Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I am.....

Recently I was invited to be part of a What's App group consisting of people I knew through medical graduating batch. This had me super excited!  Here were people with who I spent six glorious years of my life. With them I went from being a naive medical student to a person with a Dr. in front of her name...licensed to save lives. Together we stressed over exams, came up with crazy acronyms to help remember medical gibberish, supported each other through difficult times, celebrated our successes. Here was a group who I laughed, cried, fought, persevered with. Who were there through thick and thin during a crucial time of my growth curve. A period which played an integral role to define who I have now become. I hadn't heard from many of them since graduating... almost 7 years ago. yes.. of course I was exhilarated!!!

However, the group I ended up interacting with... were not old buddies...just a handful of doctors. Quick to rattle of their professional success, self-absorbed,ego centric. No one seemed interested in knowing about the next person. Everyone was content talking of their achievements...wrapped up in their own professional halo. A pack of wolves who did not want to break away from the usual....who did not want to venture into asking more....wanting to know more. All sticking to the superficial included. Deep down I wanted to know how each one was doing, where they were at their life, who they had become, reminisce about old times, pick up where we left other words...reconnect...but I didn't say a word...I didn't deviate from the mean. I stuck with what was expected behavior...I became a part of the norm... And just like that what was supposed to be a place to reconnect, turned into a place for dropping off one's resume or forward insignificant jokes.

What had happened to us? To the people I used to know? Those who were more than just being medical students on the brink of bigger things? Who used to sing, dance, travel, have other passions despite working towards a medical degree. Has our resume become our only identity? Our behavior so driven by the societal dictatorship that we have become wary of venturing outside the box? Have we lost our true selves to the rat race...More importantly, have I?

 Is it me who has type-casted myself to just what I do? Limited myself to being only a doctor, a responsible adult member of the society, a young professional? Behaving only in ways expected of these roles. Or is there more to my me?

Yes, I am a doctor...but I am also a person who loves long walks on the beach, who loves to curl up with a book at the end of the day, who laughs at silly jokes, who doesn't only like reading medical journals in her spare time...infact who will read anything but. Yes, I am a responsible adult but I still have a piece of that girl who enjoys a good prank, who wants to throw her head back and laugh to her heart's content, who doesn't feel the need to discuss the hard facts of life every second of the day. Yes I am a young professional but I enjoy being a beach bum occasionally, guzzling coke instead of politely sipping on wine. Thinking over this made me realize that most often through my adult life I have only been an actor fulfilling a role, as per the script. Who wrote this script? Who got to decide that I couldn't be a responsible professional while also taking a few risks in my own life, by being more than my profession? Did I inadvertently give away my right to me to this unknown director?   

While I muddled through my contemplation ,it finally sunk in... I am who I have made myself into....who I allow myself to be.  I know I can be more.... so much more...and it is on me to be the best me I can be. So yes... I am a geek, a nerd, a medical professional but I am not the NORM.....if I chose not to be. The onus of who I am is only on me.... 

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