You probably think I’m too young

(Just a Friend – Jamie Grace)

I hate how wearing make up feels…and I’m not really a fan of how it looks on me or really anyone else. I think people are prettier without caking on a bunch of colors. I have been wearing it for things like interview though, because I know I look like a middle schooler, so to get people to take me seriously as a possible candidate I feel like I have to put on makeup to try to add a few years to my appearance…no one’s gonna want to hire a middle schooler for a residency, particularly a middle schooler who doesn’t yet have the most refined verbal communication skills and therefore appears to still be operating on a middle school level. From a brief meeting with me I know it is hard to see what is really going on inside my head, and I am working on trying to gain the skills to change that, but in the mean time I need to do whatever I can to win enough time before being written off to show that I really am worth getting to know. Unfortunately, yesterday morning I discovered that my eyeliner applicator had broken…I seem to go through those like crazy and will not be buying the same brand that I currently have again, because some of them haven’t even lasted one application before breaking. I’m trying to use it even though it is broken and use my fingers to make the smudges look intentional, but it is really good that today is my last interview. Two days of make up is more than enough. Maybe for the showcases tomorrow I’ll wear a little eyeshadow or something to hopefully get at least a little extra age appearance, but I am so done with this whole thing.

I might have made a really bad choice…I wanted to be able to do midyear like a big girl, so I didn’t pack skittles…it could have been a really proud experience, and maybe it still will be, but right now it just feels stupid because it took away the best way for me to manage anxiety. Skittles are my Xanax. Staying just a little dehydrated helps me not outwardly show my anxiety as much, but obviously isn’t a wonderful situation. Having a constant supply of other foods helps, but nothing really has the same power as the quick sugar and flavor rush of a bag of skittles.

Getting to midyear was okay…except for how they say you should never touch anything in an airport bathroom and don’t even go near an airplane bathroom…but being a girl, sometimes you have no choice when you know you are going to leak enough to show on your jeans if you don’t do something prior to landing…and then there was so much turbulence that to keep from falling into the toilet I had to hold on to the sink. So grossed out. I survived and lived to tell the tale, but if I have noro next week, that might be why :).

Also, at the airport when I was leaving, some lady held up the line because she was gate checking something but instead of just being a normal person and leaving it at the correct gate check location, she insisted on holding up the line of people waiting to scan their boarding passes to get on the plane because she wanted a baggage handler to come up there so she could show them how to lift her stuff…umm, lady, just sayin’ but no one is going to babysit your stuff while it is on the plane nor is anyone going to pass those instructions on when we land, so either pack appropriately so that your stuff won’t get damaged or realize that you get what you get and you don’t make a fit. Maybe you should drive if you want more control.

In the midst of all my whining about what I don’t like, I do want to mention something I really appreciate. There is something ASHP got right: the nametags aren’t really good for playing with. It is super helpful to not have that one more distraction. On my current rotation my nametag is spinny and feels good on my hands and has lots of bumps to run my fingers along…not good for acting professionally. The ASHP nametags do not have much in the way of moving parts, and don’t really feel good on my fingers, and are smooth. It is awesome to not have to consciously think about what not to do with my fingers while around people.

So far I am finding that I was very right that Midyear is so not for me. I need more structure. I don’t like being in charge of choosing which events to attend when there are lots of things I feel like I should do or want to do all at the same time…and feel like maybe I shouldn’t do any of them and should just study. More importantly, big conferences have definitely never been my thing. I see no point in leaving town for retreats and conferences. If the same information could be shared in a brief email or a quick video, then I would much prefer that to traveling to a new location and then being surrounded by people 24/7. I am not someone who enjoys these things and am thrilled that in a few years I might never have to go again. I know I am supposed to be excited…I was supposed to be excited about fall retreats and leadership overnights too, and while I try to pretend I don’t wish I were at my rotation site instead, these events have never been thrilling for me…in fact, most of the time these things aren’t even enjoyable for me. I am not a fan of the sessions I’ve been to so far either. The first one was basically a time to tell us it is okay to ask questions. Thank you for classroom skills 101. I think I got that part in kindergarten. The next one I went to had potential, but the topic wasn’t something anyone at the table I was at really could contribute to. The interview wasn’t awesome. Primarily it was reading from the same website I read from in evaluating whether I was interested in the residency. Luckily I didn’t have to say much. Unluckily, when it was my turn to say something I said really dumb stuff. Luckily, I am pretty sure he circled next to my name the yes that I was an okay candidate. I have one more interview in an hour then I am done interviewing. That will feel good. I think maybe the interviews are a good wake up call that I am still not where I should be in terms of communication skills. There was a communication skills session I wanted to go to but skipped because it was at the same time as another session I went to yesterday, but I did go to the interview skills session. That was also not what I hoped for. It was mostly just a mock interview on stage. Not a right and wrong answers kind of thing, but just a mock interview. I did glean some questions to prepare for while I was there and used my time to think about questions I could ask, but google could have given me similar results in much less time. I went to a reception in the evening. I was under the impression it involved food. I mean, I suppose it did…if you like unidentifiable cheesy blob or unidentified red and brown goo. I was thankful for the cheerios in my purse because all there was for me was sprite (two tickets = 2 cups), itty bitty pudding cups, crackers, and the like 6 grapes they put out at a time if I got to them first. To get to said food you also had to do some acrobatics to get across the room. It was way too loud in there to have a conversation and eventually I was thrilled to find someone else who would leave early with my so I could escape. That party was a really hard experience, but I did it.

To be honest, once the shuttle pulled away from the airport I wanted to give up and ask them to turn around and bring me home. It was so overwhelming. I now know that I definitely am not interested in any job no matter how awesome that requires me to spend a lot of time in this city.

I have also very quickly learned that Vegas is a very bad place to be if you have a hole in your retina and really need to be aware of whether you are seeing flashing lights…everything is flashy everywhere…or at least it seems that way to me…I am not sure if I need to emergently see an ophthalmic surgeon while I am here or if everything is supposed to be flashy…it is also hard because I am so exhausted and when I am exhausted I also have issues with perception. The casinos are flashy, the billboards are flashy, the outside is flashy. Thankfully I don’t have to go outside again until I want to go to McDonalds or the airport, so I can limit the exposure to the craziness a little, but there is no way to avoid it completely.

I am glad I looked up that there is a McDonalds in walking distance, because there really isn’t anything for me to eat here. There are no chain restaurants to be found in the food courts, and besides just the challenge of finding something edible in new places, there is the additional challenge of being at baseline so overwhelmed that the idea of standing in a line and then ordering sounds dreadful. Thankfully I packed lots of snacks, but I do recognize that eventually I will run out of nutritional balance even if I don’t actually run out of snacks.

It is really hard to be here. I am so jet lagged (in other words staying up late for no apparent reason besides that someone decided the clocks should say a different time)…Also, the first night, my roomies got locked out because they had their room keys next to their phones so they woke me up around midnight. Then they wanted me to go with them to get their keys re-magnetized so I had to get dressed and go on an adventure to figure that out. I am so tired.

I am wondering if it is possible to get hives from stress. I have been getting what looks like hives on my stomach. I thought maybe it was a cat allergy because in September I had what felt like a cold the five weeks I was exposed to cats and then it immediately went away when I left. Then I came back and soon I felt like I was getting a cold again and in like a week I started noticing hives in the morning (after using a towel that was constantly exposed to cats). The problem: yesterday the hives were still there in the evening when I was going to bed, and I am 99% sure my clothes yesterday were not exposed to cats. I thought about it and realized that the hives seem to correlate pretty well with when my stress was highest…the only problem with that theory is that I’ve definitely had more stress than this before, but never the rash. It also doesn’t make sense that is only on one area and not spreading anywhere else…it almost seems like an allergic reaction to my detergent or something, but even then it doesn’t make sense that my legs aren’t breaking out.

Also I feel scared because there was vomit like all over the floor in the hotel last night. I was doing amazingly well on the germ front, even eating my granola bar after it fell on the floor despite very high levels of stress, but seeing that vomit on the floor was my breaking point…I was not doing well last night. Despite how tired and beyond ready to go to bed I was, I was scared of letting my face touch anything and so I couldn’t go to sleep…Luckily I am no longer so trapped in fear and in like 30 minutes the fear dissipated and by this morning it was as if nothing had happened, but for a few minutes it was terrifying, because being in a crisis while being overwhelmed at a conference would not be a good place to be…

And now I have like 20 minutes until my interview and so I definitely need to think about that and post this later…I kinda want to do a daily post, but IDK if that will happen…especially because I don’t wanna be an annoying whiney pants so if I don’t have anything nice to say maybe I should stop writing…



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