Thursday, December 27, 2007

Defying Gravity

Four days to a new year, and, as always, my thoughts turn to what lies in store for me in 2008.

The future is especially muddled for me this coming year because for the first time in my life, a yawning chasm called the Unknown gapes at my feet. For the past 12 years, I've been single-minded in my pursuit of a medical career, with a resolve that held through four years of college, five years of medical school, and three years of residency. I thought I knew what I wanted, but now that the end of this particular journey is in sight, I suddenly find myself standing at the edge of a high precipice, and life is inviting me to jump in even if I cannot see the bottom.

30 seems quite late to be caught in the throes of a quarter-life crisis, yet here I am smack-dab in the middle of one. At the expense of mixing my metaphors, it feels like I am in the middle of a crossroads with more than four roads branching from it, and I have no idea which of them to take. I've spent the past few years avoiding making the really big life decisions most of my peers have met head on a long time ago, and now that these decisions are here before me, I still don't feel ready to make them.

It's terrifying.

But at the same time, having made the choice to stop the careening course of my life to examine what it is I really want for myself in the long run, it feels for the first time that life is finally opening up for me.

I feel free.

Free to explore possibilities. Free to take risks that I have always been too afraid to take. And while the same problems and "what if's" that have kept me from doing this for the past few years still exist, I have to believe that in the end, all this will be for the best. I am hoping that after having made one brave choice in defiance of what is expected, everything else will follow.

Maybe I'm being an optimist - but despite the bone-deep terror and uncertainty, I have a good feeling about this coming year.

As a music addict, I have had the lifelong habit of choosing songs that mirror my life. The song Defying Gravity, from the hit Broadway musical "Wicked" captures the spirit of where I am right now.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down...

As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free.

So as 2008 comes rushing towards me, I meet it with open arms. And standing at the edge of Future's precipice, with hope and prayers in my heart, for the first time in my life, I am ready to jump.


Siegfried said...

30?! The new Twenty!

Sabi nga ng isa sa favorite videoke songs ko:

"Regrets, I've had a few.

But then again, too few to mention!"


Manggy said...

I'll be getting to my (last) New Year's post in a while (my DSL got busted for a few days there, hence the absent posts), and it pretty much has the same theme as yours, haha :) Oh, doctors! Why are we always so afraid? I guess it's because the stakes are always so high? But no matter, as long as we have faith :)

dementia said...

You write really well :)

I'm 30 btw but I don't feel my age. I think that's good.

Em Dy said...

I felt the same transitioning from residency to fellowship. I thought I wanted to stop training and start working. I remember being the saddest that last few days in the hospital. But everything worked out well. I'm sure yours will too. Happy New Year!