Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jekyll and Hyde

I feel as though I have created multiple personalities for myself. That, or I have done a magnificent job in dividing myself into two entirely opposite spheres of reality. There is the happy, family-loving, picture-taking, memory-making, dinner-concocting, angel me and then there is the bitter, lonely, tired, blah, woe-is-me, me. I have even divided these personalities into two very distinct and opposite blogs. The one that I share with my family and friends, and then this blog where I rant and rave to the entire universe in complete anonymity. The twain shall never meet.

You've heard that most people save their best self for complete strangers and show their true colors to those they love. We'll I save the absolute best for those that I love, and show complete strangers the devil sitting on my shoulder. I am sure my family appreciates it (they think I'm perfect by the way), but I feel sorry for you - if you in fact read this. Rest assured the words you read are me at my absolute worst.

I've read blogs from other women who are on this journey, usually fresh out of medical school and newlyweds, and wonder if I was like that in the beginning. Full of hope, confidence and determination to take control of my life and not let life take control of me. I probably was, and rightfully so. Married for 2 years, husband clutching a doctorate degree, a young son sleeping in her arms and a daughter growing in her womb. A new city on the horizon, an adventure custom made just for us by the angels in heaven. I can almost hear the choir singing now.

What would I tell that younger version of myself as she embarks on this crazy wild ride? How could I explain to her that, try as she may, this journey doesn't come without a price. This isn't a joy ride and there are no free lunches. But there will be joy along the way and lunch will usually be PB&J. That the person she thinks she knows so well may not be the person she really is when it is over. That while graduation was an amazing achievement and the culmination of much hard work, the work is only just beginning and it will make medical school look like Kindergarten recess. That few people will understand what she is going through, and even fewer people will try. She will be alone most of the time. The next seven years will prove to be a refiners fire. Trials, heartaches, setbacks will all come one right after the other, barely giving you time to catch your breath. The bright side is you'll appreciate breathing all the more.There will be days when you will be tempted to turn back, don't. There will be nights when you cry yourself to sleep, that's OK.

And then I would look at my much younger self and deliver the best news of all: you will survive. It isn't all dark skies and thunder storms. Life will give you unexpected pleasant surprises too! Enjoy them. Remember them. Hold on to them. You will be weary from the travel, but the sun is coming out from behind the clouds and the worst of the journey is almost over. Just a few more hills and you will see what is waiting for you on the other side. In time you won't recall each and every boulder in your path or every muddy road you tread. You'll vividly recall the wild flowers growing and the tall grasses blowing that you failed to see with your eyes when you were there. Scars will heal and callouses will soften.

How can this not change a person? I hope when I look back on this time of my life I can see that these experiences have made me better. I could have done so many things differently, but in the end - this is where I am. I am still learning how to do this. Learning how to appreciate the here and now, to make the best of what I have, to love without condition, to serve with a happy heart, to give more of myself and be true to who I am, both Jekyll and Hyde:-)

I've considered telling my husband about this blog, but can't bring myself to do it just yet. I am not sure what I am waiting for. But, until then I'll probably always feel like I am two people living different parts of the same life, and it is a good life.


  1. I. Needed. This. Post.
    Hop on over to my blog and you will see the bipolar personality all right there in front of you. In fact, I go from the hopeful cheerleader to my doctor friend, to the evil THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK person in the next post. So hard!
    Thanks for writing the honest truth - I appreciate it more than you know!

  2. I just came across your blog this weekend. Thank you for this post. Three years into a general surgery residency with my doctor fiance' who I have been with for almost six years. I try to stay positive but some days that's easier sad then done! Being 2000 miles away from family and being alone most of the time can be difficult to deal with. In the past few months I have been very close to walking away because I have been at my breaking point. It is nice to read that the way I am feeling isn't crazy and other's are going through the same emotions. Its not easy! Thank you for this blog!! :)


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