First of all, Happy July 1st! I am having a hard time believing that the time has flown by so quickly that it is already July. And that I am entering my fourth year of medical school already. Previous graduates and doctors informed me that it would fly by, but I didn’t realize how quickly it would until recently.
Secondly, July 2nd (tomorrow) is always a memorable day for me. Three years ago (7/2/2009), I made the huge move from Connecticut to Washington in attempts to pursue my dream of becoming a Naturopathic Physician, as well as studying Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Bastyr University. I went for my interview at Bastyr the last week of March in 2009, was accepted into the Naturopathic Medicine program the following week (Beginning of April), did an attempted semi-cartwheel from utter excitement (my hand-eye coordination skills still need some work), sent in my check to hold my placement that day, and began to think about the limited remaining time I had at UCONN, in Connecticut, and with my friends/family, before I moved in early July to start school in the summer quarter.
Looking back, my graduation from UCONN was sometime in the beginning of June (what? I’m getting old, I cant remember many details like that anymore!), and the realization that I was moving 3000 miles away within a mere 3 weeks was pretty daunting. For those of you, who know me and read my blog, you may or may not know that I, more often than not, like to plan out huge adventures, for, oh you know, like moving clear across the country. But this was definitely not the case. Spontaneity took the better part of my life. From the moment I accepted my position as an incoming first year medical student at Bastyr University, life took a whirlwind of a turn. It’s almost as if everything was just floating by, falling into place, and I was some strange observer, watching it all happen.
During those 3 weeks from graduation to my move date, I packed up as many boxes as I could, sent them clear across the country to my new apartment, and hoped that they would somehow get there (pretty sure that I wrote the wrong address on all of those boxes sent). Slowly but surely blankets, pillows, clothes, bathroom supplies, and odds and ends were sent from one coast to another. I did not know anyone on the other side of the country at this point, so I kept saying to myself, “This should be really interesting.”
My car, at the time, nicknamed the 16-year-old-Soviet-Tank (really old gas guzzling BMW), graciously lended to me by my parents for the time being, and would definitely not survive the 3000 mile trek in one piece. So we packed up the car to the brim with my TV, microwave, rug, and rest of my clothes/cleaning supplies, and loaded it onto a huge flatbed truck traveling from “The Dirty JerZ” to Washington state. We sent it clear across country with a company that I still have no idea how my parents found. Although, in case you are wondering, you’re not missing out on me remembering the name, since my car was delivered about a week late from the expected date (a story to be shared at another time, most preferably over a strong drink).
The actual day that I moved, I ended up taking an evening flight out of JFK to Seattle, which was supposed to leave at 630pm. As many of you know, who have traveled out of NYC, the end of the day is the worst time to take a flight – mostly because all the delays from the day add up, and get seriously backed up well before dinner time. Which was exactly the case for me. My flight did not take off until 945pm, which means that I would get into SeaTac airport sometime between 1-2am. Yea, great, lets just land into a brand new city in the middle of the night. Good timing Krystal.
Oh, and to add some more drama to the mix, because I was getting in so late, my new-roommate-to-be decided that she didn’t want to pick me up from the airport that late, so she now left me to fend for myself, with two huge suit cases to my name at 2am. This person is to remain nameless, and lucky for me, I have permanently cut my losses with that terrible friendship.
Getting into SeaTac was a blur at 2am, getting to my new apartment at 3am was also a memory that I vaguely remember due to jet lag, stress, and lack of sleep. Here’s a fun fact about summer of 2009 in Washington: It was 104 degrees F and humid – an all time high in years for Seattle, and every single grocery and/or pharmacy literally laughed at me when I asked if they had any fans left. “Oh, there isn’t a fan in a 60 mile radius, sorry hun.” I thought to myself, what kind of place did I move to?!
Needless to say, adjusting to a new life in Washington was definitely an interesting experience, a struggle at many times in the beginning (especially since the east coast lifestyle is so dramatically different). Yet after that fateful and interesting moving day, I still proclaim that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Moving out of Connecticut was the best decision I have ever made for myself. It allowed me to begin anew, completely. I learned what it was like to pay my own bills, clean my own bathroom, cook for myself (still a struggle today), and take care of myself. It allowed me to become the person that I am today, define myself away from the roots I have in Connecticut, challenge my beliefs and philosophy, and establish a set plan and routine for myself.
If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is. – Unknown Author
I am one of the biggest advocates for taking that leap of faith and living life without having to ask the question “Well, what if I…“. I knew/know I do not want to live my life in that manner. Maybe it’s just my personality that I would go crazy if I had an offer for a great opportunity, which required taking a chance, and not taking it because of fear of failure, uncertainty, or someone telling me that I would not be able to handle it. Take charge of your choices, be fearless, and go for your dreams. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to what you were doing before. Plus, if you want something badly enough, you will fight for it, you will make it fit, and you will work it out. This not only applies to career decisions, but romantic relationships and friendships as well. Really, any aspect of life. Those are my words of wisdom for you, dear reader.
I did not know what it was like to live or go to school in Washington, I did not know if I would like the weather, I did not know what the driving was like, I did not know if I would like the people, etc. I literally had no idea about the lifestyle in Seattle. Heck, I never even visited the west coast prior to moving out here (and briefly being in the LAX airport for a connecting flight to Australia and New Zealand does NOT count). For me, all it took was a lot of uncertainty, a shit-ton of spontaneity, following my gut, knowing my ultimate dream and goal was, and making the best of the situation at hand. I wish for you to live your life in a similar manner, without fear and regret, without asking the question, “Well, what if I did…“.
So now that you know so much more about me, tell me, because I am curious, what is your story of your leap of faith?