Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Vagaries of Change

A Beatiful Sign Close to My New Home

Things have changed since I last posted.  I quit my job and moved 850 miles away from my home.  The day I took the MCAT my wife shared a surprise with me when I got home.  She told me that she had been accepted into a Graduate program at Tulane University.  I was absolutely shocked by this, because it was something I never expected.  Somehow, in less than two months I was able to find a new place to live, a new job, and relocate to an entirely new city.

I am now settled in and we have established our new rythm of life, however things are different.  For one, living arrangements are vastly different from before.  I went from a three bedroom house with a nice yard, to a tiny 1 bedroom apartment.  When my neighbors have friends over, I can hear it.  They often wake me up in the middle of the night, which is something that never used to happen before.  The hallway often carries suspicious odors that whisper to me their nighttime activities.  I never realized that living in an apartment would mean being more intimate with your neighbors...you literally share everything with them, whether  you want to or not.

The smallness of our apartment and the need to walk everywhere has also drawn my wife and I closer together as well.  We have been spending much more time together, and I am now thinking that bigger is not necessarily better.  Most people dream of having a big house, but I am not so sure I want one now.  I don't like that family members can hide from each other by going to other rooms in the house.  I especially don't like the maintenance duties of a large house.  Cleaning, upkeep, and yardwork take up so much time.  Now these are things I don't have to worry about, and I love it!

A View From my Morning Commute
My work routine has changed as well.  After moving here, I decided that I would bike to work everyday instead of driving the car.  Many things contributed to making this decision, such as traffic, expensive parking rates, and my lack of knowledge of the city, however, the main reason is because I was really craving a way to lose weight.  As an aspiring Physician I think that it would be hypocritical to meet patients as an overweight person.  If I am going to preach the high principles of healthy living, then I must also follow those principles as well.  My problem is that I hate going to the gym, especially when I have to do it by myself.  Forcing myself to bike to work accomplishes several things at once.  It allows me to learn the city, it provides me with a means of transportation, and it ensures that I get a healthy dose of exercise every single day.  With a 22 mile round trip I have already managed to lose 10 pounds in two weeks.

All of this upheaval has been difficult, yet instructive as well.  I have learned that sometimes we need a drastic change that will take us out of our comfort zone.  In the short month I have been here I have totally revolutionized my lifestyle.  I look back on who I was before and I am amazed at the change that has happened in only one month.  Most people battle to keep things from changing, because that way they never have to face a scary or uncertain situation.  It is those situations, that makes us grow the most.  The more of them I experience, the more I look forward to it.

All of this has caused me to evaluate my personal goals as well.  Last year I was so sure I would get accepted into Medical School that I was rocked when the rejection came.  This year, I decided I have to prepare for it.  I must have a contingency plan in place so that I can smoothly transition into plan-B instead of being caught unprepared.  I was scared to quit my current profession before, because the stability that an Engineering income provides is very comforting, however I have realized I am reaching a point where I need to go the extra mile if I am really serious about Medicine.  If I am not accepted this cycle I will be going to Graduate school starting in January to study Neuroscience.  I have finished all the pre-med courses that I can take at a community college.  The only thing left ot me now is some GPA redemption by going through a Graduate program.  GPA redemption isn't my only goal, because I also want to study something that I find interesting while also continuing to prepare me for Medical School.

Change can be scary, but change is necessary.  The saddest thing to me is to see someone who has done the same thing, in the same place, for thirty years or more.  I know there are probably many reasons for this, but to me it looks like they were scared to go further, so they decided that where they were at was "good enough".  The possible risk to go further was too much for them so they settled.  I hope that I never settle in my life.  I hope that when I reach my goal of becoming a Physician that I will go even further from there.  I never want to be satisfied with where I am at, because the alternative is scarier than any nightmare I could ever dream up.