This journey started at one of the low points in my life. I failed. I nearly lost everything that mattered, but somehow survived and was able to create this amazing opportunity from the ashes.
Several years before any of this even started, I read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. This book is a modern allegory that follows the journey of a young shepherd on his way to finding amazing treasure. Throughout the book he loses everything but gains so much more than he lost.
Sometimes, I feel we get stuck where we are simply because we're afraid of losing what we have. When in reality, we aren't fully satisfied with what we have but we've settled out of fear. We tell ourselves this is good enough because we are too afraid to go after what we really want.
In my case, I needed a little help from the universe to push myself into chasing after what I really wanted. So, after losing my job, almost losing my life and my loved ones, I realized that I was being given another chance. A chance to start over and do whatever I wanted to do - I just needed to figure out it was.
That's another thing that holds us back. We are full of endless possibility and worlds of perseverance but lack direction. The old adage of "You can do whatever you put your mind to" chafes against us because we lack a "whatever" to actually put our minds to. This was, for me, by far the harder thing to overcome.
It was not a meticulous and logical rationalize that got me to where I am - it was almost a whim. My heart told me to go answer the question of "what if...". I literally received some sort of lightening bolt thought into my brain one morning that told me - Hey. Go to Med School. It was October 14, 2010.
From there I began investigating if that was a real possibility, and what it would take to actually accomplish. Along the way I learned that this career path held real hope for me - the satisfaction of everything I'd ever been seeking in a career, in a life, in a dream.
It was easy in the beginning - Beginner's Luck they call it - and the road rose up to meet me, ushering me along the way, as if you could sense the very excitement in the air. As I get closer, it gets harder. It asks more of me, and demands that I redefine how I will continue along the path. You have what it takes - but it will take all you've got.
So now we come to this place where the journey continues, but the terrain is about to change. I am finishing my coursework, I am studying for the MCAT, I am preparing to apply. And I am so very thankful that these chances are mine to explore. This has been the most frustrating and challenging things I have ever attempted to accomplish. And once it's accomplished, it starts a whole new journey of difficult navigations that will also demand everything I have to give.
However. I am beyond convinced that this is the road I want to take. I know without any doubt that this is the career I want to have. And its not just because I've sacrificed everything to get here or because I've been following it so long I can't conceive of another way - it's because my heart is in the journey with me. This may not be the scientific answer I'm expected to give when asked why I've chosen this direction. It may not make logical sense or fit nicely into an AMCAS response, but it is the reason I can keep going.
Endless joy. For me this journey has consisted of both unmatched frustrations and unequaled joy. These simple tasks with which I am entrusted may be humble, but they give me a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. I am not maximizing profits or workflows, I am maximizing human experience. I am easing the suffering of individuals, if only for a moment. And in the end, when there is nothing more that can be done, I am taking a few precious moments to prepare things for their next step - with respect for the life that has just ended, and compassion for the family that is left behind.
There is nothing more I can ask of the universe, and no greater tasks which I will hope to accomplish. These next few steps in the journey are simply the things that I must do to continue doing what I love. They are the obstacles along my path, and with both my heart and my mind committed to the goals, they don't stand a chance of stopping my forward progression.
It is often said that to reinvent ourselves, we must destroy ourselves first. I truly believe that for me this was the case. The journey ahead is full of unknowns and difficult roads - but there is a pathway through it if only I would follow my heart and my mind - my compasses leading me on. In the end, I don't really believe in fatalism, but I do believe that there are certain things which will bring you great joy based upon what you find satisfying and what you are capable of. For me, the marriage of these two things is the treasure. For me, my genes, my experience, my talents, my abilities, have all written a code for me - a possible future that will bring me the greatest joy possible. That... to me... is what it means when I say...
It is written.