I'm turning 24 on Friday. Here are four big lessons that I've learned this past year:
1. It's never to late to live healthy a life.
I have been fortunate (so far) to not have to worry about what I ate or if I exercised. When I started doing Piyo as a way to relieve stress and do something fun this past year, I noticed my body changing. I may not look that different on the outside, but (as I like to describe it) I now have "normal human strength", and to me that's a huge difference. I've become addicted to exercising simply to maintain and keep growing the strength I've worked for months and months to build. The change in my body also has sparked me to eat healthier and be conscious of the foods I'm consuming. (Might as well get rid of the fat surrounding those muscles so they can be seen!) Twenty-Four will be my healthiest year yet!
2. We all have different levels of talent
This sounds like common sense, I mean, you can be the best football player in your high school (or college) but no matter how hard you train you may never be a star NFL player. This was news to me, at least as far as school was concerned (you study the longest and hardest you are the best - isn't that how it works??). Compared to most people, I'm good at memorizing things that I read, recalling facts, and solving problems related to science and math. Put me in a room of 100 other people that are also outstanding at those exact same things and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't figure out how to be the best. Trust me, I tried studying the longest and multiple study methods, and although I saw improvements in my personal performance and class standing, I wasn't the best. Then I was forced to realize ....we all have different capacities for memorizing as many things as we can in a certain amount of time. If we all study the same amount of time some people will remember more than other people. If you are truly doing all that you can do then that's it.
If I'm doing my best, and it's still not the best then I was never intended/created to be the best. Learning and accepting this was one of the best lessons I've learned, because it allowed me also to celebrate other people's bests and not hold onto any envy.
Medical school consumes almost every day of my life, and it has the past two years. Don't get me wrong, I've set aside a few hours some days in my schedule to see friends and family but it's nothing like it used to be. It's definitely been harder on me than it was for them. Priorities are set and each week in school is different so I have a little flexibility but not a lot. Some say that med school isn't as bad as they thought it would be - honestly, I wasn't expecting this degree of sacrifice (time, personal hobbies, family and extended family, and friends). I was used to doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and so it was definitely an adjustment for me. I've learned what I can and can't handle by now, but it still breaks my heart to say "no" to some things and hear about how much fun other people are having. I don't sacrifice everything of course, this isn't supposed to be a whiny post! We all make sacrifices in life, and learning to choose and live with those has been another learning opportunity for me.
4. Life gives you lemons and there's nothing you can do about it
This is a lesson I think we all learn every year . We all get lemons (I'm talking lemons not tragedies), my largest this year was definitely my life-threatening experience with no epinephrine on me, doctor appointments to figure out the cause, a new change in my diet, and still trying to keep school high on my priorities. Time has healed that, and I don't stress really about food anymore unless I don't know what's in it, of course.
This upcoming month and a half is a very structured month of preparing for the first test of my boards licensing exam. It's most likely going to determine what residency (what specialty) I can or can't apply for. I set aside an appropriate amount of weeks to study, made a schedule, and am ready to begin in one week when school gets out - there not much "extra" time really between then and the exam. Cue the painful wisdom teeth that are trying to break through (all four need removed), then Jake and I decide we are moving downtown, and I'm not rescheduling the vacation I have planned (see I don't sacrifice everything). I'm sure something else will pop up between now and then that will stress me out impacting my study time for that exam but there's nothing I can do about it. Jake's helped me come up with a plan to have surgery, study time, the exam, move apartments, and go on vacation all in the same time frame.
It will all work out, cheers to the lemons.