Thursday, February 28, 2013

Alright. Bolt bus tickets are bought. One more thing down on the list.

Stream of thought: Gotta pack.

I'm jotting some thoughts down here to make it easier to pack. March 1st sneaks up on you pretty quick when Feb is so stumpy.

Tickets. Got the train tickets, still need to buy a Bolt Bus ticket to go between Boston and NY. And I can't forget to print that whole mess up! Printing. And maps. I'm gonna need maps too.

Updating the ISIC card to keep the train tickets cheaper. Gotta pick that up on Friday, but the application was taken care of today.

Packing. OK. So.

I've got to fit a week worth of clothes into a carry on. Trains between NY and Boston didn't allow checked baggage and I have a layover. The weather is in the 40s, and I'm assuming a little bit wet. Which seems like...I'm going to need a bit more jackets than I'm used to. We'll make it fit.

I had a hiking back pack, but I forgot one key element. That thing was only able to make it through my last trip on broken dreams and duct tape. And when it was done, I'm pretty sure that I tossed it. There's a chance it may be rolling around in the back of the trunk. Still, despite the condition it is in my head, I'm still tempted to use it if I find it. After applying another layer of duct tape of course. Otherwise I'll be using a much smaller bag + a regular book bag.

My strategy is to layer as many clothes as I can possibly get on myself until I transform into a baked potato. This is to leave more space for the non clothes items, mainly my laptop, a folder filled with all my traveling paperwork, and of course, my first aid review book for the STEP. Gotta do something on the long ride. Normally I harass fellow passengers on flights, so I imagine that it's not necessarily going to be much different on a train. Still, you never know who you're going to be next too, and chances are that they're less willing to to talk to you than you think.* Being young and cute helps, but I'm not sure I carry that quite so well anymore.

Alright, what the hell do I really need to pack. Thinking. Break it down by activity.

When I'm in Atlanta, visiting a friend for a day will be super low key. Same with seeing my sister in Boston. We're going to play table top games and cook food. Minimal threshold of dress: I'm warm enough. When I go to NY, I will be hanging out with an old friend who is a fashion designer and she wants to go out to party. Minimum threshold: much higher. Maybe I can wash things at my sister's. I also know my friend will lend me clothes, but there's no way I'm fitting into her miniature size shoes.

3 pants. 7 tops. Big jacket, little jacket. Clubbing dress. Vibrams, boots. Heels? I don't even own pumps. Whatevs, figure it out. Tights. Bras. Make up. Toiletries. ...

Bleh, I'm over thinking this. I'm just going to take 3 pairs of pants and then create 7 outfits around them, throwing a dress in for good measure. Then I'll cover myself in jackets and the heaviest boots I own, lumpy space princess style. Left over space gets filled with books, computer, make up, and travel paper work. That's exactly what I just said anyway isn't it? Heh, yeesh.

Hey, I didn't promise you an exciting post. Just stream of thought word vomit about packing.

I hope this all goes well. It's surprising to me at how last minute, yet coming together this whole experience is. I've been able to find a friend in each city I have a lay over. I remembered to get my loans in just in time for them to be dispersed today. Money should show up tomorrow. I'm getting my ISIC card renewed and it will be ready JUST IN TIME, on Friday. This has all been pulled together in the matter of a week (except for the loans), and I am shocked. It just so happened that a class mate was carpooling to the same city I'm going to go out of. Got the dates screwed up but was able to change the ticket on the phone. This is crazy how smoothly this is all working out.

I can think of ways that this could screw up. I have contingency plans for each of them. But we'll come to them when they happen.

I'm going to get on a train the day after tomorrow and trek across the country. And it's all because I said I wanted to. Me. woah.

If you couldn't tell, I'm just a bundle of nerves and excitement. :)



*As an off note, I used to always wear college T-shirts whenever I traveled by myself. I go to a big state university where people get obsessed about football. It's a conversation opener, and you're very likely to find someone walking around who is in your conference when you're traveling. It allows you to temporarily pick up a posse so you don't feel alone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Ladies don't travel alone." The first of much bull I'm done with.

You know, there's always a part of you that wants to go crazy once you get out a long term relationship. Live dangerously.

Of course, that's not to say that your standard rational side will allow any such nonsense. Which like any other average med student, I've got the square trait in spades.

I already dug that grave, nailed that coffin, and effectively put myself on lock down by boldly claiming to my roommate that I was giving up men for lent. I'm not even Christian  But my roommate is. Between her watch, my honest word, and my three shot HPV vaccine series massive lag time to immunity, I think I'll have myself covered from making gloriously bad decisions for a while.

We can only hope.

In the mean time, I'll compromise with my compulsions for crazy. This spring break I'm getting the hell out of the house, and I'm traveling. Yeah...that's a week from now. And no, I definitely can't afford plane tickets for that. But I can afford train tickets. So my plan is to see how many old friends I can reconnect with. I've never traveled alone, and it kinda seems silly why. I didn't want people to worry about me. Like I had a responsibility to keep them from worrying about me. Or maybe there would be too much resistance. "Wait, you're going where? To meet who? But you're X years old, a young woman..."

So I could never bring myself to travel when I was young, and certainly not while I was seeing someone. Certainly not appropriate for a young southern lady to travel by herself, but why would you leave your boyfriend by himself at home when you spent so much time from him in school in the first place?

I want to make it known that no one ever flat out told me that I wasn't allowed to do something. Hell, no one's ever bothered to call me a young, southern lady either. These ideals aren't spoken so much as they are felt. It comes in the form of your parents yelling at you for forgetting your phone because "you could have been dead in a ditch somewhere". I comes in forewarning whispers about "creepers" and "crazies" when you tell someone you write to a pen pal you met online. It comes in the force never ending lapping waves at your feet, reminding you that you are a woman in a big nasty world that preys upon little pretties.

Buh. I'm tired of it. Particularly the part where you feel like you need to ask for permission to do anything that is not pre-approved, but who do you ask?

Which is the bright side of being 26 now. Sure, you feel old when you're in a college town and 23 officially puts you at oldest dude/tte in the club. But hitting 26 gives you a certain freedom. The freedom to say "I'm too old for this kid shit." Then that's that, and it's over.

So, no. I really don't think that I'm doing anything daring by planning a trip to travel alone. But I am surprised that this is the first time I'm going through with it. Which I'm actually really excited about. And well, funny enough, I'm only willing to do it now that I'm single. I'm sure I could go all psychotherapist on why my brain was inspired now of all times, but I think it's a good bet I should get some sleep.

Be well,
-Kick Kick

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fresh start

I haven't posted in a while. The long story short is that due to some weird circumstances a lot of communication issues started rearing their head in my relationship. True to stereotype, it fell apart. When push came to shove, med school won out. I'll just leave it at that. He's a damn good person, otherwise I wouldn't have dated him for over three years. We were simply less compatible than we thought.

So with that on the side, I've been dedicating the rest of my free time to keeping afloat in class. Hence the not writing. Today was a blur of four exams, and there's a straggler that's coming up tomorrow in a class focused around statistics and evaluating the scientific literature. Evidence based medicine is the buzz word.

Of course when you're cramming for pathology, radiology, oncology, and clinical diagnosis the day just figure that stats can be figured out the night before. So some students and I met up randomly to start teaching the material to each other and that's what we've been at for the last five hours. It actually went really well, considering how puzzled we all were previously.

And I have to say this, tonight was a night where I felt incredibly proud to be a part of these people. It's probably the first time I've felt proud to be a part of medicine. I wasn't even proud when I originally got accepted to medical school in the past, just relieved. I have some theories why, mainly that a lot of the people I knew really resented physicians regardless of whatever prestige they associated with them. Or there's the constant talk of pathological competitiveness, neuroticism, and just plain old self absorption you hear infecting the entire gestation of the physician from pre-med to attending. I bought into that fear before I got into medicine, and I've been carrying the guilt of being associated with those opinions ever since. Not tonight.

I'm surrounded by the hardest working people I know. We build each other. I just felt a great sense of calm working through this material that I wouldn't have felt if I was working through it on my own. The communication was easy, free flowing, non judging. Everyone was going to get to where they needed to be, the common goal. I profoundly respect my classmates.

And really, that's what I needed to respect the field. So, I'd like to clarify. I'm not proud to be getting a job. I'm not proud I was picked by admissions. I'm not proud of the "profession". Fuck all of that. It really doesn't move me.

I am proud that I know good people. Respect an unflappable truth.  The oil in your feathers. It doesn't really matter what anti-doctor, anti-medical system, anti-faith-in-humanity comments get thrown at you. You respect the people around you. Sheets of stinging rain roll smoothly off what only shared experience brings. You can't bring me down with what builds me up. I know better.

While I was smiling quietly to myself, this realization has been a long, slow process. I think it's made  me more willing to be a patient because I'm finally willing to trust my provider. I also feel a little more stable on my feet, which I'm going to need now that I'm out of a relationship which I put so much of myself into. Truthfully, dating again sort of terrifies me because it's been so long. And I'm in no rush. Which is good, because my track record is to hop into new relationships too quickly, never being single, and in a sense, never really figuring out exactly where my identity settles when I don't have an outside source of influence.

I am dusting myself off, in a slow, methodical fashion. Yesterday I went in to get an HPV vaccine and got my standard well woman's exam while I was at it. Offices need to stock themselves with blankets, because those paper smocks are SO DAMN FRIGID. Nothing like being naked and cold to make you feel dehumanized at worst and as "one with the freezie pops" at best. My NP asked me if I'd like STD testing as well, and I figured, sure why the hell not. Seems like a honest way to enter the dating field again. And then I was told that the billing is different on a new system and this would now cost me a few hundred dollars.'s health department time!

Luckily there's no rush. I'll get that appointment set after the exam tomorrow and the following one on Monday. Some weeks are just a little more smooshed in than others. Life, right?

That's all I can reasonably write for now. Hope life is going well on your end too. Wherever you might be.