A couple of weekends ago, I embarked on a spontaneous road trip to Washington DC. Having just completed 3 months of surgery, the surgery shelf, and my Step 2 CS, there were areas of my life that felt a little repressed from the iron heel of medicine. Escape doesn’t even begin to describe what I craved. My friends were gracious enough to cancel their last-minute plans and take me on a tour of the sites. However, I often felt a little at odds when touring all of the war memorials. A waterfall, a statue, or slab of stone erected in commemoration of an individual who long ago sacrificed their life for a cause doesn’t seem to do the sacrifice any justice. Of course, there’s no adequate repayment for anyone that gives up their life for a principle, but, all the same, it still feels a bit hollow.
Upon walking through the World War II Memorial, we unknowingly approached a gathering to recognize the anniversary of D-Day, that fateful day where exactly 71 years ago, thousands of free men stormed the beaches of Normandy in a seemingly impossible mission to overtake the Nazis in the hopes of liberating Northern Europe. Perhaps being enshrouded in those stone pillars, ceremonial canopies, and golden stars signifying deaths in combat with those that survived the conflict fostered a deeper sense of appreciation and breathed life into the past, elucidating the magnitude of what it was that was being memorialized.
Even as I sauntered through history in Washington, I failed to recognize my own past. Five years ago at this time also marks a personal milestone for me: the start of this blog. With the myriad of photos I’ve taken and books I’ve read and posts I’ve written, this creative offspring of mine has far outgrown its purpose of simply documenting the trials of one person tackling graduate and medical school, but developed into an outlet and haven for reflection and expression. It’s been my fail-safe, something I’ve reverted back to in both times of indecision and uncertainty and moments of anticipation and exhilaration. Five years strong, I never really imagined I would ever have so much to share or revel in. Shah Blah Blah was supposed to be just for me, really, but in the end, it became the better version of me, perhaps grittier and far more eloquent than I could ever be in real-time.
However, as much as I say the writing and reflecting were primarily self-serving, it means so much to have as many readers as I do. I’d like to think I’m not as facile as finding comfort in how many views or clicks I get from day-to-day, but the fact that any of what I offer is worthy of even a quick glimpse from either an acquaintance or a stranger from the many different walks of life, offers a great sense of validation. Whether I need it or not, that validation is greatly comforting. So thank you. Whether you stumbled here accidentally or ventured here purposefully, I’m grateful that you’re here. There’s no telling how much the world will change in the next five years or how much I may stay the same, but I’ll be hopeful to the end that Shah Blah Blah never stops blabbering, what ever the dialogue may be.