If you follow my Twitter you might have seen that sadly I ended up not going to my conference in Portland the other weekend. I was so looking forward to the trip, but had been feeling under the weather and decided I needed to preserve my energy for everything I had coming up this week (starting back at work, moving, etc.).
I was disappointed, but with my limited energy, and you know, being a human being with human limitations, these are the types of decisions I have to make. Onwards and upwards! I will be able to watch the presentations online, and there is always next year.
With warp speed, my life has resumed. I’m back at residency a few days a week. I just moved into a new apartment. I go for walks along the bluffs in Santa Monica, play with my new puppy (see below), and spend time with friends. I’m starting to date again.
(On that note, my mom called me last night and told me in a dead serious voice that she knows the perfect man for me, and that man is Jake Gyllenhaal. Her reasoning: “I saw him on Jon Stewart and he’s only 34, and he’s Jewish but he’s interested in Buddhism and mindfulness, so I think you would have a lot in common.” She then added, “I think he’s looking for a relationship.” By all means mom, if you can hook that up, please do).
Last year, when I left LA, I had to do so abruptly because I was left suddenly with nowhere to live. I threw most of my belongings into a storage unit because I didn’t have the time or energy to do much else. Last week I hired movers to bring everything from storage to my new apartment, and found, unsurprisingly perhaps, that after a year of not seeing many of my things, I’m no longer so attached to them.
I was unpacking my old bedding when I picked out of the sheets and comforter a single long, brown, wavy hair. I wondered for a moment, Whose hair is this? It was certainly too long to be mine—my hair is growing fast, but, at a few inches long, is years away from sweeping down my back the way it did before I started chemotherapy. Was it a friend’s? My mom’s?
It had been so long since I had seen myself with long hair that I forgot for a moment it was mine.
Once I remembered, it was unmistakable. The deep brown color with golden highlights from hours spent in the sun and surf; the soft, winding waves. When I pulled it between my hands it reached from my fingertips to the curve in my arm.
That was a long time ago. Time moves so fast. So be good to each other, help a stranger, love fully and deeply, because nothing matters as much as love. Learn what your core values are and stick by them, even when you’re pressured not to. Don’t be afraid of people who don’t know how to handle their own pain and so project it onto you (after facing Stage IV cancer, I’ve found the only thing worth fearing is not getting to live anymore). And on that note, people do the best they can with the hand they were dealt. Show compassion. Show them the world is a better place than they think it is.
Times always moves forward. It goes on, and on.
December 15, 2013:
July 18, 2015:
A Quick Note: I have gotten a lot of emails recently about patients wanting to work with me; I haven’t yet started my private practice, and I have to be cautious about not taking on more than I can handle and also be ethical in how I practice. That being said, while I hadn’t planned on working with anyone through the blog until next year, I feel called to help where my experience and knowledge would allow me do so, and I would like to start offering coaching services and classes through zenpsychiatry.com sooner rather than later. If this is something you’d be interested in, please let me know. If you’ve already emailed me, give me a few weeks and I will get back to you. Thank you!