Happy Monday all! Sorry I've been a little MIA - things have been crazy (although crazy seems to be the new norm) getting ready to start intern year - we just wrapped up orientation last Friday and today is my first day! More like tonight is my first day, since I start on night float! A little terrifying, but then again every first day is!
But new job aside, today I wanted to talk about something that I've been getting emails about nonstop - planning your life. It's all too easy to look at somebody who is now at Point G and assume they've had it all planned out that way since Point A. People look at the graduation photo with N, me and Liv and assume we got there in some linear fashion - wrong! Now don't get me wrong, I've always known I wanted to be a doctor, to be a wife, to be a mother, and more, but I really think people (especially young women) need to be a little easier on themselves when it comes time to getting those "boxes" checked off.
Now the medical school part, that obviously takes a lot of planning. And that is where all of my focus went throughout college (I went to Smith College by the way, have been getting lots of questions about that too lately)! At that time I had a boyfriend (a horribly controlling emotionally abusive coward of a man who I spent seven years with and have never ever mentioned on this blog until now) but was never worried about the marriage and kids part, those would come on their own time. My days were spent carefully planning out my time between a full-time course load, 2-3 jobs, and hanging out with my girlfriends. Thankfully I finally got out of my crappy relationship (after finally escaping off to Europe for a month) just in time for the next milestone - graduating college and starting medical school!
By the time I started medical school I was fresh into a new relationship too (this time with a friend from high school who I reconnected with shortly after college). But the goal at this time was to survive medical school. To get to know a new city and figure out living on my own. Although this time, feeling a little older and little more ready for the next step, I also made plans for the future - I got an apartment instead of living in the dorms, thinking he'd eventually move in, I rearranged my work/study schedule to have my weekends free to spend time with him. I was really thinking about the marriage checkbox this time. But thankfully, 7 years of a horrible relationship taught me a thing or two about what I deserved, and when I realized he wasn't changing I moved on. Many people don't like to admit it, but once you get to know someone, you almost immediately know if they're the right person or not. We tell ourselves "they'd be perfect if they just..." or "once he does xyz then..." And we stay in relationships, for years, waiting for those things. But not me, not anymore.
Not too long after N and I were closer than ever. He was my closest friend during med school, but I never looked at him like that. Once I was actually single and an outside friend commented on how perfect we were for each other, though, something clicked. And because we were friends and had already had long talks about our past and long talks about our future, I knew who he was without the facade of dating. Once we were together we knew we made a powerful team, and for the first time ever there was no "he'd be perfect if..." He was perfect just the way he was. And when he proposed just two months after us getting together, my answer was an easy hell yes. And when we decided we might as well start trying to have kids since it would probably take a couple of years, that was an easy decision too. Of course, we never expected it to happen on the first try. We rotate through infertility clinic and see first-hand the women in their twenties who have been trying for years and can't get pregnant. We thought our story would be like theirs. Was my baby check box on the list? Well, sure. But it was supposed to come after the marriage check box which was supposed to come after the finish med school checkbox. Did I let that phase me? No! Although it was a blessing I wasn't quite sure I was ready for, it was still the greatest blessing! And now fast forward two years and we're ready for the second little blessing!
I write all this, not just to share what's probably way too much personal information, but to illustrate all the little twists and turns that life throws at us! Although you can look at someone who is now in a place where you want to be, don't assume they got there by following their plans exactly! The point is really this - it's wise to plan for the future - to set goals for yourself and have an idea of where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. But learn to go with the flow, to open up to something that wasn't on the list (or not in that order on the list) and you'll find yourself a much happier person. And never ever look at one picture and think it was planned like that from day 1 ;)