09 April 2013

same love

in light of the recent national discussions on same sex marriage, i've been thinking a lot about love.

to preface, i had my eye on this pillow for a few months in the fall because it sums up exactly what i feel about love and know to be true about life. i was lucky enough to receive it as a gift from henry for christmas, and it has become a daily reminder to me about how superfluous and thing-filled my life is.

another daily reminder: 1 corinthians 13:4-8 hanging in our living room. ok, so it's beautifully written in chinese caligraphy, but i know it by heart (in the new living translation):
love is patient and kind.
love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
it does not demand its own way. 
it is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged.
it does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless.
but love will last forever. 

to start a complicated and potentially controversial (to some) post, i need to mention that i have been incredibly lucky in my life to be the recipient of unconditional love from family, friends, and my now husband. i've experienced love poured out to friends, neighbors, and especially those less fortunate than me. i've watched in awe as henry offers patience and kindness not only to me, but to most everyone he meets. i've watched my sisters rejoice when truth wins out and endure with me through every circumstance. the point of this exercise is not to paint my friends and family as saints -- of course they mess up! we are not perfect and the love we're able to provide to others as human beings is not perfect. 

...but love prevails, don't you see? love is how we survive. love is always hopeful.

in light of this, i've had a hard time listening to the discussions on same sex marriage, as an enthusiastic supporter of love, and listen to anyone put a limit or boundary on true love as it's described above. i don't believe that love exists in a vacuum. i don't believe that love should only exist between two people with anatomically different parts and genetically different 46th chromosomes. LOVE IS HUGE AND IMMEASURABLE; it is found during periods of deep sorrow and jubilant celebration. who are we to lasso love? who are we, as imperfect lovers, to set the limits on the glorious, omnipresent, enduring force which will last forever? i beseech you, behold love where it is, between whomever it is, whenever you can and cling to it with your entire soul that you can become a better lover than you are now. 

"no law's gonna change us
we have to change us
whatever god you believe in
we come from the same one
strip away the fear
underneath it's all the same love"   
.macklemore & ryan lewis. 

to quote the beatles, and my pillow, and Jesus (difficult to argue with these three): 


05 April 2013

sad stories

i am absolutely due for a post about the epic vacation henry and i took last month to barcelona, madeira, the canary islands, and malaga. it was legendary and relaxing. i felt like a normal (okay, extra-rich special normal) person for a little while and had some time to relax and pursue goals which was a rich blessing i can't figure out how to articulate quite yet. more soon. 


i'm writing today because i had an epiphany, and i often don't know how to express myself fully other than in writing. i am fortunate that despite the 110% of my job that involves face-to-face patient care, i also do a lot of writing (and secretly really enjoy it). it's also dawned on me over the years that i have a hard time opening up to other people in person about things that are really important to me (i seem to have no trouble jabbering endlessly about superficial matters) secondary to my extreme insecurity that i will either be 1. judged, or worse, 2. ignored. writing takes some of this anxiety out of my disclosures and thus here we are. 

"are we killing time while these days unwind?  
we can't see past our own sad stories 
and wonder what we're missing."
.patrick park. from here we are

my epiphany came to me, as many do, through the lyrics of a song blaring through my ear buds through my iphone on the C train to work. i recently heard this song on a pandora station, bookmarked it, later downloaded it, and it came on unexpectedly when i was in a contemplative mood. mr park starts the song in saying: "here we are with burning skin, where we've always been" and goes on to the chorus that i've typed above. although i've thought some permutation of this chorus quite often, i finally GOT IT on the train. 

being busy, being in residency, doing what your version of 'residency' is for you -- it's miserable because you're dog tired and overworked but also because you're missing out on LIVING. it's miserable because it forces you to become painfully selfish and the self who you are focusing so intently on is exhausted and uninteresting. it's circular, nauseating, and painful. you isolate yourself from interesting. you isolate yourself from confidence. you become a slave to your own insecurities and are further driven by them to work harder, all the while isolated from the (relatively) sane world around you. you become isolated from the love you desperately need to both give and receive. at one point in the song:

"we've given new names
to our hopes and our pain
but love just gets harder to find" 

i get glimpses of love and caring at work in the context of my ability to be people's doctor. i find this the redeeming quality of my job and of residency. it's one of the reasons i came to the intense program that i'm in now: i am able to take care of underserved, unloved people who need unconditional care. i recently realized these small glimpses of love make me that much more homesick to return to living in the non-residency, non-busy world and be able to shed the selfishness that i've clung to with this schedule and pour out love on everyone around me and really listen. 

i'm ready to stop singing the chorus of my own sad stories. i do wonder what i'm missing -- and sometimes get a glimpse of it -- and long for it to return. here's to one more year of residency. cheers!