Strange days indeed.
Third year of medical school is supposed to be the most difficult one. Even though it is the opportunity to get into the clinics, see patients, figure out what you really want, it is also grueling, exhausting and makes you question yourself and your abilities. Fourth year of medical school, in contrast, is supposed to be the big exhale, the big period of calm and relaxation before the rigors of residency.
I am three weeks into my fourth year, and I haven’t been relaxed. Still, it’s by far the best three weeks of medical school thus far, and it will continue to be a good year, I suspect. Everything starts to fall into place; all the learning starts to come in handy. And most of all, you are more involved in taking care of your patients and talking to families and being an integral part of the team.
So all of that is good, and I should just be content and calm. And a part of me is. But the other part of me is developing a big, horrible ulcer. It is okay though. I have this little trick, and it really comes in handy. I remind myself that, in general, I am happy with the life I lead. When someone comes along and pushes me out of my equilibrium, the set point shifts. But I know, and nowadays it’s not a delusion but the truth, I know that I can go back.
It’s a more powerful thing than I imagined, really being aware that you’ll be okay on your own. I mean, I have known this for a long time. But I haven’t really taken it out for a test drive in a while. Until now.
Relationships (and even typing that word sparked a cringe cringe cringe response down to my bones) are a complicated business. Now I’m not saying I’m in one (because that would cause me to run to the closest bar and drown myself in Grey Goose until my liver was shot), but even entertaining the idea of one is tricky. In some ways, it’s made all the more difficult when the possibilities seem good, seem promising.
And for a tiny bit of time, I thought that I was getting ready for some troubled times. I could feel things crumbling. But then I remembered that I have been standing on my own two feet for some time now. And that no one can pull the rug out from underneath me except for me.
I like earthquakes. I like the ground beneath me crumbling a bit. But I am not going to collapse, not going to dive into an abyss. It’s still a weird feeling, because this is not my usual stable state, not a comfortable feeling. However, I have the oddest sense that everything will be fine- not because I know what is going to happen, but because I know nothing’s going to change my world, if you will.
After next week, my schedule gets pretty sweet, so I’ll be posting more regularly (inspiration willing).