Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The arrival of May often heralds a serious bout of pre-birthday blues for me. I usually spend the two weeks or so before my birthday wallowing about turning a year older and my often vague dissatisfaction with my life. What can I say? I'm a half-empty glass kind of girl. The spectre of another birthday is about enough to suck whatever is left of my optimism dry.
Last year was particularly bad because I wasn't just turning a year older, I was turning a decade older. I was hitting the big "3-OH" with not much to show for it - a bitter pill to swallow when I'd see my non-doctor friends settling into their successful lives. I was digging myself into rut I desperately wanted to get out of but was too scared to esacpe.
This year, as my birthday approaches and I look back at the year that was, I can't find anything to be blue about.
Crazily enough, my decision to take a flying leap into the unknown and get off the seemingly inexorable course of my life has turned into one of the best I've ever made. Taking this temporary breather has opened up my life in the most amazing ways.
So it's true that at the moment I don't have a job that gives me a regular paycheck and I am living on the lagresse of my parents and my very meager residency savings. (Anyone who's been to residency in the Philippines will understand just how meager my savings really are.) And it's true that I haven't really practiced any serious medicine since last December. And it's true that I am still single, with no prospect in sight. And it's true that I am now wandering around with no definite direction, and my life right now is riddled with more questions than there are answers.
But despite all this... (dare I say it aloud?) I'm actually happy. I'm happy being aimless. I'm happy sitting at the roadside for now, watching everyone else run by. I'm happy despite having a huge chasm of uncertainty gaping at my feet (that is, when I am not being terrified - and that only happens when I think too hard about it). I've finally adjusted to living from day to day for now.
This hiatus has helped me appreciate what I've already done and has given me space to do everything I've wanted to do.
I've had the chance to travel to places I'd never had the time to see before. I am finallly writing regularly again. I have a deeper appreciation for being single and fancy free and simply living for me. I've also realized that I actually like being a doctor, and while I still don't think too much of my skills in that part of my life, I miss medicine and will be glad to get back to it when my break is over. In the meantime, there are things to do and places to see and adventures to be had.
It's been a very good year - and I'm already looking forward to the next.
Yes, life really does begin at 30.