Cry

I had a good cry last night. I don’t even know why I was crying. Let me tell you what happened yesterday….

I went to work and came back home. As I was eating dinner at the table with my dad (mom and sister were warming up their food), my mother yelled at me for not putting the yogurt on the table. She had not told me to do so, nor had she told me to set the table or anything. She just started yelling at me that I should’ve put it on the table, that she shouldn’t have to tell me what to do and what not to do anymore, that I’m not two years old anymore, that I don’t do “anything” in the house. Completely uncalled for in my opinion. It’s not like she was irritated with me or anything. She just started yelling at me.

Later that evening, I was in my room watching a movie and my younger sister came in (age 13). I was slightly irritated because I wanted to finish my movie but I didn’t say anything and I tried to welcome her. She’s been complaining that I never let her sit in my room and I never talk to her. So, I’m trying to change that. So I put my movie down and listened to her story. Then I asked her if she had prayed Isha (it was 10:45 pm). She replied “Possssssibbllllyyy………….maybe……..” She claims that she said, “Possibllyyyy….not.” But that is most certainly not what I heard. But that is besides the point. I asked her if it was possible for a human to have possibly prayed. You either pray or you don’t. There is no in between. I said all of this in a calm voice, and not accusing at all. She replied that it was if you had amnesia or something. I asked her if she truly, in her heart, believed that this was true, that you could “possibly” pray. She replied that she did. After she argued with me for about 5 minutes, she finally stated that she was joking/being sarcastic when she said that. I told her if that was the case, then why did she argue with me for 5 minutes that it was possible for someone to have “possibly” prayed. She argued with me about that for 5 minutes more, claiming that everyone always picks on her and I should’ve known she was joking. I didn’t. I told that I cannot tell anymore when she is joking/being sarcastic/lying/actually telling the truth. She lies way too often for me to be able to decipher what she is doing. I told her that. She asked me to give her an example of when she lied. I told her how earlier this evening, Ammi said she saw my sister with her math book in her lap, watching TV (she was supposed to be doing math homework). My sister yelled at Ammi that she always throws “accusations” at her that are not true. Ammi yelled back at her if this was not the case, if she was or was not doing what she said. My sister tried to stomp away but Ammi kept yelling at her to answer her question and finally my sister said it was true. When I related this incident to my sister, she started yelling that Ammi always makes generalizations about her, that it was only true about 50% of the time. At that point she was steamrolling over everything I said and the time was 11:05 pm. 15 minutes of arguing with this child. I was so tired. So incredibly tired of her constant arguing, her complaints, her yelling, her lying, her.  I started tearing up and I asked her to leave. She did. And that’s when I started crying. I don’t know if it was from arguing with her, or if it was my sadness for my younger sister, who spends her days watching TV and eating, never believing herself to be wrong, and having to argue at every SINGLE thing possible. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked that argument last night, but I was so fed up with her constant arguing. My vision I currently blurring as I write this.

I don’t even know how to approach her anymore.

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Hearty Laugh

“What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?” —The Daily Post.

The last time I really had a good laugh was earlier this year, during the spring semester. I had seen an article on Buzzfeed about girls who have b—- resting faces and it reminded me of my younger sister, who had been complaining of her own resting face a few days earlier. So I pulled up the article on my iPad and went to her room to show her. She finished up her drawing and came over on the bed to look at it. As she was scrolling through, she started laughing and laughing and then she was crying and then she was gasping for breath because it was so funny to her. I hadn’t found it that funny but seeing her laugh so hard made me laugh really hard and pretty soon, I too, was gasping for breath and clutching my stomach in laughter. We laughed together for a good bit and my sister had to put the iPad down in the middle of the article for fear she would lose her breath. We laughed ourselves out and then went back to the article and laughed some more and finally we made it through the article.

But what I love about that memory is that it wasn’t the article that made me laugh, it was my sister’s laughter that made me laugh.

Passion vs. Regret

It’s the middle of summer. I have about seven weeks until I go back to school. I can’t say I’m excited. For my chemistry major that I’m not even sure I want, I am signed up to take Calculus III and Physics I. I’m also signed up for Organic Chemistry II but I will probably drop it. Honestly, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. At the beginning of this year, I thought, surely, by the middle of summer, I would know what I wanted. I based this goal off the fact that I would be shadowing a doctor this summer. I have shadowed for approximately 22 hours, at the beginning of summer. I worked with a pulmonologist and a primary care physician.

My very first day, I was absolutely fascinated. The pulmonologist had so much information in his head and I wondered how he could pull diagnosis so quickly once patients stated symptoms. I loved the mystery of it. You were presented with a set of symptoms and you had to diagnose it. The patients all loved the pulmonologist because of his “bedside manner”. I really liked him too because he was a great mentor. But after the first day, I was bored. Since he was a specialty physician, he saw the same cases every day. Everyone either had COPD or sleep apnea. There were a few rare cases that were different but mostly, it was older patients. The number one recommendation I heard come out of his mouth was to quit smoking and to lose weight. I quickly bored of his patients as they were all the same and I couldn’t participate in the daily happenings.

Then, I went to the primary care physician’s office. I hoped, prayed, for something better. She was really sweet, stylish, and a mother of two young kids. She had become a doctor much earlier than was possible in the USA because she had done her studies overseas. Then she got married, and had kids during residency. She loved her job. But she only saw her patients for about 10 minutes each and then she was back to her office, typing away notes, referrals, etc. She was part of a private practice. I only got to spend one day with her but she was really interested in what I was interested in. I told her that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a doctor but that I had wanted to be a pediatrician my whole life. “What changed your mind?” she asked me. I told her I was worried about money, student loans, and the time commitment. I wanted to be able to spend time with my future children and as a working mother, most probably completing my residency, that would just be impossible. “What other careers are you considering?” she replied. I told her how I was interested in public health, hospital management, something in the healthcare field. Maybe dentistry or optometry. She told me to stop beating around the bush. Why not just become a doctor? I clearly wanted a career through which I could make a difference in people’s lives and physicians do it everyday. I still wasn’t sure, I mumbled.

I shadowed one other primary care physician. She had also studied overseas and now owned her own private practice. Her husband owned a practice too, right next door. They had connected buildings. How cute. She was really nice, I met her for the first time on my first day shadowing. I had been referred to her by the two other physicians I shadowed. She went from room to room, listening to patient grievances. Many were overweight and that was the root cause of many of their health issues. Others were diabetic. Majority were both obese and diabetic. In spite of all this, I still enjoyed the mystery aspect of it all. Patients would come in and present a series of symptoms and the physician would have to take a look at past medical history, other symptoms, potential causes of stress/anxiety, and more. I couldn’t believe that primary care physicians were paid so little when their jobs seemed harder than that of specialists. Where specialists only take care of one part of the body, primary care physicians take care of the whole body. But I didn’t really like the patients. They were old and their health problems were their own fault. Smoking, overweight, no physical exercise. Did they expect to be healthy?! What bothered me the most was when patients came in and reported that they had not been following the doctor’s orders from the last visit. They came in there demanding to know why they weren’t better when they hadn’t even been keeping up with their medication.

Eventually, I found a web-design internship at a non-profit organization and that was the end of my shadowing. I’ve been working here for 2.5 weeks now. With that much experience and 22 hours of shadowing, here’s what I’ve learned about myself:

  • Specialty medicine doesn’t quite appeal to me because it quite repetitive. Perhaps it’s the pulmonology/sleep medicine that I don’t like. Or the older patients. Not sure, but I couldn’t see my self doing that everyday.
  • Primary care isn’t my forte either. I think I just don’t like older patients. They are responsible for their current state of health and I cant do anything to help them if they don’t help themselves first. Ideally by losing weight and quitting smoking.
  • Sitting behind a computer with no tangible end is no fun. I went through a phase when I was really interested in computer science. I thought about web design, programming, and maybe computational media. But currently, at this internship, I don’t really enjoy it. Now, that maybe largely due the fact that I haven’t even started on the actual website yet. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I am working for a non-profit and that my end outcome will greatly benefit many people.

So there you have it. I think the one thing I have realized is that I want to do social good with my career. But what that career is, I have absolutely no idea. I almost want to cry by how scared I am of the future. I’m scared of falling into a degree that I have to complete because I owe it to my parents/their money. I’m scared of ending up in a 9-5 job that I hate but can’t leave due to overwhelming student loans. I’m scared of dying without having made a change in this world. I’m terrified of regret.

Aside

You know what I hate? When I complain about a test being hard, people, including friends, just say that I can do it because I’m smart and then they move on to tell how much they lack in smartness. When I talk about a good grade I got, I get nasty looks and people just say that that’s what they expected anyways and they act like I’m trying to brag. 

And that’s why I never complain to friends about schoolwork. The only people who will ever see my full-out stress mode over a test/assignment will be my family. And the only people I ever tell my grades to are my parents because, although they put on a lot of pressure for good grades, they understand that I’ve worked my butt off and that good grades don’t just come easy, I work hard for them.

Ranting because these past few days have been hell.

Inappropriate Language

So, I was at Macy’s today, just browsing through clothes ya know. And that song Scream and Shout came on. And ok, I’ll admit, I think it’s catchy. But they didn’t censor it. At all. And Britney curses at least 5 times in that song. And I didn’t even flinch when she cursed. In fact, I did something worse. I sang the lyrics with her and the last word was a curse and it just came out of my mouth. I’ve become so used to hearing and reading bad language that sometimes I curse without even intending to.

And then, after that, another song came on. It was very inappropriate. I believe it is called Talk Dirty. It doesn’t have any curse words but it straight up talks about sex. No hiding it behind strange lyrics. And as I was trying to comprehend some of the lyrics, I ran into my friend and her mother. And it was great seeing them. But talking to her mother while that disgusting song was blasting in my ears was…embarrassing. I didn’t want to be around a mother who has such strong moral values while listening to such degrading music.

I just hate how I’m becoming so desensitized to cursing and inappropriate music.

Video

Domestic Violence in India

I love the way Kamla Bhasin explains the issue of domestic violence in India. A lot of the cause of this issue is in the culture of India, the language, the religion. The Hindi word for husband is “pati,” which also happens to mean owner. Coincidence? I think not. There is the Hindu custom of the ‘Karwa Chauth’ which is “a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands.” Now, I’m not trying to say that the reason there is domestic violence is because of the culture of India. But I do think that women and men are raised with this notion that women are below men. They are taught that this is the way of the world. And that is partly why men feel it is OK to beat their wives and women believe that they should remain silent.

I apologize for those who do not understand Hindi. But if you do, please watch. And I want to thank Aamir Khan for making this amazing show.

Aside

For a moment, I thought I could do anything and be anything. I thought the opportunities were limitless. And then I realized something. I’m a girl. On top of that, I’m Asian and the color of my skin is more important than my skills to many people. If that wasn’t enough, I’m a Muslim. And I proudly wear my hijab. Who would hire me? In the real world, appearances are very important and to some people, more important than passion for the job and skills. 

For a moment there, I thought I could do anything.