Friday, December 18, 2015

A Blessed, Home-sick, Midwest Girl

It is astonishing to think I moved 500 miles south 6 months ago and I am close to being half way done with my intern year. I am somehow even busier in residency or maybe I just need more sleep these days, but I never seem to have any time to just lay around, blog, watch TV, work out, make dinner. I am certain my lack of time has something to do with me being blessed with some of the best friends anyone could have. I prefer to spend my down time with my family away from my family. Whether that means wine nights, watching football, catching OUAT with Heather, having dinner/breakfast, or just using my extra couple of minutes to send a couple of "what's going on in your life" texts. These are the people who keep me going everyday and listen to even the most repetitive or minuscule details of my life. They are who I tell my heart-wrenching work stories to and who I share this experience with every day. Without them I wouldn't be able to do what I do. My gratitude to have them in my life grows daily, especially during this holiday season.
My life completely changed last summer and I am just starting to get perspective on exactly how much is different about my life and who I am. I have been living life moment to moment, not truly realizing how much time had really passed already. The arrival of the holiday season struck me hard as I copied down my November schedule. I had known how likely it was I would be spending this holiday season away from my family as I submitted my rank list last winter and I was certain I would be spending it in Little Rock as I packed away all my Christmas decor into a storage unit last May. Yet somehow, the true weight of that realization didn't really settle in until November showed up as my next moment. I felt my first pangs of home-sickness during those 2 minutes I scribbled down my November work schedule. As November came to an end, my home-sickness weighed on me heavily and I was counting down the days until I would be able to go home for a 2.5 day Christmas vacation.
I am incredibly blessed to have a family who love me and support my career/dreams year after year without any complaints. I have missed countless get-togethers, birthday parties, weddings, and holidays over the years, but this would be the first time I would be gone for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year's Christmas in the Balogh and Harris households were rescheduled for 2 weeks before December 25th to allow me to be "home for Christmas." And being home for Christmas was such a wonderful thing.  The home cooked meals, the family jokes and laughter, the games, the chatting were all rejuvenating.
One of the hardest parts about being so far away is not being able to watch my beautiful nieces grow into the Little Humans they are becoming. Merideth is old enough that she knows who I am, where I live, what I do with my life, and how much I love her. Aurora is still so small and during the 6 months I've been away, I have become a stranger to her. It took her some time to warm up and not cry every time I held her, but we slowly got there before I had to start that 7 hour trek back to Little Rock.
While 72 hours may not seem like an incredibly long time, it was long enough for me to recharge and get some of that perspective on what about me and my life has changed and what never will. I have a whole new set of skills, I'm a little more of a sailor, my wine consumption is a little higher, and I'm surrounding by people who complete get me. I've learned to say no, to not worry about what the outside world thinks, and the power of deep breaths and venting. But I am always going to be that midwest girl at heart who will wear jeans and jerseys to sports events and takes turns letting cars leave from the parking lot. I'll always be a little awkward at first and then somehow talk too much. I'll always have those rebellious moments where I want to do something drastic like take a trip alone to Europe, dye my hair red, or sky dive. But what that 72 hours really did was enlighten me how blessed I truly am in every aspect of my life. Blessed with a supportive/loving family, a family away from my family, life-long friends I've made through the years, a career I enjoy showing up for every day, the ability to help people in some of their most vulnerable times, and an abundance of dreams and goals.

(Side note: I know its been months since I have blogged and I have gotten to do so much: concerts, friendsgiving, lots of new work experiences, Christmas, becoming a VIB at sephora, decorating a new apartment, decorating for Christmas, working on that gym thing, hiking, being spoiled by friends, watching the first half of this season of OUAT, collecting random meme, trying local restaurants, attending the apple cider party, planning an epic trip this spring. I hope to get to sit down this week and write a couple posts to at least hit the highlights.)