Remembering why you started is not enough

(December 26, 2020)

“You have demonstrated achievement of learning outcomes.” “Very good!” “Excellent!”

Reading those words after taking an exam would bring relief after days of hardwork. But sometimes, those words mean nothing when you are already in the business of just showing up to your responsibilities.

Photo by Gilberto Olimpio on Unsplash

In a few hours, I will start working on my unfinished requirements for the sem. I have only rested for two days and I have seen this month the worst in my medschool journey — studying nephrology for only 3 weeks with tons of requirements. And no, I am fine. I have chosen this path and it is no surprise that it is difficult. And not only is it difficult to prepare for every multiple choice exam, participate in every small group discussion, and beat the deadline of every case analysis, but studying medicine is carrying my own cross of answering the question “Am I good enough?”

I cannot simply brush it off — dreams and lives are at stake. They say that studying medicine is investing your life in someone else and maybe living a life of service is among the highest virtues. But life is not simply “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” Because even with a long list of whys, there would be days where my whys and dreams are not sufficient.

But I want to highlight my appreciation for those people who check in on me; those who remind me about my identity and it is okay to not be perfect; those who help me sort out my thoughts and feelings when I could not; those who patiently listen to my long rants; those who ask me good questions; and those who challenge me to do my best. When my mind says “I am not good enough” even my scores and grades say otherwise, others would ground me with the objective truth. When my whys and dreams did not have enough gravity to hold me together, their time, attention, and words have helped me pull myself out of the dark place. Their love has kept me going.

Days are long but years are short — it has been three sems and I am now 30% MD! And I get past each day in toil and pain or in laughter and hope because I am blessed to be surrounded by people who motivate, inspire, and encourage me.

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