La Vida Dolce

Life & You

Am I Alone or Just Lonely?

I’ve started a new chapter in my life recently – I moved to New Jersey and started my career
as a pediatric resident. While I truly love my job and excited to be here, it’s difficult moving away from family and friends, and starting anew.

On my coveted days off, I want to explore and socialize with my fellow residents, but sometimes our schedules do not coincide and I resort to activities alone. Does being alone too much mean I’m lonely? Is being alone bad? 

In my opinion, spending time alone and feeling lonely are not synonymous, and here’s why:

Alone – Spending quality time with me, myself, and I while having insight that you’re always surrounded by family and friends even if they are not in proximity. It’s a time of reflection to experience who you are. It requires comfortability and confidence in yourself to know that being alone sometimes is quite ok.

– An overwhelming feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that prevents you from experiencing life and social interactions. A deep-rooted sentiment that you cannot connect with those around you, whether it be family or friends. You prefer to remain closed to new possibilites and often find solace in those who make you feel empty.

I encourage everyone to take some time from your busy weeks and spend time alone – you never know what you may discover 🙂 We may not be surrounded by family and friends, but know that you will never be lonely.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading 🙂

Work in Progress


Being me is constantly a work in progress. When I feel that I’ve figured something out, life jumps out and throws me another curveball.  I’ve realized after my 30th birthday last month (yes, I know it’s not terribly old but it’s a new decade for me 😉 ) that I need to change certain aspects of my outlook on life and how I manage it in order for me to get to where I want to be.

My mom and I had a conversation about this recently as we were discussing post-medical school graduation plans – I graduate this summer (YAY!). While the thought of graduating is so exciting, I’m also terribly nervous purely because I have to “grow up” now.  Now, I don’t view myself as an immature person by any means, but I feel that I’ve been able to hide behind the “school and studying” shadow and this, in a way, has prevented me from experiencing “adulting”, if you will.

During this conversation, my mom simply said to me, “Danielle, what do you want out of your life? You can’t go into this next phase without really thinking it through”.

So I’ve been thinking about this for some time since that conversation and I’d encourage y’all, my fellow readers, to do the same.  What do you want out of your life? What positive changes are you willing to make?

Myself: be more open with my personality and not feel encumbered or overshadowed by anyone, have a variety of hobbies to keep me well-rounded, stop practicing serial monogamy unless I truly believe that person is for me, and most importantly, truly believing in myself

Friendship: develop new friendships with a variety of people, practice maintaining them with open communication, surround myself with friends that have similar drives/goals/ambitions

Career: take chances/risks, develop and execute my plan for success

Love: develop a relationship based on communication/friendship/shared ambition, where both partners have a shared and separate life to limit co-dependence, maintain my own independence which is often lost in previous relationships, and give/receive unconditional support for/from you partner

Family: be open with family about stressors and emotions, communicate regularly, not get wrapped up in my own world so much

This is how I will positively change my life, starting now – how will you?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading 🙂



Life Twirls On

calvin and hobbesIt’s been 10 months since my last post…

10 months since my fingers swiftly crossed these keys…

10 months since I allowed my mind to relax and let the creativity and insight flow…

For 10 months I’ve been heavily caught in the twilight zone I call medical school, jam packed with patients, exams, and endless hours of studying.  While I truly, unequivocally love and enjoy the path I’ve chosen for myself, I’ll admit the endless routine is exhausting. Sometimes I feel lost and my identity consumed by this career path as I have to forgo my hobbies, like writing for La Vida Dolce.  These past 10 months have flown by; I look back and see how far I’ve come and yet how far I have to go.

I find myself thinking of what I have yet to accomplish and how I want to expand outside of medicine; and I’ll admit, I sometimes feel a sense of urgency and disappointment.  I am not completely downtrodden by my thoughts; it’s just my inner perfectionistic speaking 🙂

I remind myself that even though the days don’t seem to change, when I look back, everything somehow does. Every interaction, knowledge acquired, and emotions experienced are preparing me for the path I’ve yet to conquer. The daily routines will always be there, but we must grasp the glimpses of peace and spontaneity to propel us forward. After all, life twirls on whether or not we want it to.

Life twirls on. Experience all of it, one day at a time.

I would love to know your thoughts. Happy reading 🙂



Flick of a Switch

life is precious2Working in the ER late one night, eyes slowly closing from lack of sleep, I get a text message from one of my best girlfriends – her mom’s cancer returned and she has one year to live.  My heart sank deeper and deeper as I read her message.  I wished I was there to give her the biggest hug to show my unwavering support.  In that split second I thought about my own mom if I received that diagnosis.  I’d surely be a wreck.

Gee…it sounds incredibly cliche, yet so true to say, life is truly precious. We all think about our loved ones and express affection towards them, but is it ever truly enough?  It amazes me sometimes how death’s door gets us thinking about the things we could’ve said or done, when essentially, they were always there from the beginning – we just needed to make the time in our lives for them.  I know for myself I become wrapped into my medical school microcosm and forget about the world around me, but after hearing my girl friend’s news, I said to myself I need to be more aware.  Aware of my surroundings and my loved ones because one day they may not grace me with their presence anymore.

life is precious1As we journey through this adventure called life, hold dear to you these 3 principles:

Hope – May we always have the hope and innocence of a young child that everyday will be better and brighter than the last.

Courage – May we always have the courage to experience life to its fullest potential.  Never let a day go by without doing or learning something new.

Love – May we always have love surround us everyday and never be afraid to embrace it. Love yourself, love your friends, love your family, and love your fellow man.

Life is so very precious in every way.  Its the greatest gift we have, yet its taken for granted,  Live everyday to its fullest.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Happy reading 🙂




Whispers Loud Enough to Hear

fat-shamingSo…I’ve been thinking about the last few days of what to write and then this morning, BAM!, it hit me. I was sitting on the couch doing my usual morning Facebook scan and I see something my youngest sister posted a few days ago. My oh my did it leave me speechless; I had to pick my jaw off the floor!

My youngest sister has been overweight practically her whole life, and because of that, she was bullied as a youngster and received sideways glances, but a few days ago was one for the Guinesses Book of World Record – she was fat-shamed!

This is what happened:

Over my 21 years, I have been bullied for my weight through giggling, laughing, berating, and when younger, physical abuse by other kids, but today was the worst I’ve seen in my adult life.
I was out to lunch with a friend, we went in and immediately three women, around 43 years old, started laughing. At first, I thought they may have made a joke, but then hear them say, “wow, look how fat that girl is” among other disparaging comments. As usual, I look at them, and say to myself, “they’re not happy with themselves so have to find something in someone else to hurt”. But then this happened again, but from an older married couple who spoke in Spanish-which I can understand almost perfectly. And again this happened to a father with his boys when we sat down at a booth. 
I was wearing workout shirt and long yoga pants— NOT that it matters.
The amount of outright bullying and disrespect for human emotion and regards is disturbing. To teach your children it is perfectly okay to disregard a person due to his/her image is insulting and a foreshadowing to the future of the world.
I do not write this for pity, but to show that, that overweight girl may be intelligent, beautiful, honest, and sophisticated, but the words you spew at her, for no reason but a superficial one, can cause unnecessary damage.
Think before you judge.


fat-shaming 3What?! Have people become that superficial and cruel?!  I understand the negative stereotypes associated with obesity: lazy, unkept, careless, undisciplined, but that does not justify the community for excluding overweight individuals and making them feel worthless.  We all have a story to tell and this sort of “fat-shaming” prevents us from getting to know each other and sharing those stories.  If grown adults are willing to exhibit this sort of behavior to a college student, then what are they teaching their own children? They’re teaching them to disrespect and judge others before getting to know them as a person.

Yes, obesity does have grave medical consequences but our goal should not be to shun those that are overweight. We should foster a community where we promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone and show there is support and encouragement out there.

fat-shaming2For those rude individuals who did not take the time to know my sister, let me tell you who she is. She’s:

  • A chemical engineering student at a top engineering university
  • Has a huge, huge heart
  • Has an infectious laugh
  • Has a wicked sense of humor that makes our whole family’s bellies ache from laughter
  • Gives the best hugs
  • Someone who loves to jam out and have dance parties in the car 🙂
  • A great listener and advice-giver, she’s wise beyond her years
  • Extremely family-oriented and supportive

Let’s think before we speak and change our attitudes about others.  Your words will do more harm than good.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading 🙂


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