The other day, I spent some time thinking about how I would feel about my current job if my accident had never happened. Sure, I would have been equally as interested in my work but the first thing that occurred to me was that I wouldn’t have ever even gotten this job. Virtually everything that led me here has been a result of my accident. The fact that my doctors are involved with the company, the fact that the mission is so personal to me, even just the fact that it’s a research position is not something I would have gone for had it not been for my research experience post-accident in undergrad.
But, my job would have also scared the shit out of me. There has been so much that I have learned over these first 3 months, but there’s also still much to be learned. I would have chickened out. Learning to program in python within 3 months? No way, I can’t do that. Preparing posters to be presented at international conferences? That’s awfully ambitious. No, this is not me telling you how great my job is. This is me explaining that, faced with challenge after challenge, I have accepted with a smile and delivered. The weird thing is, people don’t normally live like this. Who is motivated by looming, seemingly-impossible obstacles? Me. I am.
This being said, you readers have heard a good amount of venting on here as well. So what’s the difference between those posts and this one? There are things you can control and there are things you can’t. When I did my first self-review at my job, I ranked my skills as ‘below expectations’. My manager was very quick to correct that- the ‘skill’ I did have was a willingness to learn, to figure it out. I was smart ENOUGH to get this job, and I am smart ENOUGH to figure out how to get better at it as I go.
When I begin looking into which medical schools I should apply to, there will be no safety schools, or even mid-range schools. They are all a huge fucking reach. But that’s ok. Someone recently told me that comparing myself to other pre-med students is like asking a fish to climb a tree- there’s absolutely no logic there.
I would also say that my skills as a potential medical student are ‘below expectations’. But, just like I am doing here, I am willing to figure it out. I know that becoming a doctor isn’t exactly something you just ‘figure out’, but I will. Watch me.