I was never a believer in cosmic intervention, or the idea that I can read an article that would tell me what to expect from the year that is coming my way. This was of course until 2017 came about and spurred my faith in the cosmos.
The beautiful cake in the above image portrays what I guess is the cake version of myself relaxing near calming blue waters, enjoying a beer, was created by that wonderful woman for the celebration of my acceptance to medical school in a very tropical location called Antigua.
You see… The world works in interlinked paths, these paths lead you where you need to be at the time you need to be there! BELIEVE ME, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SPUTTER THOSE WORDS!
I know by this point, you are asking yourself when is this guy going to get to the story, get to the part that is building up? I promise I am getting there!
This journey began when I decided to call it quits with my consulting job and the terrible lifestyle that this career choice led me to. This was back at a point where I was completely and utterly depressed and tired of the direction my life was going. I traveled weekly to remote locations, where I met with groups of very angry individuals to illicit what their daily lives entailed and how I can possibly improve them with technology. Long story short… I was becoming more of a psychologist than a technical consultant, and I had enough of my own problems, that I did not need to listen to groups of people weekly. I am not Dr. Phil.
The day came when I gracefully sent out a resignation letter that I wrote at 2 or 3 am on one of my clients sites in the middle of North Dakota. This day did not really have any special significance, looking back at it now, I think I was just ready to move on at this exact point.
Mid 2016-I am 1 year out of college and now joining the ever-growing unemployed community. No no, in all seriousness, I did have a plan. This is the point where I talk about the realization I had before I quit my initial career trajectory. You see, my mother is a proud physician, that fought tooth and nail to have the privilege of practicing medicine in America. Being a Ukrainian immigrant, she had do basically redo medical school, she had to take the board exams to get US certified. This was no easy task, and I recall the nights that she spent with her trusty translator, vigorously typing word after word that she did not understand the meaning of. This kind of work ethic inspired me to always power through every obstacle, to just look at what is in front of you and dive in, so to say. Anyway, back to the story. I always had a deeply ingrained career path laid out for me in my family, if you guessed by this point, and think you figured out the rest of my story, you may have. For the other people in deep anticipation, my parents were intensely set on me attending medical school and becoming a physician. It was not important what field, the idea of having a physician son in a first generation family that followed in the family path was a haven for my parents. I have this theory, we all secretly want to please our parents, we want them to be proud of our career choice, we want them to smile. Well, I truly convinced myself that now this was the only path, the path to enlightenment, the path to success, and you know the paycheck wouldn’t hurt either. This mindset placed me on a puffy cloud and nurtured my naive ideas of existence. If it was not for one simple outing that my sister organized at a Pappadeaux restaraunt, that set off a domino effect on my life, I would still be a person trapped in my thoughts and sadly to say most likely living another persons idea of existence.
Like most stories, this is a story about a girl, a girl entering my life and changing what I believed it was to live, showing a side of humanity I did not know was a possibility. That girl in the picture, the woman that I needed, and the girl that needed me. Everything from this point on, is why I now believe in the idea of fate and an intertwined existence.
The months that followed our meeting I was set on going to medical school and completely oblivious to everything in front of my eyes. I had this nagging voice in my head saying “medicine is a career”, this saying should be well understood by anyone with parents that are doctors. As you probably imagined, or at least put together in your head by now, this woman and I became really close in the months leading up to my acceptance letter. We lived together before we even dated, I know we were a bit backwards, but this was because I came to shadow her and learn a bit more about her medical specialty (I didn’t mention she was a physician). We spent our first thanksgiving together during this uncertain time, she cooked for me and we sat down for a family dinner together. I say family dinner, because for some reason she felt like family to me at this point already. Some feeling that is hard to describe.
Between the MCAT’s, the crazy rush for med school applications and some health issues we had experienced during the time leading up to me getting on a plane and flying thousands of miles away… We fell in love.
It was not getting closer to Christmas time, and this was an especially bittersweet holiday for us. It was not one day after we spent our first Christmas together that I received the news that I was going to be a first year medical student soon. How soon? I was on a plane in a month following ringing in 2017.
Ah, the plane. The drive to the airport. The overwhelming sadness that took over when she drove me to the airport. I didn’t understand this sadness yet. You see, I had an idea of what medical school is in my mind. I did not see all the sacrifices that come with it. This is something that this woman was no stranger to, she lived through everything that comes with medical school, rotations and residency. She was crying because she knew what medical school and even more precisely medicine is at it’s core. I did not understand this at this point, I saw the career, not the sacrifices, the day to day life that most physicians live.
The months that I spent in Antigua were some of the most independent of my life. I quit smoking (I never mentioned I was a smoker, why would I), I began a jogging addiction, I lost 30–40 pounds, and I became extremely organized with a routine. However, when you are in a country where you do not know much, your mind begins to think and wonder. I will skip over my experience in medical school, because that is not what is important if you haven’t figured it out by this point. Medical school is where I took a look at the core idea of what a physician is, the commitment you are making, and the choice an individual has to make when he is at an impasse. It took me experiencing medical school to realize what was important to me, the nights I spent studying how to identify irregularities and problems within people, I finally identified it within myself. Hallmark moment, I know, but I cannot say this any other way without writing a novel on what I experienced. Who knows I still might.
To shed some light.
The woman’s name is Svetlana and she is my other half in this world. Until I experienced the love that this beautiful life has to offer and all the spectrum of emotions that can be felt, I was a walking shell. The good, the bad, the fear, the happiness, the uncertainty, the comfort, the sadness, the love, I have lived more of my life in the last year than I have for 26 years before.
It took me embracing what my parents idea of life was to find my own.
Maybe parents have an idea of where you should go and what you should do, but it’s up to you to find out how you fit in this world and how the world fits within your story.
We are now engaged and have experienced enough to write a book in the past few months. Life brings wonderful things when you embrace yourself and who you really are. Do not ignore that nagging voice in your head. It may take you somewhere you need to be.