Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm breaking my back but it's all good

My latest line has been that, if you catch me in September, you'll find a very relaxed and well-adjusted person. One of my more blatant lies, or delusions, depending on who it is exactly I am trying to kid. Medical school, and disturbingly enough, yes, the entire process of medical training (and possibly medicine as a career) is a series of hoop-jumping exercises. Take this test, pass this rotation, apply to this, interview for that. Boxes must be ticked, deadlines must be met. It seems interminable, and in some ways it is interminable, which can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow. But, on the other hand, I'm told that one becomes more accustomed to it over time.

Your fourth year of medical school, I am told, is supposed to be some golden, magical time though. Once you've cleared the more unwieldy points, it is supposed to be all relaxation and a time to recover from some of the rigors of third year as well as a time to hibernate before the terror of internship besets you.

STB, aka my sort-of-bf-person-I-don't-know-don't-ask-me, was telling me the other day that he dislikes this year of medical school. He likes having work to do, feeling useful, knowing that what he is doing is serving something besides himself. It is probably one of the many reasons we have gotten ourselves into this mostly pleasant mess. I know what he means. I felt far more content a month ago, when I was working in the hospital and was actually useful to the fellows and residents, than now, when I have a break to study for yet another stupid standardized test.

And I know that, for all my talk, come September, I will fill all kinds of things into my free time. Research projects, teaching projects, baking projects, knitting projects and (yes, worst of all) relationship projects. And I seem to have a knack for making even the most universally acknowledged blow-off rotations into something I take seriously. I don't have it in me to be a slacker in the hospital, which is probably why I ultimately belong there. And moreover, I think I'm just not someone who is content to coast along at one level. Despite how stressful and aggravating it can sometimes be, I think it's ingrained, this need to keep pushing.

The only thing I have managed not to push, miraculously enough, is STB. Once I realized that I had no need to be with him, suddenly everything was a lot less complicated. I am still not over the moon at the idea of becoming attached to someone at a time when everything is transient and everyone is looking to head elsewhere, but these things often have little to do with choice. Still, I feel very confident that I cannot be crushed, at least not in the way I have been in the past. That seems to provide me with a lot of calm.

Also, there is a certain simplicity to it that I can only explain by quoting a middling movie:

Willie: He makes you happy?
Andera: Yeah. I look for that in a man, you know. The ones that make me miserable don't seem to last.
Willie: Right.
Andera: You know, there are four words I need to hear before I go to sleep. Four little words. "Good night, sweet girl." That's all it takes. I'm easy, I know, but a guy who can muster up those four words is a guy I want to stay with.

Go ahead, laugh it up, I acknowledge it's fairly cheeseball. And with that, I return to the drudgery of memorizing a whole lot of minutiae.


fathima said...

i once went to sleep to a text like that. half a year later, and still a a million miles away, he's still the guy i want to stay with.

definitely cheeseball. but there are worse curses.

Smart Aunt said...

true. funny that the girls who have "good night, sweet girl" guys find them boring. it's back to the grass and the deeper further green.