Sometimes my family has those habits that drive me insane and I have those moments where I just wish they were different. Like for example, my mom over-dramatizes everything and yells at me to do things that I've probably already done or thought that I had done but clearly not to her liking. She's also insanely overprotective and doesn't let me eat watermelon at night (because it's cold apparently, um hi we live in Texas). And then my sister -- drama queen #2 in the family, asks more questions than you probably thought existed in the English language, likes to follow me around, and doesn't know when to actually take no for an answer.  My dad, etc. etc. Point being, I realize that I probably have my own traits that drive them crazy too. Like not giving my sister enough attention, waking up at 11 every morning, etc. I have so many flaws and don't I know it. I also realize that while I have those momentary lapses where I wish these habits didn't exist in my family, it'd be really weird if they weren't the way that they were. My mom has had those days where she tells me I can do whatever I want and then things just don't feel normal. I subconsciously probably like that she's overprotective and disobeying her is the best part of that. That's just how our relationship is supposed to be. When my sister gets mad at me and starts trying to ignore me, I start craving her craving my attention. Then I go and mess around with her until she loosens up and starts bothering me again. It's an endless cycle. If my family were different and I existed in the same way that I do, I don't think that I would enjoy it very much. Of course there are some habits that would be wonderful to go like my sister hitting my face when she's asleep in my bed, but I think I'm referring more to personality traits. If my family acted differently, things wouldn't feel right, and I'm sure that's true for a lot of people if you reach the core of the situation. Of course not for everyone though, there are always exceptions. But I'd like to think that most of us love our families the way that they are, even if you want to be absolutely nothing like them and they drive you to the cliff's edge sometimes. You can't imagine them any different, right?

And so I've learned about my family that maybe I'm just not able to express myself well enough to them. I know as kids we've always said that our parents will never understand us and they always told us it was just a phase we were going through, but I don't think that's completely untrue. I might still be 18 and in that phase, but I definitely understand things a lot more than I did back then and I know that I have much more to learn about myself and the people around me. My parents do know me better than anyone else in the world, sometimes even myself, but I do know that some of the mistakes they're trying to prevent me from making are mistakes that I need to make to learn things for myself. They do understand me, but not completely, no. There is that generation gap, that does mean something. Maybe it's because I'm bad at communicating my feelings to them or maybe it's just because I've resigned myself to the fact that it'll make no difference anyway. Honestly, if there's one group of people in your life that you have to be really careful about not hurting feelings, it's the parents. Everything they've done and said for me is for my best or because they've gotten upset, which is human nature, we all do that. Maybe I feel a certain way now and I want them to know that, but it might hurt them and I might feel differently later. Should I tell them still? I dunno, I think probably not. I wish we lived in a world where we didn't have to cater so carefully to people's feelings, but we in fact do. Confrontation and truthfulness isn't always the answer. And that kinda sucks.

I love my family. I know I complain about them all the time and I cry about my life sometimes, but I could never stop counting the number of ways in which they've supported me and built me and believed in me and made me the person that I am, as corny as all of that sounds. This is just how that relationship works, and as this summer progresses, I'm starting to understand that more and more. I thought this was going to be a terrible, lonely summer, but I can feel myself slowly maturing and I'm learning to understand these relationships with my family. We will probably forever live in a state of dissonance and arguments, but we'll always be there for each other. Cue the "awwwws."

In other news, I'm reading this book right now called Death in Slow Motion: My Mother's Descent into Alzheimer's by Eleanor Cooney. Maybe I haven't gotten to the crying part yet, but more than upset, I feel frustrated and angry and infuriated with evolution and genetics and life for creating these monsters known as Alzheimer's and dementia. As I read this book, which is a true story of Cooney's life with her mother, it's so difficult not to push it aside as simply fiction. I have a strong desire to wish that nothing that she says is real, but then I force myself to see that this is the reality of it all. It happens. You start forgetting conversations you just had with people, events that you just went to, whether you took a shower or not this morning, what your old house used to look like, who your family is, to eat, to breathe. I honestly consider if I ever descended into something like dementia if I would simply want my life to be ended there and then. Not only would it make me useless, it'd make me a useless burden on everyone around me too. And I wouldn't even know any of it either. It frustrates me that no one has found a way to fix this yet, not that it's any of their fault. Living in a world that you can hardly recognize with people and places that you can't remember is, in my opinion, worse than just dying. I know my mom has already told me that she would never want to live that way. I don't think I would either. I couldn't eloquently explain all of this if I tried, but the book says it a lot better if you're interested. 

And this brings me to my summer. I'm shadowing at a local neurologist/sleep medicine doctor's clinic this summer and though it's only been a week, he's been extremely convincing in getting me interested in medicine. Neuroscience I've always been interested in, but the way that patients come in for follow-up appointments and tell him what he prescribed is helping them so much and thank him over and over is wonderful. Just in a week, I have seen so many different conditions and what I was told first semester in Neuro101 is finally settling in as a reality in my mind: there are so many things that can go wrong with our brains. If your eye hurts: is it the actual eye or the optic nerve or the somatosensory cortex? If you can't move your face: 7th cranial nerves, the facial nerves. Numbness in your arm: pinching of the nerve here or here or here or up there in the ol' noggin. It's remarkable what the doctor can tell just by asking questions about the patient's history of medications and other conditions and activities. He's a fantastic teacher, answers and clarifies any questions or uncertainties that I have, and is enthusiastic about what he does. It's really inspiring. Even the difficult parts of being a doctor, telling someone they have a condition that currently has no treatment -- a ringing in the ear: hearing loss -- he does with great empathy but then is able to recompose himself afterward for the next patient. Being able to do that is one of the most important traits you have to have to go into this field, I think. And so slowly, this doctor stuff is starting to grow on me and creating a mold that seems to fit me well. And this time, I am learning for myself what is right for me, not because my parents told me so. 

The rest of my summer, on a bit of a happier note, is going much better than I initially anticipated. Of course it could be better, I could see friends, but I'm making the best of it and it's coming along. I'm just jamming to Bollywood all day erryday. My updated summer to do/to learn list:

  • camera jargon + improve photography: working on it, i'm getting there
  • crochet a scarf: i illegally took photos of pattern instructions in the store, just gotta learn crochet terms
  • Hindi literacy: wrote my mom a card in Hindi, read words in my grandma's Hindi magazine, just gotta practice, i'm getting there yo
  • hip hop class: yeah, i'm taking a hip hop class starting in a few weeks hooray :D
  • sketching class: ima learn how to draw portraits leggooo
  • Chinese headstart: got some books from the ol' library, gonna start familiarizing myself for next semester
  • shadowing: is awesome
  • volunteering: at the hospital, will probably start next week or so, ima balance that out with the shadowing so I get to see different parts of the hospital
  • film: ima try to make a short film with my sister, once she gets out of school probably and we'll just see how that goes
  • teaching dance: yeeeeahh so the place is run by Indian people and you know how we are with IST and all so don't know when she's getting back to me on that
  • reading: gonna catch up on all those books I didn't get to read during school + expand my horizons

I'd say that's an aiight summer. Throw some traveling in there and I won't feel like I failed my summer. It's still way too long though, seriously. I'm happy, though. How are you?

That was a terrible photo of me, I know. Here's me playing around with Adobe Lightroom instead because I know this was a lot of words sigh.
My sister and my bike. It's all mine muahahaha
Park near our house. Rather, park bench. 
This is from Disney.
Rawr adorable tiger that's only adorable because it wasn't about to eat me
#fakeshamu splashed me hard
This is from Disney.
Gosh, don't need dat sass, girlfran.
I'm coming out with a new album and it's called Brown Mickey Swag ###

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