The Most Dreaded Question
I never realized how frightful one could be due to a simple question. I was unaware of how I had held my breath until air had become a necessity five seconds later. I was shocked that I was unable to jump up with answers to what seemed to be an incomplex question for those with a determined, set-in-stone, unchangeable mindset. More importantly, reality checked in and I was left with the thought of 'why is it so difficult for me to answer?'
On Sunday, I had to fill out this form for a semi-formal, somewhat casual medical school interview the following Monday (that next day). Granted, I'm only a sophomore so the intensity of this interview was low but the pressure and the stress that came with it was quite high (for several reasons). The last question on the form went something like this, Why do you want to pursue a career in medicine?In other words, why do you want to be a doctor? I was speechless.
You may think that that is the most terrible thing considering I am pursuing a career in the medical field. But see, I could easily say the cliche answers of I can't imagine anything else, I've had a near-death experience, I have family members pass away due to illnesses and I've dedicated myself to medicine because of it, I want to make a difference in people's lives on a daily basis, etc. All those mentioned, and more, I fit the criteria and I could easily use any of those as answers. But like I said, it was cliche. To me, it felt like it wasn't enough. I needed something more. The interviewer for the medical school would expect more. I must have stared at the form on the screen for more than 20 minutes until I decided that I was having, yet another, quarter-life crisis.
Speechless. My mind was blank. I felt my brain scoff at me, meanwhile my heart ached in misery. Where was my passion? I searched and searched and searched. I dug through my memories and all I could think of was because I truly couldn't imagine anything else. I mean, I can, but not without having any regrets as to whether or not I should have continued pursuing the medical dream. I was terrified. I asked myself over and over again, I reworded the question, I did everything possible in the hopes of affirming this long time dream and goal of becoming a physician.
I ended up writing something along the lines of what I had categorized as "cliche" earlier in the post. But I was not content with how I felt. How could any one be satisfied with the fact that they absolutely and utterly could not answer whole-heartedly the one question that is the root and reason of why they're pursuing such a career? How could any one not be devastated? How could any one not feel perplexed when this career has been the center of their life and the reason they have done certain things in life?
Fast forward two days, and as I am writing this post, I still am unable to honestly, whole-heartedly, 100% say why I'm pursuing this career. But you know, after having several conversations and receiving insights from people that I value and trust, I think I'll be okay. Whatever I end up doing, whether it's staying the pre-med route and finding a true answer, or if it's starting all over again on a whole new and different major, I'll be okay. There's one thing I'm 100% sure on; that is whatever I end up doing, it will be what's best for me.
It's okay for you guys to doubt, and for you to be flip-floppy. It's amazingly difficult to be okay with that idea 24/7, but in the end, it will all come together. For those of you sending me messages and emails about being scared and worried, I'm right there with you. We just have to do what makes us happy. In the meantime, the question that I'll be asking myself, 'why am I doing what I'm doing in this exact moment?'