|"The Doctor" by Luke Fildes (Wikipedia)|
Where to start? I still can't quite grasp that I started this blog in June of 2010—I remember it was a summer day in Beijing between my freshman and sophomore year; I was interning in the marketing department of a seed company, and I had an impulse (it may have been too muggy to move much and too polluted to go outdoors), which resulted in The Birth of the Artistic Synapse. There, I decided "synapse" was an apt metaphor for connections, though at the time I hadn't known to what manner and extent those connections would play out.
But most importantly, this blog has made connections with others. Strangely enough, one reason it has been so hard for me to write again is the paradoxical knowledge that comes with readership: I am less at ease writing when I know others are reading; yet all the more reason to do so! You, readers, have delighted with me in neuro-analyzing Mona Lisa's smile, relating the works of Escher and Chopin to String Theory, and (mis)applying the Heseinberg Uncertainty Principle to love. You've even stuck around for infatuations with Organic Chemistry (a product of orgo-withdrawal).
One message from a reader in particular struck me dearly, and left an impression. I think I was in my neurology block, when I received in a message in my inbox asking if I still wrote, especially now about life as a medical student, and referenced this blog in his new blog project: poeticlust.com. I'm touched I played even a slight role in someone else's blogging endeavor, and I'm writing this post, starting anew, with his words and encouragement in mind. He quotes Carl Sagan: “writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other.”
I think of how other blogs speak to me—Loose Signatures, The Feminist Spectator, Live Thoughts—whether a delightful thought, an unexplored topic, or a relatable personal experience, and I see how blogging matters—over time thoughts are better formed, emotions better understood, actions better intended.
Looking through my old posts, I do think my writing has helped me become a better version of myself. As I read, I am reminded of the wonder and delight present even in the face of tedious memorization so often necessary in medical school—I'd been there before, after all. And as I go forward, I think there is no better time than now, as I care for patients, in bringing out the best of medicine: the beauty of human life and connection. It's time that I write again, because I want to capture and preserve these moments; I want to always remember the artistry in our profession, and writing helps me do that. It helps me be a better self, and maybe, even, help others do the same.
I came across a post from exactly three years ago on this first of the year with the thought, "Our journey is right here, right now, and to discover we'll just have to keep our eyes open, new, and shining." There's nothing like the past to help us go forward, to help us learn what makes us tick and make the most of our learning. It's even better when shared with others. I'm excited to bring in the new year with you! It's going to be a good, growing 2016.