Medical student just trying to keep it real, and make it sweet.

If you’ve landed here, I imagine you want to know a bit of why this blog exists, and perhaps who I am. My name is Ayanna, and I am a medical student in the Midwest (although people here seem to claim a more coastal region of the country, they are wrong). I’m known to laugh loudly, dive deep into conversation, and happy dance when eating. I can’t help it. Food brings me joy. Some of my deepest memories and favorite times have involved the creation or consumption of food. And I want to continue exploring that throughout medical school, and beyond.

But let’s get something clear, it is a privilege to examine and enjoy food the way we do. The variety of our food, and the recreation of the surrounding culture, is not universal around the world, nor even in our own neighborhoods. For me, medicine is very much the same. The opportunity to live for learning at this time in my life, is beyond fortunate. And the prospect of impacting lives with diagnostics, personal touch, and decision-making, is a weighty and unbelievable task. As for many of us, it has always been my dream. And often, I can’t believe I am living it.

So, why brown sugar? Well, to me, it’s simply better than white sugar.

As with many things, brown sugar was once thought to be of lower quality, contaminated, not worthy of including in your consumables. It wasn’t for the refined baker. Marketed as dirty and unbecoming, brown sugar was discounted because of its inherent, harmless differences. These same differences make it delicious. And for that, I appreciate it greatly.

In many ways, I am quite unlike my peers. I wasn’t the perfect applicant, I had previously never developed study skills… I mean, I could go on (but you’ll just have to check back in for future posts for that). But there are also things I know that, despite these factors, allowed me to find myself at an elite, academic medical institution. The things that make us exceptional, are, at times, different from what is expected. However, they make us exactly the right flavor we are meant to be, for greatness.

One theme you will likely notice throughout this blog is the reality and beauty of imperfection. I am no master chef. I am also not the perfect scoring student. There have been many stumbles and hurdles along the way to get to this point. And, undoubtedly, there will be many more. What I find most important for self-improvement, and the key to my successes, is the ability to name the challenges, examine how to do better, and to share these lessons with others. Journeys are not had in silos. If there is anything I can offer outside of my “job” as a medical professional, it is the smaller parts of my life that are useful and beautiful.

So let’s go through this sweet thing called life. I’ll make you a plate.

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