If you asked me 10 years ago what my top 3 guilty pleasures were I would probably say pizza, reality TV, and Seventeen Magazine. But even since I completed my undergraduate degree, I had one goal: medical school; and I wouldn’t stop until I got accepted. I remember having to miss out on birthday parties, family gatherings, and movie nights because I was studying. I felt guilty for pursuing my dream even though I could never imagine myself in any other field.
When I got accepted, I thought that the guilt would somehow become overshadowed by my accomplishments in medical school. I thought that I would be more “available” both mentally and physically. That wasn’t exactly the case…
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful and feel extremely privileged to be where I am today. I am also in love with learning, treating, and providing. But there are definitely times when I feel the guilt of missing a family function, a friend’s dinner party, or an annual road trip. I think this guilt is universal among all of us in this profession and I don’t think it stops here. What does help is the art of balance. Learning to let go of what isn’t in my control and grasping all that I am able to manage.
The truth is, medicine shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure but a part of my life. I shouldn’t lose myself in my profession but grow with it, alongside it. I am not perfect at it yet, but I am trying every day my very best and that is all that I can ask for of myself.