Monday, July 23, 2007

Road Epiphanies

I was cruising down the road, soaking up the scenery and local color, and I realized how much I loved my current freedom. Being self-employed meant I could take a week off – unlike Matt, and it’s HIS car! – and even extend my trip a few days just because I was having so much fun.

Then I started thinking about med school, and how it would negate that freedom for the next 7 years. Worse, it would take mine just as Matt was recovering his. That made me reexamine my original reasons for wanting to get that MD. There are 4 big ones:

1) Medicine is fascinating! I love learning about physiology.
2) My worst nightmare has always been missing a diagnosis on a patient. Back pain can be a pulled muscle… or a kidney infection, or bone cancer. I wanted to be able to identify the true cause of problems.
3) I wanted lots of money so we can travel the world and have funky cars.
4) I had a problem being the “doctor’s wife.” My ego wanted a title of my own.

Once I examined these reasons closely, I came to some interesting discoveries.

1) Matt & I always discuss our cases, and we have bookshelves of texts. There’s nothing stopping me from learning.
2) I know enough now to catch red flags. I may not be able to diagnose, but I don’t think I’m going to let something slip by without a referral.
3) We’re already doing that! And on an anemic budget, too, thanks to some creative financing. Once residency is over, Matt’s income will triple. And of course I’ll have my practice. I don’t need millions. If I can do one big trip a year that’s good enough for me.
4) I don’t know when it happened, but sometime over the past year I grew up. I’m over the ego thing. Maybe it’s because I got that silly 35 on the MCAT – proof positive that I could have done it if I wanted to. But I think it’s more that I just love my life so much that the status is irrelevant.

So… no med school for me. This means I can stop waiting for my life to start – I can throw myself into my practice and take care of my body, house, husband, etc. I can learn about lighting in photography, and maybe even make a Fair Isle sweater. I can study advanced acupuncture (5 Elements!) and spend time snuggling on the couch.

I feel more relaxed, now. How about you?


emma said...

Glad to know you make it back safe and sound.

deb said...

That's great! It's always helpful to figure out what you really need and how to get it. I think you've made a very wise decision!

Annie said...

How Freeing!! I've always been Impressed by what you've accomplished in your life and wondered why you needed med school too. LOL
Come back and visit us often.

Charles Thomas said...

Aren't epiphanies grand? said...

I'm so with you - good for you for finding the balance in your life. I gave up the ego trip big agency life for freelancing and haven't looked back since. Best move I ever made.

Your MOM said...

Dear Sharon,

I'm so proud of you! You are now truly inner-directed and taking charge of creating a life that expresses your greatest loves and values. Way to go!
Your MOM

knottykitty said...

That's awesome that you came to those realizations and be free! For me, waiting to do or complete something later feels like an overcoat I can't take off, no matter what I'm doing in the present. You took off the overcoat and can now run through the sprinklers! Sounds like a great plan!

It was great to see you last week, especially since I didn't know you were going to be there! :)

Sharon Rose said...

Thanks, everyone! I love you all! *hug*

Ken said...

Wow! What an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I love the overcoat and sprinklers analogy! Sharon, you are brilliant and med school or no med school won't change that. Personally, I'd rather you have the freedom to spend time with your friends and family over the next several years. Selfish, I know ;-)


Uncle Ray said...

Hi Sharon,

Your Dad sent me the address of
your blog and was really happy to
hear about your decision about med

I just read all of the comments from your friends, and I could try
to say something intelligent to add, but they've said it all.
You've obviously made the right

Hope to see you soon, either in VA
or Phily (I feel like we are neighbors now).


Uncle Ray