Embracing Uncertainty

I’ve never made New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t know why, but I think it has to do with the fact that I view my years in the academic sense — August to August previously and now July to July. I buy my planner for the “new year” in June. The start of January just basically means that 1) my birthday is near and 2) I will be writing the wrong year on everything for the next month.

But, I’ve decided to make two resolutions that aren’t necessarily for the whole year as I have a feeling I’ll have to make some new resolutions come June. Like “get rid of excess clothing you don’t need” when I move out of my dorm or “figure out what to do when you earn a salary.” [Medical school delays learning grown up things like salaries, taxes, insurance, etc.]

Here are my two resolutions:

1) Do one non-running exercise activity per week.

2) Embrace uncertainty. [Watch this to hear people cooler than I talk about it.]

The first is so I keep some variety. I feel like a non-athlete these days because I only move in one direction doing one same motion repetitively. I have no ups and my lateral movement looks spastic. Then again, did I ever have ups?

The second is more in regards to my “life.” Rather than look at the whole residency match process as super anxiety producing and stressful, I’m choosing to view the uncertainty between now and March 15 as exciting.

For those of you not versed in the “match,” residency placements (ie the next 3-4 years of your life) are somewhat like sorority rush. In the fall of your 4th year, you apply to programs. In the winter, you interview. In February, you then submit your rank list – those programs you want and in what order you want them. At the same time, programs also submit a rank list of their applicants in the order that they want them. Some big computer with a fancy algorithm does its magic and on March 15 you find out where you’re going (and, if you didn’t match, you scramble into a spot in something somewhere). You might get your first choice, you might get your last choice.

The whole business of “not knowing where you going to be” and, further, not knowing if you’ll get one of your top choices is usually fairly upsetting and anxiety provoking for we uptight medical students.

While I’ve had my fair share of panic-y moments (“WHAT IF NO ONE WANTS ME???”), I’m going to choose to look at this as fun and exciting. I mean, how many people, other than Madonna and Britney Spears, get a chance to reinvent and reinvigorate their life every few years?

Needless to say, running has been really therapeutic during the residency interview process. It’s the constant I can count on when there are currently a lot of variables.

So, body, please don’t get injured anytime soon. Keep it cool. Looking at you right IT band.

And, in the end, let’s get real — my uncertainty probably pales in comparison to a lot of people out there. I have a supportive family no matter where I end up. I’ll have a job. As long as I enjoy what I’m doing (and I think will), have a DVR, and am able to exercise a few times a week, I think I’ll be a pretty happy camper. Or so I hope.

[NOTE: My current state of calm (well, calmish) does not mean that I won’t have my episodes of crazy over matching in the coming months. Friends and family, you have been warned.]


Until next time…


6 thoughts on “Embracing Uncertainty

  1. Im with you and don’t make resolutions just because it is January… As far as uncertainty goes, we adopted two babies in 2004 and 2005. I quit my high paying job with insurance to stay home with them for 2 years as they both lived in orphanages and I couldn’t stomach the thought of daycare for them.

    It was scary, but the best decision ever! When I was ready to go back to work I found a job that I love within one month of starting my search. Things always have a way of working out how they are supposed to in life 😉 They will for you too 😉

  2. i don’t typically do resolutions either but i need to embrace uncertainty too. if you truly embrace it, then life will be MUCH easier. i would probably worry a lot less too.

    things always work out, even though it may not seem that way at the time. i predict good things for you on march 15th!

  3. how many interviews do you have left?? OR are you done? That’s exciting, even though I can only imagine how nuts it is driving you, not knowing where you’ll be. But you willl definitely be somewhere! And somewhere great, I’m sure. I’m having all sorts of uncertainty right now too – dietetic internship almost over and it’s time to look for jobs, not knowing when/if I’ll get one. UGH!

  4. First of all, I can’t wait for you to arrive in Denver on the 9th for our little Oiselle reunion at mi casa. Second, I can only imagine how stressful this time is for you. It seems like both of us will play the waiting game until March 15th! Obviously, going through the match process and becoming a first-time mom are very different, but both of our lives will be changing soon. Change can be so scary, but so wonderful at the same time. Best of luck!

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