There were moments when I wasn't sure if I would make it through, but even in those times, I have never once regretted my choice. But I certainly have come out on the other side a different person than when I started school.
I could write this post about all of the ways I've changed this year and all that I've learned, but to be honest, I'm not quite sure yet myself. I know that I had many good moments filled with laughs and met lots of wonderful people that I hope will be life-long friends. But I've also had many learning experiences, some that were challenging and disheartening, and saw some of the ugly parts of society and life (an inevitability in the medical field). And now that I have a chance to stop and take a breath before starting the next year of my medical education, I'm going to take the opportunity to hit the Reset button.
There are the everyday types of hitting reset. But I think that it's also important for everyone, at pivotal moments, whether that's a milestone birthday, a career change, a break-up, or coming off of a particularly challenging year, to stop and take a moment for themselves. "Reset" doesn't mean that you erase and forget all of the bad stuff, because bad experiences, even more so than the good, are how we learn and grow. To me, Reset just means letting go of everything that is weighing you down: the worries, regrets, and what-if's, and instead reflecting on and embracing the lessons learned, successes and achievements, and all of the blessings in life.
If you are anything like me, this may be easier said then done. I've found that the best way for me to get out of my own head is to get away from everything that I know (my safety zone) and go back to the things that I love.
This is not the reason why I decided to go to India with the FIMRC. But it's what is keeping my anxiety about traveling to Asia for 6 weeks at a minimum. I love traveling and seeing new places and people and it's always been a dream to help offer medical relief to kids in other countries who truly need it, but I'm also looking forward to getting away from my life here for a bit.
The key though is to get away, not run away. You can't run away from your problems or the difficult parts of life, but it's good to sometimes take a step back and then look at things with a new perspective. And what better way to do that than to get out of your comfort zone and have new experiences? Although, your version of getting away does not have to be as extreme as volunteering in a country on the opposite side of the world.
Don't worry, my entries when I'm in India won't be this self-centered. I hope to share everything that I see and learn which I know will be a great deal. And I plan on coming back (the day before classes start, ah!) feeling "reset" and with a greater appreciation for all of the opportunities that I have been lucky to have, and hopefully feeling as if I made even a small difference in the world.
So, on Friday I will be off on a new adventure, and maybe you too can hit "reset" and have a fresh start this summer.