Saturday, March 7, 2009

Is this what I want?

I don't have a chance to post much anymore but I wanted to take a quick study break and work through a little dilemma I am having.

Mostly right now I am thinking to myself, "is this what I want, is this the place I worked so hard to get to?"  This usually happens right before my tests where I literally spend 16 hours a day studying.  I work to memorize the sublte nuances that differentiate neuropathic and decubitous ulcers staring at some of the most disturbing images I have ever seen (if you want to know what I am looking at, and you aren't too squemish, do a Google image search of necrotizing fascitis).  I think to myself that I really love music and I could have developed that talent.  I remember really liking my business marketing classes.  According to my standardized tests I appear to be all right at English, maybe I should be an author.  In fact most of my life experiences tell me that I am much better at the creative, artistic subjects and that my hard sciences and math are weak comparatively.  For some reason, though, I have been stubborn and focused on science for the past six years.

Then I look at most of the people I know that are getting paid to work and I am incredibly jealous.  My friends are going on vacations, some of them to other continents.  The people I went to school with are getting promotions, buying homes, evaluating stock options, contributing to retirement funds, developing talents, coaching little league teams, watching movies in theaters, going on hikes, and the list goes on and on.  I study, spend a little time with my family, and run with my dog.  That is my whole life.  Every once in a while Melanie and I go out to eat or rent a movie, which is a nice break in the routine but  I get burnt out.  So I ask myself, “is this what I want, is this what I signed up for?”

It is a weird emotion, I have wanted to be a medical student for so long.  It was a secret dream.  When I was in college I wouldn’t tell everyone I wanted to be a doctor because I didn’t want to be embarrassed when I didn’t get accepted.  Becoming a medical student was such a high dream, I was living on the philosophy that it is better to shoot for the stars and miss then aim for the ground and hit.  So I told everyone I wanted to be a pharmacist or a teacher.  I never thought I would make it; so many people told me that I didn’t have a chance.  So I worked so hard, and I prayed so hard, and I got so lucky, and here I am.  Now I have the audacity to ask, “is this what I want?”

I am so thankful for my little family because they help me see that this is what I want.  I often ask Melanie at night before bed if she is happy with this life.  She never hesitates, she smiles and tells me, “ of course.”  Even little Grace supports me, all she wants is for me to play with her a little bit, and once I come home she needs me to stay home.  I can be studying in another room  just as long as she knows I am still in the house.  If I try to walk out the door she throws a little fit.  Then my dog Carmen doesn’t let me take my life too seriously.  When I start getting frustrated with what I am studying she usually brings me a ball or puts her head in my lap.  We go on our runs at night and she treats me like I am some sort of celebrity every time I come home.

I would be lying if I said that I love medical school, but I do love what it is helping me become.  My life is close to perfect;  it is just this med school thing that gets me down every now and again, and I know I can get through it.  So when I question whether or not I want this, I know that I want this life.  So I should get back to studying, thanks for reading my internal dialogue as I convince myself to get back to work, I have a lot of work to do.

6 comments:

Brewer Family said...

Ben,
Check this post out on Medscape. http://boards.medscape.com/forums?128@422.XocwagwccFR@.29efa5eb!comment=1 You aren't alone. I have wondered at times to. I always told everyone growing up that would never be a doctor. It had no appeal and I hated the idea of rote memorization for anatomy. I have often wondered if I should have just done engineering because I love physics or stuck with studying other cultures and languages. But I am glad I am here and I am glad that you are here! It will be worth it in the end.

Jessica said...

Ben! We love you and are so excited that you're becoming a doctor. We all reach points in our lives where we say "is this what I want?" Happens with motherhood quite often. So don't feel like you're alone in that category.

jamieschip said...

Ben, I loved your post. It was so raw, so real. I think it's healthy to reflect like this instead of just mindlessly going through life without much thought. I promise it will make med school graduation that much sweeter. You will make a great doctor and with Melanie by your side (supporting you the way she does) you can't go wrong. Take care, friend.

Ksenia said...

Ben, how awesome that you had so many choices, so many talents. You could have been a teacher (not a bad option :), a musician, an author, and so on. I think that part of what excites you about science is the challenge. It's likely that if you chose another path and it was really easy for you, then you wouldn't be happy with it.

I can really appreciate how hard you've worked -- I've seen some of it first hand. And I think that it is a great testament of your character.

Also, I agree with Jessica, we all question who we are and what we do. Probably more often than once.

M-GemBlaisdell said...

Go Ben! I echo all these great comments. I especially love how "raw and real" this post was.

I can't wait until the day that you and Matt are finally big time doctors living in your big mansions (in Hillsboro). Then you guys can buy a big venue and play at it all the time. Maybe you could let Lindsey pool open for you a few times. Until then...join my music blog! Get noticed by Neil Patrick Harris!! That boy has connections.

Zach said...

wow. necrotizing fascitis is awful. i don't think i even want to know how you get that.

I had the same feelings as I was going through school and seeing friends moving on with their lives. I have accumulated less assets but accomplishing my goal of gaining an educationa and putting it to good use has been quite fulfilling.

One thing I have found since joining the workforce is there are many opportunities to take the skills and raw talents that you have acquired or have a passion for and use them on the path that you have chosen. Your multiple interests will serve you well in providing balance when necessary.

please avoid catching that necrotizing fascitis stuff, and get back to hillsboro soon so we can make up for all that time we should've been hanging out when you were living here last year.