Medicine Under the Moon
Yikes! it’s been a long time.... I mean I’m always expressing something or updating in some way or another but... this. This is just a journal, and I have not just journaled to journal in quite some time. School has been busy (yea i know right? What else is new?)
Well, I took my board exam, got scores back, did well and then literally let go of that moment. I’ve applied to residency and spent all the money doing so. Interview season is here, and life (with regards to school) is moving forward and moving fast. This isn’t a complaint just a quick summary of the last few months regarding career. Things have been so crazy I have managed to neglect (unintentionally) a lot of people and am happy to have some free time back in my schedule to remedy that.
I used this weekend to visit my best friend and I could write another book’s worth of journals about her and the nature of our relationship. Our friendship allows for so much honesty and vulnerability and it’s pretty much always been that way which never ceases to be incredible to me. She is the epitome of family and a significant other but like in a friend? Any who as I said we are a whole book and tv show that you’d want to subscribe to but that’s a story for another time. We spent the weekend resting a majority of the time. Friday was a day of slow movement, morning walks, and then the most unexpected life altering massages of my life.
We went to wellness foot spa and it looks like the place you agree to go to because it’s cheap and you expect and okay massage which we were okay with. But. Let. Me. Tell. You. Something.
These people worked out every soreness, every negative feeling or thought, EVERYTHING. We got 30 minute foot massages and then 40 minute full body. The hands of these people, so strong yet so soft. I talk about treating myself a lot but I am not exaggerating when I say... I STILL can’t believe I let messed have that, that i gifted that experience to myself, that I could feel so changed inside and out by these massages. I’ve had massages before but I have never felt the way I did that afternoon, and I believe with all my heart everyone should get to feel that way.
After massages we got our cute little matching tattoos because we love each other. AND we got them by an old friend from my high school, which made the time there even more special. (Noble Jackals Tattoo!) I’m so thankful to have visited Aaron and support his business while having a bonding experience with my best friend. I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter moment.
That day ended with champagne and twilight.
Saturday. The main event.
Another slow morning and afternoon, ran a few errands, ate some bomb pizza!! (praise).... and soon enough it was time to get ready for the Halloween party. There had already been a lot of talk about this party. It’s annual but I’ve never gone and was excited to see familiar faces but aware there would be an equal number of unfamiliar faces. It was a full moon, my friends and I looked amazing, and the night was underway.
Everything was beautiful. It was a fun and cool evening with a dj and HEATERS outside (I’m easily impressed and excitable about these things). Everyone there was beautiful, kind, sweet, inviting. The assortment of costumes was so friggin spectacular; people truly had so much fun with it and it made for great conversation (and pictures). A couple hours into the party I made my way inside the home to browse and mingle. I met some friends of friends and eventually some friends of those friends. One of those friends of friends of friends, happened to be a very nice guy. I didn’t think much of the initial interaction, it was very “two (nice) people meeting at a party with no mutual friends”. And that was all that happened at that point. I left my post in the house shortly after that to see some more folks, chat with some more folks, take more photos, change out of my heels, grab my coat back, dance to wap... etc etc etc
The night went on, no less fun or stimulating. I found myself back in the house, hanging in the kitchen, chatting with a few folks. One of which eventually was the “nice guy”. My best friend had announced my board exam news (cause she proud or whatever) and that launched this conversation between the “nice guy” and myself about school and work. I’m pretty transparent, I don’t have a problem opening up, least of all to strangers but it became very evident that I was far more vulnerable than I would ever have chosen to be about things I specifically don’t tell anyone.
This year has been interesting to say the least, in fact it’s been downright spirit altering, anxiety inducing, a true trial and tribulation. My conversation with this man, started as “what specialty are you applying? Where are you hoping to end up?” (shit everyone asks, shit you’ll tell anyone). I can’t speak on the time that passed because I literally lost track of it all when I started crying. YES. Crying. Not nasty crying but I was tearfully honest. Very classy. The one to two tears dropping at a time but it’s under control type of cry. He asked me what I wanted out of life/medicine. He asked me what I really wanted to do for people. And I told him what I truly think and feel versus the superficial answers you give people who don’t truly understand what your experiencing as a medical student.
He acknowledged that no one can really understand the experience we have as medical student, residents, doctors. I admitted that I sometimes get frustrated with people for not understanding when I know in my heart that it’s not their fault... They are not living my experience. They can’t really know what I’m going through and it’s okay... but I’m human and my flaw is internally being upset by this. I’ve never expressed this externally, ever before this moment. And honestly it sucked to say it out loud knowing it was true because there’s so much cognitive dissonance regarding that. I told him how I love my big brother, how I’m so thankful we have each other to talk to about pursuing this career together but when I feel most lonely, I envy my brother’s medical school experience because to me (on the outside) it seems to be so much more pleasant, less lonely, full of people/life compared to mine. I admitted how it feels like he gets celebrated for every little thing in his pursuit of medicine (which men do and are celebrated more than women) but that kind of jealousy is so not me or what I want to feel. That kind of envy preys on the discouraged and isolated, and it will steal your joy. I’ve done my best to not even admit these feelings to myself and there they went flying out of my mouth (with tears of course).
We discussed healthcare disparities and LORDT you know that had me tearing up. It’s like I would pull myself together and then boom, we would land on another heart wrenching topic but in a good way. He spoke with so much passion and sincerity about impacting people's lives through his work which was really moving. I liked that we weren’t "messy/sloppy" or mood killers, we were two people having our own very weighty and passionate conversation about what is real to us. And there were laughs interspersed but it was a lot of spilling of the guts and saying, you know it’s okay to be upset AND passionate AND frustrated AND at times, discouraged but... then he says “you’re so close... you’re almost there”.
These words... Hearing these words after all the truths, all the discussion, all the emotions were so impactful. They’re not even all that special and to be honest, people who know me, love me, and support me have said variations of this to me. But something about this long lived interaction we were having just touched my heart and my spirit in a way I didn’t know I needed and a way I could have/would have never thought might happen.
Okay here comes the sort of cringy part (for me)... This was all night, my whole night was this conversation and interaction.... and I felt so grateful for it that I was struggling to reconcile in my head, how to acknowledge my gratitude in a real way. So of course, I just ask to be “friends in real life” (aka social media which isn’t real life) and leave it at that. I walk away (somewhere) and stew in great dissatisfaction. Waiting on the Uber with my friends, it says it’s 20 minutes away.
20 minutes away?! Y’all, I was sitting by the fire outside literally STEWING IN DISSATISFACTION! So I got up and went inside and asked a friend of his for advice on what to do about said dissatisfaction. Yea I’ve said “dissatisfaction” a lot... because it’s the only sufficient word and I know at least one of you knows this feeling! So anywho, I’m asking for advice.... I get the advice.... then I am stuck in my most awkward state, struggling to articulate a feeling, and putting myself out there (face to face at this point I might add). I used to be un-phased my such actions as this but I have become very uncomfortable approaching men let alone making initiating statements regarding my feelings (thank you 2020). So the words stumble out as one friend tells me the Uber is here and another is blowing up my phone to say the same.
What happened that night, and I mean every second of that interaction from the beginning to the very end is unprecedented for me. I said things out loud I was certain I’d never admit or share, which I’m not mad about. I’m uncomfortable and slightly bothered but I know that what came out was emotionally necessary. I’ve never once asked to kiss a man before or felt so at a loss on how to handle a situation in which I felt so grateful for a truly human to human connection. I still cringe about my awkwardness, but I don’t regret a single second of the evening.
(despite sending a literal apology for it the next morning... idk why. Women be like this sometimes, and it's ridiculous.)
Actually I’m going to spend another minute of your time on that because I truly do hate that we do apologize so quickly to people for moments in which we are ourselves. For me I think I apologized because I equated how uncomfortable I was (in those last few minutes of me trying to get words out) with embarrassment. So I was in part apologizing for me and then in part apologizing to him because I can’t speak on how okay he actually was with all of it.
I can only speak for my experience and what I believe to be true about his and I believe the interaction was mutually enjoyable. Maybe not as meaningful for him, maybe not all that comfortable for him in the end... I have no idea and I won’t have any idea. For all I know he could have been like wow this girl really monopolized my night with her feelings lol. Maybe he was JUST being a “nice guy”. I’m not sure, and I really don't believe in my heart of hearts that's the case, but that’s what led to the knee jerk apology... which after a couple hours I realized I didn’t even mean it. I had and have no reason to be sorry. Ladies (and perhaps some gentleman) if this is you, stop apologize for your moments of truth, awkwardness or even joy. You are you, and it shouldn’t be so easy for us to interpret that as a bother to others.
I am still processing the impact of it all but I feel no less thankful for the communication we had. If anything, I think Iam becoming more and more grateful for it with time. I truly feel changed by it...almost as if it helped get me a step closer to who I was before the various obstacles and mistakes of this year sort of warped me into a somewhat unrecognizable version of myself.
Humans will surprise you, friends. And to the medical students out there, these feelings you have, the awful habit of comparison from time to time when your feeling discouraged... it happens and it’s okay... but... but... you’re close, getting closer each day you wake up and keep going, and you’re almost there. Keep pushing and be the kind of doctor who will remind students behind you that they will be okay.
Friends in all walks of life, don’t wait for a kind stranger to admit your truths, but if that’s how it happens that’s how it happens, so don’t apologize for it either lol.
The Third Voice