My Sun Sets to Rise Again

As a medical student, my days go by very quickly. I usually wake up between 6:20-6:50am. I’m very particular about following my morning routine: I start off with brushing my teeth and washing my face to wake me up. Feed my animals. Apply makeup and start my coffee. Get dressed and eat breakfast. Prepare lunch and snacks for the day. Out the door by 7:45-7:50am to head to school.

I spend about 9-10 hours every day on campus, whether it be studying in the library, socializing with friends during breaks, or sitting in lectures. The hours drag on while I’m there, but when I get home, it somehow feels like the day flew by. One thing I have to look forward to every evening after a long day at school is a picture-perfect sunset in my backyard.

I have never seen more beautiful sunsets than I have since living on the island. My backyard looks unreal when the sun is setting. The house is quiet, my three animals have been fed, I’ve changed into something more comfortable, and I’m ready to relax/study for the evening. One of the most relaxing things that I do to unwind after a long day is to open the kitchen window over my sink, turn on some music, and do the dishes while losing my thoughts in the views of my backyard. The colors of the sun setting shine into my kitchen and tint the walls in different shades of pink, orange, purple, or blue, depending on the sunset that night.

My favorite sunsets are the orange and red ones. The colors radiate and paint a beautiful picture in the sky. The reds and oranges are bright in the sky like fire and so surreal. Sunsets remind me to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature and the beauty of my temporary home — I have 64 days left on this island, meaning 64 sunsets left to cherish and enjoy. Sunsets are also a constant reminder that, no matter how hard and challenging my day has been, days always come to an end. A new day is approaching to start over and be refreshed.

Might I suggest that the next time you’re feeling stressed on your rock, take a break and enjoy a sunset (or even a sunrise) for a few minutes – whether it be 30 seconds or 30 minutes. Think of everything you’ve accomplished and remember that a new day is coming, and that your sun sets to rise again.

“My sun sets to rise again” –Robert Browning

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Ashleigh Frialde

About Ashleigh Frialde

Ashleigh is a second year medical student currently residing on the island of Saint Vincent. She was born and raised in Buffalo, NY until her family relocated down to South Carolina when she was 13. There, she later attended Clemson University and received a Bachelors of Science in Spanish and International Health, with an emphasis in Health Administration. She always knew she wanted to be a doctor, so she always had her sights set on medical school. While attending Clemson, she spent a semester in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. There, she became fluent in Spanish, as well as completed over 120 hours at a clinical internship.

Life for her is not all about relaxing and leisure as many people may think. She spends the majority of her time studying. One reason Ashleigh decided to come to the island for medical school is because of her insatiable love of travel. As a child, her parents spoiled her and her 4 siblings with the experiences of travel over material possessions. She has been all over the US, Caribbean, and even some parts of Asia. She wanted to spend one last part of her life living abroad before she settles into her medical career.

During her free time on the island, however, she loves to explore and hangout with friends, as well as take care of her fur babies, Mango and Remi. She has a soft spot for the stray dogs on the island and always goes out of her way to feed them and do what she can. She loves to cook and experiment with new recipes. Ashleigh also loves to write on her personal blog, She is also a student blogger for the Merck Manuals Med Student Stories site. She loves to write because it gives her a creative outlet to share information with her readers.

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3 thoughts on “My Sun Sets to Rise Again

  1. I too live on a small rock in Mexico called Isla Mujeres (the island of women) off the coast of Cancun. I begin every day sitting on my front porch with my cup of coffee looking out over the caribean and witnessing the majesty of the start of a new day and everyday I say thank you for this new day this new beginning and I count my blessings. I consider myself fortunate and know I must do something each day to pay it forward.

  2. it is not an accident that we built our island house so that its main deck and rooms face the west –sunset over the sea and that we lived on Sunset Drive in Eugene for about 20 years and then moved to Sunset Drive in Springfield where we still have a home when we’re not on our rock. Sunsets –and sunrises — do create wonders!

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