Friday, May 4, 2012

Just breathe.

What a month it has been.  I have to remind myself to breathe.  Just breathe.
There are times when I forget that I can do this.  That it won't be too painful. Just breathe.

Those of you who know me probably have realized that I am one of those way too uptight people.  Type A to the max.  This is not always a good thing.  Yes it makes me strong.  But sometimes it gets in the way.  Just breathe.

For nearly all of my life I have been too uptight.  When you pick out your career at age 17 and set forward everything that has to happen to achieve that goal, it probably doesn't help you to live in the moment.  The goal is so far away that you feel if you blink you might lose the way.  So therefore you have to be uptight.

Well at least that is how I approached the goal.  It takes incredible effort for me to relax and enjoy and live in the moment.  Some people are good at bringing that out of me.  But it isn't easy.

When I was in my senior year of college, I began the medical school application process.  My dad died quite suddenly of a heart attack right after I sent my applications in.  I remember him reading to me over the phone the list of medical schools I had applied to.  He wanted to make sure he knew where all the places were.  I believe that was one of my last conversations with him.

After that I decided to delay medical school for a year.  I moved across the country for a guy for a job.  I found myself relaxing.  I had no agenda that needed to be completed in the next year (well other than reapplying for medical school).  It took me a few months, but I relaxed.  I went to work everyday at NIH, I worked as a barista on the side, and then I learned how to have fun in the in-between.

It was an amazing time.  However as the following summer approached, I felt the tension starting to creep back in to my life.  Medical school was rapidly approaching.  I stayed cool for most of the first year.  Some of the second year.  And then third year rotations kicked in and the fun was kicked out of me.

That was 10 years ago.

Not to say that I haven't had fun in 10 years, but I haven't been able to relax in to it like I used to.  I have had moments, but not the months on end where I had found a balance.  Where I could just breathe.

So I am working on that again. The light at the end of the tunnel for my training is approaching.  I am finally reaching the surface of this massive wave I have been under. I have to relearn how to find my balance.

And most of all, I have to relearn how to just breathe.