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[personal profile] caprices
It would seem that having a CD of whale song on makes me really, really mellow.

Which is good, because it stops me from playing with my hair. Honestly, the bottom ten inches had gotten so thin that taking them off does not leave me feeling my head is significantly lighter, but now: My hair flips! My hair hasn't flipped since I was 12! I am enjoying this way more than I expected. In fact, I am now eyeing my reflection and going, "hmm, I wonder what it would look like with another three inches off..."

However, as much fun as it is to have hair down, I think it's probably best to still be able to sequester it in a ponytail. Oh, and now that can be shapely, too, another unexpectedly nice result. It was pretty ragged before. 

And I do not intend to spend twenty minutes every morning combing and blow-drying to recreate the floof the stylist achieved. I have discovered, however, that now my hair is "short" (still past my shoulders) it is not so insurmountable a mental block to consider it being shorter, if that would allow me to wear it loose more often. The ultimate goal, of course, is to be able to wear hats without having to renegotiate with hair sticks or other hair keeping devices. 

The salon I went to was an experience, with a darkened room for the hair wash/head massage, big open studio, and glitzy handles on the doors. I have to give them points--the stylist I saw was willing to take about ten minutes the other day to do a consult on my hair and let me be slightly gunshy about getting it cut. 

And whalesong! 

And this is all sufficiently novel to distract me from the sadness over a someone I know, not to mention myself, being rejected from even consideration for a high-level fellowship. I was holding out hope for a while, but whoever the wait-waitlisted candidates are, I am not one of them. Depending on some uncontrollable variables, I may apply again in a year or two, but I don't actually see myself doing it this next year. I just don't have the academic chops to get in on merit. I'll be focusing on communications for public health and then back to veterinary medicine. I can either try to find a job as a general practitioner, to get a year or two of experience in actual practice, or go after an internship. The internship route is nice because the options for that are clearly laid out, but I have such a lousy GPA and class ranking that it would take more devotion than I currently have mustered to wow a clinic into taking me on. I don't really wow very well.

It is probably silly to say this, but in an ideal world I would have been top of my class at vet school (which may have helped with the fellowship?), and taken the year between second and third to do my MPH. That would have given me time to recover from prednisone and I would have gotten some hard core public health experience in the human world, and both would have helped a lot with the anxiety I dealt with 3rd and 4th year. I would be partway through 4th year now, probably still would have gone for the epi elective and potentially could have gotten a lot more out of it (as it was, I was in many ways just a sightseer). I may even still have applied to the fellowship this year and had a better shot, if I were already in possession of an MPH (like other dual-degree students who got in while finishing vet school, although some of them already had a PhD under their belts too).

I really did undercut myself by pushing through when still recovering from who knows how many years of uncontrolled Crohn's. My ability to concentrate flickers inconsistently as it is, which may have been originally linked to becoming exhausted too fast, and wasn't helped by the rise and fall of prednisone. 

So what lessons have I learned, when I take the time to think? I could benefit from ratcheting down my expectation of how fast I can do things, since I've taken myself past my limits a couple of times in the last few years. I need to focus more on my academic performance--it's odd, I haven't cared much about grades since I started to lose my edge all the way back in high school (probably when the Crohn's really kicked in), but now I'm approaching the end and the MPH is sort of the last word on my GPA and academic performance. I like certain status markers a LOT, like flying to new cities and dressing well but a touch eccentrically, and, it would seem, good hair. I, a bit, envy my sister's job, where she is a medical professional with a lot of training in a high prestige, high pressure job, teaching people, traveling, and still spending half her time at home. The fact she and I are completely different in how we approach the world has not deterred me from thinking my success would look the same.

I still have trouble with procrastination (yeah, I'm supposed to be doing homework right now, and that fact alone makes me wonder if there's something else going on I'm not seeing, that I put it off this easily). I get very excited about communication, but I'm not very good about making social connections formally OR informally. Follow-through is a huge problem for me. I get excited and imagine what I could do, but as soon as it falls through I give up everything except the minimum required to pull through. I have pulled through just often enough that I think this is not insurmountable. For once I would like to give it my all a bit less intensely, for a longer time, and actually feel good about myself. The fact I feel more precariously balanced now and less certain of my ability to pull through worries me (ironically, if I'd gotten an interview I would have been thinking, "it's fine, I pull through", so now I am doubly skeptical of myself, not to mention lingering break-up doubts if not regrets). As with procrastination, I wonder what I'm missing that I could fix.

Oh, the whale song stopped. Well, maybe not a bad thing. I was mellow and then I started self-reflection, always a hazardous undertaking.

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