Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Adventures Continue

This time it has been 6 months.  The delays in my posts get longer, but life proceeds at its frenetic pace.  And there is much to update y'all on.

1.  Senior Resident
It's been interesting being a senior resident and overseeing the brand new baby interns.  There are 2 overwhelming thoughts: 1.) It's crazy how much I've grown as a resident and as a doctor, 2.) I have a new-found appreciate for my senior residents when I was an intern (and I found myself doing some of the things they did!).  I've also developed an unofficial "rule" for a well-functioning team: the team that laughs together, works well together.  :-)

2.  Fellowship Interviews
For most of September and October, I've been busy with fellowship interviews.  I decided to pursue a fellowship in pediatric rheumatology after all.  There are few fellowship programs in this field and oddly even fewer applicants!  It's not a well-exposed or popular fellowship.  But hey, I guess that works in my advantage.  Here are pics of some places I've interviewed:

 Cincinnati, OH

 Pittsburgh, PA

Ann Arbor,MI

Seattle, WA

3.  Another Away Rotation
Yay another away rotation!  This time in pediatric dermatology because, well, I suck at dermatology.  And knowing some dermatology will be useful for rheumatology in the future.  See if you can figure out where I did my rotation from the following pics:

4.  Match Day
And about 1 week ago, I found out that I matched fellowship in Pacific Northwest.  That's exciting.  I'm a tad annoyed that I didn't match in the Bay Area, as my odds were higher of matching there.  Oh well.  I can't ruminate on this for too long.  I must admit, it's probably the better program.  I was willing to "sacrifice" some career potential in order to be closer to family and focus a bit more on social life, which has been on hold for so long.  But it seems that the universe has other plans for me.

5.  (Lack of) Social Life
Yup.  Still single.  Not for some lack of trying, but maybe I'm just doing it wrong?  Maybe I'll find someone in the area where I do fellowship?  Should I remain always hopeful?  I don't know.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Found and Lost

I've become worse and worse about posting.  Sorry.  Residency has been busy and I've been too tired/lazy in what little free time I have to reflect.  But as I'm on vacation this week (and my original first and second plans fell through), here's Part 1 of several updates.  Without further ado, Part 1: Found and Lost.

So in my last post, I mentioned Pikachu.  We did end up going on a trip to the Big Sur area.  It was an amazing (albeit too short) trip.  I'm always stunned at how gorgeous the coastlines of this state are!  Here are some pics (from just the first day):

Big Sur coastline

Bixby Bridge

Valley View

Pfeiffer Beach (yes, parts of the sand are purple)

More stunning coastline!

And the iconic McWay Falls

We had a great time!  Yes, we did fool around a bit in bed at the hotel.  That was not planned but practically expected.  I won't elaborate much here, but suffice to say he's a passionate kisser and left me with a few hickies (which was a bit of a problem hiding behind my collar in clinic the following Monday, lol).  More than anything sexual though, it was just nice to lie next to someone and cuddle.  It's a wondrous thing, the sensation of touch.

Suffice to say, by the time we parted ways I had fallen for him.  But then an odd thing happened.  His work really picked up speed and he became very stressed out and distant (presumably from all the work he had to do).  We had gone from texting/Skyping almost every other day to just a couple times a week.  I continued to say "Hi" and "Good morning" almost every day for a while with a scarce reply.  I was beginning to wonder what was going on.

When we finally carved out some time to chat on Skype, I confessed that I really liked him in a way that I hadn't felt towards many other people before.  He took it as a compliment but didn't elaborate much more.  Later he would go on to say that long-distance never works out.  He was referencing a friend and her long-distance relationship, but I took it as a sign that we weren't meant to be (at least, not at this time).  The distance between us is about 2.5-3 hours' drive, and he categorically refuses to come to my part of the state.

And so perhaps that was it.  It almost felt like things evaporated away.  We still text and chat from time to time, but it's mostly me doing the initiating.  I feel the gulf of distance and at first it ate away at me.  Yeah, I still have feeling for him and I wonder if I were to match fellowship near him, would we have a chance?  Or would he find someone else in the intervening time?

I let my guard down.  I let a mask fall.  I let myself feel vulnerable.  And things didn't go as I had hoped.  I hate this feeling.  And what's worse is the feeling that I may very well end up alone anyway.  My 20s are quickly fading with each advancing day - is there any hope for this remaining time?  Or will I find what I seek in my early 30s?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy Single's Awareness Day

Wow, it's been about a month and a half since I last posted!  I suppose a few things have happened in the interim . . .

So I guess the focus of this post will center on this guy.  I'll call him Pikachu because he likes Pokemon.  So I met Pikachu back at the end of December 2014.  We had chatted on/off for months on a dating/hook-up app (no, it's not Grindr) but since we lived about 3 hours away from each other, we never had the opportunity to meet until December.

Since then, we've been texting each other almost every day.  More recently over the past 2 weeks, we've been Skyping about every other day; sometimes it's only for 10-15 minutes but other times it's been over an hour.  I've got a vacation planned for the end of this month, and we're planning on spending 2-3 days together on a mini trip/hike of the Big Sur area.

I think I'm beginning to really like him.  It's been quite a while since I've thought that way about anyone.  I've chatted with both guys and girls on/off via online dating sites/apps for the past 2 years.  A few of them (mostly girls) have made it past that to texting.  But then it fizzles out when my schedule becomes busy.  They don't initiate conversation and I can't sustain it one-sided.  But with Pikachu, he texts me in the morning to say "Hi" or "Good morning."  Simple as that.  But it keeps things going.

I was feeling the Single's Awareness Day tonight, and I texted him if he wanted to Skype.  At some point during our conversation it came up that I was bi.  Although I'm like 95% sure I had mentioned that fact to him when we first messaged on the dating app, he must've forgotten.  But his reaction was predictable, understandable, and . . . unfortunate.  He was taken aback a bit and seemed unsure for a moment.  He explained that he didn't mean it but stated that "biphobia" does exist in the gay community.  He had dated a bi guy within the past several months and it didn't go well (it didn't get very far either).

This brought up all sorts of insecurities for me.  I wasn't expecting that.  I thought I had moved past that.  I guess not.  On a spectrum of 0 to 10, with 0 being 100% straight and 10 being 100% gay, I place myself somewhere between 7 and 8.  In general, I'm more physically/sexually attracted to guys (girls have a narrower range), but I'm more emotionally/intellectually attracted to girls.  Pikachu is the first guy in a long time - possibly ever - who I've felt a romanto-emotional connection to.  And a part of me feels just broken after his reaction to me clarifying that I'm bi.  And honestly, I'm not even sure how well that label applies to me anymore.

I'm not sure how to navigate these feelings.  No, that's not accurate - I don't know how to navigate these feelings.  It's easy for me to just box it up and store it away, but that's not what I should do.  It's easy for me to tell myself the same advice I offer my patients, but it doesn't feel easy to follow.  It could be just me, but I feel like the fact/label of being bi has changed the relationship dynamics in ways that can't be undone.

Sigh.  :-/