“Don’t wait till you get there!”
That’s my motto for how I see my journey through life. Don’t wait till you get to the destination, whatever that may be, to enjoy life. I view my end goals as something worth working towards but that I must obtain some joy from the steps I take along the way. Yes, it may have some difficult moments but I cannot focus so much on the destination that I miss out on the fun in between.
I want to carry this “enjoy the journey” attitude into my aspirations to becoming a doctor. It is a long journey to becoming a doctor and we have often heard terms like “grueling”, “endless”, “requires sacrifice” to describe the process to becoming one. I have had several conversations with friends and family who are doctors or who are on their way to becoming doctors and I have to say that although many describe how difficult it is, there are also many who describe it with such passion and enthusiasm. I love those conversations because it reminds me to focus on the positives and that although hard work is required, there is also a lot of joy to be gleaned from the learning process in medical school right through to the extensive interaction with patients in residency. I do not yet have firsthand experience of the process but I am now at a place in my life where I don’t see becoming a doctor as some far off event that seems unattainable. I see every step I take, be it preparing for the MCAT, volunteering, talking to physicians or just learning about medicine as a career, as something beneficial, like a building block towards constructing my dreams. When my children play with Lego blocks, a lot of the fun is in assembling the pieces before obtaining the finished product. If they hastily put the blocks together with only the final product in mind, they would have missed out on the fun, problem solving and learning experiences of putting the blocks together. In the same vein, I am enjoying the “building” process that is going towards my medical career. I enjoy studying for the MCAT and discussing new things I learn with my husband (we are both inherently nerdy!). I enjoy dreaming big with my brothers who are in medicine as we envision the type of work we could do in developing countries. These are all little steps towards the end goal.
Whatever your dreams or goals may be, writing a book, visiting a new country, going back to school, starting a business, changing careers, remember to enjoy the process of getting there. Don’t just wait till you get there!