Am I There Yet?

I’m directionally-challenged.

I don’t know what “turn southwest” means (I mean, is that left or right?!), and sometimes when my Google Maps app lady tells me to turn right, I accidentally turn left thinking I’m completely correct. I could chalk it up to normal human error, but even then, I still have the hardest time deciphering (what should be simple) highway directions. My internal conversations as I approach and am on highways goes a little like this:

(heart speeds up) Must… edge… into… oncoming… traffic… safely. Anddd success!
Hm, do I take this exit?…
Or THIS exit?
Wait, no, I think I just exited too early.
Or…wait… Am I even on the right highway?
Okay, I’ll take the exit in a quarter-mile.
Wait, there are two directions to exit in. Is it left or right? Left. Or. Right. LAYO, CHOOSE!
(veers left)
Google Maps Lady: Rerouting…
(face palm)

Such is my life when I’m out on the road and not too familiar with my surroundings. Yes, I definitely panic when I’m waiting on the Google lady to tell me where to go, and she hasn’t said anything in 5 miles, and I see a stoplight coming up, and I wonder, do I turn? Am I going straight? What do I do, Google Maps lady?? It was at a time like this recently – when I began to internally panic as I drove to my destination – that God really started to tug at my heart and speak to me about patience and listening to Him in my life. Continue reading

Weekend Bits & Bobs: Budapest

About a week and a half ago, a couple of my friends and I took a day trip into Budapest, and I’m finally getting a moment to share some pictures from that trip! Budapest – which is technically the two cities of Buda and Pest separated by the Danube River – is absolutely stunning with its Old World architecture around every corner. But then, that’s Europe for you, right? That’s part of why I love Europe – history (in everything) is alive and well and ready for the taking for visitors with a penchant for that stuff (me!). This was more of an exploratory trip for us, to help us figure out the metro system, the general atmosphere of the city, and what it had to offer. I’d call it a success, and I can’t wait to get back.

These pictures were taken with an iPhone camera, so the contrasts and exposures aren’t the best, but I’m planning on taking my big camera with me on a proper visit to Budapest soon (once I learn how to better use it, of course). Continue reading

European Med Life

It’s Labor Day for all my American friends and family, and usually I join in enjoying the day off with copious amounts of food, sleep, and HGTV. But today’s the first time I’ve actually put “laboring” into Labor Day, because it was the first day of classes over here at the University of Pécs Faculty of Medicine.

Yes, that’s right – I’ve officially began my journey as a European med student!

I know, I’ve been MIA from writing these past two weeks as I’ve gotten settled in (shout out to those whom I promised pictures and updates…they will come gradually). But bear with me; I’m a med student now (eek! I get to say that!).

Recently – as in, about two weeks ago – my Dad and I took all my packed bags (which was only 2 suitcases, surprisingly) and headed off on the long journey from Dallas to Pécs (rhymes with “h”), in beautiful southwestern Hungary. Med school is already a crazy ordeal; but to embark on that life change in a new country? Where I don’t speak the official language? Does that sound crazy? Yes? Well, sign me up! I’ve loved travelling since…forever. I’ve also loved medicine (and music and writing, but that’s a different story for another time) for practically my whole life, so in thinking of med schools, I wanted to go to an international school that would seamlessly blend these two passions of mine. And wow, the UP delivered. In my class group (about 15-20 of us), there are students from Jordan, Iran, Israel, Spain, Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Nepal, India, Canada, Argentina, and Nigeria. It’s the norm for students here to be multilingual; if you want motivation to learn a new language, just come here and make some friends. On my first Monday at the school, I met a 3rd year student who spoke nine languages. NINE. And he wasn’t kidding, because he broke out speaking those languages with various other students and patrons who passed by. I was, and am, in heaven just listening to the massive accomplishments of the other students in my med school class. Continue reading

The Art of Describing Yourself

In the midst of med school apps a couple weeks ago, I ran across these essays in the NY Times last week. They were a part of this main article that discussed a “new” type of college essays that are emerging, ones where the writers take huge risks in relation to what one usually thinks of concerning typical admissions essays. It got me thinking about my own applications, since the all important personal statement is a large part of the process. Reading the four essays, they were certainly different from what I’d seen before. Sometimes I found myself going, “What are they even talking about?” while reading the essays. But in the end, the essays were fantastic, and they ultimately painted a unique picture of each applicant’s personality and style.

A few days ago, I was reading and came across an artist named Leonid Afremov mentioned in the book. I (naturally) looked him up because the book mentioned his paintings of Paris vignettes; it turns out he’s a Russian-Israeli modern impressionist. He likes to paint things that allow the viewer to see the subject through his point of view. His style reminded me of neo-Impressionism (aka, Pointillism, which is my favorite art period) a bit, so I was instantly drawn to his works. The reason I was so drawn to his paintings isn’t just because they are so colorful. Mainly, I love that the colors, though not necessarily blended, come together to paint a complex picture of Paris: the light radiating off of the Eiffel Tower at night or off of Notre Dame in the afternoon, or reflecting in the cafe windows in early morning aren’t just a spectacular yellow-orange color. The light also returns to the eye as blues, greens, and reds as it works to highlight the rest of the surrounding scenery in each painting – the deep blue skies, the well-manicured trees, the autumn leaves and blaring shop signs.

And I was drawn to his paintings because this is exactly how I want to come across while writing all those answers in the med school secondaries I’m now doing: I want to paint a picture of myself, with specific descriptions and attributes, yet I want all of those values to come together and make a beautiful picture, subtly reflecting and highlighting other areas of my life in the undertones.

Guess I better get to work.

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*All photos attributed to and


Yesterday, my family and friends celebrated so much: my graduation, my sister’s graduation, my other sister’s trip to Indonesia, long-time friendships, and even the great weather. I’m reminded daily that I have so much to be thankful for as I enter into this next stage of life, and this song truly begins to reach to the depths of what I feel in gratefulness to God for all He’s doing in the lives of my family and friends. Every time I begin to think of the many things the Lord’s done in my life these past few months, I can’t help but think of how awesome these next few months will be. He’s so unerringly good that I can barely stand it or can’t even begin to explain it. I think I say I’m thankful for things a lot, but in this season of life, I’m really, really grateful for just so much. Over the years, I’ve found that being grateful is the best medicine one can take. When I get in the mindset of thankfulness, other circumstances melt away as I realize that I’m truly blessed despite whatever else may seem pressing.

I also told my sister I’d love to share some of the photos she takes while in Bali, Indonesia, for her photography class, so I’m hoping she’ll email some while there or share others when she returns!


Also, I’ll be keeping the people of Oklahoma in my prayers; I can’t imagine the stress surrounding the families there right now.