December 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m trying to translate the future into words. I’m trying to say, within a painful 500-word limitation, what I’ve learned about myself in the last 23 years, and how those experiences have transformed how I see the next 23.

I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I want to tell you why I do.  I want to tell you why I would be great at it. But I’m hesitant to commit to any one message because I could miss another point, and I’m so afraid of saying it all out loud, of putting it into words.  For me, the action of turning thoughts into words has always been a method of realization — in this case, of making something real. Now, before me, there is this question, and I am not ready to give a final answer, because writing “it” makes it real, and I don’t yet know what “it” will be.  And I might never fully know why I want and why I could.  I just know that I want this and I can do this.

I don’t mean to say that I’m afraid of jumping in and making this my reality. I am taking the leap of faith, but I feel so weighed down when I try to qualify my wants and my possible contributions to this field. I feel that, with every word, I might miss the real point.  I might fall one sentence short of illustrating who I am and what I’m capable of.  And I don’t want to make this real without doing it right, without doing myself justice.

As I grow older, I might change the way I do things; I might feel differently about medicine; and I might contribute in a way I had not foreseen.  But I do know that I want to contribute, and I know that my impact on individual lives can be immense as a doctor.  I know that my life’s calling is to serve others, to leave this world better, to do my mother proud.  And I would try every day.  I’d never forget what civic duty means to me, I’d never give less than what people deserve, and I’d demonstrate commitment and compassion in everything I do.  I will be a great doctor.

In my life, I have always felt pressured by the words I lay in ink, because making it real is like making a promise.  But this time, the promise has already been made.  This time, I am pressured to create words that will live up to my name and to the person I will someday become. This time, the words have to be good enough for me.


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