Who I Am and Why I Chose Pharmacy
Dear my fellow readers, My name is Ann. I just turned 23 this past January 29 and I don't know how I feel about it. Part of me enjoys the process of getting old, of learning more about myself, of getting to see more things, and getting to enjoy the little happiness in life. But at the same time, I can feel the changes within my body and it scares me a little. I have never taking care of my body the right way, never drinking enough water, nor getting enough sleep. But starting today, I want to change that. I want to cherish my body to the fullest for allowing me to breathe, to see the sunlight, to enjoy the rain, and to live life with purpose. And if you're reading this, please take care of yourself and start loving yourself today :)
To put a face to my blog, this is what I look like LOL if you're wondering.
Enough with the rambling, let me introduce myself again properly. Hi, my name is Ann (you may know me as Annie Bananie- oooh the dark time). I am a quirky 23 years old who just graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in Biology, which was never my intention but somehow I made it lol [Inbox me if you need advice on applying, taking classes, or just any questions about UCI or Biology. I may not know everything but I will be more than happy to help ^^). When I applied for college, I never thought about what I want to become. I simply applied for the major because my parents wanted me to and I had no freaking idea of what the freak I was going to do with this major. To put it simply, I was young and foolish.
A little background on myself:
I was born in Vietnam and came to the United States when I was 12 (oh boi it was definitely a journey and I will talk more about it)! I have struggling with acne for more than 10 years. It was so long that I stop keeping count of the years and just kinda accept it as part of who I am haha. I thought I needed time to find my passions and to figure out what I want to do with my life so I decided to take a gap year after graduating. My parents weren't so supportive of it and I felt a flushing sense of guilt for not making any progress with my life. I have many people, including friends and family, telling me that I cannot do it, while others try to make themselves superior than me. Back then, I blamed others for crushing my dreams and then went on to blame myself badly for not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, perfect enough. It honestly messes up with my mental health so much. Drowning myself with uncertainty, stress, self-doubts, and constantly comparing myself with others, I fell into a loop hole of trying and never feeling like I was good enough.
I know needed time to figure out who I am as a person, what I want to do in the future, and I need to learn how to love myself first before I can accomplish anything. So, I decided to take a gap year and it was honestly the best decision I have ever made. Luckily, I was able to get a job in the inpatient pharmacy at a hospital and found my passion for pharmacy. I will be a broke AF pharmacy student in the fall and I am ecstatic to share my journey with y'all. The most important lesson I learned from this gap year is to not blame the situation on others, not even on myself. Sometimes, that is just how life is. Instead of focusing your energy on the negativity, simply drop it. Letting go of negative people and negative thoughts. I guess somehow, I didn't find what I was looking for, but found something much greater than that. I found who I am as an individual ♡. My goals in life are to be able to share my love for pharmacy with others, to have a chance to participate in teaching and research, and maybe someday write a book about acne and have my own skincare line. I know. Those are some big dreams. I am not quite sure if I will be able to accomplish them all but Hey, I have my whole life to do it. At least another 50 years or so to put a check to these dreams, so the least I can do right now is to just try. Even if I fail to do it, I won't feel regret because I already tried. I'm not going to rush anything. I'm not going to stress out or worry about how things are gonna turn out for me. Instead of overthinking, I will align my faith with divine timing and trust that everything that belongs in my life is making its way towards me right now. So let's this blog be a platform where we can grow from and with each other ♡.
So why pharmacy, you may ask.
As I mentioned earlier, I grew up with hormonal and persisted acne. I used to look at my face in the mirror and think that I am a mosaic, not the one that is associated with beautiful and exquisite pieces of art, but one that is full of various types of crescent scars and valleys of pimples. At the tender age of 12, my face started to have small, little pimples that soon erupted into a volcano covered with hormonal painful cystic zits. I tried every single product that was advertised on the market. Use this cream and your pimples will disappear by the next morning. With little knowledge about what is causing my acne and the ingredients behind these creams, I went ahead and used it on my already inflamed skin, which made my face burn and broke out even more. I then sought help from dermatologists who would prescribe me with tetracycline, spironolactone, birth control pill, and finally isotretinoin. Despite these efforts, my skin condition got worse. I avoided meeting new people, missing out on opportunities, and letting my acne dictate my life. One day, when I was working as a cashier, a little 5-year-old girl looked at me and frighteningly cried to her mother “Mom. Why is her face full of molds? What is wrong with her face? ”. It was a windy autumn day and my heart shattered like the way falling leaves broke down from the arid tree into a million fragments of crispy fried brown starfish. This is it, I thought. I can no longer let my acne define who I am. I can no longer treat acne like a symptom, but have to look at the roots of the condition. It was then that my initial interest in chemical ingredients and drugs-body interaction began. I want to become the change. I want to create a skincare line that tells the consumers that acne is normal, that acne is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong with your body (either through stress, imbalanced hormones, gut health, or immunity problems, etc). Acne is trying to tell you to listen to your own body and live a healthier life. It is not a flaw nor is making you any less beautiful than another person with flawless skin. I want people to treat acne with love and to start loving themselves from within. To me, acne is not just skin deep and cell health goes a lot deeper than just topical solutions. Through pharmacy, I want to dig deeper into the chemical world and be able to share my understanding of drugs and pharmacology with others. Hopefully one day, I will have the chance to create a skincare line that targets acne from the inside and create a community where acne is addressed as a health problem, rather than being looked as a skin flaw.
I definitely still have a lot more to learn and grow, but I just want to create this blog to help anyone who is interested in pharmacy and struggled with acne/self-image like myself to feel less anxious and to know that they are not alone. I don't know. I guess I just want to be a somewhat helpful friend haha ☺. Please know that I am just like you, a very ordinary person who is still trying to find her place in the world. Please never ever compare yourself to me, nor to anyone. You are the author of your own life. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are incredible. Trust the process and everything will come into place ♡. Until next time, Ann XOXO 1/31/2021