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remnants of an experiment gone wrong

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(8 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

hello again, blog world. [28 Aug 2009|01:32am]
what can i say? i've always had the tendency to move faster in life and leave many things behind along the way. recently, i've been lurking--old friends from the philippines, friends that could've been better friends here. the more i see what's transpired over the last few years or even months, the more i want to get away. maybe i have too many regrets. but most likely, the stress of being me makes me want to be anywhere but here.

for the past few months i've been slaving away--not for my new lab, i haven't even done an experiment in months!--but for this granlibakken retreat ucsf has every year. every year the outgoing first years have to make skits that poke fun at the professors and life at ucsf. i've somehow accrued the majority of the responsibility of putting together our skits. traditions suck. what sucks more is that this tradition marks our exit from being less responsible first years to second years who are soon supposed to take qualifying exams. oh and of course the new first years are here.

bah. i need a better way to cope. and especially now, i need to not lash out on brian when i'm troubled. but i've always ever just existed with someone by my side, be it a best friend or a boyfriend. poor guy. i'll try to be nicer. i kinda really like this one.

...

i blog in cycles. the dry spell is over. for now.

(consult the good, demented doctor)

if it was revenge or vindication, then why wasn't it sweet? [05 Apr 2009|05:16pm]
a few weeks ago i was talking to andrew on the phone. that's what exes who are still friends  do. we chat online frequently and every once in a while we talk on the phone.

i finally asked him something i've been meaning to get his opinion of. see, brian and i spend a lot of time together. we study together, we eat together, we chillax after school/work together and we spend time with our friends. together. now this always worried me. i mean, as much as i really enjoy spending time with the dude i'm a little paranoid when it comes to maintaining the balance between some me time and some relationship time. i have two reasons why: # 1 i feel like that's one of the main reasons andrew and i lost our individuality and our relationship soured; and # 2 i've learned to appreciate the value of some alone time--one of the reasons why i wanted to stay single in the first place.

so, i asked andrew two things. first of all, is that one of the main reasons why he broke up with me? secondly, should i limit spending time with brian because we might end up the same way? in all fairness, i did have some kind of forethought when i asked my ex boyfriend for some relationship advice regarding the new boyfriend. i know this is iffy territory with exes. i was careful to ask andrew if we were good enough friends now that i could start talking to him about stuff like this. and of course i realize that people are different and circumstances are different so maybe i shouldn't be jumping into hasty generalizations about relationships, both old and new. and in all fairness i don't just saturate my life by spending every waking moment of every day with my boyfriend but it's enough to get me to ask the one who set precendence. i figured andrew and i know each other better than most people do. and of course he's mature enough to handle this conversation--i'm sure he's dealt with the demise of our relationship better than i have.

andrew starts off answering my two-part question by trying to explain why we'd broken up in the first place. this should've made me happy, right? except his explanation was that he doesn't really understand why he wanted out. according to him he just threw some kind of  tantrum and decided he didn't want to be in that relationship anymore without any rhyme or reason. to make matters even more confusing he says his biggest regret was not giving us another chance.

geezus. just when i thought that man could rationalize his way through everything he surprises me with, well, some self-doubt. and just when i thought all men, at least the ones i date, are only made of sometimes questionable intellect, one of them adds to the growing pile of evidence that they can feel. *gasp*

of course i'm being tough on both myself and on the people i choose to care about. that's a guaranteed price to pay for loving and being loved in return. i told him i don't regret anything. i take everything that happened for what it's worth and i would've been happy no matter how it would've worked out. only it didn't work out. so, i've moved on. after our conversation, i didn't feel great realizing that the first person i ever truly loved really did love me only for him to find out after the fact.

in retrospect should i have made him feel worse? after all, i was pretty devastated when we broke up since i didn't see it coming. so now that i find out that neither did he is there any point in letting him know that he should be a lot more careful in making critical choices in life? i've chosen not to talk to him about this further. what's done is done and i like to keep things that way. i'm sure we've both learned our lesson. and either way, i know we're both better people for everything that's happened. even if i had the power to undo everything, i choose not to. the best andrew and i can do is stay friends. and i honestly think we're doing a pretty good job at it.

(4 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

when you know you've made the right choice [01 Apr 2009|02:17am]
i'm taking a minicourse typicaly offered to biomedical science students. it's called "the energy problem: obesity, starvation and diabetes." i'm in it because a) it addresses diabetes, which is a disease relevant to my family [my mom has it] and b) because the topic of metabolism is what originally got me interested in doing research.

i was originally interested in human metabolism and bioenergetics back in undergrad. and in davis my first experience dabbling in scientific benchwork [my "research" experience in the psych department doesn't count.] involved studying nitrogen metabolism in budding yeast and how it regulates the retrograde/mitochondria-to-nucleus response. before i left for ucsf, my principal investigator ted powers told me he wrote on my golden ticket/letter of recommendation that he knew i was "special" when i first came to him asking for an opportunity to do research in his lab because i was interested in metabolism. it's funny how everything's come full circle and i'm back where i started. of course, metabolism in humans is orders of magnitude more complex than in single cell organisms.

so, something that i've discovered about myself upon taking this class is that i'm uber grateful that i'm not in med school. it looks like whenever i would explain to a lay person the health implications of whatever scientific research i decide to do, i can't say that it's going to be something very apparent. i like basic science. if i could get away with it, i would do "science for the sake of science" and laser ablate spindle bodies or do high-risk experiments. but since funding is scarce, more so now that the economy's shit, we all have to find some topic that's relevant to human health and disease--the buzzwords of course being 'cancer' and 'stem cells.' except the labs that focus on studies more closely linked to human systems aren't labs i'm interested in. i don't like their assays or their data. i don't like clinical trials.

what can i say? i'm a classically trained biochemist and molecular biologist. i'll leave the interpretation of my scientific work in a human model to the MDs of the world. i fell in love with the less popular side of science. the life sciences is just not as "fabulous" as the health sciences because the consequence of our work is decades away from yielding any benefits. but that's ok. somebody's gotta do it. and i'm happy that i made the right choice picking grad school over med school. it doesn't mean that i can't do research in the health sciences. it just means that for now, i'll stick to my guns and enjoy my time with simpler organisms and more basic scientific questions. i'll have to worry about saving the world later.

(consult the good, demented doctor)

i haz vanquished teh bioreg monstar [20 Mar 2009|10:23am]
i can't even begin to describe how horrible the past few days--nay, weeks!--have been. it culminated in a massive spaz-tastic freak out yesterday morning. i mean sure, i asked for my defense to be on the last day but they just haaad to give me the very last spot, didn't they? that gave me too much time to panic! the upside, though, is that i got to survey what types of questions everybody else gets asked--from the most obscure similes ["imagine your chromatin is like a teflon"] to the most difficult questions ["what protein do you think acts as the scaffold at the replication fork?'"]. it actually helped that i got some of the answers too *snicker*.

so how did it go? pretty well considering before the oral defense i was fairly convinced i was gonna flunk this course. now i'm setting up a meeting with my professor right before we leave for tahoe this afternoon coz now i'm fairly sure that i passed. i mean, when your two examinees look at each other perplexed and one asks the other, 'you wanna keep doing this and find some question she can't answer or do you wanna just call it quits?!' then i think that's a good sign. plus again i think it helped that i was the last one and after testing 26 students for at least an hour each over the past four days they just wanted to get the hell out of there probably more than i did.

i have to admit now i feel stupid coz i was such a wreck--drinking beer before my test to try to calm my nerves and all. everybody had to watch me crash and burn but then revert back to my bouncy, giddy self when i got out of my exam room. bah. it's over now. that's all i ever wanted.

(consult the good, demented doctor)

no, the worst isn't over [11 Mar 2009|07:51pm]
so we all turned in our proposals yesterday. naturally, we celebrated by drinking. before noon. then we had lunch with chuck sherr, the oncogene dude. i went home and slept for an hour then attended sherr's seminar. brian and i went to meet up with patrick and emma for sushi then went back to the city to watch watchmen with some of our classmates. since we were downtown already we stopped by our favorite pub to grab a round of drinks. yey, guiness!!! thanks for bringing the happy back, o'brian italiando. ^_^

the celebrations are premature, of course. there's still the shit-ton of course material to study. and then it would really do us well to do practice talks and critique each other's proposals. it would be really nice to know what the hell i'm missing from my proposal before i get grilled during my defense. god, i wish i was smarter.

on a positive note, my folks are visiting me this weekend. yeeeeeeeeeeeeey. i've really missed them *sniff*sniff*. i appreciate the reprieve from all the studying and the comfort having my parents around will bring me before my uber horrible defense. then i'm grabbing drinks with bry's friends this weekend. ooooh and of course it's st. patty's next tuesday!!! i don't care if i have my finals next week. we must go out and celebrate brian's half-irishness! ok, that was half a lie--it's more for my sake than his. lol. oh and right after all our finals are over we're going to tahoe!!! then my friends from davis are coming over on the 28th! aaaaah.. so many good things are about to come..

it could be good just in case i get too depressed from failing my defense.

(1 psychological disorder | consult the good, demented doctor)

my last rant before i turn in this damn proposal [09 Mar 2009|04:40pm]
i have less than 24 hours to get my first draft out. have it edited by my PI and my grad student friends and the bf. i'm up to 1.5 out of 2 pages of text and i'm only starting on the second aim. i'm probably going to have to explain some things in more depth after i get feedback on how confusing and incoherent it is. which means i'll probably have only a few hours to hack off a shit-ton of text. and then i have to make citations--i fucking hate writing citations. and then i have to write figures. i wonder if they'll dock me if i used crayons and drew like a 2-year old.

(4 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

even nerds have to get initiated [08 Mar 2009|11:36pm]
welcome to academia. here's how we will know if you're good enough: we'll give you two weeks to come up with a two-year scientific proposal. you will almost die in the process of coming up with a worthy thought experiment. but you will have to live through this so that you may defend it. this will not be pretty. especially since we'll also be testing your knowledge of the central dogma.

should you fail, you'll have to repeat this class next year. don't worry, even the current professors and former tetrad students have also failed this class. this class is designed to break people. it's the hallmark of tetrad and this is how we'll will leave our scar mark in your scientific career.

so goes the intellectual hazing of karmela...

***

for the record, my head is about to burst. i've never had to hold so much information in it. i've never felt so smart and so stupid at the same time.

(2 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

[05 Mar 2009|09:16pm]






(1 psychological disorder | consult the good, demented doctor)

the sound of desperation [05 Mar 2009|02:54pm]
i'm down to proposal number 4. finally, i've met my match. this class has successfully and unequivocally broken me. it's gotten bad to the point where i wake up, roll over to my side, and start typing up ideas for my proposal. wow. so you do get to the point where you eat, shit, and sleep thinking about science, or your project in particular.

i have five days to turn in a piece-of-shit proposal, any piece-of-shit proposal. then i have one week after that to learn to defend it and also study the course material--that's replication, transcription, splicing and translation!

i say just fail me now and let me re-take the course next year. i don't care if i'm back in this hellish class.. or that i'm going to be with the recruits whom i've been trying to convince UCSF is an awesome place. at least i can get back to my old antics in class, maybe even take it up a notch. either way just get this fucking over with, please. and somebody bring me more disgustingly helpful red bull!!!

***

to complicate things further, unfortunately, i'm greatly hormonal. in fact, all of my girlfriends and i right now are. and all this stress is letting me simmer in a stew of irrational thoughts and ill-conceived feelings. alone. note to brian: karmela doesn't like to be left alone.

in all fairness, i'm not letting my psychoses show. i'm currently pretending like i don't have a boyfriend right now. otherwise, i'd go all ape-shit on his ass for not giving me enough time and attention. now now before you call me out for reverting to high-maintenance status what i'm trying to say--rather unsuccessfully--is that i'm empathetic to what he's going through so i know i have no grounds to feel forlorn. granted, i should also be devoting every waking moment to writing this damn proposal rather than, say, blog for example. i kinda do [see above example]--not by choice of course. it seems to stem from compulsion. so, i'm focusing on my needs and obligations right now, regardless of our state of affairs, and i'm leaving him to do his own thing.

i'd like to think[/pretend?] that this is some kind of sick and twisted way of acting all mature. after all, isn't the whole independence thing one of the reasons i didn't want a boyfriend in the first place? besides, i've got my own ass to focus on.

(consult the good, demented doctor)

belated happy bday, darwin [28 Feb 2009|10:50pm]

(1 psychological disorder | consult the good, demented doctor)

orite, lent [25 Feb 2009|04:38pm]
i'm making beef stir fry laterz. anybody want?

...

yeah i'm definitely not practicing. watzapoint?

(consult the good, demented doctor)

it was a good week for music [23 Feb 2009|07:55pm]
last thursday i saw andrew bird on concert at the fillmore. he was spectacular. his concert was definitely not the kind where you rock out like crazy but it was still amazing. although he may not have as much dialogue with the audience as other artists i've seen but his stage presence was so tangible and his music speaks for itself. he's one eccentric dude! he clearly showcases his wide range of talent from violin pizzicato to, oddly enough, whistling his tunes. and i get why he removes his shoes at every concert--he needs his toes to manipulate the recorders so he can loop the tunes he plays live. awesome performance and a great reason to go to the fillmore again!

opening for andrew bird was a swiss artist called 'loney, dear.' i was swooning over his keyboard dude samuel starck who's the smitten image of, well, someone i know. this band was great, too. in fact, i'll see them again in may when they come back to san francisco. woot!

last but not least, i saw eoin at the independent on friday. i haven't seen him since thanksgiving. if i hadn't mentioned it before well we kinda tried seeing each other again last fall but he was working on some new music and i was busy with grad school. blah. past is past.

anyway, as a groupie i was definitely thrilled to see him perform to a sold-out crowd [at the independent, for chrissake!]. he really knows how to milk his charm for what it's worth. that man can sing but more importantly he can make the whole crowd swoon. i'm proud of how much progress he's made over the past year that i've known him [a year almost to the day!]. i greeted him very briefly after the show and sped out of there asap.

now that that fantasy's over, i had to get back to my man. we'd been going out every night since tuesday to celebrate the death of our macro class. i hit the bars at the mission with him and our friends before going to the concert  [he knows the history with eoin. thank goodness he's not the jealous type.] and met up with them right afterwards. all in all it was a good week for music. and a great week for friends and good times drinking. even though we're in the midst of all this bioreg shit, i'm happy. odd.

(1 psychological disorder | consult the good, demented doctor)

femme fatale-ity [19 Feb 2009|08:59pm]
i've recently come to the conclusion that there are two very distinct sides of me: the single karmela and the *gulp* domestic karmela. they're very different, almost antagonistic in nature, but are permanent subunits of my core personality. yeah i too have been wondering what took me so long to figure this out, but that's another whole topic which i'll discuss some other time.

as of late i've also realized that i love both sides equally. obviously, they each predominate at different phases of my life and certain biases over one persist during those times. but while i've been recently transitioning out of singledom i'm trying my best to reconcile both sides. there've been grave imbalances in the past--i have phases wherein i'm lovesick and others wherein i honestly don't give a damn about relationships. the repercussions of which have turned me extremely paranoid in repeating the same amateur mistakes.

what i like about growing older is i can definitely see myself also becoming wiser. and maybe brian's a better fit right now because he lets me be as much of myself as i want to be while giving me constant reminders of, well, his role in my life right now i guess. i feel almost as if he embraces every aspect of my personality: the science nerd, the video game dork, the horror movie addict, the ocd housemate, the dangerous shopaholic, the fuck-it-all goofball, the pseudo-housewife, and the femme fatale. he doesn't get fazed. in fact, he keeps telling me not to change anything lest i wanna become less interesting of a person. i actually think i amuse him.

last night we went out with a few of our friends to mine and his favorite irish pub to celebrate the end of one of our hell-ish classes. at one point during the evening i finally got fed up with getting hit on every time i go to the bar or even the bathroom. he tried to calm me down--he said i should just take it as [rather obscene] flattery. it was then that i realized that he's so insanely calm when it comes to me even though what attracts us to each other is the fact that we're the same kind of crazy.

i was trying to explain to him, with reiterations from my girlfriends, that it's become my reflex to rebuke any advances automatically. it just makes it easier to have a drama-free night out in the city. although.. free drinks are always welcome as long as the dude doesn't expect anything in return--which very rarely happens. also, i added, i'm a little bit more fiesty than most women because i have this strict standard on how women should be treated. almost 100% of the time men violate it because they probably think that women enjoy cat calls and penis fencing. well, in all fairness i think some women do quite enjoy that but a) they're definitely a sub- sub-population of females [see def. skanks] and b) i know i don't like that shit. lastly, i think i get defensive quite easier than most women do because i've gotten hit on too many times when i genuinely don't ask for it [i mean c'mon, this is why i'd rather be the aggressor than the aggressee so i can just filter everybody else out and pick out the one/s i like]. i'm probably over-compensating for the fact that i think men probably see me as some fragile little thing that they think they can conquer easily. hell, who knows? maybe i just have too much damn testosterone--i'd like to thank my awesome family for letting me grow up this way, btw [nature + nurture ftw!].

the point is, i'm afraid this may be a little weakness of mine that he could deal with elegantly. i think he likes the fact that i can hold my own. it's what makes me a happy singleton. but at the same time he doesn't mind keeping me relatively sane. i think he enjoys playing the role. and in all fairness i do let him get away with calling me 'babe'--an otherwise outrageous crime in my book.

will this be the end of single me? i don't think so and i especially hope not. i like being independent but it seems like this alter-ego only lasts six months at a time. at the same time i'm also ridiculously happy right now as much as i hate to admit it. so.. on with the show. let's see where this goes before i overthink it to death.

(2 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

the difficult thing about dating somebody ridiculously smart? [16 Feb 2009|05:04am]
his brain doesn't turn off -_-. you can never silence the geek. why would you wanna do that anyways, you ask? don't get me wrong, i love geeks. i've only ever loved geeks. russian geeks. rock star geeks. alcoholic geeks.

but still.. sometimes i want some normalcy--whatever it may be. i want someone who doesn't have the compulsion to finish the take-home final ASAP. i want someone who doesn't talk about science all the time outside of ucsf. we already spend 90% of our time thinking and doing and being around science. i want someone who doesn't block the rest of the world out--including me--when they're working!

it's weird, i know, for me to be so amazed that i could find another person who takes care of me and supports me the same way andrew did but to also be turned off by the same qualities sometimes.

i guess this means despite everything.. despite the love of gore.. despite the liver of steel.. despite the tomboyish disposition.. *gulp* i'm still a hopeless romantic girl at heart.

wow, that blows.

(4 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

i know i'm anti valentine's [15 Feb 2009|08:37pm]
but how could i not get giddy when someone surprises me with this shirt?!



he knows me so well.. *sigh*



(consult the good, demented doctor)

i left my heart in.. [27 Jan 2009|08:18pm]
i have an excellent view of the city. from my lab bench, you can see the freeways and the tall buildings that define the san francisco landscape. and from my seventh-floor apartment, you can see the bay bridge which lights up beautifully at night. on foggy nights, it has a serene glow against a dark back drop of the bay.

for a while, i'd forgotten why i was here. i've been cooped up indoors working or *gasp* studying so much--the severity of grad school has become an all-consuming reality for all of us. and on mission bay, where i spend my days and nights thinking and dreaming about science it's easy to forget that you're right next to this gorgeous, living city. i've neglected it, stopped going on dates with it. living here became so dull and ordinary because i couldn't remember life before it.

for a moment, i'd forgotten how i'd gotten here. just a few years ago i spent every weekend here, on the other side of the city. we used to go to san francisco every sunday to see my grandparents. before i had started school, i took them to their doctor's appointments and helped my grandma with their groceries. the city was so foreign then. it wasn't as fun as i know it now. and sadly, because of the state of affair of my grandparents, at times it felt like a place of burden and hardships. it certainly wasn't the colorful, anything-can-happen home i have back then.

i guess i'm deep in intro- and retrospection because i've come to the halfway mark.. at least of my first year. on this first challenge i've gotten to the top of the hill. now it's time to look back one last time then go downhill and start picking up some speed [literally, not figuratively]. the tough part of my classes is done. and i've finally given relationships another chance. the worst is over, now if i can only hang on. fall in love, maybe. make something of myself, hopefully.

(consult the good, demented doctor)

uh oh [19 Jan 2009|08:00pm]
now is really not the time for me to think about, eh, extra-academic dealings with people. srsly. our classes have gotten so bad that we're holding an emergency meeting with the graduate curriculum committee to change our schedules ASAP.

and i just got back from a freaking road trip. great.

(4 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

confessions of a cynic [14 Jan 2009|02:54am]
There’s no consolation when it comes to love. Nobody wants to be the second-best lover and there’s no second prize for failing in a relationship. When it comes to giving away your heart it’s all-or-nothing. It makes no sense to only offer a fraction of your heart, to have “partial feelings” for someone.  To make things worse when your heart is broken it doesn’t just get chipped—it breaks into an infinite number of pieces. Nevertheless, what makes it such a risky undertaking also makes it one of the most rewarding processes in life. So there’s no point giving up gambling with your feelings.  Give a lot and hope for exponentially greater things in return. And if you figure out the formula let me know because so far I’ve only perfected the heartache.

(4 psychological disorders | consult the good, demented doctor)

hello, 2009 [13 Jan 2009|02:39pm]
so i've been on a blogging and IMing hiatus for about a month now. i can only now wrap up the year that was and try to make sense of the year that is

2008 ended fairly well. the holidays in particular reminded me of how lucky i am to have friendships that have withstood the test of time and distance. i'm still amazed at how great my friends have been throughout all the transitions i've made over the last few years. and no matter how sad and scared i've been that i would lose these good friends as i move through life karmela-speed, they prove to me that they'll remain loyal and supportive. i've got good friends from the past and present, in davis and san francisco, from old and new relationships. and wouldn't you know it andrew and i somehow regained our friendship--we actually talk on a regular basis now. as 2008 came to an end i finally let go of the past and embraced the reality for all it has to offer.

as for 2009, well it started out pretty ambiguously. on one hand, i've had to deal with really lame drama. on top of that i lost an uncle in a tragic story of love gone wrong. at the same time, i've found out how good my current set of friends are--they have really stepped up through tough times and have also made my life so good. i've also made some discoveries about my self, about feelings i didn't realize existed, and so i've been dealing with that. oh and i'm most definitely taking the toughest classes my program has to offer--suffice to say my heart and brain are in for a lot of pain.

so far, the intrinsic strength of relationships and self--intellect and psyche--are being tested. but through it all, even though i'm confused as hell by the abstractness of life, i'm the happiest that i've ever been. because life may not be perfect right now but i sure feel loved.

(1 psychological disorder | consult the good, demented doctor)

life goes on [20 Dec 2008|11:15pm]
so, one quarter of grad school down. it wasn't spectacular and i didn't particularly excel as a student. but i think i was able to let my personality shine and so i've made lots of good friends. i'm confident now that i've made the right choice in coming to grad school and i definitely don't regret going to ucsf. i've done pretty well in my lab. i have to admit that even though it's love at first rotation in a lab full of independently-funded thirty something post docs [MDs, PhDs, and both] i've actually come up with pretty good results. suffice to say, the next few years here will be memorable. and on top of doing excellent science, i know that at least i'll be well-loved here as i was back in davis.

it's also important not to undermine all the tough moments i've had. missing my friends and family was one thing. i distinctly remember blogging less when tragedy struck our family. it's still difficult to relinquish my responsibility as the crazy glue that kept us together. and i can't emphasize how much it saddens me that i'm missing out on their lives, particularly that of my niece and nephew. the silver lining is that we're all becoming more and more independent. i'm making a wonderful life out here on my own and through it all it's clear we're all still looking out for each other. i've been really lucky that my family has been so supportive of all my life choices.

speaking of choices, i've definitely made my fair share of good and bad ones over the last several months. interestingly, i've been happy making all of them.
even though where i go drama follows inevitably, at least i've learned so much from all these weird experiences. the holidays make me keep looking back to the days when i thought i had it all or at least that i knew what i wanted in life. i've realized now that it's just a different kind of happy, what i have now. at least now my flawed self is completely in touch with reality. what matters is that i'm in a constant state of learning and the goal is to eventually not have to commit any mistakes to learn. i'm hoping wisdom really comes with age.

btw, i'm 23 now. it's somewhat unnerving that five years ago my brother got married right on the very day he turned 23. life had very different things planned for us, i guess. he has his family and i have my science. i feel guilty that i'm so devoted to my career. i've chosen to put on hold any dreams of having a family of my own--almost to the extreme that i refuse to get involved in any stable relationship.

but that's something to consider in the distant future. for now, i'm more than content. i have a good life here. and i've got so many things to be thankful for. i'm mostly grateful for the people.

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