Up until now, choosing my partner has been the only real life decision I’ve properly made. I have a quite overbearing family who like to control most aspects of my life. While I do love and appreciate them, it has meant that I rarely make decisions for myself.

It’s a behaviour that originates from a good place, and them wanting what’s best for me. However, there’s a time when you realise that you’re no longer a child anymore. You’re an adult, capable of making your own life choices.

Faced with the big decisions, suddenly, for the first time can be overwhelming.

While it’s thrilling to finally be in charge, what choice should you make?

Decisions, decisions

I began the trajectory of medicine when I was 15. Over 12 years ago. I’d decided, yep, medicine was for me. Though I wasn’t particularly gifted at sciences or mathematics, and I was a firm introvert, doctor it was. My actual interests were in writing, reading, dancing, gymnastics, imagining and visual art.

I didn’t watch any medical dramas, it never interested me. From a child I’d wanted to be a vet, driven by my love for animals. My family strongly impressed that medicine was far superior to being a vet, and that it was too sad to care for sick animals.

Looking back, I think I made the choice because I thought it was what I should do. I liked the validation I got from achieving, and the external approval.

Going deeper into that whole can of worms can be another blog post.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

No choices for 12 years

Fast forward to where I am now, I really haven’t made a choice for 12 years regarding my career.

Medicine is a firmly conventional pathway. The old steps are paved for you, with signposts at every stage. It’s safe and familiar.

I dedicated myself to getting into med school, then graduating. After that I decided to finish residency, another two years no thinking. All this action distracted me from ever really questioning my choices and actual interests.

I was so busy doing, that I didn’t pause to feel.

Though I was unhappy for the majority of those 12 years in medicine, I didn’t stray from the path. I was quite good at suffering, and almost comfortable in it.

Self sacrifice was my default mode. I was driven by external motivation and the fear of failure.

sionPhoto by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash

Rock bottom

I’ve hit what I think is rock bottom a few times in medicine.

Did that spur me to finally walk away? No.

What will it take? That’s what I’ve been asking myself for a long time now. What’s holding me back? What is the mindset that is keeping me in this paralysis of decision making?

Now it’s finally time for me to make a choice. My first career choice in 12 years. No wonder it’s been difficult, but I can do it.

It’s time to trust.