9 years ago my husband and I got in an old Magna and moved our entire lives to this state so I could go to medical school. That day, driving away from my childhood home is forever etched in my memory. It was burning hot, and as we drove away I cried and told him to turn the car around. I couldn’t imagine a world without my whole life in it.
How do I put 9 years of my life into a blog? How do you even begin? All I know is that the pace of my life increased a thousand percent and didn’t stop until now, 9 years later. Years and years of the most amazing journey that’s shaped the person I am today, so profoundly different from the one that arrived. 9 years of the most solid friendships I’ve ever made. Transitioning from terrified arts grad through the incredibly rigorous physician training program to the mostly self-assured doctor that I am today. I have my moments. I have a million photos of the things I’ve done. I have the scars from the tragedies that have fallen in the duration, and the strengthening of those friendships as a result. The beliefs I entered with are not the same as the ones I exited with. That breathtaking naivety that you enter medical school and internship with, that you have to enter with otherwise you would never survive, replaced with a gravitas that comes from the things you have seen and a gentle patience for that breathtaking naivety in your juniors that you cultivate for as long as humanly possible.
How do I describe that life in which I had a baby, the one that came at the end of a rainbow, who irrevocably took my heart and put it outside of me in the form of fat little arms and legs? Who slept while I studied and cried while I slept? Who broke my heart with every 15 hour shift, endless weekend and evening teaching, and those single days off where I was torn between wanting to sleep so hard and being with her?
How do you put a decade into a single post? I don’t think you can.
And here I am, in my final 15 hour shift as a basic physician trainee, in my last ever shift at this hospital that I’ve been at for 3 years, the hospital that broke me and reshaped me over and over. The residents are buzzing about the wards, I’ve got some downtime after seeing some very sick patients. That panic that used to consume me at arrest calls replaced with that sense of calm that comes with experience. That knowledge that there’s always someone you can call, and the sense of achievement you get when you lose the fear of calling anyone! I feel no fear about starting advanced training. I should. But after everything, god, after everything that has happened, I have no fear left. I’m here to learn my craft. I’m here because I want to be.
Right now I’m wrapping up my last ever med reg job. I’m moving interstate. I’m sorting out daycare. Reading my orientation timetable. And I’m saying goodbye to this wonderful state that has given me so very very much. There are no better friends than the friends I have. No better job. No better husband and no better child. I’m exhausted from a sick daycare petri dish baby, I’m not sure when I last washed my hair, and my husband and I haven’t had a moment alone since before she was born and my house would almost qualify as squalor but, here I am, okay with it all.
Through it all, like golden threads woven through my time, shine my incandescent friends with whom we have laughed and cried every step of the way. Thankyou so very very much.