So…medical school. It turns out that’s pretty hard. Who knew? And I don’t just mean the learning. Oh god, the learning. So much learning. Which bone goes where, which muscle gets hurt. When you ultrasound, when you X-ray, when you MRI. When you do nothing. When you go to surgery. What kind of fluids you give. Which antibiotics are allowed. Which aren’t. It’s actually never ending. And yet, that’s not what I’m talking about. The hardest part about medical school, at least for me, has been the emotional toll. The stress. The loneliness. The finding of friends, and then the losing of them. The slowly dimming realization that at the end of the day, there are so few people I can rely on, and that really, the only person left, is me. What if I’m not good enough for what I want to do? What if, even if I try my best and try my hardest, I still flop? I’m sure many of my peers will echo these sentiments, to some degree. We all worry about our future, especially those of us at foreign medical schools. The future is scary, there is no doubt. Sometimes it seems like the stress is almost unbearable. There are people I’ve talked to about this, people who I know understand, and for them I am grateful – I know they know what I feel, for they feel the same. The loneliness, the stress, the wonder will I be good enough, where is the light at the end of the tunnel, is there even a light? And then there’s people I wished I could have talked to about this, because I know with their help and guidance, this would have been easier. The lightening of loads, and all that. That’s probably what has made this year so hard – the loss of friendships that I relied on. The loss is felt keenly, but, when all is said and done, we are left with what we have, and we have to pick ourselves up, shake off the dust, and do what we can to succeed. Do our best to achieve our dreams. Friendships and relationships are important, yes – we are by our very nature social, familial, pack animals – but our drive, our effort, our passion all comes from within and from no one else. People can support me, yes, and I don’t discount how important that is, but only I can make my dreams a reality. Only I can be my driving force.
I really do believe this is the dark before the light (literally could I be talking any more like Batman), but I never realized it would be this dark. And damn, everyone I know knows I’m struggling. I have to trust in my decisions, in my choices, in my effort, my hard work, my blood, sweat, tears. For me, that is the absolute hardest part. Not everything I’ve put effort into has worked. Not everything I’ve tried has been a success. I feel like if you start saying things like, I’m owed this, or I deserve that, you start getting into deep water – what is owe? What did you do to deserve this that someone else didn’t?
Sometimes I feel like we are here for a reason. Maybe I was meant to take this path. Maybe I was meant to struggle (seriously all I do is struggle, the struggle is so real sometimes I just can’t even #GettingLostInTheParkadeFor20Minutes). I know that’s superstitious AF, but fine, you caught me. But then other times, I realize how ridiculous that sounds – what is the point of free will, of choice, if everything that is going to happen is already meant to happen and therefore logically will just happen? I go in circles in my mind a lot…and then I tell myself I don’t have time for circles and I need to study ob/gyn. So really, I think the best way forward – the way I aspire to and yet lose sight of all the time – is to just ignore it all. Ignore all the crap, the stress, the distractions. People come, and they go. Mourn them but don’t dwell on it (easy for you to say…). My goal here is not to be everyone’s friend, not to make everyone love me, not to make everyone feel safe or comfortable or help them achieve their dreams. My goal is to be a leader. To know everything I can possibly fit inside my head. To be better than my peers. To help them succeed, of course yes, but not at the cost of my own success. My goal is to become the best f***ing surgeon I can be. Will be. WILL BE. Everything else, is just not as important. This is not a Disney movie. I am not falling for the prince, or the frog, or the knight, or the street urchin. Right now, my career is more important to me. In the meanwhile, I have made important, lasting friendships that I would not give up for anything, but for right now, I come first. This is something I constantly need to remind myself of, so here it is. In writing, no less! I can and will succeed. We will succeed. The light is coming, folks, even thought we can’t see it. The loneliness is real, the struggle is real, but in the end, we shall overcome – this too shall pass. Etc etc.
Over and out,