April 9, 2017

What I've been reading

I'm studying for Step 1, which is coming up faster than I thought. So here are the things I read and watched when I wasn't reading UWorld explanations:

1. The Strange Persistence of Guilt
It's an article arguing for a 'return' to religion to assuage the guilt induced by the knowledge that we're destroying the world/society, and by we, McClay seems to mean upper class, male, heterosexual Caucasian. How does becoming religious solve global warming? I'm not sure. :/

2. Amy Adams interview with The Guardian
"But what’s really changed is how I process work,” she says. “I used to have a dysfunctional relationship with my work, where I was bringing home all my insecurities and expectations, and if I felt a director didn’t love what I did, it would just plague me. That had to change."

"I remember looking at my husband and saying, ‘If I can’t figure this out, I can’t work any more, I’ll have to do something else. I don’t want to be that person, not for my daughter.’ So I figured it out.”

How to stop getting so emotionally caught up in your work?

“Yes. The first couple of years I couldn’t quite figure out the balance, and I didn’t have a clear separation between work and home. But I’m not living in this sort of obsessed space any more. It’s not that I don’t find my work important. It’s just that I now know, at the end of the day, I’ll be back home reading stories to my daughter,” she says.

This balance is what I need to figure out.

3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie interview with The Guardian
I love her view of feminism.

4. Why Rory Needs to End Up with Logan
Read this way back in winter, when the Netflix special of Gilmore Girls released. I agree 100% - Rory has changed so much, and not into the person I hoped she would become.

5. The literary tomboy is dead
The tomboy may stay dead; here’s hoping that one day, we can discuss female characters as individuals rather than stereotypes. I hope the Strong Female Character will also fade away, as we begin normalising the idea of women who are strong in myriad ways, not just masculine ones. But perhaps this very disdain of femininity proves that the tomboy is actually alive – it’s just been repackaged.

I really don't only read the Guardian articles. I read other things too! Their articles have just been catching my eye recently.

6. Why people prefer unequal societies
"Worries about inequality are conflated with worries about poverty, an erosion of basic rights, and—as we have focused on here—unfairness." Agreed.

Note Frankfurt's On Inequality book to check out for later.

7. Deliciously Ella
A feel-good healthy food blog :)

Two Poems

Such Simple Love

The Fat Old Couple Whirling Around

One video, one movie, one TV series

- On GMOs
This YouTube video explains my complicated feelings toward GMOs. It's the business construct around them (the same construct that allows them to thrive) that can be dangerous and place small businesses at risk. GMOs themselves, with proper research oversight, are safe.

- Grace and Frankie Season 3!!!

- Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

One last note from GreatDay.com:

Doubt and ego push against each other, and neither of them does you any good. Your best move is to toss them both out of your awareness.

Replace doubt with humility and replace ego with intention. 

April 3, 2017

Grades and self-worth

I know I should know better. I know it's better for my mental health and that grades are often a percentage of how many boxes you were able to tick off. However, getting an average grade lingers far longer in my mind than I want it to. (Yeah, I'm one of those people; the type A in the corner triple-checking her work - although to be honest, these days, I'm finding it harder to care as much.) I want the lingering to be shed instantaneously, to be so confident in myself that I know that I'm more than the weighted average of my transcript.

It's clear what greater forces led me here - genetics for sure, my experience as a woman and a medical student, parental pressure, mostly only knowing the confines of higher ed, and the culmination of those factors into my own free will to continue to make the choice of agonizing and fretting about tiny things that don't matter. I once organized a container of buttons by size, shape, and color because it felt wrong not to. The poor lonely mixed up buttons, looking for their families! Neurotic justification.

How do I snap myself out of it? It is time, reflection, going for walks, reading? Those sound like short-term solutions to me, like taking ibuprofen for headaches from a growing pituitary tumor. I've got to cut it out - what's the source? It's a fear of not being enough - that I cannot succeed (whatever that might mean) if I don't do things perfectly. Not enough for myself, for my friends, for my family - but mostly for myself. And then to built an identity on that fear and to call myself type A, to hear others call me type A - suddenly, there is the expectation that you must succeed (again, whatever that means). It's an expectation felt in the ether, formed in the minds of others and expressed in what they say to you, how they look at you, and what they assume about you.

But here's the truth: none of that matters. Success is a table filled with the material goods of luxury, the imaginary titles of power formed through social contracts, and it's a table I want to flip over angrily and watch it all shatter.