As I start to near the end of my residency I feel strange. It’s what I’ve waited for these past two years. What I have held onto during my darkest moments and I’ve been counting down the days for years. Now that I only have 11 shifts left I’m not sure what I feel.
It’s a weird mixture of excitement, apprehension, joy and confusion. I’m so happy to know that I’m close to successfully finishing my two year contract. Especially when there were times where I didn’t believe I could. There’s excitement for the endless possibilities stretching out before me.
Then I also feel apprehension and confusion. Nervous for what’s to come. What will happen? Being a junior doctor is fraught with challenges. I’ve definitely lived my lowest points while in the medical field, yet there is an odd comfort in what is known.
I’m leaving the stability of this career and venturing out into the unfamiliar. Confused because I’m not sure what I’m actually going to do. The future is uncertain, but I know that I’m making the right choice.
Looking back in fondness
The human mind is a funny thing. It can adjust your perception of something drastically. Time and context heavily influence our views, and sometimes the past can seem rosier than what it was at the time.
I still don’t have enough distance between myself and my work to see it as enjoyable. However, during my shifts now I am definitely cheerier. Whenever something goes wrong or I get shafted a particularly awful task I remember, almost done.
Currently being on annual leave makes me think it’s not that bad (albeit in smaller doses).
I’m also grateful for the many lessons I’ve learnt in medicine. It’s made me stronger and more confident. Maybe I would never have believed I could make something in the world as an individual without having gone through this.
Looking to the future
As I stand on the precipice of the new and unknown I’m scared. I’m also hopeful and learning to trust that things will work out, someway or another. Looking to the future is no longer the depressing task it once was.
Though I don’t have a clear path set out, I think following my heart is the best thing for me right now. It’s served me well in the past, and working longer in a job that makes me so down doesn’t make much sense.
Money comes and goes, and can be made in millions of different ways. The approval of others may feel nice at the time, but it really is an empty happiness. I plan to work at my independence (emotionally, financially and physically) and make my own way in the world.