November 16, 2015 § 1 Comment
I love those moments where you come across a song, picture or video, or even have a conversation, that resonates so perfectly with the way you feel in that moment that you suddenly feel connected to the universe again. You’re no longer spiraling off into the abyss within your brain. You’re back and you’re normal.
I’ve spent a big chunk of today beating myself up. I’m used to it because its something I do before absolutely every exam I have. You’d think I’ve gotten better with time – and I have – just not better enough for it to be completely gone. Its immature and irrational and the only time I feel like I split into two versions of myself: I’m completely aware of how ridiculous it is and can do nothing about it. In the 24 hours before an exam, I bombard my conscious with all the thoughts of what I should have done differently, what I should have focused on, how there is no salvaging my chances with the little time I have left, how I’ll never learn to distinguish what is important from what isn’t important – the list could go on forever. As the hours pass by, the feelings and thoughts grow stronger. I feel like I’m getting nowhere and the material feels to grow exponentially before me.
I can fight these thoughts as much as I want, but it honestly only seems to make them come back stronger and smarter. I’ve tried many different techniques in the past, especially during exam period, to overcome this mindset. And this mindset is nothing new:
- March 11, 2013: Motivation. Biophysics Midterm: Check!
- December 26, 2013: How do you calm the monsters? Physiology: Check!
- January 4, 2014: Never, ever give up! Foundation of Character
- May 24, 2015: Alan Watts. Maybe
What I find the most powerful now is sitting down to analyze it head on. Where do these thoughts come from? Why do I think that I am having these thoughts and feelings? Am I feeling afraid? If so, why and where does this fear come from? When I do this, I usually find that I’ve dug my way to my “fear of failure” level. Hello again, old friend.
This is my favorite part, because it has an antidote that never, ever fails. Its antidote appeals to a quality of mine that makes up my core being: my desire to evolve and better myself.
In a way, the fear of failure stems from this. Not in a constructive way, but as a sort of superficial, insecure extension of it: I want to improve and failure means I’ve failed at improving (hence the fear of failure).
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
― Thomas A. Edison
The antidote? Failure is good. It will make me better, it will make me stronger, it will make me smarter. In the end, that is what I want. I know I’m not perfect and there is no point getting by on this version of myself if there are improvements that can be made. I will give it everything I have until the very end, but I will be ok with whatever the outcome.
The video that reconnected me tonight:
Ok, enough self-analysis 😉 Back to pharmacology I go! These drugs aren’t going to memorize themselves.
Side note: I love music and I can’t study without it. I know there are studies saying it makes you less efficient and less able to memorize, but I need it. 8tracks is my go-to for discovering new songs. Here are some of the songs I’ve just discovered and have had on repeat during this 3-day cram session. And when I say, “on repeat”, I really mean it. I downloaded the Strange Entity remix last night and have listened to it 54 times since then! While writing this blog, I’ve had Antoine Malye’s Paris on repeat. Always nice to have somewhere to escape to…
August 31, 2012 § 7 Comments
I can feel the nerves beginning to build up inside me; my mind is like a minefield, full of excitement and panicky thoughts. If I allow myself to stay on one of the panic mines for too long, I find myself whisked away into the stresses of the future. Luckily, I have refrained from visiting this state of mind for too long. Instead, I remind myself that today is today and the challenges that are to come are not yet present. There is no use in concerning oneself with future worries – especially when one has yet to experience the context of these worries.
Skjalg and I have been thinking about how we would like to spend our weekends once school starts. We have no idea what to expect – other than that we are in for one REALLY stressful chapter in our lives. One thing we’ve been told time and time again is that success depends on balance. Too many students entertain the extremes: either studying day and night and never taking a break or taking the semester lightly and pushing things off until the end. We brainstormed what our ideal “productive yet balanced” weekend would be:
- Light brunch at the Fit Cafe at our gym
- Study for a few hours at a café, library or at home
- Date night: whatever we want to do as long as it includes spending quality time with each other
- Slow, easy morning with time to blog, send emails, etc.
- Fresh food market for fresh veggies and meats
- Prep “easy access” food for the week
- Light cleaning of the apartment
- Study for a couple of hours at a café, library or at home
We are not expecting that every weekend will be exactly like this, but it helps to have an idea of what to strive for. Plus, if we are as tired as I expect we are going to be after 5 days of lectures and studying, we could use a “plan” to guide us through the weekend.
This weekend we have the Opening Ceremony, where we will be introduced to the faculty, listen to speeches and take our Freshman Oath. Next week includes registration and familiarizing ourselves with the campus. And finally, on Monday the 10th of September – we start medical school.
August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
I arrived back home last night after an amazing 4-day girls trip to London. For me it was a little bit of a last “hoo-rah” before school starts. Our lives have been full of stress and planning for almost all of 2012: from finding out that we could start med school this year in February to completing the move just last week. We don’t have much down time now before classes start and once that happens, there is no turning back. It felt so refreshing to take some time to simply relax with good friends. I feel primed and ready to go!
Yesterday I received an e-mail from school saying that they are missing the document proving that I don’t have dyslexia. It’s frustrating to simply think about how I am going to do that now that I am in Budapest. My doctor is all the way in Norway and I wouldn’t even know where to begin finding one here…
Now we are heading out to find suits for the Opening Ceremony this Sunday. We will taking our Freshman oaths and listening to some speeches – so we need to look good!
August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
The title means “I wish you a happy birthday!” in Hungarian – which is perfect, because it’s my birthday! It sounds something like – and you’ll have to excuse my horrible language teaching skills – BULL-dawg SUUE-la-tesh-na-pot KEE-vaah-gnoc. The stress of the word is placed on the first syllable rather than the accented letters (as it is in Spanish). To me, Hungarian sounds similar to Italian, sometimes to French, and with a little bit of Finnish and Russian mixed in. I find it to be a very beautiful language, a bit hard to hear and seemingly impossible to learn, but beautiful nonetheless.
Following birthday tradition in my family, Skjalg woke me this morning with a lit birthday cake, card and present. My mom started this tradition where the birthday person is always surprised first thing in the morning by all the occupants in the house – human and animal alike. When we were living together with my younger brother, Christian, Skjalg’s younger sister, Kaja and her two cats, our birthday morning surprises were very lively. It is such a wonderful way to start a birthday.
In my post yesterday, I wrote a little about the Fungarian class we booked. At around 10:30, we headed out to meet our “language professor” at Kamara Café – located across from the main Jewish Synagogue. The café was located in a really beautiful spot, which made the lesson just that much more enjoyable. Our teacher, Miklós, was very witty, informative and patient and taught us how to say basic phrases. I’m a little intimidated by the Hungarian language. It has 44 letters and the vowels are…plentiful:
We learned how to say hello and thank you as well as how to order various things at restaurants and in grocery stores. Skjalg and I were totally energized by our lesson. We started practicing the phrases we’d learned and read aloud signs we saw on the way home. For lunch we stopped in at The Hummus Bar, where I greeted the host with “jó napot!” (which means good morning/good afternoon). When it came time to order, I asked that the server bear with me as I tried it in Hungarian:
Kérek egy…. chicken breast hummus plate.
I didn’t manage the whole thing…but he was amused enough to smile. Practice makes perfect, right?
After lunch, we headed home to relax and hide from the heat. We settled in on the couch with our feet soaking in buckets of cold water (which is SAVING me these days) to watch a couple of episodes of the utterly fantastic Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery series by BBC Four.
We celebrated my birthday dinner at Comme Chez Soi Étterem (highly recommended on TripAdvisor). It was a bit pricey – especially when compared to other restaurants in less touristy parts of Budapest – but it was definitely worth it. The servers were extremely accommodating and friendly and lit up when I ordered my water in Hungarian. At the end of the meal, they surprised us by turning off the lights in the restaurant and bringing out a tiramisu lit up with candles. After that it was a shot of homemade limoncello, apricot infused liquor, and plum infused liquor. As we were leaving, the server wished me a happy birthday and gave us a small bag of chocolates filled with dark cherry liquor. We will definitely be heading back there when celebrating a special occasion!
Now I’m off to try to fall asleep in this heat….