The other day, I asked my friend Hannah what day she would pick if she could go back and re-live one day in her life. She picked high school graduation. She had just started dating the boy of her dreams, had an entire free summer ahead of her, and a felt like her whole life was just about to begin. The perfect day. So, naturally she asked me the same question--because she has good social skills like that--and I lamely said that sounded like a good day to me too. Hey, I was dating a boy I thought I loved, and was vaguely excited to start BYU. And (bonus!) I was also wearing a pretty hot miniskirt that day, so why not?
But it wouldn't be my day of choice, not really. Or even my 100th day of choice. So I quickly followed it up with, "...or my wedding day. Or night. Or whatever." And the whole conversation degenerated, naturally.
Today I was really thinking about it though. I flipped through 30 or so days in my file of hours lived to savor the really good ones. The life-changing ones. The ones I would pay decent money to re-live, to melt in my mind like a good piece of chocolate making sure to taste the intricacies.
I picked a few. Here they are:
1. October 1, 2005. The day I ran the St. George marathon. My heartache from John's death was healing better than expected. I had finally thrown away the picture of the engagement ring that John had hidden in his sock drawer and that I so desperately wanted him to give me. In the months leading up to this October day I had sweated all my sorrow into my organic chemistry class from which I came out on the other side with a big fat A. All of John's college friends had supported me and protected me, and in the wake of the biggest tragedy of my life Boyd was there, tried and true. I should have seen the neon sign when he told me he'd drive me to the marathon, stay overnight with my sister's friends who were also running, and cheer me on the whole time, only to turn right around less than 24 hours later to drive me right back. Morgan ran with me the whole way and we both mused that we had brought along some pretty swell men to watch us sweat through our sports bras. Nothing says sexy like a salty sports bra, right? The run was gorgeous; the finish, sureal. Boyd kissed me for the very first time that night, and I knew my life was starting.
2. February 3, 2007. The day I found out I got accepted to medical school. Boyd and I had just moved into our concrete block of an apartment in MIT family housing. Everything we owned was piled on the cold tile floor of the front room that had waxed-in hairs from the previous occupants. The kitchen was the size of a bathtub. But it was ours, and it was right on the gorgeous (and at the time, frozen) Charles river in Boston. I had just gotten the acceptance call from Massachusettes General Hospital that they were giving me the job of a lifetime--doing reserach in the neuroendocrine unit right in the historic Bulfinch building where the very first surgery done under anesthesia had been performed. It was that magical time after you get hired and before you have to start. And then the letter came. It was a fat envelope--always a good sign. It was from Albert Einstein University in the Bronx, the first medical school I had interviewed at in the fall. I ripped it open and there it was, they wanted me to come to their medical school (albeit for a pretty penny), but I didn't care. I was going to be a doctor for real. My life was starting a second time.
There are so many more. The kindergarten day our incubating eggs hatched into fluffy yellow chicks. The day I did my very first back-handspring in gymnastics--bent knees and all. Christmas morning where we got a trampoline, and discovered it after a 5am treasure hunt. The day I got picked for student-of-the-month in middle school after years of trying to be a model student. The first day I ever made chocolate chip cookies and they turned out like I was Martha Stewart herself (at least that's how I remember it). My very first day of high school wearing my totally cool red horse shirt where I met my future prom date in our mutual weight training class--bowler hair cut and all. The day my high school science fair project won at the UofA. The Wednesday my dad took Morgan and I out of school to go skiing at Mt. Lemmon. When I pole vaulted for the very first time and then the day I got to pole vault in the state competition my junior year only to come out with a second place finish. My first run on Mt. Graham's web peak trail. Finishing my dizzying AP Calculus test and then getting that envelope that pronounced I had earned a "5". The day I saved my very first little girl in the pool as a lifeguard. My very first ballroom dance class at BYU. The day Boyd proposed with that darned tiffany's ring I so deperately wanted. The day I surprised Boyd by visiting him in Boston the fall before we got married. Our wedding day. The day I was sick from work while living with Mary Beth and Andrew and we baked all day together. My first day in the anatomy lab. The first baby I ever delivered. The first tough diagnosis I made all on my own during my neurology rotation that both the attending and radiologist missed.
There are so many times where I want to press fast forward in my life. I find myself wishing that I could just skip my 6 week surgery rotation coming up here in May. Or just fast forward to when residency is finished. I wanted to skip our engagement so we could just be married already. And I know I wanted to fast forward undergrad after seeing the testing center for the millionth time. But looking back, some of my best days were during times I wanted back then to delete from my life. Yes, the sweet comes with the bitter. But I'll take it.