In just over three week’s time, I’ll be writing my MCAT. My studying has somewhat slowed – I’m reviewing material when time allows, listening to audio lectures on my walks to and from school, doing practice passages in the mornings, and running practice exams on the weekends. School has somewhat taken over, with readings and lab reports and studying for early mid-terms taking precedence. It all ties together; a lot of it is material that could be testable.
In terms of school, I’m loving this year so far! Minus biomechanics (as with anything physics-based, I’m a hard sell on loving it), though offering mini independent tutorial sessions helps. I definitely learn best by teaching. My exercise physiology and biochemistry (of the metabolism) courses are extremely interesting to me, and I’m finding immunology fascinating. Neuromotor control is okay; I actually don’t love learning about the brain, though I think that’s because there’s so much misinformation and lack of understanding in this particular area of study. At the end of the day, it’s also very interesting, perhaps for the very reasons I find unattractive. 😉
I’ve been thinking a lot about doing what makes one happy. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been living more in my brain than in my body, and have been craving physical experiences. Adrenaline rushes. I’ve been working a lot without much pause (and in many ways am extremely lucky to be able to do so), and so that could be a part of it. It’s just been so bizarre.
I’ve been wanting to go to yoga again (I’m by no means an extreme yogi, but there’s no denying that it’s an excellent way to get into your body and breathing and out of your head). I’ve considered taking adult ballet, just to see if I can be more graceful than my stumbling five-year-old self was. I want to go to Tanzania and hike Mt. Kilimanjaro and do a hiking safari in the Serengeti. I want to scuba dive off every coast, learn how to climb mountains and camp out in the bitter cold. I want to ski new slopes and take walks in the falling leaves. More than anything, I want intellectual conversations over coffee or wine, board games played with close friends, food shared in good company. I want to play piano and get my black belt in Taek Won Do.
And then, at the same time, I want to learn everything and anything. I want to study and learn and discover. Physiology, hormones, nutrition, environmental ethics, the immune system – these are the things that draw me, capture my interest. I’ll read for hours at a time, compiling and storing information. I want to understand. It’s like there’s this fluid dichotomy between all of my wants, and I’m struggling to balance everything. Something has to give at some point.
Logically perhaps, as the noise in my head grows and intensifies, I feel this overwhelming need to minimize. I’ve been slowly paring down on my personal belongings, starting with clothes, shoes and beauty products (my boyfriend recently commented that he might have more clothes than I do). Letting go of some physical possessions has been remarkably freeing; kind of like freeing up space on a hard drive you hadn’t realized had been getting bogged down. I’m tackling books and jewellery next, and then perhaps my sentimental keepsakes – stuff I never use or look at but have yet to part with due to some kind of deep nostalgia. It’s a cleansing exercise.
I’m doing lots of soul-searching, trying to figure out what I want and if what I’m doing is aligning with my core values and my own happiness. I’ve decided that these things have to matter above all else. My values might change slightly as time goes on (and my definition of happiness even more so), but I don’t want to look back on a single point of my life and feel that I’ve wasted time. And no, I haven’t a clue what constitutes a waste of time, but I have a theory that it’s one of those things that you realize retrospectively and is related to doing something that doesn’t, in fact, fulfill you.