October 5, 2004

i was walking up to my car in the parking garage yesterday afternoon and it hit me: i haven’t had it this easy since i can remember.

i get up, when i want, usually after 8 hours of sleep. i roll into lab, whenever i want, and i learn how to do things and practice techniques. i get help from people who are patient and generous with their time.

i usually finish up at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, because i have to get to class. i attend class, and it is sometimes interesting and sometimes boring, but rarely all that taxing. our tests are take-home (and infrequent), after all. after class, i go to the gym (and yoga on thursdays!) and typically arrive home around 6:30 or 7 with no obligations whatsoever. sure, there is the occasional reading for class or seminar, but this work is often doable in chunks of time while i am at the lab or at school. i make dinner (sometimes with help) or we eat leftovers (my favorite) and then . . .

every night it takes me several moments to come to the conclusion that there’s nothing left that i have to do. i stand around dumbly for a few seconds — shouldn’t i be studying? isn’t there homework? isn’t there somewhere i’m supposed to be? — and eventually sit down and start reading, or playing with my violin, or (well, if something good is on) i turn on the tv.

even now as i write this, i’m thinking, ‘this can’t be my life; the world is in shambles, and i’m still in medical school! i should be suffering, sleep-deprived, behind in every aspect of self-care/daily living.’ but i’m not. and it’s okay — more than okay.

i know that this phase of my life is not going to last. once i start studying for the boards (less than a month away!), things are going to change very quickly. and when i get into a lab to really start phD research, i know it will become a lot more intense.

but for now – well, i’m glad i have it written down so that i can remember it: i love this life. the ashtanga yoga instructor said something the other day that sort of resonated with me: there is a culture on this campus (and much of this country, i would add) where being busy, sleep-deprived, exhausted, uncomfortable and unhappy is admired and almost glamorized. my admission that i am none of these things right now would be seen as shameful by some, i suppose, but i don’t care. this is my revolt.


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