It’s two days into the new year, 2016. I am currently back in West Virginia, after having spent the past two weeks in Southern California with friends and family. It was a wonderful two weeks.
Today, as I was perusing through the internet, a blog post by Amy He on Wrapping up 2015 gave me a pause. In it, she wrote about an article from Quartz that stuck with her (and now me as well) quite a bit: If you’re 30% through your life, you’re likely 90% through your best relationships. What really resonated with me was the part where the author spelled out the time you have remaining with your parents. If you are a third way through life (optimistically assuming everyone lives to be 90 years old), your parents are in their mid-60s, and you have already moved away from them, you only get to see your parents about a few hundred more times. Apply that to other people, places, and things, and you are faced with the idea of the very few remaining possibilities.
Now, as I think about my past few years, it is ALL a blur. Just this past year, I defended my dissertation and finished the PhD portion of the MD-PhD program. I returned to the third year of medical school, embarking through three entire block of clinical rotations (Psychiatry/Neurology, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics/Gynecology) before winter break. I visited Japan, Hong Kong AND Taiwan in one epic trip with my long-time friend, Avni. I was a bridesmaid for the first time for my dear friend, Claire. My little sister graduated high school! While I have pictures to show for (most of) these events, clicking through the thousands of images does not recreate the experience, enliven the memory the way I had hoped it would.
I have shied away from the concept of reflections, especially writing them down. It takes time, which you and I both know is finite. Time stops for no one. However, what moves us forward and what we can take with us to eternity, I think, is our memories. My memory of past events/experiences are not very good, it seems. In the same vein, we know intuitively that we learn by experience and also that we learn from our mistakes. But unless we actively think about our experiences and question ourselves about what our experiences may mean, we are unlikely to make any changes. By writing (and continuing photography), I hope to increase my awareness of myself and the world around me. This blog will be an avenue for me to reflect on life and travel, to document the memories and make them “almost tangible.” We’ll see how this goes.