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The Sunday night writing prompt for my Medical Humanities class was simple: Who do you want to be when you grow up?

I had just explored the same topic in the latest entry of my personal journal, so I had no trouble crafting an honest answer:

September 21st, 2014

There are two things I wish to be more than anything in the world:

  1. A competent and caring physician; someone who instigates healing, in every sense of the word.
  2. A writer – someone who can capture all of the dimensions of that beautiful and mysterious thing we call life; and, just like life, make us laugh one moment, and cry with overflowing emotion the next; someone whose words wrap their threads around the deepest depths of our hearts, and never let go.

The writers I remember most from my childhood years – J. K. Rowling, Madeleine L’Engle, Avi, and William Howard Armstrong among them – inspired me by their ability to paint vivid worlds and breathing characters with only pen and paper. As much as I admired them, I never truly valued, or even recognized, my own dream; when I was in grade school, creative writing was never mentioned in the same category as painting, acting, dance, or music. Now, as I begin to share more of my writing with others, I am starting to realize that my childhood dream was a genuine one after all. There is nothing that brings me greater peace and healing than watching my pen flow across the blue lines of a blank page, through the countless miles of uncharted rivers contained within a single notebook.

The series that showed me how simple, accessible writing can also be breathtakingly beautiful

In my life, healing and writing have become interdependent. As a pre-med student, I had the privilege of watching life begin and end; life enduring, triumphing, and simply being. By writing, I can attempt to capture the melody of these moments, through the joy, the sorrow, and even a little of the silliness. When I moved to Hershey two months ago, I thought that the start of medical school would signal the end of my writing. I am pleased to say, however, that I have never been so happy to be so wrong.

2014-09-22 00.51.10 HDR

The journal I have kept for the past four years – 154 pages, and counting, about the adventure of my life