05 April 2013

sad stories

i am absolutely due for a post about the epic vacation henry and i took last month to barcelona, madeira, the canary islands, and malaga. it was legendary and relaxing. i felt like a normal (okay, extra-rich special normal) person for a little while and had some time to relax and pursue goals which was a rich blessing i can't figure out how to articulate quite yet. more soon. 


i'm writing today because i had an epiphany, and i often don't know how to express myself fully other than in writing. i am fortunate that despite the 110% of my job that involves face-to-face patient care, i also do a lot of writing (and secretly really enjoy it). it's also dawned on me over the years that i have a hard time opening up to other people in person about things that are really important to me (i seem to have no trouble jabbering endlessly about superficial matters) secondary to my extreme insecurity that i will either be 1. judged, or worse, 2. ignored. writing takes some of this anxiety out of my disclosures and thus here we are. 

"are we killing time while these days unwind?  
we can't see past our own sad stories 
and wonder what we're missing."
.patrick park. from here we are

my epiphany came to me, as many do, through the lyrics of a song blaring through my ear buds through my iphone on the C train to work. i recently heard this song on a pandora station, bookmarked it, later downloaded it, and it came on unexpectedly when i was in a contemplative mood. mr park starts the song in saying: "here we are with burning skin, where we've always been" and goes on to the chorus that i've typed above. although i've thought some permutation of this chorus quite often, i finally GOT IT on the train. 

being busy, being in residency, doing what your version of 'residency' is for you -- it's miserable because you're dog tired and overworked but also because you're missing out on LIVING. it's miserable because it forces you to become painfully selfish and the self who you are focusing so intently on is exhausted and uninteresting. it's circular, nauseating, and painful. you isolate yourself from interesting. you isolate yourself from confidence. you become a slave to your own insecurities and are further driven by them to work harder, all the while isolated from the (relatively) sane world around you. you become isolated from the love you desperately need to both give and receive. at one point in the song:

"we've given new names
to our hopes and our pain
but love just gets harder to find" 

i get glimpses of love and caring at work in the context of my ability to be people's doctor. i find this the redeeming quality of my job and of residency. it's one of the reasons i came to the intense program that i'm in now: i am able to take care of underserved, unloved people who need unconditional care. i recently realized these small glimpses of love make me that much more homesick to return to living in the non-residency, non-busy world and be able to shed the selfishness that i've clung to with this schedule and pour out love on everyone around me and really listen. 

i'm ready to stop singing the chorus of my own sad stories. i do wonder what i'm missing -- and sometimes get a glimpse of it -- and long for it to return. here's to one more year of residency. cheers!

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