Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When Will I Be Good?

I really need to just start writing again, it's starting to make me crazy. I know I've said this on the blog before (maybe I need to go back and start reading old posts again) but the best advice/word of warning I received on this journey was "make sure you like the person you become at the end of your training".

Well, I haven't become a maniacal, self-important, egotistical, jerk. Yet. But I have let so many parts of who I am, fall away. I've definitely stopped being a somewhat multidimensional human. I hardly read (for enjoyment) anymore, I don't play music, I don't train physically like I used to. I've basically stopped doing yoga, writing, traveling. I know this is just a residency-routine-rut but it's frightening sometimes to see hobbies and loves that I once had just gradually fade into the distance, and not even (really) notice. I still am excited about medicine, about learning, about getting better, safer, wiser. But I keep coming back to somehow wanting to make sure I do indeed like the person I am becoming. Right now, it's iffy.

There are good things happening too. Very exciting times, even.

Duncan and I got engaged just a couple of weeks ago!

I got the surgical/obsetrics training spot for next year!

I am temporarily back in Ireland for some surgical training with M.C. It's fantastic being back here.
The thing is, because I am now moving towards my surgery and obstetrics training, I feel like I am back at the drawing board. I feel clumsy and hopeless again as a learner. My knots, my draping, my grasping. The simplest things you see surgeons do, then suddenly you're doing it and dammitiwatchedthisa1000timeswhycantidothis basically runs on repeat in your head. It makes me wonder when I will be good? Will I ever be good? Then I try to remember that I am on a much different path and that I will have to forge some of it myself, instead of constantly worrying about my exact endpoint.

So I will close on this perfect Rumi poem. For now. Evidently "Shams" was Rumi's living mentor. Thus, this poem struck very close to home when I read it this week, as my legs are, indeed, feeling heavy. 
Unfold your own myth

Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens the door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.

But don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, so everyone will understand
the passage, We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment of feeling
the wings you've grown, lifting.
View from a hill, on my Sunday walk.


Liana said...

Congrats on getting the R3! And the engagement!

Things will be better once you have the CCFP out of the way.

In terms of when you'll be good... I think something happens once you get to 50 C-sections as primary surgeon. Maybe it's muscle memory, and maybe it's confidence. But I also think "good" is a moving target.

Macha said...

So happy to hear about your engagement and getting the surgery-ob spot. When will you be good? I can remember wanting to fast-forward to 3 years after finishing residency because by then I would be good. Then i got there and yeah, I was pretty good. But "the art is long" and your learning curve may be too. I am STILL seeing things I've never seen before in obstetrics after 1000-plus c/s and many more vaginal births. Expect to be good, keep learning every day, and you WILL be good. And thank you for the update!

Anne said...

Congratulations on all you are accomplishing--and all best wishes to you both on your engagement.
Wonderful to see your post again.


peace said...

Congrats. Always good to read your updates.
Shams by the way mean "sun" in Arabic.
Nice poem.

Albinoblackbear said...

@Liana - Yes, I think things will get slightly more under control when I don't have the exam hanging over me. I agree completely that "good" is a moving target. Perfect way to look at it.

@RuralOB/G - Yes, the art is, indeed, long, which is part of the attraction for me. :)

@Anne - thank you!! x

@Peace - thank you, and thanks for the Arabic lesson!

Just Me said...

Congratulations on your engagement!

I would try to get in the 15 min of blogging (yay for us) or yoga in a week. I see a ton of people finish and realize they have really lost a lot of themselves. 15 min keeps the other parts of you there. Great job on your OB-surg.

L."Wren" Vandever said...

Congratulations on your engagement, ABB! I check back periodically to see if maybe you've surfaced again, and this time you brought a big 'ol smile to my face.

The you that loves to hike and write and work out and listen to music and make music and cook and party and laugh will return when the you that needs to learn to be a doctor is finished with that.

Don't worry. Enjoy Ireland. Enjoy Duncan. Be the you you are. And we'll be here waiting to hear about it.

OMDG said...

Congrats on the engagement and on making it to the next step in your training! You will get up to speed faster than you think. Also, echoing what others have said, getting better is going to be a lifelong process. That is one of the best parts of being a doctor!