Jan. 2017

I know I’m a little late, but happy new year!

I spent the holidays back home with the family. There’s something about stepping away from your work to reset your perspective, and there’s something about being with your family that’s recharging. I mean, I hadn’t been back in CO in over a year before leaving for break…so it was a welcomed change. But just to clarify, I did go other places in 2016 like San Diego and Seattle, so don’t think that I was literally stuck in lab.

And of course, I forced my dad and lil’ sis to take our annual skiing photo.

“You are clearly related; the bottom halves of your faces are extremely similar.”-James

While I was doing some “facebook stalking,” I noticed a TON of new year themed posts. In a majority of the posts, people reflected on things they did in 2016. Particularly landmark events like a vacation, a new home, or a meaningful relationship which was usually accompanied by a collage of photos highlighting such events. After reflection, there is a statement of welcoming the new year generally in a optimistic tone. (There is no doubt I’m a scientist after writing that analysis.)


Frankly, I didn’t make a post like that because I was embarrassed. I asked myself, “what would I write? What would I say?” I found myself comparing my experiences with others as if my accomplishments aren’t as spectacular. They’re not as marvelous as someone’s dream vacation.

Let me tell you about a conversation that shaped how I viewed myself in 2016. It was with a lab colleague, about 6pm-ish after a loooooong day doing animal work. Here how it went:

“Anyone can own a house and start a family, but can everyone be a Phd?”

Me: “…uh I guess not.”


That’s all it took to realize my life in itself as a student is one of a kind, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

So without further delay,

Although I experienced growing pains, betrayal, grief, and loss in 2016, I had wonderful moments too. In 2016, I…

  • Passed my Preliminary Exams! I’m a Phd Candidate now.
  • Published my first rheumatology article.
  • Got a pay raise (I tithe 11% more now).
  • Moved into an apartment with an additional bedroom and a garage…
  • …because mein Shatz moved in with me. ❤
  • Learned several lab techniques like
    • Myography
    • Laser Capture Microdissection
    • and FACS
  • Got a gym membership and used it
  • Mentored an undergrad.
  • Got food poisoning.
  • Helped my lil’ sis pass English every Sunday.
  • and built a cat tree for Cinnamon.

And many other things that would overdo it.

I’m very excited for what 2017 has in store for me. It will probably include mentoring another undergrad, a car tuneup, and more skin care.

Be blessed, stay warm, and I’ll see you again soon!


p.s. I also discovered the show Bob’s Burgers this year. I particularly like the episode where Tina tries to uncover the mole leaking out cookie orders. You know the Troop 257 chant? I think we should do something similar when we say 2017. Like, “pft-pft-pft-2-1-7!”



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