You just need to do it, she said.
Across the high-top table, she was leaning forward, hands clutching a glass of Hendrick’s and soda with lime. Staring into my soul with eyes black like the summer date-night dress she was wearing. Her eyes vindictive yet soft. Honest. It was candid and surreal. Like a random scene out of a David Lynch film.
My eyes were tired and defeated. I explained to her. My story didn’t have a triumphant ending. My journey was not a hero’s journey. No lessons learned. No happily ever after. No victory and no joy and no pride. I just exist. Every question I ask myself just leads to more. More what ifs. I was once such a happy and hopeful kid and then, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain.
Okay, there was a period in time, years ago… I was up there, I said gesturing towards the sky. I.. flew too close to the sun. Reached the Roche limit, you know? Ever since, I’ve just been falling and catching branches along the way.
Well I think you’ve caught some pretty amazing branches, she said. This branch you caught is the top of someone’s tree.
Maybe she’s right. But I object simply to be a self defeating contrarian and ramble about how my story has no value to anyone. When I tell her that I am no one’s role model, no one to seek advice from, that I constantly feel like a fuck up, she doubles down. That’s the point, she says. She just smiled. And in this insignificant moment, something hit me. A sweeping comfort. I am gifted with the perspective of experiencing all the horror and hilarity of everything this niche of life has to offer.
I think she was trying to make me feel good. Doesnt matter. Something clicked. This was six months ago. But I started writing again. Not with any goal, with any narrative, with any point to prove. Certainly no advice. It was for me. I just started writing my thoughts, my absurd rants and raves and let that part of my brain take over. It felt so good. Eventually I amassed a collection of these writings; enough where I could flip through them and read for hours. Some make me laugh and some make me want to cry. Real feelings, many of which I believe are universal to everyone on this path, distilled into little collections of word.
Long after that night, I couldn’t shake her words and her conviction. She was right. There is a story to tell. It sucks, but. Movies where the good guy wins every time suck anyways. Played out. There are enough residents on Tik Tok and #medtwitter humble bragging about how sick and triumphant and fulfilling their life is. Meanwhile I practically have to meditate on a mountain to convince myself I don’t suck and I’m not a failure. And currently I’m trying to figure out how to remain a sentient and mindful and empathetic human through all of it. And become the best doctor I can be. This faction needs a voice. Maybe its a tragic comedy. Who cares. Probably no one. I’m gonna write about it.
Welcome to the next chapter.