Saturday, September 21, 2013

I will dare

I'm a different kind of tired. Usually, these days, I am tired because I am tired- because I have worked a long shift, been awake for too long, have been running around the hospital, have been writing notes and answering pages. That kind of tired, it's an easy kind of tired in a way. All it takes is a little rest, a little sleep, and for the most part, it goes away.

This is not that. I am the kind of tired that involves waking up at 3 am in a panic, that involves never feeling quite well-rested, that involves a churning sensation in the stomach, a steady state of anxiety. There's a fatigue that comes with that. The constant nerves eventually translate to pure exhaustion, but not the kind that can be relieved by sleep alone.

I'm so close, I'm so close I'm afraid to even name it, I'm afraid to want it. I want it that badly that I'm afraid to say it out loud. Does that make any sense?

That's the kind of pit in my gut that I've been grappling with this week. Yesterday, I had my first interview, and it should have been the easiest, but it was actually the one which worried me most, because, again, it has to do with wanting, and being afraid to want, and of course, at the end of it all (and haven't we all felt this at one time or another?) the fear of not being good enough. It had gotten to a fever pitch the night before, and I was nearing hysteria. I was bouncing around the house unsure what to do with myself.

I could have prepared in the traditional way. I could have read through my CV, reviewed possible questions I could be asked, all the things they say you should do. But I'm not so sure that would have done anything to help, not for me, and my miswired brain, my weird way of coping. So instead, last night, when I really felt my fears bubbling past the surface, threatening to boil, I decided to just face a completely different fear instead-- the terror of homemade pasta.

It is ridiculous, I am aware. But when you distill it down, the fear of making pasta from scratch is really just as ludicrous and just as justified as most of my other fears. My fears regarding pasta are many. Do I have the necessary ingredients- do I have what it takes? Do I have the necessary tools? How will I know if it is right? Will it form, will it all come together? And the biggest fear of all-- will it be any good?

This recipe had coincidentally been posted that allayed a lot of my fears, as orecchiette does not require a pasta maker. Don't get me wrong. I have wanted a pasta maker, have I ever, but I haven't been able to justify getting one when I don't even know how to make pasta. I divided the recipe by 8, because this was just a test batch. This was for therapeutic purpose, strictly. And while I kneaded the dough and then tried to make the coins curl into pasta, everything within me focused on that. I calmed down.

So maybe I won't get what I want. Maybe nothing will work out. Maybe I'll continue to bash my head against the proverbial brick wall. But not all endeavors end in failure. As evidenced by the orecchiette. Was it perfect? No, not even vaguely. However, it tasted good, and I knew what I needed to do to make it better next time. And in short, I was no longer afraid.

Friday, September 13, 2013

just try to understand, I've given all I can

Closing time. That's what it has felt like recently. Not insofar as this blog goes, though I know it's mostly dormant these days. It's not a particularly deep song, but those lyrics have lodged into my head because they're apt right now- you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

I've been trying to get my head right about leaving this part of the country, because the chances are astronomically high that I will no longer be a resident of this golden state for much longer. If this were the best of all possible worlds, then I'd live in the Bay Area, and live affordably there on the meager salary of a fellow, and be in a decent program training. But life gets complicated, the more you want, the more your heart is set on something.

Sometimes I think that love is a test. And that applies to love of work too, especially for me, because work and life are tied inextricably together for me. Don't ask me to be exuberant if work is going poorly, I can't do it, and I'm not sorry about that. Sometimes, I worry that some physicians don't take their job personally enough. But anyway, these choices end up being made. Really, you love this? Do you love it enough to leave the part of the country where you dreamed about living?

Once, the bro-seph and I were standing on the rooftop of a party in the Mission. It was clear and sunny and from that height, we could see across the city. I was floating. I gestured around and half-joked to my brother: "I think we've reached the promise land!" It did feel that way.

But it's weird. First of all, San Francisco doesn't make me feel that way anymore, I am sad to report. It's become not unlike New York in some ways. Beautiful, indisputably. And I will always hold it dear. But it's become a place exclusively for the have's of this world, and I find it hard to relate to places like that past a certain point. Moreover, though, San Francisco made some things plain for me.

I stood on that rooftop and I made that proclamation, but there was still a yearning in my heart. There was still more that I wanted, something I was searching for, and that something means I might have to move far, far away. And I wonder if all of this, everything that has happened to this point, has been a preparation for this next move.

None of it really matters. We like to think we have some control, we like to prepare, we like to think we've learned so much and are so world-wise. But in the end, change comes one way or the other and it doesn't really care whether you're ready for it or not. I'm just trying to remember that I've watched my life change numerous times, some by my choosing, some not so much, and it hasn't beaten me down yet.

But there are scenarios I would prefer, and I'm trying to convince myself to dream.


In other, more musical news, two Border Lines have earwormed me recently. The first is courtesy of a very funny episode of The Mindy Project. Yes, when I first heard it, I had a major nostalgia overload, but the Flaming Lips and company really prove that covers can reinterpret things in ways that are welcome.

The second Border Line, of course, is the new single by Goldspot. These lyrics really feel like the best ones the band have written to date. And even if some of their songs sound like cousins of each other, Goldspot has a distinct sound, one that tells you they're not afraid to incorporate Indian influence into their music but also that it's really woven into their fabric, not a device used for the purpose of kitsch.