some unruly things have been happening to me of late. I have had these urges and cravings for meat. Now don't get me wrong, I don't dream of double thick burgers and fries, I mean I might truly be ill if this was the case. Yet, I feel like my body is crying out for some protein that my favorite protein-packed yogurt Fage cannot provide.

Thus for the last week I have been on what I would like to deem "my vegetarian vacation." Quite honestly it has been nothing less than delightful. I have fancied myself on chicken tenders and tilapia thus far, but perhaps my most exciting and exhilarating discover has been the world of sushi. I honestly just don't know where to start, it is stinkin' fabulous. While wining and dining with an old friend at a place called Naked Chopstix in Broadripple, my palate was pleasantly surprised by the little roll of goodness that was presented in such an aesthetically pleasing way.

Thus I am left in a predicament, while I know I cannot eat meat every night or perhaps every week, should their be a sushi exception? I sometimes wonder if all my calorie-counting ways and restrictions have left me blinded from the goodness of things like sushi. Where do we draw the fine line between disciplined and restricted? While I lack the capability to even attempt to be a vegan (I mean cheese without wine is almost a sin), I sometimes wonder if it is really about the animal product at all, or is it more about the control that one has over what enters their body.

While I don't plan on being a glutton for meat nor do I plan on being a pig advocate, what I do know is that I have truly enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone this past week. I often times find that some of my most memorable adventures and experiences are the moments when we allow ourselves to take risks and place ourselves in vulnerable places. Thus for now, I am probably going to head back to my ovo-lacto-tarian ways, but will try to allow myself to delight in the delicacies of life, and I think you should do the same.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grapeling with Grief

It has been so long since my last entry and yet so much has occurred in two months. I have finished my second year of medical school, moved to the thriving metropolis, and in between the two lost my grandma unexpectedly. I am not one who likes to be surprised, I am what some would call a perpetual planner. You know I take an umbrella everywhere I go, a sweater in case I get cold, and a cold beverage to quench my thirst. Yet, regardless of how prepared for life one might be I don't think anyone is ever truly prepared to experience or witness death.

Grief is one of those emotions that is paralyzing the kind that leaves you emotionless incapable of movement or understanding. When I was a little girl I remember how I would lay in my bed motionless, paralyzed by fear after hearing a mysterious noise in the house. This is the same kind of feeling I had after learning my grandmother had passed away. My grandmother and I were very close. Living only 10 mins down the road I was blessed with the luxury of visiting her and seeing her often. Yet, through this entire ordeal I have only felt this horrific feeling of loss and I have realized that pain is the only price we pay for loving someone so deeply.
As the memories of my grandmother flood over me, I can only help but smile. A friend and confidant, for twenty-five years we bonded in a way that was much deeper and richer than granddaughter and grandma. My grandma was a cavalier, and a leading lady of her own story. My grandma grew up during the great depression, she knew how to skimp and save like the best of them. Despite this my grandmother had one of the most giving hearts one could imagine. Yet, perhaps the things that I cherish most about my grandma is the way she would bound through our back door always with a smile on her face. My grandmother was always a gorgeous woman, whether she recognized it or not; she was timeless. In all honesty, my grandma had a better social and love life than I do. She had a magnetic personality and had a vivaciousness and love for life that I could only hope to have. Stylish and classy my grandma prided herself on looking fabulous at any age.
Yet, one of the things I will miss most about my grandmother are her letters. She grew up in a time without email or this crazy thing we call twitter. She was old school in the sense that she appreciated and loved to write letters. I tend to be one of those people who keeps everything, thus, these letters from my grandmother that I have I treasure. The last letter she wrote me I will save and cherish forever, It shows the depth of her love and the goodness of heart. She writes,
"I am so excited to see your dreams come true."
Grammy Mel XOXO
While she will not be here to see this, I only hope that I can fulfill her requests and all of the hope that she instilled in me. I often times fall asleep hoping that my grammy will grace me with her presence. I hope she will ask me how my day was, tell me about the weather, or where her and her boyfriend went to lunch. Yet, as much as I hope and pray there are no more chats, no more shopping trips, and no more cooking lessons, but what I have been left with are the memories of a woman I loved so dearly.
I haven't decided yet whether my tender heart is a gift or a vice, but all I know is that my eyes have wept so much that my tears have run dry. I guess of all the things I wish I would have the chance to tell my grandmother the depth of my love for her, and how blessed I have been to have her. She was a peach, my "Melba" peach.
Thus this week don't be afraid to tell someone you love them. Call them. Write them. Heck go visit them. Time is precious and fleeting. Take time to appreciate one another and the beauty and depth to life we each have to give to this world.