Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Perspective (just a little)

One of the radio stations I listen to has this Wednesday feature called, "You've got to be kidding me!" where you call up and discuss things that made you angry. It's mostly little annoyances and kind of reminds me of this site. It's funny and everyone understands that you're not like, oh my God, my life is soooo awful because my nail polish turned out to be matte instead of shiny or because you spent an hour shopping and then the grocery store couldn't take credit cards because the computer was down. Total first world problems.

My 8am patient came, but my 9am canceled, so after I wrote my note, etc, I was reading today's "You've got to be kidding me!" posts on Facebook. And there was one from a female soldier that read, "I woke up this morning and I'm still in Afghanistan."

It kind of gave me pause.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think this is a little bitchy. Not for nothin', but you made the choice to join the military. And, yes, people have many different reasons for doing so, and, true, they don't always let you make the decisions about where you go once you're in, but I'm saying, you knew waking up in a war-torn country that resents out presence there was a distinct possibility. And to post it in a forum like this is a little woe-is-me. Not that she's not entitled to it, but, nonetheless.


I'm looking out over the rolling green hills and bright blue sky of this hot North Carolina day. I'm seeing patients, I'm in the air conditioning, I have cute shoes and manicured nails. And, yes, I have a lot of things to deal with, and yeah, my job can get pretty taxing. But no one is shooting at me.

Well, I do live in the Dirty D. I guess it could happen. But so far it hasn't. And the gangs aren't real big on IEDs, either (pool noodle incident notwithstanding).

I've been obsessing a lot lately about where I want to be when this year ends. What sort of job, what sort of setting, etc, but also where I want to end up geographically. Raleigh? Chicago? New York? Baltimore? In the end, I suspect, it'll come down to where the best offer turns up. But this morning I'm thinking that it's nice to consider whether I'll be shoveling snow or dealing with traffic instead of if I'm going to run over a land mine today or someone is going to throw a grenade at me while I trudge along with 70 pounds of gear on my back in the desert heat.

I was talking to my supervisor a couple of weeks ago about making the decision to stay in the area or go back home, and I told her, it feels like whichever decision I make, it's going to feel like the wrong one. If I stay in NC, I'm going to wish I was in Chicago. If I go to Chicago, I'm going to miss my people (and weather) in NC. This sucks. And her perspective was, well, you could look at it as, whichever place you decide to go, you've got great things going on and great people to be with (there are fewer people there, but the same thing can be said for NYC or Baltimore).

I still don't know what the hell to do. But I'm trying to hold on to the perspective that it's a win-win. Or at least that it could be a lot worse.

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