Dear invisible readers,
So Freshman year is nearly over. I know, it’s crazy right? Just a few months ago, I was moving in, meeting people, and trying to figure out my life. Now, I am here, nearly a sophomore, ready to take on the world. Or, to be more precise, Hopkins. But wait, I’m still trying to figure out my life.
A lot of things have happened in the past few weeks. I don’t know whether warm weather is conducive to happiness, but I do know that sunshine is conducive to my happiness. And, boy, the sun is shining in my life.
So you’ve heard a lot about my friends here at Hopkins. I have dedicated many words to them in my past blogs, but I feel like this semester has made our friendship so different. On one hand, we are no longer under the covered-grades bubble. We have traded that “Whatever, it’s covered grades! Let’s party!” attitude, to “I’m gonna go nurture my relationship to my chemistry textbook.” So with a lot less time to party and a lot more time spent in the search of the perfect study spot, we don’t have too much time for one another. On the other hand, our time together has become a lot more valuable. I don’t know how they feel about this, and one of them for sure will tell me to stop speaking in Hallmark-card (Alejito says I don’t speak English… He says I speak Hallmark-card) but I feel as though my friends have become my refuge. They’re the sunshine.
So now, I want to tell you about my favorite weekend at Hopkins thus far. Welcome to Spring Fair. Turkey legs. Deep-fried twix. Piña coladas (virgin, of course). Picnic blankets. Tummy pillows. I will let the pictures tell you why it’s my favorite.
I’ve also been going through a semi-existential crisis, and the fact that I am writing this on my blog for everyone to see shows how much time I’ve dedicated to thinking about these decisions. As you may know, I am a Neuroscience & Writing Seminars double major, Pre-Med. Now, I want to explain what led to the whole Neuroscience/Pre-Med thing. Please, if you get a chance, read my first blog. It’s about Sandy.
Sandy is my best friend. I met her when I was 15. She was 8. I happened to be a high school freshman. She happened to be a full-time cancer patient. I happened to have long, blonde hair to below my waist. She happened to wear a hand-knitted purple hat to hide her bald-head. I happened to care about me, myself, and I. She happened to care about everyone else. Then, she changed my life. I always say Sandy is my soul mate. She changed me from a superficial, materialistic teenage girl (which is what I perceived myself to be), to a compassionate woman (which is how I see myself now). Sandy had a form of cancer with a 20% survival rate. She fought it for 6 years. She fought it so hard she went into remission 5 times. Tell me what kind of WARRIOR beats cancer five times. I saw Sandy go through many stages, each stage either filling me with inspiration and happiness or draining me, making me question everything. We started 2011 by dancing Danza Kuduro in the back of a movie theater after having watched Fast Five. We ended 2011 by laughing at Santa’s Enchanted Forest, as I pushed her wheelchair through the crowd and stopped one in a while to rub her legs. You see, in June, I went to Germany to study. You see, when I came back in August, Sandy was sick, for the sixth time. It was during this time that I decided to be a doctor. I wanted to be a doctor because Sandy is a warrior, and I want to save children like her. I wanted to be a doctor because cancer fears me. I wanted to be a doctor to show kids that cancer fears them, too. And when Sandy died in January 27, 2012, I wanted to be a doctor so that my best friend would live on through the lives that I saved. This thought came to me when I sat in the parking lot of the funeral home, wearing a white dress for my angel, and crying because I could barely breathe. I could not breathe. I could not wrap my head around the fact that I would no longer have to leave school early so I could take Sandy to radiation and chemo. Or that I would now actually have no excuse to ditch my friends on a Friday night because Sandy would not be waiting for me for movie night at the hospital. Or that I would no longer be able to make Sandy laugh as I jumped down each step in the stair case when I was carrying her piggy-back. Or that Sandy would not be there to bake my wedding cake when I get married. I simply could not wrap my head around it. The only comfort I had was the thought that I would go to medical school to become the best pediatric oncologist this world has ever seen, and Sandy would live on through my patients. My soul mate would live on through the kids that I saved.
Now, a year and a half later, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe because I’ve realized that when Sandy’s mom hugged me at the funeral and whispered in my ear “Ay, Laura, tu le diste vida,” she wasn’t referring to me saving her life. She was referring to me giving her a life. She was talking about the movie nights, the baking days, the pool days, the singing-at-the-top-of-our-lungs-while-wearing-cool-shades-in-my-mini-cooper-while-driving days, the Sandy-Lala Days. Those days gave her life. I am starting to realize that I helped her by making her happy. And I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I cannot breathe. Except, I know that she will live on through the lives that I save. I know she will… But this time, I am referring to the happiness days.
I want to find a way to make kids happy. That is what I am good at. I want to make people happy.
“What do you do for a living?”
“I have the best job in the world.”
“What is it?”
“I make people happy for a living.”
That’s the conversation I want to have with a stranger in 10 years. I want my kids, when I have them, to see me as the mom that makes people happy. I want them to know that money isn’t everything. Happiness is everything. It makes people live just a little bit longer.
So what do I major in at Hopkins so that I can one day have that conversation? I have no idea. And it drives me crazy. I will let you know, dear invisible readers, as soon as I figure it out. I just know that I want to make people happy.
I would love to write more, but I have to go smile at strangers, now.
I hope you’re smiling.
If you’re not, why?
If you are, go share it.
I love you all,