It’s December. The sun is shining but I can’t feel it. I live over the road from the sea but the water feels like it’s a million miles away. My body feels a thousand years old and the baby has been asleep for no longer than an hour at a time over the last few days. My exam notes are on the floor in a corner and I’m staring at the wall, asking my mother, through a veil of coffee-tinged fog, what craziness had entered my head that thought I could sit a five hour written examination with a newborn? My mother shrugs and says “you can spend your whole life waiting for the perfect set of circumstances”.
And there it is, like lightning.
And here I am again, 3 weeks out from exam number 2, horribly horribly behind, with a small baby, the loving and long suffering husband, and us, just us, in our tiny place, with all our family interstate. My colleagues put in hours and hours and I come home to see my little girl who gets a new superpower every day without me being there. She is always happy to see me and my heart lives in various stages of broken.
I cry at work almost daily, mainly out of frustration. Too many patients, not enough time, I don’t really know my colleagues, I have no little group. They walk around the hospital in their study groups, diligently seeing cases. I have no courage. I present cases, I’m told things like “you need to work on your knowledge, your confidence, your face, your eyes, your words”. I cry some more, and keep going. The circumstances are far beyond ideal. I’m incredibly close to failing.
And then I come home, to my loving and long suffering husband, to my smiling baby and my tiny apartment near the sea. I talk to my friends via text because phonecalls in the evening are pointless with a baby and they cheer me on. I think how lucky I am to have everything I have, exam or no exam.
I have the perfect set of circumstances. Maybe not for a huge exam, but I’ll do my best.