On May 20th, I graduated from medical school and the entire process was very surreal. Using the word surreal seems to be the only way I can find to describe how I felt when everything was going on. I have been in medical school for the last 7 years and continued to work at the hospital until basically right before I graduated, so realizing that I was finished and graduating was not something I could seem to grasp. In the days leading up to graduation, I didn't think about the upcoming day much and didn't feel any different. Even on the day of graduation while we were driving to the Music Hall, I knew I was going to graduation, but it still didn't feel like it was MY graduation. I did have fleeting moments where it really hit me that I was about to add MD to the end of my name.
These are some of the thoughts I had during those moments accompanied by a look of complete terror(see picture below):
1. Holy hell, they are going to expect me to know thing and be able to do things
2. Good gracious, this is really happening
3. I can't believe they are going to give me a diploma. I don't know anything
4. I hope I don't fall on stage
5. Yep, I'm a total klutz I'm going to be that idiot who falls on stage
6. I'm really leaving Kansas City. I'm starting over.
7. Where the hell has the last 7 years gone.
8. What if I suck at this?
I think it really hit me as I was waiting to walk across the stage. A surge of unbelievable joy and excitement filled me as it became real(at least it was real for about 2 minutes, I'm back to not believing it happened.) I was very focused on doing it all right: hand off card, hand hood off, walk to Dr Jetanalin, stand the correct direction, get hooded, don't forget to hug her(she's the best), shake hands with people, walk to stairs, don't fall. Somehow I managed all of that without doing anything embarrassing.
Graduation was followed by complete chaos as I tried to take pictures with everyone and find something to drink. Holy goodness, I was so thirsty and hot. After pictures we headed off to the Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. I am so thankful to everyone who stayed with me to have dinner. We waited an hour to be seated and didn't actually start eating until 9:30ish and everyone who came had a least a hour drive home. I am completely blessed to have so many wonderful people come to support me and watch me finish this crazy, strange, and wonderful journey.
The following week was all about packing up my place in Kansas City. Somehow I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the last 7 years. The Sunday after graduation my sister Jamie, brother-in-law, dad, and grandparents came up for a packing party. With Jamie in charge and everyone working hard, we had most of the house packed up in boxes ready for the big move the following weekend. I am incredibly thankful for the help. There is no way I could have gotten it all done without them. This was also the day I caught bronchitis from my grandma. By Wednesday, I was starting to feel the sore throat and exhaustion and by Saturday I was completely miserable.
Yesterday, my family packed all of my things up into a trailer and brought it to my hometown where we will store it while I couch hop for the next couple of weeks before my big move to Little Rock on June 12th. I am beyond thankful for my family and all of their help Sunday. With the bronchitis taking its toll on my body and the complete lack of sleep 2 nights in a row, I was a miserable, crying mess on Sunday morning which started with me dropping my breakfast on the floor. My sister started organizing the house, while my brother-in-law went to replace my breakfast and find me some caffeine. Most of the day was a blur, but I hear the boys got the trailer all loaded and Jamie and mom made the house sparkle.
I could never thank my family enough for all the hard work they have done over the last couple of weeks. I am very blessed. Today, I am spending my 25th birthday in bed getting rest and fluids in hopes my bronchitis will clear up.