Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's get drunk and forget what we did

No, there wasn't another night of moonshine-fueled debauchery. I was thinking about this day last year (you know how I'm all about the anniversary reactions) and went back and read this post from same.

In which, of course I recounted the song playing on my CD player when I arrived at the Chair's house was this one. Which, honestly, I've sort of considered to be the theme song of my intern year (which is better than the theme song of my last residency, the chorus of which is, "Get back, muhfucka, you don't know me like that!"), with its references to being "faded, a little grey from every time that you've been hurt," that "the rain just ain't enough when you're this dry," never fitting in your own skin, wearing out shoes that someone else should be wearing now, etc, etc. It's all about letting go and giving up an identity that doesn't fit anymore, letting people in, connecting and being available to receive what people will give you.

It's interesting...when I first moved here, I had this gospel station as one of my radio presets (there are a lot of gospel stations here in the buckle of the Bible Belt) because I liked this morning show they had. I don't remember her name, the host, but she was positive and upbeat and didn't smack you over the head with ol' time Religion. And she was talking to her co-host (okay, sidekick) one morning when I was listening, during the time that I was still without license and bumming around with my anxiety brewing, and she said to him, "You're going to have a blessed day, I can feel it." And his response to her has stuck with me. He said,

"I believe it, I receive it!"

Hmm. Fairly Secret-esque, and those who had the misfortune of hearing my tirade about how I think The Secret is crap (okay, not crap, but intuitive, and more what I think is that the hype and commercialism around it is exploitative and aimed at a particularly vulnerable population) will tell you how much I buy into THAT. Except, I think he captured (for free, and in six words) the real point of what that whole thing is trying to say. But I also think that point is important. I think it's probably the key to getting anywhere in life, and I think it's something that often impedes us. Because being open to receive something, even a positive something, makes us vulnerable. Change makes us vulnerable. But the only constant in life is change, so, your choices are limited. You can waste a lot of energy resisting, or channel that into opening up and receiving - events, people, things, whatever.

Not that I've been the best at this this year. But hey, I'm human and flawed, and sometimes being able to accept things is all about receiving them at the right speed. There are still plenty of things to which I haven't been able to open myself, because even though I want them, and they may present themselves, it's still too threatening, too frightening, too vulnerable to do so. But that's why life is an ongoing journey, not a destination.

Wow. Could I throw a few more cliches in there? It's true, though, is the thing. Anyway, I think my point was, that stuck with me, and it's something I need to keep working on as I look towards revisiting this post next year.

I also commented that had I chosen my CDs differently, this could well have been the song playing when I pulled up (my favorite line in which is the title of today's post). Which, frankly, would've set a whole different tone for the year.

(I swear to God, I remember every single minute of Porkfest. For the record.)

I can't believe it's been a year since this whole adventure started. Tomorrow night is the resident thing for the new interns at the same place we had ours. It was a nice night. I played pool with Benny and PenguinShrink and Chef, got lei'd by the curly-haired chief (that was how they identified who the members of the new class were - we got plastic flower lei's to wear. It was helpful), spent a while talking to Mike, met a few of the upperclassmen I still consider to be some of my better friends in the program. And most importantly, discovered that the rest of my classmates were scared out of their skin, too, if for slightly different reasons than I was. But, we were all in the same boat.

I also spent a good deal of time talking to D, who left our program the day after I got my license. Just didn't show up to work one day. He was older, had been practicing in another specialty for 20-some years. I thought maybe he was dead, because he didn't come to work, wasn't answering his pager, wasn't answering his phone, and that everyone should stop being so mad at him until we were certain he hadn't just keeled over in the shower that morning. But ultimately the higher-ups confirmed that he was, indeed, still breathing, and in time we hired Ruthie and Faye in his place. So, ultimately it worked out okay. But no one in our class ever heard from him again. Which was sad, because I liked him, and his partner, too.

It really scared me when he left, I'll be honest. Because I identified with him. I mean, I didn't have a spouse and two mortgages and five kids, but he and I - and Comrade, who's of course still with us - were outsiders. We hadn't just come out of medical school, we'd been in a whole different part of medicine and chose to come to psychiatry. For us, I thought, it was a decision of a different magnitude. One of my friends told me recently that he chose psychiatry because, out of everything he tried in med school, it seemed to suck the least (I mean, I guess when you get right down to it, that's really why you choose anything, but usually, it's not that conscious a factor). But to make a switch from a whole other specialty, right, you do it for different reasons. It's a bigger leap. Something. But whatever happened, he didn't make it. And of course, since I came in to the program unable to see things turning out much differently than they had before, this fact scared the crap out of me. I mean, at that point I was still operating on the conditioning of the Emerald Palace and assuming that they were right and I was a really, really bad doctor. D was a good one. He'd been practicing for a long time. So, in my irrational state, if he couldn't handle it, that really didn't bode well for me.

It ended up having nothing to do with me. Because, of course, we're two different people, with different skills, neuroses, demands, and strengths. Which, logically, I knew, but since when have I been ruled by my logical mind?


I guess it'll be interesting to see the next generation tomorrow night and see what they think, who they've connected with, and what they're ready to receive.

Meanwhile, this year, today was a fairly full day. I got up, went to Starbucks and worked on some very delinquent discharge summaries (still not done), came home, unpacked a bunch of the kitchen. I discovered that the gas isn't on in my house, because the stove didn't work. I mused to the woman at the gas company (they're coming on Monday) about how ridiculous it was that I'd lived here a week and was just figuring out that the stove didn't work. I hung out with Sparrow while the handyman swapped our refrigerators (long story). I fell out of her hammock (it was funny). I found all the pieces to my water cooler and got that working for the first time in about a month (there was an algae incident a few weeks before the move, but it's clean now). I laid on my bed with my sweet sleeping puppy and watched as the sun broke through a beautiful summer squall. Oh, and I made a couple of acquisitions:

On the right is my snazzy new, double-insulated, looks just like the cup I get every morning, stylish Starbucks tumbler that I broke down and bought this morning for all the above reasons. On the left are some hydrangeas in a mason jar that Sparrow brought over for Mags and me, because she thought we needed them.

She was right.

I believe it, I receive it. It's gonna be a good year.


Tiny Tyrant said...

You've persevered chickie. Kudos to you. Cannot wait to watch the next year unfold.

You go girl!

penguinshrink said...

So soon...

Also, your second song choice? I don't think that's English.

Danielle said...

Amen, sista.
If you get a chance, check out the SNL parody of the Secret lady on Oprah. It's on youtube, just search for "Secret parody" or the likes.
We watched the Secret on DVD. It was an infomercial for positive thinking. It was really hoakie.