Friday, January 25, 2013

Year off (for reals!)

Remember THIS post?
About my year off?

Well, after seeing the thinly veiled panic in my friends' and family's eyes
when I told them I was taking a year off
in medical school,
I decided to finish medical school.

And THEN take a year off!

Medical school has been hard for me.
I know, I thought medical school was supposed to be easy too!
Such a shock!

But seriously, it's been hard beyond the endless hours of studying
and the 24-hour shifts.

It's been hard to find my place
in this system.

 Which makes me question,
my place in this system.

With that Saturn energy pumping,
I decided that I really needed to take a step back.

My life has been very wonderfully planned,
from high school
to college
to a stint in NYC 
to traveling before medical school,
(but really always knowing I was going to medical school)
to 4 years of torture medical school.
The next logical step is residency.

I had one foot hovering over that next step on the path,
with my letters of recommendation
and a draft of my personal statement
for residency applications,
when I decided not to apply.

I know this isn't a huge deal.
The world is wide.
And there are many lives to lead.
But sometimes your world gets so small,
you only see that next step,
and to not take it feels overwhelming.

Plus it is unimaginably awkward to tell
type A physicians who are grading you,
that you are taking a "year off"
and that 
you have no idea what you're doing with it.
Lots of blank stares with that one, man.

I've always been a big fan of the whole
"follow your heart"
But I want to clear the air...
That is not always an easy decision!

Lovely little things like doubt/fear/guilt sneak in and whisper...
how are you going to afford that?
so many people would kill to be in your position and you're going to waste it?
why do you think you deserve this?
what are you going to do?
don't you think you're just wasting time?
don't you have soul-crushing amounts of student loans?

But I can tell you,
when you stop listening to those voices
and make the decision your heart is begging for...
all you feel is...

So, I still have no definitely answers to the questions above.
But I'm only on this earth once,
and I certainly don't intend to let it pass me by.

Right now, I'm dreaming up plans for this year off.
 And it feels magical.
There is so much beauty in this life,
and so much more to it than 9-5, grades, and hanging on.
So feel free to dream with me.
What would you do with a year off?
I'm open to suggestions!

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver

Photos: Pinterest


  1. Magical! Hooray! I don't know what I'd do with a year off. Drive all over the country seeing places and friends and family and sharing stories I guess... Go hole up somewhere remote for a while and finish some projects, or just think/be/sit. Try not to worry about how my year off is ticking away, since I tend to do that! Can't wait to hear what you'll get up to :)

  2. Ha, KP, those are exactly the things I have in mind too! Thinking summer roadtrip with trailer and adventures and maybe fall holed up in a cottage in Ireland? Wanna come?

    Mars, I think one of my goals is to be more like you in the year off. No five-year plans allowed. :)

  3. To Ireland....yes please!! I know you will choose wisely...and whatever you do choose will be so worthwhile...exciting times ahead! X