Being where you're supposed to be

Sometimes I sit here in class and wonder what I might be doing if I weren't in class- it's the classic student daydream. I think about how I could be back at home and how nice it would be to see all my people and just HUG EVERYONE SO MUCH and how everything would just run more smoothly if I were back at home...

But then I think that if I wasn't here I'd probably be at some soul-sucking job that I hated and payed
just enough of a smidgen above minimum wage to assuage the guilt pseudo-bleeding heart liberals that would be my employers and just barely payed the bills. I'd be living somewhere that was still a little too close to the ghetto for my Mother's comfort, and I'd never be able to leave anything outside because it would grow legs in the middle of the night and walk away. I'd be a little sad and lost and lonely, watching all of my friends take steps to move their lives forward.

That might all seem a little hyperbolic, but that's the joy of having a BA in the States. I can accurately use words like hyperbolic, but am not qualified for a real job. When I think about it, that's pretty much where I was a year ago: miserable at my job, living in the quasi-ghetto, and in general freaking out about life.

All of that gives me a completely different perspective about being here. A friend of mine likes to say that I “picked the most difficult route possible of going to med school,” but I don't think that's true. Not true at all. Looking back, last semester was pretty comically terrible, and if you had just heard my stories about all the bullshit, I can see where you might form that opinion. But, it wasn't all bad. I made friends with some of the most interesting and amazing people I've ever met, and managed to survive and thrive in a not-entirely-hospitable environment. And I'm proud of that. But, this semester is different, I came back here prepared for the worst conditions that I could imagine. I've always been of the opinion that it's better to envision the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to be blown away be disaster and disappointment. So far, this semester seems to be falling into place quite nicely and I have been pleasantly surprised rather often. My new place seems to be rat and cockroach free, which means that I don't care quite so much about the ant problem. I can see St. Maarten and Eustacia from my balcony, so the fact that I live a little outside of the village seems like a good trade-off for the view. And, although biochemistry, physiology, and genetics might not be my strongest subjects, they're nowhere near as mind-numbingly pointlessly useless and somnambulistic as histology.

What I'm trying to say here, perhaps inarticulately, is that I'm pretty sure I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Maybe things aren't supposed to run smoothly all the time, maybe you need to learn to deal with a lot of bullshit before you can appreciate the joy in a day where something hasn't gone epically wrong, maybe we all need to remember that 'this too shall pass' sometimes.

I'm going to medical school on an eccentricity-filled Caribbean island. It's beautiful, it's sunny all the time, and the people are friendly. What could possibly be more fun of an adventure?

Kitchen-Dining Room-Living Room

Did I mention it was beautiful?  This is the view from my balcony.  Notice the coconut palms, papaya trees, and mango trees.


  1. Virtual hug! So many virtual hugs.

    I love your attitude. You really are doing exactly what you should be doing. You are slowly but surely making progress towards your goals.

    I feel like I'm in a similar boat. I'm trying my best to get the Masters, and have to do stuff I don't want to in order to get there. Living alone? Sucks. Writing a thesis? Not my favorite academic exercise. But I'm getting used to all of it, with only minimal kicking and screaming breakdowns.


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