Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, You Were Good To Me.

2009 was a good year. A lot changed for me. I have a whole new life. I am in a place, I never imagined I could be. It is so funny how quickly things can just change and then feel like that is how they have always been. God has been good to me!

I am on my first (and only) real vacation in the first year of medical school. We get 2 weeks for Christmas and New Year. I just completed 4 months of school, but it feels like it's been years. I have to admit, medical school is difficult. They were seriously NOT KIDDING. I mean, really mentally exhausting. I'm not complaining really. I am very grateful to be here. I am simply acknowledging that it takes a lot of discipline, and honestly I am still adjusting to this new, intense lifestyle that it requires. I am still happy and I still love it. If it wasn't for some of the wonderful people I have come to care about, I would have reached my break point already. We all suffer together. We help each other along. We encourage each other. On days that I am strong, I help the weak around me, and on days I am weak, there is always someone there to lift me up.

I feel very blessed because I went to medical school thinking that the majority of the people there would be socially awkward, uptight, type A, and generally suck (and believe me, there are plenty of them out there), but I have met some incredibly cool people. Maybe it's a UTMB thing, but a lot of people are laid back, humble, and know how to have some fun! I love that about UTMB. I also really like living on an island and on the beach! I wake up every day to look out my window at the sun rising over the ocean. I have a great apartment with an amazing roommate! I am walking distance from the beach and absolutely take advantage of that! I especially love our post-exam beach parties. Galveston is pretty quiet, but that's sort of perfect for medical school. There isn't too much to distract you here in GBay, but it still has personality. Downtown and the Strand are fun. I kind of like that small town feel, but probably only because Houston is close enough for a fun night in a real city anytime. I am still close to my family and friends in Houston and see them often, which is really nice for those times when I just want to escape from the med school world. I really feel so blessed. Things could not be more perfect. Thank you, God!

I am looking forward to a New Year. 2009 was filled with lots of change and the unknown. Lots of uncertainty. Here's to 2010! Full of promise! May God guide us all as we devote our lives to Him and His glory.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't Worry, I'm 1/16th of a Doctor...

4 years minus 8 weeks to go.

Have you ever been incredibly nervous and unsure about something and then once you begin the process it just all feels so right? It feels like this is what you were meant to do. That's how medical school is for me.

At first, I was apprehensive about it. I wondered if it was the right choice for me. Do I really want to be in school for another decade? The minute I got here, all me fears were put to rest. Even though I have only been through 8 weeks, it feels like I've been here for years. It's funny how things seem to fly by when everything is so intense. They weren't kidding about the workload. There is really no time to spare, so every second is used to it's fullest potential.

You have to look at it like a career. The studying and the classes are my full-time job. And the thing that makes it great is that I am absolutely fascinated by what I am doing. I realize it won't always be that way, but for now it really is.

As of last friday, I finished the first block of medical school: GAR (Gross Anatomy & Radiology).I am 1/16th of the way there! Woooooooooo!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Amber Getting Married and Sev Getting Moving

I just spent the weekend in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for my college roommate's wedding festivities. What a blast! I saw a lots of old friends I hadn't seen for at least 3 years. It's amazing how many people are married, having children, and moving on in their lives in big ways. Congratulations Amber & Daniel!!!

I had so much fun seeing Amber and Kali. Even after being apart for so long, we pick right back up as if we were never apart. (I adore you guys.) In fact, this weekend ended up being the pick-me-up I needed. I came home with a load of new experiences, fun memories, re-energized, happy, and re-confident. I have such a blessed life and I am truly happy with where I am headed.

Now, I am ready to PACK, PACK, PACK and PLAY, PLAY, PLAY.

Moving to Galveston in 3 days!
Starting medical school in 2 weeks!

Friday, August 07, 2009

2 Weeks Left

I have exactly 2 weeks until the BIG MOVE. Everything has been building up to this point.
In 2 weeks, I move to my new apartment in Galveston to start medical school. A new life for me. Sigh.

Is that a dreamy sigh or an anxious sigh? I'm not really sure. Both, I think.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's No Place I'd Rather Be

I have been home for one week today and it has been a fantastic week! To me, one of the best feelings in the world is coming home again. There are few things that can match it.

You FINALLY get through customs and walk through the automatic doors and you see the vacant expressions on the faces of your loved ones (who have been at the airport for close to two hours already due to your delayed plane). There is that moment when they see you and you witness the most beautiful thing you will ever see. Their faces completely change. They are overtaken with excitement and love. Pure, unadulterated joy. Another glimpse of God. It just oozes out of them. I am pretty sure I yelled "get out of the way" and ran over a few people to get to them. You experience one of the best hugs of your entire life...can you even call it a hug? It's just not a strong enough word. Embrace. Just holding each other so tight, making up for all the missed hugs while you were gone. There is not one thought in your mind except for the presence of the people you are holding. And when there are 6 of you in the family it becomes a strange, choreographed dance. You take turns, grabbing whoever is closest, re-hugging, adding an extra person here and there, a big group hug, then back to the singles. You are so overcome that you can't talk. So much joy that words don't come out, only laughter.

And I don't care how old you get (24!), there is nothing that makes you feel totally safe and relaxed like being in your dad or mom's arms. Maybe I am a little sentimental towards them, but when you have looked at their faces and legitimately had the thought, "I will never see them again," your outlook on everything changes. Thank you, heart surgery.

It is such a statement of love to miss someone. Such an honor. Before you leave, the people who matter would call just to hear your voice once more, then while you were gone they would facebook, email, and text you, just to let you know they missed you and were thinking about you. I was overwhelmed by the love I received. It reminded me of the hospital days. Then you come home and phone calls and visits come pouring in. Friends and family alike. Is there really a difference between the two? I am not talking about shallow, fair-weather friends here. I am talking the real thing. I appreciate you guys so much and I love you!

Travel is a beautiful thing. You have the best time abroad, but then you come home to an even better time. It truly makes you appreciate what you have. I truly feel loved and this affirmation of love that has been flowing from family and friends is exactly the strength I needed to get me through whatever trials lay ahead. The value of this life is measured in love and people and relationships (one of Jesus' main messages). I feel like one of the wealthiest girls on this Earth. I am so blessed!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

European Adventures: Part 5...Adios

Happy 4th of July! God bless America and everyone in the whole world too!

Today is my last full day in Europe. We're leaving tomorrow. It's bittersweet because we are sad to leave (there is still so much to see and do), but at the same time we are really excited to go home. I miss everyone! I can't wait to see all of you!

Tomorrow makes it 3 whole weeks of European fun. I've had the time of my life. I saw some really amazing things, met a lot of cool people, and solidified some great relationships. In the end, that's what really matters isn't it? It's not what country you are in or what things you've seen, but it's really about who you're with and the connections you make. Relationships and people and love are really the only things that matter in this world. That is why I am actually ready to go back and see the ones I love. And show them the 1000+ pictures I've taken...:)

See you soon!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

European Adventures: Part 4...The London Scene

Oh, the London Scene! You know those rainy days, they ain't so bad when you're the King.

London has been such an experience. I've made a couple of day trips there these last few weeks. It's my second time to visit London and it's even better this time around. I love the whole London scene: the craziness of the streets, the fun of the shopping, the natural beauty of the parks, the history of the ancient buildings, the contemporary shops and restaurants... It's all so much fun. I love how everything is just so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There is a union of old and new that is just beautiful.

The English people are so friendly too! The fact that we are American makes us cool. The fact we are Armenian makes us exotic. Put them together and how can you not have the best time ever? Apparently I have a sexy accent! Who knew!?!? I surely didn't know. Ha! Yay for England!

Of course we saw all the sights: Big Ben, Parliament Building, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, River Thames, and much more. It was all so fun. The British Museum is always one of my favorite and reminds me of my time in Greece. We went through it and found all things Armenian. There were quite a few items...primarily old wine vessels and other alcoholic paraphernalia.

My new, absolute favorite is the National Gallery!!! I adore art. Albert Einstein says, "Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art. They furnish me with happy feelings of such intensity such as I cannot derive from other realms." I agree for the most part. Obviously the greatest source of happiness and joy for me comes from God, but as for worldly pleasures, art is at the top for me. It connects you to humanity throughout the centuries. A glimpse into their world. They had an amazing collection including Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Manet, Seurat, Pissaro, Cezanne, van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, etc...3 out of the 4 teenage mutant ninja turtles! I'm a sucker for Impressionism and they had a great wing of Impressionist paintings. I like for things to be dream-like, almost as if you are seeing a memory. The details are vague, lines are blurry. It captures a feeling more than anything else. I love it. London has been so much fun!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

European Adventures: Part 3...The French Riviera

As a graduation present, my aunt and uncle took us for a weekend in Nice, if England wasn't amazing enough. I have been to Paris for one day 5 years ago. It was really cool to see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, but I really didn't know what to expect from Nice. I knew it was the capital of the French Riviera and a popular resort destination for the wealthy people. Maybe that's why I had always distanced myself from it...possibly because I never really saw this one coming.

I was really excited about going and had really high expectations. There is great danger when you set yourself up like that because things never seem to measure up to what you dreamed it would be. Let me just say that weekend in Nice was beyond my wildest imagination! It exceeded my expectations a million-fold. It was the most incredible vacation I have ever been on, second only to my time in Greece. TRES MAGNIFIQUE!!!

It has taken me this long just to process the whole thing. Every moment felt like some kind of fairytale dream...from the moment we got into a taxi at the airport to the moment we arrived back in England.

The hotel was amazing. It was on the Promenade de Anglais, a beautiful pedestrian walk along the pebble beaches of the Mediterranean. It had the most perfect view of the Mediterranean sea. We are talking postcard perfect. I have tons of great pictures that I will post up later (and by tons, I am not over exaggerating in the slightest). Seelva and I had a spectacular room to ourselves and felt like we had won the lottery. We spent that Friday exploring Nice, particularly the old city. Nice delivered all the things you would want and crave out of a vacation in France. The exciting, crowded streets, adorable outdoor cafes, unique shops and boutiques, the most beautiful pebble beaches, and the fiery passion of the French people (right up my alley).

I love the way they are so intense about everything. That's why they are notorious for being rude. If they don't like you, they won't spend a millisecond being nice to you. If they do like you, they turn on the charm and disarm you with their kindness and suave personalities. Lucky for us, my sister and I were well liked in France. :) Actually, most of the time, the French people thought we were native. Apparently we look French as well as Greek, Egyptian, Italian, Hispanic, Persian...the list goes on and on... You should have seen the look of disappointment when they realized I only spoke English, but then they were still nice.

You really felt you were in a foreign country because people didn't really speak much English and all the signs and menus were in French. I really don't speak French at all, save for being able to say "merci" and "si'l vous plait" and "mon cherie." I love it that way. I absolutely adore the French language...primarily the English language in a strong French accent. "Bonjour Mademoiselle" melts my heart. I know it's totally stereotypical, but I can't help myself and I am willing to bet neither could you.

The weekend was perfect. It included enjoying the city life of Nice, a day lounging at the beach and swimming in the Mediterranean, and a great tour of the Best of the French Riviera. This included visiting the neighboring country of Monaco. Monte Carlo was incredible. We got to drive along the Grand Prix track. We also visited Antibes (Picasso used to live here) and Cannes (ever heard of little old film festival they have there every year?). Cannes had the very best sandy beaches I have ever seen in my life. We also visited these old medieval villages in the mountains, one was the village of Eze and the other was St. Paul de Vence, which was now a Bohemian art village. St. Paul was known to be home to many of the Great Masters back when they weren't so great. There is a restaurant with a year long waiting list. The story goes that back then St. Paul was a place of starving artists. Because they could not pay with money, they offered little sketches and paintings to pay their rent and for food. This restaurant holds pictures that were offered up by some of the greats like Matisse and Picasso, back when they were nobody. It was such a cool little village.

There is so much beauty everywhere you look in that entire area, it is really no wonder so many creative minds and great artists, engineers, and inventors were so inspired to produce such great works. I know I felt inspired. I crave that stimulation of my creative, artistic side after spending so many years developing the logical, scientific side. I think it is good to have a balance. This vacation was like therapy. I felt more relaxed and serene than I have in a long time.

My favorite moment was when I was just sitting on the beach looking at the most beautiful clear, bright blue water you have every seen, listening to waves crash on the beach and the pebbles, sunkissed, thinking about God, full of joy and thankfulness, with not a care in the world. Pure serenity. That is a moment I know I will treasure and go back to when things get stressful in these next 4 years...a little glimpse of Heaven on this Earth.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Texas Adventure from Europe...

THE BEST THING JUST HAPPENED!!!! GOD IS GOOD! Like literally about 10 minutes ago. I will actually graduate this summer!

You know that the problem was that I was lacking a Visual Performing Arts credit. I have been trying to solve this problem since March. My advisors said that if I petitioned for a transfer from the Harding Art class I took, it would be fine. What those idiots didn't take into account was that it was only worth 2 hours and Texas requires 3. I hadn't heard from the first petition for over a month and via email from here in Europe I kept desperately emailing my advisors and all kinds of secretaries and stuff. A couple of days ago they emailed me my approved petition, but pointed out I was still one hour short of graduating. I have been devastated, so I started searching for a summer class I can take. There was only one available and it was full. I desperately emailed the professor and she said she would try to help me get in, but there were no guarantees. That was today. My only other hope was a second petition I submitted a day before I left for England. I emailed them about it again today...been doing that almost every day...and TODAY THEY EMAILED ME BACK AND SAID IT WAS APPROVED!!! So I don't have to take a summer class, and I DO get to graduate and I WON'T GET KICKED OUT OF MEDICAL SCHOOL. I knew I was stressed about it, but I didn't realize how badly. I just started crying in front of everyone as I read that email . It was pretty pathetic, but it makes for a PERFECT start to my vacation in France. I feel so light and carefree now. I AM OFFICIALLY GRADUATING AND GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL!!!! YAYAYAYYYAY!

European Adventures: Part 2

We are leaving to go to the South of France tomorrow. We will be going to Nice and Cannes in France, then onto Monte Carlo, Monaco. AAAHHAHHAHA! Can this be real!? I am excited beyond words! I can't believe it! These are the most amazing places in France. Ocean front suite at the hotel. EEEEEeeeekkkkkkk!

We are having such a great time. We went on a picnic in front of a 5000 year old castle today. Cool, eh? We also went to northern Wales earlier this week, thereby adding another country to the list of countries we visited. We went to London a few days ago and THAT WAS THE MOST FUN OF ALL. We are going back next week again to continue seeing all the sights. Yay!

Love you all and miss you lots.

Sorry that the posts are not coming along as much as I thought, but that's just because there is too much fun to be had! All shall be revealed in time...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

European Adventures: Part 1

I am having a WONDERFUL time here so far! I arrived in Bristol, U.K. on Sunday and have been having a great time since! It's only been 3 days, but we already we feel so welcome at my aunt and uncle's. Fredo Hopar and Stella Auntie have been so hospitable! Our guest room looks like a fancy room at an inn. They live in a beautiful, old Victorian house that has been remodeled inside. They keep insisting that their house is ours and have made us feel very comfortable here. Everyday so far, Stella has taken us somewhere to sightsee during the day, then Celina comes home from school, and we all hang out together. By the time afternoon rolls around, Seelva and I are exhausted from the day and jetlag. We have taken to exploring the city on our own in the afternoons and meeting some of the locals. Everyone is so friendly and seem to be thrilled that we are Americans from TEXAS. The Texas part is always their favorite.

Bristol is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Every street, every building, and every shop is exactly how you would picture things to be in England. There are beautiful, old victorian building everywhere. Bright colors and gardens are along every winding cobblestone road.

We've been taking it pretty easy these few days to recover from jetlag, but we are about to start a round of day excursions to see more of England. This includes Bath, Cheddar, Stonehenge, and some city in Wales. Yayyy! Also, Fred and Stella have planned a 3 day trip to the South of France. We are going to Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, and Monaco. YYIIIIPPPPEEEEE! It is supposed to be the most beautiful time of year to be there in the most beautiful part of France. Eventually, Seelva and I are going on our own little three day excursion to experience London and then another one to experience Paris. Depending on how our finances work out, we may take a train to Germany to visit Melis, but that is still up in the air.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity that we are recieving here. I have the best family ever! I am so blessed! Love and miss you all back home!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Europe and Europeans are Fun

This has been a crazy, fun week! I haven't been around much, but that is because there has been a lot going on. We have had relatives from Europe come for my cousin's wedding, so we have been entertaining one German and one Frenchman! It has been great. I love Europeans. I love showing off the great city of Houston and getting to know family members that I didn't even know existed until about a month ago.

Since last Thursday, I have had a night at Rice Village, gone to my sister's high school graduation, thrown an awesome birthday party for one of my favorite people, gone to a rehearsal dinner, cousin's Wedding, a day to recover from cousin's wedding, a 2 day trip to Austin (vineyards in the Hill Country, 6th street, swimming in Lake Travis), and a Dynamo game.

The BIG news is that I LEAVE FOR EUROPE IN 2 DAYS!!! The next two days are devoted to packing and spending my last few moments with friends and family that I will miss. It's been 5 years since I was there last, and I have been dying to go back since. I absolutely love to travel and see and experience new things. It's a "graduation/congrats on med school" present from my parents. A sort of last hurrah before my life gets sucked away. :) My little sister, Seelva, who just graduated from high school is going too...we make a good team! Shenanigans will abound! We will be there for 3 weeks!!! We'll be primarily in England, but hopefully this will include a mini-trip to Paris and possibly one to Germany as well.

I'll keep you updated with pictures and tales of our grand European adventures!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Term Papers are Fun

Dear Loud Annoying Girl Sitting Across From Me at the Library Right Now,

Shut up! Some of us are very interested in finishing our term papers that are due at midnight. Somehow you have the superhuman power of having a shrill voice that is able to penetrate my iPod. With this great power comes great responsibility. You are blowing it, chica. Don't you notice all the looks you are getting from everyone within a 10-mile radius...including the poor girl you are talking to? You reek of insecurity.

P.S It DOES sound like you're nothing but a glorified booty call to him. Goodbye.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fight against the Sadness, Artax!

Nothing quite like cemeteries in the rain.

April 15 marked the one-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing and today is her Hokee Hankeest. This translates into "soul rest". It's basically a memorial service and marks the end of the mourning period. (Armenians have 3 main events when someone passes: the funeral, a 40-day memorial service, and a one-year memorial service.) A Hokee Hankeest involves a ritual gathering of close friends and family at the gravesite while the Armenian priest says a prayer. Then everyone goes to church, and lastly everyone at church is invited to join the family of the deceased for food, pastries, coffee, and fellowship.

Today's weather reflected our moods pretty accurately. It started out gloomy, depressing, melancholy, and ended up being a beautiful day. So the question is, where did the shift happen?

Well, it went a little something like this:

It was raining. Only a light drizzle, but enough to make my hair look ridiculous. Every step I took, no matter how calculated or deliberate, sent mud splattering up my legs and all over my high heels. I got mud in my high heel shoes. Ugh. Slowly, family members started arriving and congregating around my grandmother's grave. It was funny watching everyone try to figure out the "path of least flood and mud", and how to navigate between the burial plots. It didn't matter because everyone was covered in mud by the time they reached her gravesite.

The mood was solemn. Cemetaries get that way. My sisters and I arrived pretty early and had to wait as everyone else arrived. We tried to find the highest ground possible and took our positions, scared to move even the slightest bit because it would be sure to sink you into the ground. It was like a game for all the women present. Try NOT to let your heels sink into the soggy earth. It had been raining all weekend and the ground was extremely soft. It was funny to see people wobble, pull out their heels from the ground, then reposition themselves on a seemingly sturdier area only to do it all over again. Finally, the family was all present and so was the Armenian priest.

At this point my feet were already killing me because I had spent the evening before on my feet in heels for several hours. Needless to say, I was not comfortable. We stood at the grave for a while, all the time softening the ground beneath us even more. At one point my heels sunk into the ground for the millionth time, and at that point I whispered to Seelva, "I give up." I just let them go down and stood there with my heels in the mud, feeling sad and pathetic and sorry for myself.

Seelva, leaned over and whispered back, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Never give up! Don't let the sadness take you, Artax! You dumb horse!"

I TOTALLY lost it! Everyone within earshot busted out laughing! If you aren't laughing right now as you read this, it's because you have never seen The Neverending Story (for shame!), or just can't remember it. Go look up "Artax dies in the Swamp of Sadness" on Youtube right now! It's the scene where a warrior boy (Atreyu) and his horse (Artax) are traveling through the Swamps of Sadness. If you let sadness overtake you, you sink in the mud and die (kind of like quicksand, except quickmud). The boy's horse at one point gives in to sadness, sinks, and dies. It is ridiculously cheesy, over-the-top dramatic, and HILARIOUS!

It was so funny because it was almost exactly what I was doing at that moment! I really was feeling pretty lousy AND literally sinking in the mud. Then all of a sudden, I decided not to give in to the sadness. And the clouds disappeared and the world became a brighter, happier place. This is just another reason why it is important to have people you love around you to lift you up. I didn't need a lecture or a cry or to talk about my feelings. All I needed was someone who loves me to make me laugh by quoting a classic 80s fantasy film. Thank you, Seelva. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Engagement Parties are the Best.

I just came home from an awesome engagement party. Armenian style. Shoorch Bar. Live band. Huge dance floor. Fog machine. Flashing lights. Satin fabric. Chandeliers. Flowing fountains. Abundant alcohol. Delicious food. Pretty dresses. High heels (but not me because of my stupid ankle). Fine then, kitten heels. Lots of boisterous dancing with friends and strangers. A sweet dance with my grandfather who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and doesn't have much longer to go. As we danced he hugged me and wept. Good God! What's a girl to do. I cried too. Then I began salsa dancing.

Thank God for medical school. Otherwise I would have no escape from the awkwardness of Armenian women asking me if I am "next". They send out a blessing that translates as "may your luck be opened." Basically it means, I hope you will be the next lucky one. This is a compliment, but it can just as easily be disguised as a passive aggressive all depends on who you are talking to. Luckily I have more friends than foes in the Armenian world. The older ladies are the ones who (much like the church of christ) are ready to diagnose you. "Come on girl! Maybe you are being too picky. I know! You need a nice Armenian boy. Get with the program. Oh! You got into medical school. Good girl. In that case, it's okay. You were busy studying all the time. Well, good for you. You know there are many good Armenian men in California. There are medical schools in California. You should go to school there. You should find a husband there. In fact, my grandson is visiting from there. Here he is..."

You can imagine how it goes from there. Even though it can be weird, I secretly love it. It is just too hilarious not to enjoy every awkward second. I know it's not the world I belong to, but it sure is fun to party with them every once in a while. If there is one thing that can be said about Armenians, it is that they know how to have a good time.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

3 Year Anniversary

Three years ago today, I was having heart surgery. How strange and wonderful. Praise God for healing and restoring my mind, heart, body and soul.

I don't know what it is about this weekend in my life, but I feel like really important, life-changing things keep happening year after year. It's kind of funny and ironic. And weird.

This weekend has been a important checkpoint in my spiritual journey. It's been extremely fulfilling on so many levels. First of all, like I mentioned already, today is the 3 year anniversary of my heart surgery. I know that people are over it and don't care, but it is something that I deal with and think about almost every day. I am not burdened with it anymore. I used to be until exactly 1 year ago this weekend.

Soul Link was this weekend and as I spent time reflecting on God and immersing myself in Him (which is exactly why I love things like Soul entire weekend devoted to thinking about God!), I also began to reflect on my life these past three years.

About 3 years ago, my life was as blessed as always and things were going along so smoothly. I had such a great life. I was only 3 semesters away from graduating, I maintained a 4.0 GPA, I was dating a really great guy, I had an amazing group of friends, I had a great apartment and was living with the best room mates ever. Things were going so well for me in every aspect of my life. I felt so content. Then, out of nowhere I got sick and my world turned upside down (sick being an extreme understatement, but I have already devoted so many posts explaining this, so I won't go into too much detail here).

For the following 2 years, I fell into the age-old trap of trying to "fix" everything myself. God did the important stuff (keeping me alive), now it was my turn to do my part. I felt like I had to work hard and make my life worth know, pay God back, in a sense. How could I have so stupidly thought that I could even be remotely good enough or able to pay God back or even accomplish anything for that matter? That was my first problem. I needed a major lesson in humility. I am NOT in control, never will be, and never can be. It doesn't matter if I get all my ducks in a row, as I would soon find out, because THAT is not the answer. There is only one answer and that is to surrender your entire life to God. Jesus takes your pain away. But for 2 years I tried to "fix" everything myself.

I put my hope in the wrong things. Not bad things, mind you. All the things I worked for and wanted were good things that I believe God wants to bless us with, but the problem was my motives. I was putting my hope in these things, when it really needed to be in Christ alone.

I thought I needed friends because I was alone in Houston after moving back home post-surgery. I was immediately blessed with a solid support system of great friends who are incredible. I still felt empty.

I thought I needed to get my health back on track. I was the healthier after that first year, than I have ever been. I only ate perfect, healthy food and worked out an average of 6-8 times a week. I was obsessed. I was in great shape, and felt good physically. I still felt empty.

I thought I needed to find love so I became a serial dater. It's funny because I never thought I would be that girl. I started with a very conservative, Christian-school (aka only date someone you could see yourself potentially marrying) attitude, but eventually saw how ridiculous this was and finally started acting more like an adult (aka non-committal, give it a chance, just looking for someone to spend some time with, enjoy life, and laugh together dating). I have to say this was one of the best revelations I have had! Although there wasn't a single truly meaningful relationship there, in a strange way all those little relationships added up to be a very meaningful and treasured experience for me. It was the confidence boost I needed and I learned soooooo much about myself, what I want, what I value, and who I am. Also, I am the type of person that likes to try everything once, before I make a final decision. I never want to resent someone because I feel like I settled. You know, it's just your basic principles of research. I kept meeting the most interesting and (for the most part) great guys. I still felt empty.

I thought I needed to get my education back on track, after dropping out for a while. If I could just secure a career path or at least have a clue what I was going to be when I grew up, I would feel better. God truly blessed me by leading me into medicine. He made this part of my life incredibly, miraculously easy. But, I still felt emtpy.

I find it so interesting because looking back, I can see that God was so patient with me. He just let me take 2 entire years of filtering through stupid ideas of how to make my life better. Even though He knew what I really needed in order to be completely healed, He blessed me with all the things I was asking for, just to help me to understand. He realized how dense I can be, and figured a 2 year object lesson was really the only way to get through to a stubborn Armenian.

You can actually go back to the old post I wrote after Soul Link 2008 (1 year ago!) and see where I talk about a spiritual renewal. I was an empty shell of who I was meant to be. I was in a terrible downward spiral and it happened to be at Soul Link during a song at a concert where it all became painfully clear to me. I heard God speak. It wasn't the booming, scary God voice, but it was my own voice, except in a way that I never really hear it. It was clear and there was a sense of power, calm strength, and authority. The answer was not to hide from the pain and fear and uncertainty. It was not to find solace in a planned out future, in love, in friends, or anything else. It was to love God, to love Jesus, and to surrender everything to Him. The only way to be happy was to be completely His, and you can't be completely His, until you surrender.

This past year, has been such a blessed one for me, in every way. I changed my attitude and my life that weekend. That is not to mislead you into thinking things have been perfect. In fact, things have gotten downright bad at some points, yet there is unexplainable joy in my heart. No matter what I do or what happens to me, I have purpose. Although, I don't always know what that purpose is, I have faith in a God who will always take care of me and love me.

"To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame...

Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from old.
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O Lord...

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercly they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you."

Psalm 25

Friday, February 06, 2009

Annals of the Armenian who got Accepted to Medical School

I got accepted to UTMB Medical School. WHAT!?!? Did that really happen?
I chronicled the important events in my life that were part of my journey to medical school:
  • All my Life - Being part of my family
  • 2002 - Anaheed's Illness
  • March 2006 - Near Death Experience
  • Aug 2006 - Meet Adrianne
  • Oct 23, 2006 - Job with Dr. Abrams in a Research Lab
  • May 2008 - MCAT
  • June 2008 - 30!
  • Aug/Sept 2008 - Applied to Medical School
  • Oct 2008 - Invited to two interviews
  • Oct 24, 2008 - UT-H interview
  • Nov 14, 2008 - UTMB interview
  • Nov 18, 2008 - Early acceptance to UTMB
  • Feb 1, 2008 - Officially matched to UTMB

Time for a confession that will give you an insight into the crazy that is me: I am kind of expecting to wake up and it be March 1, 2006 and I'm in a hospital bed coming-to-consciousness in the recovery room after heart surgery. All of this is just a side-effect of coming off some serious anesthesia. Did I just imagine these last 3 years? How did this happen? Time seemed to crawl, but now looking back, it all seems a strange blur. The road was long, hard, and mostly difficult, but somehow I made it here. Talk about God's hand providing guidance and joy along the way! I would not have made it without Him. Now that it has happened I am...well, I have no clue what I am. Happy. Shocked. Undeserving. Appreciative. Terrified. Overwhelmed. Aflutter. Burdened. Shocked. Happy. Blessed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the Year of the Ox (aka the Year of Sevahn) Actually, I have no idea what being an Ox means, except for allowing fording rivers to be a possibility, so I did a little research and thought I would share my findings. Obviously, not everyone born in 1985 has these qualities...that would be weird, but I wanted to see how Ox-like I am.

Yes, I am expecting rude and hilarious comments from all of you.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas (not so true for me...depends on the situation), and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise (as long as you have a logical arguement, I can easily change my mind). An Ox person has a very logical mind (depending...) and is extremely systematic in whatever they do (eh...), though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little (HA! Totally and completely, 100% opposite of me) but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life (fulfilling God's plan for me is actually my main preoccupation in life), and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families (does 4 years of med school = toiling long and hard?). Strong-minded (check), stubborn (depending), individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do (haha...too true).

The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind (overactive).

The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous (agree). The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights (but I like risky things).

Ox people are truthful (I try to be...) and sincere (definitely), and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them (so true). They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain (nope). These people are always welcome in small gatherings because of their humble composure (haha...have you met me?) and reverent nature towards the host. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac (well, well, well). They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends (opposite of me), although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new (I LOVE trying new things). People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children (I guess we'll see...).

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable (holla!) and relaxed when they feel secure (I haven't felt secure since January 2006, but I have been relaxed since then), but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Well, some of it is true and some of it isn't, but it was sure fun! Go Ox!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

7 Months Left to Live

To My Most Devoted Fan:

I only have 7 months left to live...I mean really LIVE it up! I start Medical School in August, sooooo...

I need some spontaneity in my one else ever wants to rollerblade at midnight with me or go discover some amazing little cafe downtown or listen to weird and different music all day long or just drive around until something fun happens or play scrabble all day or just take long naps on the couches/watch movies at the same time or watch VH1 marathons until 5am or make fun of Flavor of Love, yet secretly love it, or get hit on by Flava Flav in person... We have more fun on accident than most have on purpose. All that to say, I miss you. Come see me. Maybe I'll come see you in February sometime. Joe T. keeps calling my name.

Friday, January 16, 2009

To The Rudest Person I Know:

(You know who you are!)

If you think that you can just demote me without a fight, you have another thing coming!

It's soooo on! Be prepared to face some good, old-fashioned Armenian wrath. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Here's to 2009

In a bullet proof vest
With the windows all closed
I'll be doing my best
I'll see you soon

In a telescope lens
And when all you want is friends
I'll see you soon