I keep wanting to write ridiculously trite statements about how my professional life is going very well, but my personal life less so. It never seems honest, because the fact is I take my profession very personally.
In my last post, I wrote a statement of some premonition about my life looking very different in a short time. I had no idea how true that would be, or in what ways it would look like such a changed world. It is a strange thing, indeed, when the rug is pulled out from underneath you, when the ground crumbles beneath your feet, but you remain in the very same place, and it was where you wanted to be.
Taking stock of everything now, I find that I am getting by. There were many fits and starts over the past month. I am so excited about starting residency; as frightful as the concept of taking on responsibility for the care of a patient, what a privilege and fortune it is. I do not take that for granted, and for that I am immensely grateful. Getting out of medical school with one's perspective somewhat in tact is, as it turns out, a challenge.
I do not take myself for granted either. It sounds a bit pompous, but I had no idea how strong I really was until the last month. Strength for me has become about more than maintaining a stiff upper lip or seeming unmoved. Those were old coping mechanisms, I had outgrown them. That was no way to live. So, instead, I found strength in getting thoroughly crushed, getting heartbroken but good. There's something strong in it, accepting that kind of overwhelming emotion and pain as part of the spectrum of what is possible, then moving on anyway. It sounds crazy, but I have no regrets.
Also, I have completed medical school feeling very confident about my ability to bake a foolproof chocolate chip cookie. I use more than one variation of a recipe, because it depends on how much effort I want to put into it, but sometimes it is nice to know that, whatever else may come to pass, you can count on butter, brown sugar and flour to do its job.