Time off from work couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It has been awhile since I wrote my last “Thankful Thursdays” post (see previous ones here and here), so I think it’s appropriate to write one given my current state of mind (which is more relaxed and centered). My vacation started off with a quick, last minute trip to visit my family in northern California, which is usually my preferred travel destination each time I get the urge to feel more rooted and have the need to reset. During a stroll with my sister, I realized the grassy hilltops are gorgeous landscapes that I’ve taken for granted ever since my family first moved to the area when I was in junior high. For some reason, the lush hills appeared immaculate and majestic this time around. I enjoyed reuniting with family visiting from the Philippines, tasting my mom’s traditional filipino dishes, and playing card games with my cousins and siblings. I truly savored my brief stay.
Currently, I am sitting in a hotel lobby located in the flourishing city of Scottsdale, Arizona. I stare outside at the backdrop of pristine mountains, pale blue skies streaked with thinly layered clouds, and adobe fountains and fixtures at the forefront. Everything seems extremely tangible – from the texture of the furniture to the warmth of the sun hitting my face. While attending a conference, I am also aware of the numerous psychiatry and neurology residents here preparing to take their board exams tomorrow, as they lay out by the pool with heads buried in flashcards and exam prep books.
“I remember being in your same position two years ago,” I said to one of the girls who studied while lounging on the chair next to me. All I could remember from that day two years ago was memorizing the diagnostic criteria for various psychiatric diagnoses, the treatment for alcohol and drug withdrawal, etc. I never would have imagined noticing the simplistic, yet characteristic details of the locale like I am able to observe now. Fortunately, I passed the horrific test, yet I reflect on the past and a part of me wishes I was more mindful of the details from that experience. However, as the saying goes, “better late than never.”
Photo by Marlon Santos