• SB


I am not sure if everyone who reads this follows me on instagram (check out the Instagram icon in the top right corner to see my page!), but I featured a photo announcing a new section for howesyourday.com : "What's on my nightstand!"

sarahbethhowes I was inspired this morning to begin working on a new section within my blog: “What’s on my nightstand” 📚

Of course any excuse to capture my cute kitty is incentive, but my real motivation is to finally FINISH what books are on my nightstand. I multitask to the extreme and I always catch myself reading six books at a time... but never finish! SO #goals.

One of the books I'm slowly reading is @anniedowns: 100 Days to Brave (I bought it over 365 days ago)

Day 51 is inspiring me to write this post. It asks you to embrace change, even change you didn't plan for. When writing in my personal journal, I discovered all the WONDERFUL change that has come to pass this year NONE of which was planned.

Summer of 2018- Present Changes:

  1. Taking a break from medical school

  2. Immediately going on a family cruise

  3. Celebrating a year of marriage with my husband

  4. Matron of Honor in my best friend's wedding

  5. Moving, into a home that required two weeks worth of cleaning out before moving in

  6. Fixing up a home, together with my husband (and finding all his baby pictures)

  7. Riding my bike a lot

  8. FINALLY, our first couples halloween costume #dr.frankensteinandhermonster

  9. Celebrating my husband graduating from college

  10. Starting a blog #howesyourday

  11. A lot of therapy

  12. Adopting another kitty, Aurora

  13. Taking Step 1

  14. Visiting my friend in New Orleans for FUN

  15. Becoming an assistant business office manager handling people's finance and insurance (did not see that coming)

  16. Failing Step 1

  17. Forcing myself to take a break from studying

  18. Creating our first family Christmas card

  19. Accepting exercise as my stress management and being proactive about it

  20. Becoming a spin instructor

  21. Adopting another dog

  22. Realizing I have FOUR pets (what have I done?!)

  23. Traveled to New York with my friend to see another friend

  24. Surviving my husband's first tax season

  25. Figuring out how to study for Step again

  26. Becoming part of a clinical trial for St. Jude Children's Hospital

  27. Taking Step 1 again

  28. Waiting so many weeks to figure out if I passed...

  29. Celebrating my bestie graduating from pharmacy school

  30. Trying rice krispies and loving them!

  31. Going to my first LSU game!

  32. Paying off all of our credit card debt! #daveramsey

While you might just skim through this list (I don't blame you), I wrote it out multiple times. Adding things in, editing words, and just taking time to say "wow, look at what all I've done!" That list is of course is not even all of it!

Taking a break from medical school was never in my fifteen year plan, or any plan. So as soon as it happened, the only thing I was really asking myself is, "What do I tell people?"

"You'll know by the end why you took off" is what I kept hearing.

That did not help my impatience in needing an answer NOW. People are asking!!

Turns out change such as this, possibly not wanting to practice medicine, or not being able to practice medicine, felt like a loss. Thus I went through the five stages of grief.

1. Anger- Why the hell did this happen.

2. Denial- It's everyone else's fault, I'm blameless.

3. Bargaining- Maybe I am special. Maybe I am "spe-cial...", not as smart, still have chemo brain, mentally challenged. Maybe I should take it slow. Not form my own opinion because all of these professionals, websites, bloggers who scored a 270, obviously know what they are doing and I shouldn't think for myself and instead listen to them.

4. Depression- Yah, I put the weight of the world on my shoulders, saying I just wasn't good enough. I was worthless. What am I doing with my life. My mom is dead because I wasn't great, because I'm not impressive, yada yada yada. Very dramatic.

5. Acceptance- I TOOK A YEAR OFF, SO WHAT.

Those bullet points are not just words, they were months of processing feelings:

  • I went through a year of chemotherapy almost ten years ago and yes my memory suffered, but why in the world would someone who is in medical school think they slower, special? I'm in MEDICAL SCHOOL. I can't still have chemo brain if I've made it this far.

  • I know my mother didn't leave me because I wasn't good enough, I know she loved me so much. But it honestly took me until now to really fully accept that fact, process it, and truly believe it.

  • I am in this situation because I didn't believe in myself. That's it in a lump sum. Yes there are factors, but I really needed to figure out how to trust myself and realize I am capable.

SO after failing Step 1, I realized something had to change, I had to trust myself, my gut.

For me, that took training.

Seriously. You may laugh, but I am not kidding. I apparently had so much self doubt when it came to my knowledge of medicine, when my instinct told me the answer, I immediately dismissed it.

I had to retrain my mind. If my gut thought A, my instinct was to say well it can't be A because I'm not right, so let's pick B.

I recognized I would immediately challenge myself because I told myself I wasn't smart enough to know the answer. Knowing that I would doubt myself and change my answer, I had to practice just going with my gut. #selfawareness

And guess what, turns out my gut knows a lot. I am smart! I do know things! And it took me failing to figure that out because I am that stubborn. After hitting what I thought was rock bottom, I forced myself to get up and gain some confidence.

I always used to say, "God doesn't give you things you can't handle, it's somewhere in the bible because its on all the Christian merchandise, but I can't ever find the verse. Trust me it's true"

It is not true.

If God gave you things only you could handle, there would be no point in needing him. #churchatredriver

Psalm 62.5-6: I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.

Also He surrounds me with supportive friends and family, thank you!

This year was to grow, to appreciate, and to learn more about myself. Now I'm just reveling in peace and love. If God told me how my life would happen in a step by step guide, I'd be too scared to live it. So I appreciate knowing his plans are always to prosper me, never to harm me, and just grateful the answers he is sharing are slow and steady.



#howesyourday #godanswers

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