A moment.

I’ve held myself back from writing for a little while.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been itching to write a new blog post. I’ve had the same conversations several times; however, I haven’t taken the time to actually sit my busy (and lazy) *censored* down and write. I didn’t know how or where to start, or if I could figure out a coherent way to express this. So away with the perfectionism…I’ll just keep on typing, keep on typing…*Dory voice*

I’ve grown up so much over the past 7 months or so. My thinking, the way I spend my time, the qualities I’ve grown to admire, have all shifted and become more cemented in my mind. I can’t really put a finger on it or why this maturity has happened so quickly. But I’ll just let my thoughts flow.

Back story: A couple weeks ago, I went to a small party and a group of us early to mid 20-year-old’s were talking about the type of people we’d date or not, what their hard yes’s or no’s would be in terms of relationships, etc. And I’m a very situational thinker (probably a consequence of my indecisiveness and tendency to overthink lol), so it wasn’t easy for me to say “I’d never date a guy without a car” as it was for others, for example. In my mind, it’s always “well, what if we’re living in New York” or “what if it recently got stolen.” Lol this is a silly example, but this casual conversation got me thinking about what my definite standards would be in a future relationship. And thinking harder about that, I realized my values aren’t confined to the bounds of romance; I found trends that relate to the way I see life as a whole now and the (professional and personal) woman I hope to become, probably due to my new training in medicine. And so now here I am, expressing the things I’ve come to learn and value and become certain about in my own life (and refuse to compromise on):

  1. Valuing Time: I. Am. Always. Busy. Literally. Always. If I’m ever taking a nap, or relaxing on the beach, or writing a blog post (haha) it’s not because I don’t have anything to study, lol trust me. But it’s because I’ve found that time is the most precious thing we all have and the most awful to have regret lost. I don’t want to wake up one day at 70 years old, regretting spending too much time away from the things (or people) I find enjoyable and worthwhile. Making time for that hour in the gym, or spending an evening having dinner with my family, is never something I regret or wish I had spent cooped up in the library instead (no matter what my grades reflect, lol *issa joke*). Studying is essential for medical school, no doubt about it. Loving, and playing, and eating good food is essential for life. There’s no way for me to live a full life compromising on either. And so, the people I surround myself with (must) realize the same. Time is all we have. We make time to spend time, because relationships are important. By the same token, my loved ones know that when I’m in school mode, I am completely in school mode. Hate to break it to ya, but multitasking isn’t a real thing (something I know but still try to prove otherwise), so now I’m intentional about being present in all that I do (a practice I hadn’t really lived out before). Living every moment through, minimizing distractions, and giving attention…full attention…is what it all boils down to. I’m learning that I hope to develop into the physician who gives true attention to my future patients when I’m with them— not being caught up in the hustle and bustle of technology and random thoughts and strict scheduling. Even now, it’s as simple as not being on the phone while speaking to someone in-person. It makes a difference. Try it.
  2. Valuing the Woman: Double standards suck. Whether it’s expectations in the workplace, or the home, or sex, or unrealistic standards of beauty, I’ve grown a firm belief in treating women as HUMAN BEINGS first, and not a secondary sex. Just as a man has the right to stand his ground, and make decisions for himself without much scrutiny, a woman should and can have the same. For instance, the climb up the professional ladder should not be more difficult for a woman who compromises her health to bring life into the world (because face it, the mother-infant relationship is often not mutually beneficial). The exact mechanism by which MEN were brought into the world to accomplish the things they have, is the exact thing they use as a reason to pay women less or not give the same opportunity for work. Absurdities. Absolute absurdities. AND THEN, when a woman takes (or attempts to take) control of her own body, she is shamed or experiences additional barriers to healthcare. None of this makes any sense to me (and of course there are so many other examples I could throw into the conversation about inequality and discrimination and shame and misogyny and just flat-out WRONGFULNESS). As a medical student (which carries its own privileges), I don’t often experience the barriers that I know some of my future patients will, and therefore, this drives me to be a voice for the unheard (or blatantly ignored). I could make this it’s own post to be honest, but I think you get the idea. As such, hoping to be a future advocate through my career, I’ve determined I cannot a) be with someone who doesn’t believe the same (because hello, I’m a woman and I’ve been on the receiving end of this too) or b) feed into detrimental societal standards/expectations by being a woman who doesn’t support other women and their choices (wake-up call: men aren’t always the enemy—women are often harder on each other than anyone else). *Take note: I avoided the “f” word because it tends to scare people away, but I mean, hey…feminism at its finest*
  3. Realizing A Purpose: The typical 22-year old does not bear the weight of learning medicine and the implications that has on the lives of others. And I don’t know that someone should necessarily be put in this position so young. It’s a large, heavy load. But just like everything else in life, there are pros and cons. In undergrad, passing classes was about having a good GPA and earning that degree. Now, learning the material (or not) has much heavier consequences. Knowing what to prescribe, avoid, and advise is no longer solely for my own understanding. And for me, this experience has probably had the greatest effect on what it means to live in and on purpose. Some people I know, my age and even much older, only look for the money. And money is important, it can dictate your living standards, health choices, educational opportunities, etc. But the pursuit of something greater than oneself brings inexplicable gratitude, humility, and its own set of challenges. I wish everyone the blessing of discovering what their purpose is, and not being blinded by what looks good and shiny and fancy (a trend exacerbated by this new social media thing). For me, medicine is special because it affects everyone. The richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor; disease knows no boundaries. (Although health disparities are very real and topic for another conversation). Watching an upper-class, wealthy woman deal with a devastating diagnosis of cancer (amongst all the other overwhelming feelings I experienced) reminds me that money is not everything, and truly does not always bring happiness or protect from tragedy. What is it about you, or what you do, that will outlive your mortality? I don’t have it all figured out for myself by any means. I’m still putting my own pieces together. But now that I’m in school, the value of pursuing a calling, and not just a career, is more striking to me than ever before.

That’s all I have for now. The things I’ve learned, and grown into, and look for in others. I am much more intentional about pursuing valuable relationships in my life, and working to maintain them. I am also a better listener, above all else. This whole experience is really something else. It forces you to dig deeper— into others and yourself.

Until next time.

Peace & love (& growth & introspection),

“The I.T. Factor”

Future Badass MD

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