Good morning my Wild Ones!
“It’s Sunday, July 24. My heart is playing hopscotch around my chest, my pupils are the size of a pen tip, and my top lip quivers as I sweat out the last beads of my sanity onto the surface of my forehead.
After 3 days in medical school, I’m already overwhelmed.
I’ve spent the whole day trying to figure out how to study, yet I am still just as lost as I when I began. Actually, I’m probably a bit more confused. I have tried writing notes, drawing notes, speaking notes, doing flashcards, listening to lectures, and a lot more to no avail. Rather than feeling like I am learning, I feel even more distant from potential success. I am used to at times lacking the motivation to study, but I have never had trouble in the actual act of studying. This honestly made me question myself. This wasn’t some huge soul searching kind of questioning, but I noticed it nonetheless.
7 days later, a lot has changed. I am now a 10 day med student, and I have a few lifehacks to share.
1. Never let your situation alter your identity.
Realize, my friends, that whatever you are going through right now is temporary, a fleeting moment. Whether it be success or failure, nothing lasts forever. In life, you have to determine who you are irrespective of your circumstance. This prevents your identity from being forced into constant oscillation. It is important to know that you are a successful person despite your current failures. It is important to know that you are a good person despite your bad decisions. It is important to know that you are a genius despite your current lack of understanding. I subconsciously started questioning if I have the right kind of genius for medical school. My previously solidified identity said that I did. It said that my intellect was built to understand scientific concepts. It said that my mind was made to take big ideas within the world and understand how the tiny details fit into this picture. My identity told me a lot of things that I started reconsidering.
Major key: Never reconsider your identity because of your situation; instead reconsider your situation because of your identity.
If I know that my brain was made for this, then why should I ever question? My dear wild ones, if your situation and your identity are ever clashing, go with your identity. Your situation will soon follow suit.
2. Every morning is another opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.
This is a phrase that I live by! I have spoken about it before, and I am speaking about it again. It is so easy to get bogged down by yesterday’s failures. So easy to get distracted from your future by your past. But that is the beauty of this quote, if you woke up today, you have a fresh start. When you keep in mind that today’s another opportunity to be better than you were yesterday, you are not bogged down by unrealistic goals. Instead, your primary goal is simply to better than yesterday. If yesterday you sucked, then your goal is even more achievable today. A daily, tiny step in the right direction allows for growth without pressure, and when you look back at where you came from, you will be astonished at how much you’ve grown.
3. Always be true to yourself.
Whenever placed in a new environment, I believe that there is a natural human fear of not being accepted. Everybody wants to be liked (including those not ruled by it). But it is so important to be intentional about being yourself because it matters little if everyone likes you, if you don’t like yourself.”
So that was a post that I started back when I was a 4-day med student, came back to as a 10-day med student, but never had my life together enough to post. Now, I’m a month-and-a-half med student, and I guess that makes this a post within a post. For the past month I’ve been like a little boat that’s afloat, but drifting. I haven’t been doing awful at anything, but I also haven’t been doing great at anything either. If you guys have read my post On Excellence, you’ll understand why this has been particularly frustrating for me.
Recently, there has been a change in the tide, and while I have yet to find excellence in anything, there is definitely some good. I personally attribute most of this change to God, but this Sunday I had an epiphany. I’m not sure if it was art, or the music, or the scents of fresh fruits at eastern market. I realized the importance of
SETTING YOUR SOUL FREE.
Eastern market reminded me that growth both requires and yields freedom.
I realized while there, that I wanted nothing more than to hear my feet pitter as I dance in the middle of a drum circle, nothing more than to sing in the middle of the streets, nothing more than to do cartwheels in grass greener than the leaves of the basil plant I bought there, nothing more than to study. Really study.
But wait, I thought you were trying to set your soul free. Why would you want to study?
Because I can clearly see why I could not achieve excellence or even good for quite a while. I was so wrapped up in my fears of not being successful that it impeded my ability to try. I would start studying and somehow end up within some abyss amid the black hole that is the Internet, or cleaning, or something else. I was so worried about failing that I had trouble even trying.
But right now I’m pledging to myself to give my soul some space to breathe. I will not allow my fears to determine the borders of my potential. I will practice the boldness that is needed for a person with the amazing future that I will have. I will give 100%, and be completely me always. I will not fear the opinions of others. I will dance in drum circles. I will run through sprinklers. I will walk barefoot on cobblestone roads if I feel like. I will let my soul breathe. I will let myself experience. I will never forget to live in life. I will be great. I will be excellent. And I will not accept anything less.
I have to admit the backtracking that I’ve done since moving here, and that’s hard. My biggest disappointment is that I feel less bold, which you guys know is an area that I have been very intentional about growing in. While still down South, I had imagined the excellence that I would achieve here. It’s hard admitting that I haven’t done what I thought I was going to do. But I’ve had a great time since landing in the DMV, and I see nothing but a trend of growth in my future.
Have you let your soul breathe lately? Have you truly been living in your life? Have you allowed fears to deform your excellence into mediocrity? What are your goals? What do you need to do to reach them? Pledge to do those things. Pledge to change what you’re doing wrong. Write them down. Say them aloud. Memorize them. And do everything you’ve pledged to do because you deserve better. You deserve to have your promises kept. You deserve to be a person that keeps promises.
Sending nothing but good vibes,