With only 4 months left in residency, I find myself in those moments of panic that I still have no idea what I am doing. In the near future, I am going to be the "upper level" and my responsibilities are going to exponentially grow. It's such an exciting and anxiety-provoking thought to realize that I have already come this far. I may have so much to still learn, skills to still perfect, and experiences waiting for me, but one thing is for certain, I am lightyears ahead of the girl who moved here last summer. I am afraid of so much less than I was before and I have started to learn the art of telling people I don't know what is going on with you, but I ruled out all the bad stuff.
This month, I am taking a short detour from the ER to spend some time up on OB delivering babies. There was a time in my life that I was sure OBGYN was what I would do for the rest of my life, but Emergency Medicine stole my heart away. A couple nights ago, I got a bit of a reminder why I thought OB was going to be my thing. As I was standing at the end of the bed, cheering on mom, waiting for baby, I looked up to see the pure happiness in this soon to be baby's parent's faces. This isn't something I am going to do for a living so I never know the real protocol, but I passed baby off to mom instead of the pediatrician and watched those first mom-baby moments. Mom looked up to me and simply said, "thank you." It was such an interesting and heartfelt moment. She had just done the hardest work she will ever do and she was thanking me for not letting her baby fall to the floor. I felt privledged to be part of that moment. I have these moments in the ED as well. Medicine is full of heartbreaking and lifesaving moments. It's what keeps me doing what I am doing, keeps me humbled, and helps give meaning to my life and my career.
I'm sticking to my new goal for a year of personal growth, positivity, and being present in every moment both good and bad. I've spent the last couple of months working my way through "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. Mostly I don't have as much time as I'd like to to really sit down and read it, but I find it highly fascinating. Brene Brown is a woman who has spent her whole life researching vulnerability and shame and how it shapes our culture. I think her work is something very applicable to my own life as well as helps me see the world through the eyes and struggles of those walking around me. She talks about vulnerability meaning "showing up and letting yourself be seen just as you are" and she talks a lot about how vulnerability is required for every truly great(and terrible) moment in our lives. Vulnerability is required to live life and not just survive life. I've been committed to taking better care of me. Fitting in work outs when I have the time, cooking meals, packing snacks, drinking wine, watching sitcoms, leaning on my friends/family during the tough moments, and keeping myself going.
On the horizon is a ton of happy moments. I will be headed home within the next couple of weeks to see my family and spend time with my wonderful nieces. I will be taking family pictures with both sides of my family, having Sunday dinner, celebrating Merideth's 4th birthday, and then headed off toward hiking, wine, and sightseeing in Seattle/Portland. It is going to be an incredible couple of weeks away to recoup. Prepare for pictures!