Monday, June 29, 2015

No longer a resident

As salaam alaikum,

I've been busy but not busy, if that makes any sense. I've been mentally and emotionally busy, preparing myself for graduation for residency. This included taking (and passing, alhamdulillah) my boards, getting my work schedule arranged for when I start my new job in September, tidying things up for my patients before I hand them off to the new resident, moving...

Ya girl's been busy.

There is also a lot of background noise right now, honestly, that has gone on for the last three years. My faith has been challenged in a very specific way that I have not shared on this blog, because it is a moment in progress. When this metamorphosis of sorts is complete, I will speak more openly and frankly about it. For now, sorry, you just get tidbits.

But alhamdulillah, I have completed residency and I am now a family physician practicing family medicine with obstetrics. This morning, getting up and not going to clinic, I felt starkly naked in a way I never have before in my life. I said at first that I felt naked because I was no longer a resident, but in truth, I've been a resident for only 3 years. It seems like nothing and it seems like forever at the same time.

I gaze at pictures of my co-residents and feel like I miss them already and that I never truly got to know them at the same time. They are a group of 11 people that I love and with whom I have experienced something unique that will not replicate. I feel like I've known them forever and for not that long at the same time. They are excellent people and I hope we continue our road to excellence.

I went in three years from being an insecure medical school graduate, not ready to embrace myself as a physician, to a board certified family physician with no insecurities about my capabilities. Again, alhamdulillah.

This moment, however, reminds me of a song Elis Regina sang, called, "20 Anos Blues."

Ontem de manhã quando acordei / olhei a vida e me espantei. / Eu tenho mais que vinte anos. / Eu tenho mais que mil perguntas sem respostas. / Estou ligada a um futuro blue.

Yesterday morning when I woke up, I looked at life and I startled myself. I am more than 20 years old. I have more than a thousand questions without answers. I'm tied to a blue future.

And while I do not believe I'm tied to a blue future, there were all of those ways, over the past few years, that I realized that I was not my 20 year old self. I am not who I was when I began this journey to be a physician, to be a better Muslimah, to make my own contribution to social justice.

I'm not 20 years old anymore. My grandfather is not on this earth anymore and my brother is an adult with autism who is unemployed, unskilled for most vocations and lives at home with my aging parents. I am a family physician continuing a very separate life on the West Coast, away from my aging parents and away from my brother. My personal life bears harsh realities that I did acknowledge, in a highly dramatized form at 20 years old, but that are more eminent now, as I begin to make plans for marriage and a family of my own.

At the same time, I'm not 20 years old anymore and I don't look for ways to save the world at every turn, in every crevice and with every issue. I'm looking for very specific ways I can make an impact in matters that I care most about and that I know most about.

I'm not 20 and I'm not premed, I'm a family physician. I don't love a man absently who I have no access to, I love one who is here, on earth, with me, who is not a character I created but a real man who doesn't always follow the ideal script for our lives but who is here regardless. I don't look outward for my Muslim identity, I look inward.

So I begin this two months off before starting work period resuming Ramadan (Ramadan Mubarak to all) after the Feminine Interruption. I return to focusing on The Compassionate.

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