February 12, 2017

Life Is Not Always A Straight Path

"Life is not always a straight path..."

These wise words were spoken by the man--  the brilliant scientist--  who gave me my start in the science field almost 6 years ago. I paid him a visit during my lunch break to have an open conversation about my frustrations in trying to start my career and to seek advice from someone who has been in the field for over 50 years. I told him how I finished school the year after my summer internship there. How I applied to over 860 jobs during that time period, and only ended up with a job as a bank teller. How I don't even know what I want to pursue anymore because everything that I've gone after thus far has been one big disappointment; and how I was grateful to be back in the hospital where I started, but it was still not where I wanted to be. He listened quietly and after I had said all that was on my heart, he spoke softly and said "Life is not always a straight path, but you will get to your destination at the right time."

Those words have stuck with me since, and has sort of become my mantra. I now see life- especially in regards to goals and dreams- as a really long journey. One will lots of rest stops, flat tires, and detours. We are not just born and then zip-lined through all the major milestones  and goals to our death. No! We have to fall and scrape our knees before we learn to walk, and we have to have our hearts broken by silly boys in high school, before we meet the loving husband of our forever. We have to go through the disappointments and rejections to grow thick skin. And we have to start from the bottom to be able to survive at the top.

Tomorrow, I begin a new position in Clinical Research. This comes only 10 months after I left the bank and started working as a data coordinator. I am incredibly grateful to be one step closer to my career goals. Which, to be honest, I don't even know what that looks like anymore, but I know that this is a step in the right direction, and just one of the many curves that life has thrown me into.

As I enter into this new chapter of life, I can't help but look at where I have come from. As a bank teller, I learned to speak up, get over my severe social anxiety, handle various personalities, and become well versed in finance- something I was never interested in before. As data coordinator, I was able to take my communication skills up several notches. Working with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, lab technicians, secretaries, and sales reps would have worn this introvert out if I did not have the experience of working at an extremely busy branch and dealing with strong-willed, loud mouth customers. Not only was I able to interact with different personalities in that new role, but I was able to communicate information effectively and properly manage the work-flow of a lab that was becoming increasingly busy.

I'm not sure why advancing from the bank took 2.5 yrs and advancing from data coordinator only took 10 months, but I am more than certain that the lessons learned are absolutely necessary for where life will take me.

Here's to another stepping stone. Another meaningful curve to life's path.

January 29, 2017


It is my 'golden birthday'. I am 29 on the 29th!

As the year turned and my birthday approached, I reflected on life over the past few years. I felt as though nothing has changed in terms of personality and characteristics. I looked in the mirror over the last 5 years and saw the same Jhan. My mind felt like the same Jhan.  I could see the physical changes, especially on my face, but internally, I still felt unsure of myself. I still felt young, a little apprehensive, and  very afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. But a shift happened in the last few days. (Is that how birthdays work when you're approaching a major milestone??) I am beginning to feel my age. A little more strong willed, and a little more like an adult. What the actual heck?! I am getting old! [insert distraught emoji] I am definitely still unsure of myself most days, but I am definitely more out-spoken and strong-willed. Baby steps. 

This is 29. 

December 31, 2016

Ode to 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, I am left reflecting on the year. The year started off exactly how it did in 2015. But with time, it got better. I was finally offered a position  that was somewhat close to my academic studies. That dream of having a fully furnished home started coming together. We were able to save up for a pretty epic anniversary trip to the Southwest (hopefully I will be able to share some photos of that in the near future). I was also able to shoot a couple weddings, engagements and family shoots. After years of baby fever, Beau and I have adopted our first baby together- a 2.5 year old, hungry-belly guinea pig named Zelda. She snapped me out of that baby fever rather quickly. And though it is not the same- nor even remotely close- to having a real, live, human baby, she is enough right now. 

More than everything, this is the year that I understood the true meaning of life. You can read all about that realization in my previous post, but here's the general idea: Life is what it is. We don't choose what is handed to us. We don't choose to be starving artists. We don't choose to lose loved ones. Simply put, we do not choose the bad things that happen to us. Neither do we choose all the good that happens to us either. But that is how it works. Life is unpredictable. It is lovely and it freakin' hurts! The best that we can do is live it gratefully. Take the bitters and the sweets, because that is what builds our character and leaves lasting impacts on those we meet. 

I am grateful for this lesson in life, and I thank 2016 and all the years before for supplying me with this knowledge. 

“Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex.”   M. Scott Peck
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