"I got through it, I feel fineI went to school and did my timeIn a sense I'm out, in a sense I'm freeTo be what I wanna be
You gotta stick togetherWith who you are and who you knowYou gotta rememberWhere you've beenAnd where you wanna go"
Doing Time (1996) by MxPx
I woke up this morning and saw that I had written the following post (while being under the influence) which I had left unpublished before going to bed,
I'm a little tipsy right now but my plan was to drink myself into a coma. I had to leave the club early - Jo had one too many tequila shots (four or five!). I found her on the dance floor, clinging to Sanjeev and dancing over a puddle of her own puke before passing out. I wish I'm having that much fun. I couldn't because Shaki leant over and shouted something in my ear through the bedlam and all of a sudden, I was drinking to drown a sorrow instead of drinking in jubilation.
I probably shouldn't be blogging right now. I'll probably say things I will regret.
Hours ago, the verdict broke. Facebook was suffused with gratitude dedicated to God; a person I used to know but apparently many still do. The curmudgeonly atheist in me wanted to point out that God had nothing to do with it. The Christian God, the Muslim God, the Hindu and Taoist gods - do they all exist simultaneously? Because prayers to each and every last one of them seemed to have been answered (and ignored) alike. Indiscriminately, whimsically, randomly.
Everyone is brimming with the pride and joy of achievement; publicly prefixing their names with the honorific "Dr" and announcing to anyone who would listen that our batch of students, against all odds, had attained one of the best result statistics in recent years. So many masturbatory pats on one's own back. So many pompous declarations that we made history, quote-unquote. There's so much self-congratulation going on that you'd think it's the Academy Awards night. Maybe we had something to prove. Maybe is was because we had been vilified too often for being the worst collection of fuck-ups the university ever enrolled, as they so often told us. I begrudge no one their finest hour, but I want to make it clear that I do not share my colleagues inflated appraisal of our worth. Incidentally, I also hold the word 'history' to a higher, more dignified standard.
For many, it is the culmination of a dream come true. They were idealistic, aspiring children with this one goal in life - to be a doctor - and I can only imagine the sense of fulfillment they experience living up to it. I envy them. I feel only relief, because my dreams lie not in medicine. I set out to get through medical school using the minimum number of semesters possible and my mission was accomplished - however undeserving this victory may be. I was as burned out as a candle in a house fire. I gave up. Halfway through my final assessment, I did pretty much everything to sabotage my own chances. I started escaping to the cinema daily to have some time alone in the dark where I can cease to exist, if only momentarily. I spent the nights before every big hurdle thinking up excuses I could make for failing instead of getting the sleep I desperately needed. My biological clock was dialed about a quarter of a day into the past, and in the mornings when I was required to perform, I was performing on a brain which kept moaning, 'What gives? We should be in bed now!' In those moments when I felt the loss of control most acutely, I saw the appeal of prayers, of asking for divine intercession - but I had long since outgrown my childlike habit of speaking to my omnipotent imaginary best friend. How does one whisper into the aether and ask for wishes to come true, and not feel stupid or insane? So, I continued my unbelieving, blaspheming ways. Turns out, it makes not one horsefeather of difference whether you beg meekly at God's feet or call him a celestial sheep-fucker.
I am a doctor now, apparently. Whoop dee doo. Don't congratulate me because I have not done anything of note or worthy of praise. I have not done anything that I am proud of.
Oh wow. That has got to be one of the bitterest, most depressing pieces of writing ever penned in relation to finishing med school. There's should be a breathalyser test instead of password clearance for access to my PC - I believe I wouldn't have written it sober. And the song lyrics I chose yesterday night to head this post was Eleni Mandell's Forget Me,
"Forget me you're on your way
We don't have to stay in touch
We may remember someday
Til' then it doesn't matter that much"
Now, I'm sure everyone would prefer the MxPx song I quoted on finishing school instead. This is not something I say often because it's hard to say, but it's true. The best thing I got out of med school is not my knowledge, my degree, the title I get to put in front of my name or the letters I get to stick behind it. The best thing I got out of med school are my friends who stuck by me in spite of the mess of a person I am. It must not have been easy.
To quote a different part of the same Eleni Mandell song,
"I promise I'll never forget you."
k0k s3n w4i