2011 was a year of humbling experiences. 2012 is going to be exactly the same, I guess.
First life altering lesson of the year: DO NOT wait until the night before to study for a grad level pharmacology exam.
I’m pretty sure I almost died last night. The stress took a solid 50 years off my cardiovascular health. 24 hours ago, I was a healthy 24 year old with regular blood pressure and no genetic predisposition to hypertension. Now, I feel like I’m on the verge of an MI. Someone write me a script for a beta blocker. I’m gonna get the dizzies and experience exercise intolerance, but at least I’ll be alive.
It made me realize, once again, that I’m not bionic. I kept ignoring the fact that studying needed to be done at some point because in my head, I was like “Oh, science. I’m awesome at that. I’ll just memorize some stuff and make a few flashcards and be good to go.” Errmm… GOOD GOD, DO NOT EVER THINK THAT WAY ABOUT ANYTHING. Just assume that you suck at everything (without letting it affect your self-esteem, obviously). 50% of my pride/ego (that I didn’t even realize I had until now) got blown apart and destroyed forever because about 45 minutes into the studying, everything fell apart and it was all downhill from there. I’ve felt like the world has been spinning all day. It’s not just regular exhaustion. It’s like physical exhaustion combined with complete loss of brain function. Some neurons must have exploded. I still pulled off the A though because that’s just how I roll so even though the consequences weren’t terrible, I still learned that I can never do it again because it’s not something I want to relive in any capacity. And I have no idea how I got the A anyway because really, I shouldn’t have been able to. It’s weird that what feels like near failure can still be as life altering as real failure. I think it’s because the real failure like flashes before your eyes and you prepare for it to the point that even if you don’t fail, you hardly feel any relief because as far as you were concerned, the failure was undoubtedly pending and unavoidable. It’s like accepting your fate before you go into battle or something. I will admit that near failure is still way better than real failure, obviously. I’m not trying to say they’re exactly equal.
Life floors me. I think it’s good to be knocked off your feet sometimes. It’s how you mature. It’s like the world has to say “I can break you if I want to,” and make you realize that’s the truth and then get you can get your shit together. I feel more grounded now. I think maybe you subconsciously feel invincible when you’re younger so that you can feel more capable and therefore more stable but really, you feel more stable when you realize you’re not invincible because maybe all along you knew you were delusional about the invincibility but didn’t want to acknowledge it. That was a rambling sentence and I’m pretty sure the end of it contradicted the beginning. Sigh. Too tired to sort that one out right now. Just roll with it.
Also, my Alabama license came in the mail today. How can New Jersey be such a commonly used fake ID when Alabama’s license exists? I think if I tried to get into a Pittsburgh bar with this, they wouldn’t let me in. It’s so thin and low-tech looking. No offense to the state of Alabama or anything. I was just a little surprised.
I guess I’m also a little homesick which is outrageously difficult for me to admit because I’ve always seen it as kind of a weakness (like studying early and stretching before running, both of which have obviously recently proven to be very necessary). And it’s also such a new feeling because I’ve never been homesick before. Even in Chile. In fact, when I got back from Chile at the end of the summer, I’d been so un-homesick there that I actually had to deal with debilitating reverse culture shock that lasted for a couple months.
I just wanna watch a Pens game at Mario’s or Hough’s with everyone. Sigh. I watched the Uncle Gordy YouTube video like 10 times today. I’m taking back that thing I said yesterday about not settling down there. Of course I will. Who am I kidding? Those are my roots. And Pittsburgh people are welcoming in their own way. Not as overtly friendly. But still decent/open people.
Although, despite the twinge of homesickness, I’m still really really happy here and I realized that I think I’m lucky to love life as much as I do. Mary and I have that inherent happiness in common.
Speaking of Mary, I guess she’s working on her Christianity post which will be posted soon. I’m desperately waiting to read because she has a really interesting perspective about the whole thing. But just to be honest/upfront and not misleading, I personally will never be religious again as long as I live probably. I spent way too much time trying to believe in that stuff and it never felt right. I never felt that “thing” that religious people feel. Plus, I refuse to believe in a loving God when there’s shit like this that exists:
Anytime you want your world to be rocked, just look up all of Kevin Carter’s photography. There’s no way I can believe in Christianity’s version of God because if the central belief is that God is love and love comes from God and he cares about us a great deal and all of that, then it doesn’t make sense that things like starving toddlers exist because what loving entity let’s anyone suffer like that, especially a toddler? No Christian has ever had a good answer for me on this. They can only respond with, “We’re not supposed to know all the answers right now,” or some bullshit like that. And I’m just way to heartbroken about reality to be a Christian. Being religious makes me more confused/upset/angry than I am naturally so life is just easier to live this way.
Anyway, the reason I’m interested in what Mary’s gonna write is because I’m all about promoting general tolerance/acceptance and religious/Christian sanity. As I mentioned before, so many Christians in America are out of control about stuff and totally missing the main points about life and love and grace and forgiveness and heaven and all of that. Even if I don’t believe it, I at least know that they’re way off base from what the beliefs are actually supposed to be.
I respect the hell out of my sister and wish more people would practice Christianity the way she does. And if Christians like her are the majority, then you people need to start stepping up with a counterattack to the super conservative hateful insane Christians that seem to be running the show and get that shit back on track. I love the idea of a religion that promotes love, which is what Christianity is supposed to do. So, that’s why she’s guest blogging.
I’m gonna see if my friend Ashley wants to post anything here on the subject because she has a really great/rational/interesting view of Christianity as well. You can get an idea of her perspectives on religion here. She’s Christian. She currently attends Union Theological Seminary. And she’s bisexual. I hope I just blew your backwards conservative mind and/or offended you.
Ashley and Mary practice a type of Christianity where love is the central and most important thing. And even if I’m not a Christian myself, I totally respect the way they live their lives and think they’re wonderful/beautiful/amazing and that more Christians and people in general should be like them.
I don’t think that most other Christians know what love is at all.