I feel panicky...I feel old

I have two more glorious weeks off before my orientation starts up and I've been hanging out at my parents house in MA. They're relocating to the west coast because of my dad's employment situation (now employed, but on the west coast). So by hanging out I mean I've been cleaning out all of the relics of my childhood and being forced into unpaid labor to get the house ready for the market (painting, cleaning, repairing, etc). I'm a frigging Doctor! I shouldn't be painting the woodwork...I should be out living or hiking or paying someone to do this for me!!! ButI guess I do owe it to them for draining their finances, crushing their social lives and causing 33.3% of their graying hair for the past 26 years.

Anyway...all of this manual labor led to alot of thinking.
I was going through the ample piles of my stuff in my bedroom and stumbled across my Middle School and High School yearbooks...and I felt suddenly as if I was ancient. I don't even recognize the chubby little, pre-pubertal runt I was back in 8th grade or the know-it-all, post-pubertal asshole I was in 12th grade.

Then I remembered that my 5 year college reunion is this weekend where I get to suit-up and talk with my classmates to hear about their families/jobs/houses/cars/positive net-worths (oh wait, I haven't seen a paycheck since 2006 and can't even afford the cash bar).

Then I remembered that I'm going to be in charge of people's medical care. People are going to page me in the middle of the night and ask "Doctor, what should we do?". My loans will be coming due and I have to start saving for retirement and the college funds of my unborn children.

And then I looked into the mirror and noticed the grey hairs starting to multiply and spread into my beard, the crows feet starting to form at the corners of my eyes, the careworn creases in my brow, the incredibly awesome sunglass tan I have from Utah (Ok, so I photoshopped those crows feet out of my ERAS application photo...I am not immune from vanity).

And I felt dizzy and hyperventilated a bit as the realization washed over me that...I am officially old. Or maybe it was the paint fumes.

As I regained my composure I realized, I'm still 26 going on 27. I've spent the last 10 or so years of my life in the singular pursuit of this stupid degree...but I'm not even middle aged yet. I've put off a lot of living in the process of getting here and a lot of my former life goals have been tossed to the wayside along the way.

One of my college friends was lamenting that he hadn't been on a vacation with his wife in over 2 years...I haven't gone away on vacation with my girlfriend since July 2005 (sorry sweetie)! This trip to Utah was the closest thing to a vacation I'd done since March of 2007. I keep telling her...just 3-4 years and life gets soooo much better when we have a real income that can cover our collective loan payments, and I can move my schedule around enough to accommodate a real vacation.

I guess that one of my goals for this residency thing is to to make sure that I do remember to squeeze in some time to live in the midst of the chaos of a flip-floppy schedule, my academic aspirations (and the work that goes along with them) and the parents living 3ooo miles away in the Pacific North West. And it doesn't help that I'm still missing being places like this:

Anyway, I should get back to my chores...that woodwork wont paint itself.


SINA said...

I think that's one of my big worries too, that when i get to the real stuff then I won't have time for other things, and job becomes my life ... I think it'll be interesting to see what happens when we get there, for me I always think if I plan these things as much I can beforehand then it'll be easier to manage, and "squeeze in some time to live in the midst of the chaos of a flip-floppy schedule"

Albinoblackbear said...

I had a similar age-related panic attack yesterday on a run. I started thinking about how I am going to be in my *late thirties* when I finally finish residency. Dude, that is like "freezing eggs in advance in case someday I do decide to procreate" old.

I also felt a crushing claustrophobia over the fact that I am on this crazy train now and there is no getting off (unless I want to be shunned by my family and come away with a 6 figure debt with nothing to show for it).

I have come to a temporary resolution by thinking about school as my job. It's my very demanding job (that I pay to do). I hope that carries me through for a while.

Enjoy your holidays before you gotta step in the ring again!

A NURSE said...
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