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What now? – A recap of 2016 and hopes for 2017.

*taps mic*

Hi there.

It’s been forever, I know. My last blog post was in September and its already the end of December. Let’s catch up, shall we?

I completed my pediatrics rotation at the end of September. I loved it. Going to work everyday was 100% better because I could tickle babies and smile at them and play peek-a-boo.

Then I started surgery in October. It is honestly the most grueling rotation EVER but the hands on nature of it is incredible. I’ve always been more of a diagnostician type med student, meaning I like to ask questions, do the physical exam, make my diagnosis, prescribe meds and be done. But with surgery, my brain became almost re-engineered. Surgeons fix. Abdominal pain? Rigid abdomen? Okay, prep for surgery. There’s such a rhythm. It took about a month but I became allll about it. I was doing rectal exams in clinic, dressing diabetic feet, putting in IVs; doing stuff. Oh I whined about the hours, but my inner workaholic loved every single second standing and pushing myself. Only thing I really hated was the bad smells from dying flesh.

There were so many cases of breast cancer and colon cancer and amputations. Being in a hospital just reminds you of your mortality every single day. People come out of surgeries doing great and die two days after. Some people go in and never wake up. Of course the greater number go in and come out and say hi to you on the street and it’s such a good feeling. It also helped that my surgical team was the best ever. Students with such a good attitude toward work and learning, medical officers who love teaching and a consultant who just lives for surgeries.

I finished the rotation on the 23rd of December and have been giving my body a well deserved rest from all the super early morning starts surgery demanded (4:30, 5am daily till whenever surgeries finish on surgery days).

About 2016.

I’m never sure how a year is going to go when it starts. I actually expect the end of every year to surprise me and I’ve never been disappointed thus far. See 2015.

I had the most vague goals for the year. I wanted to improve my personality (be more patient, be kinder, be more forgiving). I wanted to write Step 1 and pass well enough. I wanted to grow spiritually. I hoped I would write more. I planned to read at least 50 books. Travel to at least one new country. I hoped I would fall in love. I also wanted to “work out more” and “hold on to good friendships”. I really wanted “better emotional health”.

I wrote all of these things in my journal on the 1st of January last year at around 09:16 am.

Sooo, how did I do?

I wrote Step 1 this year (after sooo many obstacles; I shudder at that period of my life and I would not go back for anything) and I passed.

I visited the US this year. Two states in the US actually. And I got to hang with my friend Tiwa IRL. I DIDN’T EVEN PLAN THAT.

I worked out on and off and did a 5k color run but honestly fitness been deferred to 2017.

My story ‘Ibeji’ got published in the 10th issue of South African Lit Magazine, Prufrock, which was kind of cool.

I wrote maybe a couple of pieces this year and then I stopped. I felt like I could not say the real reason why I stopped writing because it felt almost disrespectful to an art form I have enjoyed for most of my life. I just stopped feeling it. Fiction. It became burdensome and almost torturous to do. I don’t want to write if I’m not going to enjoy my imagination running wild. I haven’t even felt a desire to write fiction in months. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and want to write fiction again, maybe not. But not right now. And I’m not even sad about it.

I did not fall in love this year. Instead, I realized that I’m not ready for that aspect of life right now. I met people I found interesting, people I liked, but I’m deciding to spend this time in my life doing something worthwhile with my singleness.

I finally started calling myself a photographer. I finally started to believe that I actually know what I’m doing with my camera and that everyone who likes my pictures cannot be lying to me. I started telling people that I take pictures as a freelance photographer and people actually started to pay me to take pictures of them. One of my photo sets actually had close to 100 RTs on Twitter, which was niceee.

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Someone even paid me to cover their wedding. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

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I undercharged them so much because I didn’t believe I could do it. In the end, it was so easy and soo much fun, I could’ve done it for free, but no more free photography. Entrepreneurship does not come easy to me. Charging people gives me anxiety, but now I have packages and set prices for events and things as best as a small island, part time photographer can manage.

I bought a sewing machine. I woke up one morning and I could not stop thinking about how tired I was of spending a ton of money buying clothes I could learn to make. (The recession is hard and dollars is hard to find abeg). Now, I’m not becoming a fashion designer or anything, but basic stuff. So I bought a sewing machine. And fabric. And went on YouTube and started sewing. I’m still a beginner, but making stuff is so much fun. All I’ve done so far is a simple tote but I have other projects planned. My new personality includes lots of patience, even though learning to put in my bobbin right almost made me crazy. I’m learning, guys.

I baked bread for the first time this year and it was actually good. I’ve been making my own juice as well. Turns out necessity is the mother of invention and good things can come out of a recession.

I completed 8 months of rotation and I have about 9/10 more months to go. Roughly a year before I’m a doctor by God’s grace.

I read 28/50 books. I really wanted to read 50 books but time is so precious and to the making of books, there is no end, so I have to really make sure I’m filling my mind with worthwhile things.

In October, I decided to join the pioneer ranks by becoming an auxiliary pioneer, which means I spend a minimum of 50 hours every month teaching people about Jehovah God and his purpose for the earth and mankind. Since September, I’ve been actively working on my relationship with God. It’s not just about studying the bible more, or telling others about Him or even praying regularly. It’s about living it. Actually changing your lifestyle and adjusting the parts of your personality that need work to conform. It’s the best decision I’ve made in my life so far. I’ve always been a Christian, a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’ve never actually tried to give of myself which blows my mind because we focus so much on what God gives us and the love he shows us and yet I marvel at how little we want to do for Him. How we live our lives and give our spirituality the least attention because He should “understand”. It dawned on me that nothing says how much you love God more than what you do for him and the sacrifices you make for Him (1 John 5:3). Not that anything you do will earn all the undeserved kindness you’ve received, but we can try. Do a little more, start small. Learn what the bible actually teaches, not doctrines, ask God to help you know Him and apply what you learn. Try. Taste and see for yourself (Ps 34:8). What if you gave half as much to knowing God as you gave to your work/business? Or you gave him the same dedication as you do to your health and fitness? Or even the same amount of time you give to pursuing a good time. Too much effort for you? We all can’t give the same, but relative to all our hustles, how much do we give of our time, energy and resources to learning about God and trying to please Him? It’s so important to strike a balance. How much is too much to give to the person who’s given you everything?

If you honestly want to know more, do more, this website is a good start. You don’t have to believe everything at face value (you shouldn’t); that’s why Jehovah has given us our power of reason and you have your own bible to check the facts. Start.

I’ve made new friends and haven’t done the best job of holding on to some old friendships, but I’m still finding balance.

I put blogging, social media on the back burner, because priorities. It really all felt like 90% noise. Energy is finite and I’m trying to focus on what’s important to me. I tend to be very devoted to things I invest time and energy and love into, so its very important that I choose wisely.  I didn’t even know believe many people cared about my blog as much as I’ve found they do. I’m not as interested in many things this blog was founded on; writing, sharing my life, talking fashion (I still like fashion, it’s just not something I want to spend time writing about anymore). I also don’t want to become a faith blogger. So, I came to a place where I didn’t know exactly what to do with my blog.

I credit my better emotional health to finally building real faith, not just an emotional crutch, but faith based on accurate knowledge of God. Everything isn’t perfect, but I don’t have to do it alone anymore. I don’t have to spend every free second in deep introspection, because sometimes you need to stop searching yourself and digging up feelings and focus on something bigger and brighter (Philippians 4:8). Nothing is going to be perfect in this system of things, sometimes you’re going to get hit before you’ve dusted yourself from your last fall, but keep going, even if you have to limp along. I focus on the good things that happen everyday because I know my tendency toward melancholy. I protect my headspace. I just have joy that I’ve never had. Things crumble every now and then, because life, and I have days when I’m so anxious, my mind won’t stop whirring, but I just have an overwhelming sense of ‘everything is going to be okay’ which is something I used to roll my eyes at when people told me. It’s beautiful.

For 2017.

I plan to work at my photography skills and business sense.

Do more sewing. Make a dress I can actually wear to an event.

Journal even more.

Finish med school.

Continue pioneering.

Go somewhere I haven’t been yet.

Start watercolor painting.

Bake a cake. From scratch.

Host a gathering.

Do well with my rotations.

Keep Jehovah in first place.

I decided that I was not going to wipe out four years of documentation by deleting my blog but I also don’t have time to devote to blogging regularly anymore. It feels so much nicer to come on three months later and just really talk to you guys than it does when I have a ‘schedule’ or when I’m trying to expand readership and ‘take my blog somewhere’. This method is more sustainable. I still read all of my favorite bloggers like Cassie, Kachi, Ekene, Osemhen, Sab. I know what you’re all “up to” and it’s nice.

So maybe I’ll pop in once in a while to show y’all something I’ve made, or talk about a book I’ve read or a trip I take (if this recession ever ends). It’s easier to be open when you actually feel ready to talk. That’s what I’m aiming for.

ALSO, I’m giving up my domain name in 2017 and going back to wordpress.com. It feels like a step back because it is that. A step back I’m gladly taking. Life has been incredibly satisfying and full of contentment, even in times of need, in the past 4 months and I’m holding on to that forever.

What are you excited to do in the new calendar year?

See also: 2014 in review.

 

 

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CURRENTLY LOVING…| AUGUST

Heyyy lovely people!

I actually had two blog posts planned for this week but the way my week is set up… I decided to put this post up for y’all. I honestly did not read that much stuff online this month, but I hope you’ll the enjoy the few great things I found.

In August I finished 3 months of internal medicine and started Pediatrics (which I’m loving more than I expected!). I learned to make homemade ice cream and shared a recipe here. I also read ONE book, the 4th one from my summer reading list. I started reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 which is intriguing so far! I spent a lot of hours preaching this month and honestly that really helps you focus on what’s important in life and quiets all the noise the world often provides.

August is also the month I moved house and being back to living on my own after having been a houseguest for the last few months means I get to meal plan and nest and other things. Here’s what I fed my mind with in August 😉

Articles around the web

This BrainPickings article about what Barack Obama’s mother taught him about love. I love what he says about Michelle in his book:

What sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways

Here’s why kids give up on math. *insert math hating eye roll*

If you missed Chimamanda’s live chat on the guardian, catch up here. As usual, she has insightful advice about writing.

A man proposed to his girlfriend on the plane and surprised her with a wedding mid air!

Four couples in Oregon are trying to ease the burdens and costs of modern parenthood by sharing a home, a truck, and nightly dinners. This is…interesting and worth a read.

Alain de Bottom on what makes us good communicators.

What makes people good communicators is, in essence, an ability not to be fazed by the more problematic or offbeat aspects of their own characters

Strange things happen when you live alone. When you’re no longer required to eat dinner at a particular time, or to close the bathroom door to shower, your relationship to the space around you changes. All of a sudden it is things, rather than other people, that seem to direct your thoughts. Claire Louise- Bennett’s debut book Pond record a series of moments in the life of an English woman living alone on the west coast of Ireland. Enjoyed this interview of her in The Paris Review.

So, who’s really your friend? This BrainPickings article is my favorite this month and my next blog post is all about friendship.

What to do with your tomatoes; yes, even those ones going soft.

Would you have a family honeymoon? This post got me soo excited! I’d love to do something like this for my honeymoon.

7 signs you’re a people pleaser. This got me.

You wanna try meal prepping but don’t know how to? Or you’re trying to up your meal prep game but not sure how to? Katharine, first year surgery resident shows us how. Good stuff.

What are you mad about? sigh.

Who knew New Zealand was so gorgeous and with oh so friendly people? Love.

Liane Moriarty talks about about what she’s currently reading and her favorite, favorite books, here.

What is it about adult female sleepovers?

What to NEVER say to guests in your home. This is good, guys.

Really loved this post about a mother’s body.

Podcasts

I’m definitely overloaded with great podcasts and sometimes I take an embarrassingly long time to decide which episode to listen to first. These are absolute faves this month and if you haven’t listened to any, you really should.

Love Me: is my newest addition. It’s a peek into the relationships of the people around you. The first episode is so entrancing and is the story of a couple who when they met didn’t speak the other person’s language.The first few minutes include a mention of 13 untranslatable words that detail the complexity of love. I loveee this episode.

This episode of Radiolab about the girl who doesn’t exist is so fascinating!

In the ‘Seasons‘episode of the Robcast, Rob Bell speaks on the need to let go of seasons in our lives.

Hidden Brain did this episode in the spirit of Rio 2016 and discusses interesting human psychology reflected in faces of winners and losers the second they cross the finish line. It’s riveting!

This episode of Magic Lessons (Know the taste of failure) is so important in life.

Nik Nak did a new VoiceNotes episode about non musical sounds and people like the weirdest sounds, like knife going through yam and hands through raw beans. I’m all about the sound of water in motion and whirring fans.

The power of books and reading is clear in the latest episode of Criminal, in which a convict becomes an editor of the Merriam Webster encyclopedia after he discovers an error in the information. This convict who could barely read before he was arrested. It made my evening.

TV & The YouTube

Guyssss, literally the only show I watched this month is Parenthood. I’m currently on the third season and I cannot believe I never watched this before now. The Braverman clan is such a family. In every episode, there’s at least a single moment when I catch myself wishing my extended family was half as cool and we had a garden where we could dinner once every week. sigh.

This season of The Voice is shaping up nicely, going by this 17 year old’s rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’.

How single girls discuss relationships. Too funny.

Throwback to Denice Frohman’s ‘Accents’ poem. I will never get over this.

Music

This song by Johnny Stimson played on one of the recent Pretty Little Liars episodes. Love it.

I’ve had Hailey Steinfield’s EP  ‘Haiz‘ on replay lately.

Personal

Pediatrics is turning out to be the most pleasant surprise, considering how unwilling I was to do this rotation so early on and how convinced I was that I’d hate it. Going to work everyday to see the cutest little humans makes every early morning perfectly OK to me. Kids are such a joy. It’s heartbreaking when things go south, but getting to tickle kids in clinic and chat about Elsa and Olaf and Dora the explorer really make my day. I guess all I’m saying is I love it.

I took some photos of kids at a beach picnic and I really like them ❤ More on my instagram.

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I’ve been obsessed with interior decor lately and spend hours  time going from the house tours on Cup of Jo to apartment therapy to design sponge. Give me all the tiny apartments with natural light streaming innn.

JW broadcasting is really what I’ve got streaming 95% of the time.

My mum recently sent me a care package of Nigerian foodstuff and I got a bit emotional over crayfish. It was intense.

I’m looking forward to September (well, we’re already here); spending time with myself and living more intentionally, trying new recipes (and remembering to take pictures for you guys), finishing my Murakami book and doing more pediatrics. I’m most likely starting surgery at the end of September, sigh. More busy, busy, busy.

How was August for you? Congratulations to Cassie on starting her housejob! And Eziaha is publishing a book! Let me know how August was for you. I’ve already seen Kachi’s goals for September, but tell meee, what are you excited about this month?

Till soon, Afoma x

 

 

RECIPE| HOME MADE ICE CREAM

Hey there guyss!

Spent the first two weekends this month with a friend and we made ice cream together. It’s remarkably easy and if the temperatures where you live are anything like ours (in the Caribbean) right now, then you’ll be needing some ice cream this week. This is a safer (because you know all that’s in it), cheaper option. It’s also easy to make any flavor you want just by switching up the additions. Also there are different ways to make  ice cream and this is just one easy recipe. Enjoy!

Home made Cookies & Cream Ice cream

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of evaporated milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of (brown) sugar (also half a mug/13 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 35/36% heavy whipping cream
  • chocolate biscuits

skip the crushed cookies if you want plain vanilla. photo credit: candyshopvapes.com

Directions

  1. Separate egg whites from yolks (store egg whites in the fridge for use during the week)
  2. In a medium/large saucepan/pot, add egg yolks + 2 tins of milk + sugar and whisk until mixture combines.
  3. Place pan over medium heat cooker and heat for 10 mins. Stir throughout this time to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. When custard begins to froth lightly, turn off heat but continue stirring for a couple more minutes.
  5. Cool custard by placing pan in bowl of cold water.
  6. Whisk whipping cream in large bowl (preferably with electric hand mixer) until mixture thickens noticeably. Add vanilla essence here.
  7. When custard cools, combine with whipping cream and stir until completely mixed.
  8. Freeze for at least 24 hours. Add broken up cookie bits when ice cream is halfway frozen to prevent cookies sinking to the bottom.

Have you ever made ice cream? How do you make yours?

Have a lovely week!

Afoma x

 

MY TIPS FOR INTERNAL MEDICINE ROTATION

Hellooo there!

I’ve just completed my IM rotation and it’s been quite the experience. I personally love IM; the holistic approach to patient management, the time spent in outpatient clinic and the variety of opportunity it presents for learning. I enjoyed every single second of it, really. I have to say it is not an easy rotation. It is time consuming and there’s never enough time to complete all your studying. When there’s time, there’s no energy. Here are a few tips that I hope will make your life a bit easier:

-Get all your white coat stuff ready. Read this post for more of what to have in your white coat.

-Be interested. Don’t leave until there’s nothing else to be done and your intern clears you to leave. Offer to try procedures even though you’ve never done them before. Be present. Make the best of everything.

-Do your utmost to get along with your colleagues. You’re going to need them.

-Know your patients. Be interested in them. Listen to them. Do alll of the physical examination necessary. Practice your history taking any chance you get. This is the basis of medicine & diagnosis.

-Help out the interns in any way you can. Intern life is busy and exhausting.

-Ask for help whenever you need to. Better to always ask for help than make a mess you cannot even begin to fix.

-Start studying early! I cannot overstate this. I really felt the burn when I only started studying properly for shelf a month in advance because I really was only catching myself and adjusting toward the end of the first month and spent most of the second month being a baby girl. The last month sort of crept up on me. So start studying the first day. I studied everyday obviously but just stuff that my consultant asked me to. Then every other day I would read two pages of my Step Up to Medicine textbook. Don’t be like me, guys, you’ll never get anywhere like that.

-Study resources: I used all of these during my rotation. Step Up to Medicine is such a great book but may take a while to get through. I enjoyed using Case Files: Internal Medicine which is 60 cases with answers and in -depth explanations. The questions were easy but I think the best thing about it had to be the explanations afterward, complete with patient management and complications which is the brunt of shelf exam work. If you can get your hands on Uworld questions for CK. Practice as many as you can, just to get used to the system of questioning and for exposure. It’s a great way of finding out what’s high yield. Also, last but not least Emma Ramahi’s IM lectures and the accompanying flash cards are perfect for the week before exams. LIFESAVING. Best two hours ever spent.

High Yield

CHF
CAD
Arrhythmias
COPD

CVA
PE
Interstitial Lung Disease
HTN
CKD/ESRD
Anemia
Diabetes
Electrolyte Imbalance
Cirrhosis
Hepatic Encephalopathy
HIV
Pancreatitis

On the island we also saw a bunch of infectious diseases like Zika, Leptospirosis and HIV.

‘Typical’ * day in the IM life

5:30- Wake up/Morning worship/snooze

6:00- shower & get dressed

6:45- Breakfast

7:05- out the door

7:20- pre round/ do SOAP notes

8:00- Round with consultant/get pimped with questions

9:30- Brief teaching/ case presentation

10:00- ward jobs like venapunctures, IV sites, discharges/admissions.

11:30- escape for lunch

12:00- ask interns if there’s anything else left to do.

13:00- Go home

Time at home is mostly nap/TV/eat/study.

*There were days I stayed until 3/4pm but most days here are pretty short because smaller wards. Plus I got up later and later in the morning toward the end of the rotation after I mastered the art of getting dressed and making and eating breakfast in less than 45 mins.

It’s such a great rotation and I recommend starting off with IM just because it’s so close to class knowledge. Learn as much as you can and STUDY.

Enjoy!

 

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BOOK REVIEW| HOW TO BE A PERSON IN THE WORLD

Heather Havrilesky is the woman behind the Ask Polly columns on nymag where she gives advice to people on a variety of topics. Quotable advice is my favorite form of self help. I especially love Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Dear Sugar’ (the book, not podcast, even though the podcast is fantastic). Now, this book is different from Dear Sugar. Heather Havrilesky is no Cheryl Strayed, not in that she’s less in any way, but she’s really just different. I also find that the people who write to her occasionally have the most ridiculous “dilemmas” but she manages to weave some far reaching advice out of their situation.

Heather is sometimes tough love, sometimes comical but always insightful in these columns. She seems so attuned to human psychology and there were at least three columns that made me sit and examine my own life and relationships. At the end of some of these columns, I just clutched my ipad to my chest and took many deep breaths because she was speaking my lifeee.

My favorite quotes are from her advice on love and friendship (duh). She also gives great advice on creativity and making the best of situations. I think this is one of those books everyone should read.

“There is magic that comes from reaching out. I don’t believe in many things, but I believe in that, with all of my heart.”

“when we fixate on boys starting at a very young age, every pointless, empty interaction with a dude starts to seem powerful and electric.”

“By filling our heads with Shower Fresh–scented fantasy worlds, we not only start to expect too much but we also become easily bored with the real world and its very real magic”

“You have to train yourself to romanticize a life outside of men and create a tapestry that’s just as rich without a guy in it. That requires a kind of buoyant solitude that isn’t easy to achieve”

“You have to protect yourself from yourself, too. You can open your heart and tell the truth to your trusted friends. That’s good for you. But don’t tell yourself that you’re confident enough to share yourself with just anyone. Don’t open up to people who don’t understand and accept you yet. Wait until you feel completely comfortable.”

“Resist the urge to reveal every inch of yourself—or to invite people to your place—immediately. Let them get to know you gradually.”

“Listen closely when someone asserts his or her boundaries. Because that’s healthy behavior, even if it’s not to your taste at this point. Learn from them. Because most people avoid problems instead of asserting themselves. They clam up. They disappear. That’s the coward’s path, even if it’s a path a lot of us take”

“Painting someone as weak or pathetic for feeling hurt or overwhelmed or heartbroken is inexcusable. It’s antihuman. This world is filled with people who think feeling less, being indifferent, makes you strong. Don’t believe that. Be one of the smart, thoughtful people who stands up for sensitive people. When you stand up for sensitive, hurt people, you’re also standing up for vulnerability and authenticity and true love.”

“And in my experience, being LESS busy doesn’t lead to making more/better art. Sometimes it can cause your gears to grind to a halt completely.”

“The mid- to late twenties are often an apex of friendless desperation. To make matters worse, people feel very self-conscious about their friendlessness at that age, as if everything should’ve fallen into place a long time ago”

“in order to make very close friends in a natural, organic way, you have to cast a wide net and be accepting and give it time. You can’t use the aggressive, early twentysomething’s tactics, because it poisons the whole process to believe that you’re trying to hunt and trap the perfect BFF”

“honestly, I don’t know a better way to battle existential angst and fear than by seizing each day by the throat and forcing it into a shape that feels productive and healthy and on track. You do not sit around bemoaning the big picture, day in and day out.”

“It is possible to admit that life is a struggle and also embrace the fact that small things—like sons who call you and beloved dogs in framed pictures and birds that tell you to drink your tea—matter. They matter a lot.”

I thought it was easily a 4/5.

STYLE| THE COLOR OF KINDNESS

Hey guys,

How’s it going? Long time no style post. I’ve been trying to at least do one post a month but IM life was so stressful with all the early mornings. Hopefully I’ll leave home later with family medicine and squeeze in some tripod time. I don’t enjoy shooting with a tripod to be honest, but what can you do?

My host when I stayed in Barbados gifted me this necklace the day before our convention and she hadn’t even known it would match my dress so perfectly, but it did! Kindness is so important to me because we all need it. Of course, many a time we fail to be as kind and giving as we know we should be, but let’s not give up in giving a hand or shoulder to people who need either.

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Thrifted this dress while I was in the states and even though it’s two sizes larger,I adore it. I think coral is such a great color for my skin tone. Love it.

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Lately, I’ve received a lot of kindness and it is simultaneously humbling and inspiring, so I’m trying to be even more patient and loving and understanding because that’s the least I can give to the people I know. So take some time this week to do something kind for someone you know.

How was your weekend? Spent mine in another town visiting friends, preaching, getting some beach time and just taking time to breathe a little. Looking forward to catching up on a bit of life this week since I’ve completed my IM rotation (and shelf exam!).

Anything you’re excited for this week? Let me know!

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CURRENTLY LOVING…| JULY

Hello my darlings!

Thank you for all your kind words & tweets about my last post. You all mean so much. Thank you. Spent a lot of time this week reading all the stuff in my pocket app, because I just couldn’t get around to much of it earlier in the month. You guys, this month was both so fast and seemingly unending. I also watched a number of good movies this month. Okay, here we go:

Articles from around the web:

Here’s how children respond when parents have a favorite child.

LOVE this piece by Osemhen about men loving their wives through life’s changes, especially after marriage.

Michelle Marshall captures the diversity of redheads of color, and it’s stunning.

Perhaps you should try out slow parenting? Jo shares how slow paced time spent with kids changes things.

If you’re a salad fiend like I am, you’ll love these four tips for making restaurant quality salads at home.

Few articles have described loneliness as well as this BrainPickings article.

Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired. 

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and friendships. Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato’s Billboard interview is a glimpse into a sweet friendship.

Did you know that empathy is actually a choice?

24 simple ways to more mindfulness.

Love, Love the emails of Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer.

Trying to develop a green thumb? This NikNak post about herbs to grow at home is a good start.

Kachi interviewed Rayo and they spoke about mental illness and John Boyega. It’s such a great interview, guys.

How the camera adds all those pounds to your face (and probably why your selfie game is not 100).

11 women with their shit together– one of the best things I read this month. Read it.

This post about reducing drama in your circle/friendships is super helpful.

The actual best thing I read this month is this: Should I marry him?

Caroline’s adult (phone-free) summer camp experience makes me want to do one too!

Don’t call yourself a loser in your twenties. Heather Havrilesky is such a fave this month.

Until you meet the people who really understand what you’re made of, and what you have to offer, it can be really difficult. I think that a lot of people, when they’re really young, they take all of the mismatched energy in their lives, like [problems in relationships], …and they turn it in on themselves thinking, “I’m the only one who doesn’t fit.”

The good thing about accepting your flaws, accepting who you really are, accepting the emotions that drive you… and being led by these things, is that it leads you to the people who DO love someone who has the qualities and affinities and flaws that you have.

The path to lowkey fitfamming aka easy ways to incorporate exercise into your routine.

Ellen Pompeo embraces aging. Here’s why.

Excuse me, sir. Can I borrow your swagger?– Why bravado seems to come easier to men.

Podcasts

I started listening to Only Human this month and I LOVE it. So Much. It focuses on humans (with illnesses). It’s really changed my perspective about illness and how we deal as humans. Two of my favorite episodes at the moment (and great places to start listening) are Growing up ugly & The Prank Your Body Plays on Life.

I also started listening to a quirky podcast called Sawbones.Every Friday, they dig through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we’ve tried to fix people over the years. This episode about the history of tea is my faveee. And so educational!

The latest episode of Dear Sugar Podcast is intense. And features Roxane Gay. The Sugars respond to a letter they received during the flurry of media attention on the Stanford rape case. The writer — who calls herself “Survivor, Lover, Feminist” — has just been told by her long-time partner and best friend that, when he was in high school, he got “black-out drunk” and raped a girl who was drunk and unconscious. “Survivor, Lover, Feminist” is, herself, a survivor of sexual assault. She asks the Sugars if rapists can truly be reformed and how she can justify loving one.

Liz Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast is back with a bang! Allll of the lessons are in the latest episode.

A lot of Invisibilia listeners have said they don’t like this season as much as the first, but I love it. Couldn’t even pick just one episode for the spotlight. So, listen to this episode about how clothes affect us and our abilities and this one about how responding to hostility with warmth switches things up.

On the Tube:

This acapella patty cake style performance of Adele’s Send my love started my month off just right 🙂

I had to go back to Carvens Lissaint’s performance of his ‘Love Poem’ when I recommended it to a friend. It’s still as amazing as the first time I heard it ❤ (poem starts at 3:41)

I mentioned the ‘Me Before You’ soundtrack last month, but now I’m obsessed with this particular song  by the X Ambassadors, off of it.

Hey medfolks, did you already know of the Marcus Gunn Jaw Winking reflex? Pretty amazing.

Then Mario and Zendaya performed ‘Let Me Love You’ and I felt incredibly old watching it, even though Mario looks and sounds exactly the same.

Movies 

I watched ‘Me Before You’, three times this month, once with friends. I love it so much. I think reading the book makes the movie even 3827x better because the actors really do a fantastic job.

I also watched Amelie this month. It’s such an odd film, but I couldn’t stop watching. And it’s French (WITH SUBTITLES, Will Trainor). If you’re open to odd, then try it and let me know what you think. I chuckle just thinking of it.

Watched ‘Love Actually’ for the first time this month. I knowww. Its a cute movie. Keira Knightley’s face makes everything perfect. And how charming is Hugh Grant in it?

Re-watched The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2 & Eat Pray Love. Sigh. Always perfect.

Currently curating a list of re-watchable movies/life movies/great movies. Please send recs, thanks.

Favorite things

Traveled to Barbados at the beginning of the month for an inter-island convention ^_^

Attended the launch of a cancer support organization for the island held at French Verandah. Excited about Project Pink and the decor and location was gorgeous.

My cousin got her white coat! Made me a bit nostalgic for when I got mine :’)

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There are more updates in this post from last week 😉

Only things on the table for August at the moment are an obstacle run on the 1st, exams and starting family medicine.

How was July for you? Any highlights? Tell meee. 

Afoma x