Sunday, December 27, 2009

one foot in and one foot back, it don't pay to live like that

Phew, it occurred to me that it's been far too long since I've posted. I think it only matters to me, but it troubles me nonetheless. With the holidays and the end of the year approaching, I held a mirror up to what had been going on and realized that it's time to work it all through.

I'm not adept at simply writing: it has been a bad year. The world has been whittled down by whimpers rather than bangs, and the art of losing has become exceedingly easy to master, but that does not really make anything any better. It's, in some ways, seemed like a simple thing. It seems like I've handled it well, losing some of the people that I counted among my closest friends. I didn't fight to keep them. There were no massive blow outs. And once they were gone, it sort of felt as though that was how it was meant to be.

And yet, the voids are there, gaping holes. You could pour water through me these days.

Meanwhile, medical school continues to be this odd mixture of a calling and a clusterf***, quite frankly. There are so many things about medicine to love, and so many other things about medicine to make you wonder why anyone goes into it at all or why someone doesn't just dismantle the system and start over from scratch. This is universally acknowledged to be one of the worst years of one's medical education, so it could just be a temporary issue. There are still plenty of times that I am fully aware that I got exactly what I wanted and that I am quite fortunate to have it.

But at the same time, sometimes you just have to admit the ugly truth, which is that it has just been a miserable, lousy year. It's been exhausting, and it's been lonely. The people I've shoved into the gaping holes don't fit, are bargain stand-in's. A lot of physicians say that you find your people during your clinical rotations, find your tribe, and that's how you know what your specialty will be. I bought into that initially this past year. It wasn't until recently that I truly started to accept the fact that I will never magically find some secret society of like-minded people. And maybe if i did, that wouldn't satisfy me either. After all, some of the dearest friends I have had lacked much in common with me.

So really, I've been spending the close of this year fixated on the concept of healing, which might be a topic for a separate post. I remain hopeful that next year will be a better one. Much to the surprise of most people that know me in real life (whatever that is these days), I am actually irrationally optimistic about how life will turn out. Despite all the data and evidence suggesting otherwise, I prefer to believe in the endless possibilities.

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