When we entered medical school, we took the Myers Briggs personality test. In the thinking/feeling category, I came out as a “thinker,” but most of my best friends are “feelers.” Over the last few years I have become more in touch with my feeling side. Often I find myself feeling emotional about a situation, but then talking myself out of my feelings about it. I would like to share with you some of the tangled facts and feelings I have been dealing with recently.
Fact: I am 24 years old.
Feeling: Wearing jeans and t-shirts to class makes me feel young and irresponsible. When I go to clinic I feel confused and lost. I don’t feel like a young professional – I feel 100% like a student.
Fact: I’m in debt.
Feeling: I feel confident that someday I will be able to pay it all back. But that still feels like forever away. Mostly I feel really really poor.
Fact: I’m getting married in 111 days.
Feeling: I am so happy when I think about it. But I am also apprehensive about being a wife. I feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for someone else and putting his needs above my own.
Fact: I’m taking boards in 106 days.
Feeling: I feel… confident that I will feel pretty well prepared by then… but currently terrified and not at all ready. I feel like I should be reading First Aid 24/7. I feel guilty when I’m not studying.
Fact: I have friends.
Feeling: I feel like I never have time to hang out with my friends because I’m always too busy. It feels like I have put my “real life” on hold for school, but I don’t know when I’ll get it back.
Sometimes these feelings are over-powering – I am left feeling lonely, overwhelmed, jobless, and lost at sea in medical school. My mind knows that all of these feelings will resolve and improve, but right now they are real. Right now the only way to get through is to keep driving myself, and sometimes these feelings of trepidation and guilt drive me harder than the simple knowledge that I am taking boards in May. As uncomfortable as some of these feelings might be, I think they might actually help me in the long run.