Friday, February 3, 2017

Let it Go

Let it Go has been stuck in my head, oh, maybe 3 out of 7 days of the week. On a good week. For at least a year. More? (This has to be causing some sort of permanent brain damage.) Despite anyone’s intentions to shield their children from Disney and princesses (including mine), Elsa, Anna, and the gang are a nearly inevitable part of toddler/preschool life these days (Mommy? Why do all my friends wear sparkly blue dresses every day?). My 3.5 year old daughter hasn’t even seen Frozen in its entirety, and actually doesn’t seem to really want to. She doesn’t even like Elsa in particular (She is firmly a Paw Patrol girl- she wants to be Skye when she grows up- yes, a puppy pilot. I encourage her to shoot for the stars, even if that means becoming a dog!). But there is something about Let it Go and the music video… she loves singing along and copying Elsa’s movements of shooting snow darts and letting her sumptuous braid down (which is hilarious by the way). And, as ashamed as I am to say this, I love it too- I think we’ve contributed to at least 1000 of the nearly 1 billion views on Youtube. Watching Elsa transform into this powerful, stand-up-straight, confident, unapologetic, gorgeous, and very sparkly woman is actually very enjoyable- she clearly loves her newfound boss-status.

The other night, she requested to watch Let it Go yet again, and I tapped the wrong video on Youtube- it was a short interview with Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel while they recorded songs from Frozen. I really loved what Idina Menzel said about the song. “It speaks to anyone holding back anything that makes them special and unique… What a relief to find those points in your life when you’re just able to let go and be completely who you are.” Nothing mind-blowing I guess, and very literally what the lyrics of the song say haha.

But I found myself thinking about it today as I hummed the song in my head while doing my tissue culture work. I think this past year has been my Queen Elsa metamorphosis. As Anna said when she first encountered Elsa in her ice castle, “Elsa… you look… different.” I, too, feel like a different woman than I was a year ago. I don’t feel like a terrified junior resident. I don't feel like a scared mom. I took a year out of residency to go back to the lab and do bench work and, thankfully, still love it and have found my stride. I got my first real grant where I am the PI. I chose my subspecialty training path and secured a fellowship position. We had a second kid almost a year ago and are all still alive. I no longer feel like everything is hypothetical in the future, but that there is now a path… that I’ve finally differentiated into the physician-scientist and woman that I want to be. I am owning it, standing up tall, and proud. It feels good. This is who I am and this is my life’s work. (I do wish it was something more exciting, like being someone like BeyoncĂ©, but maybe I can one day make biomedical research sexy) I realize that it is very sad and pathetic to be extracting profound life lessons from a Disney song, but hey, this is about as cultured as I get these days. May I hold onto this feeling for more than a fleeting moment (or at least remember that I once felt this way)…  


  1. Keekster, I watched that movie with my kids on Thanksgiving when it was still in the theater. I LOVE that song, embarrassingly, but wholeheartedly. Still a go to, when the going gets tough. I'm a bit alarmed by the widespread appeal, but it works for me, so I use it when I need to. Not sad and pathetic. Empowering. I own that song, and looks like I thankfully am not the only one. Great post, thanks:). And biomedical research is super sexy, btw.

  2. I love everything about this post. That is all.

  3. Thanks you two. I am now back to feeling like my overwhelmed and incompetent self again... :)


Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.