what matters most

“Where there is love there is life.” -Mahatma Gandhi

The start of 2018– the month of January– was a tumultuous time for me. I went through a major breakup, got sick/lost weight, and moved out of the apartment I shared with Orchestra Teacher. Then I got a massive wake up call, literally. Cousin JT called me in the morning and she never calls me when I’m at work. I picked up and she was in tears. I knew immediately something was very, very wrong.

I listened to her detail everything that was going on and I was so stressed for her because even though she’s my cousin, she’s more like a sister to me. Basically, she told me that her baby was coming and it was too early. She kept saying, she’s not ready and the baby’s not ready.

I had been planning to come see her for her baby shower, instead I was going to see her at the hospital. The last time I was this stressed was two years ago when my mother and uncle both went through cancer at the same time. I packed my bags, hopped on a plane, and flew home.

I spent a good chunk of the weekend in the hospital with her while she was on bed rest (holding on as long as she could). We didn’t do anything special; we spent most of the time talking. We did this a lot when we were younger and just hanging out, except this time the situation had a lot more gravity. People came and went and when the weekend was over, I flew back to Chicago.

Despite the increasing distance, she and her unborn baby were constantly on my mind. The answer for why is quite simple, it’s because I love them. I don’t even know the baby yet, but it doesn’t matter. Her baby, like her, is my family and they’re so important to me. I realize that love is intangible, but so moving in its intensity.

Sometimes, I forget that romantic love in a relationship is only a part of the love equation we experience in life. Even if I’ve failed to find Mr. Right, I am lucky to have an abundance of love from family and friends. I took a small detour that weekend to visit Mrs. H (and Baby S), Mrs. J, and Mrs. C (and Baby A). It was wonderful to see the girls again, wonderful to just bask in the familiarity of being with my closest friends. We’ve known each other for more than a decade now, and we’ve lived through some of our best and worst moments together. I’m so, so thankful they’re in my life.

And I’m so, so happy to welcome the newest member of my family into my heart.

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passage of time

I am 33, and I’m single again.

All my closest friends, with the exception of Miss M (who is heroically working on her diss), are happily married. Mrs. H (formerly Miss H) just had her first daughter, Baby SMrs. J is expecting her first child; and Mrs. C (not “that” C) is the mother of  her “nearly 2” son, Baby A. 

Until recently, I was in a long-term relationship with Orchestra Teacher. We met in Houston during my residency, moved to Austin for my fellowship, then moved again to Chicago for my first real job as an attending. We were together for over 3 years when one day, right after the holidays, he decided he was done. The kicker was we were living together and we were talking fairly seriously about getting engaged over the last several months.

It started with him saying, hey come here we need to talk. Basically, he decided he didn’t know if he ever wanted to get married and that he didn’t want to be have to account for someone else in his life. I told him flat out, sounds like you don’t want to be in a relationship. He confirmed that he wanted to be alone. He’d been thinking about this on/off for months, and didn’t bring up even a hint of what was going on in his mind until he couldn’t stand it any longer.

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through thick and thin

Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

Until college, I never had real girlfriends. Then I met the girls: Mrs. C, Miss H, and Mrs. J. Who knew that these girls, who I met during my freshman year, would be my closest friends a decade later? I suppose, as they say, the rest is history…

Except, sometimes it’s not. I have never mentioned C before because the memory of our broken friendship was still too fresh to be able to comfortably process everything. I met C when I met the girls. Together we formed a close, cohesive group for the most part. But C has had past issues with every girl with the exception of her Maid of Honor, Mrs. J. Continue reading