Following on from my previous post about living someone else’s dream. Your dream isn’t about what makes you happy. It is actually about what flavour of shit sandwich is for you. Inspired by Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*#%k and my favourite speaker Elizabeth Gilbert (who also wrote Eat Pray Love & Big Magic). Life is never all roses, everything has positive and negatives. What shit sandwich can you handle?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because eventually, we all get served one…Everything sucks, some of the time

Mark manson

Every choice in life has its down sides. If you aren’t ready to sacrifice most of your time to become a doctor, then you should probably quit while you’re ahead. Let’s explore some pros and cons for a few careers.

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  • Important work – feeling of making a difference
  • Helping and healing people
  • Ability for medical innovation
  • Interesting
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Well paid
  • Privilege
  • Will always have your rental application approved
  • Your time is not your own
  • Stressful
  • High stakes – (people can die)
  • Dirty – lots of bodily fluids
  • Verbal/physical abuse (it happens)
  • Very little free weekends
  • Lots of exams
  • Reduced social life/out of work life
  • Shift work

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Crown Prince of Great Britain
  • Live in a palace
  • Influence
  • Fame
  • Don’t need to get a day job
  • Choice of crown jewels
  • Unable to say how you truly feel
  • Limited freedom
  • Hounded by paparazzi
  • Cannot date anyone you fancy
  • Probably not meant for people who value freedom above all else

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Van lifer
  • Ultimate freedom
  • Beautiful simplicity
  • Ability to move your house where you want it
  • Nature
  • Travelling at reduced costs
  • Constantly meeting new people
  • Lack of hot showers (or any shower at all)
  • Less privacy
  • Reduced security
  • No toilet (or a toilet you carry around that needs emptying)
  • Limited water/gas/electricity supply

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So, what is your flavour of shit sandwich?

Elizabeth Gilbert worked multiple jobs while writing. She was a bartender, waitress, trail cook and writer for years before being published. At the age of 37 she published Eat Pray Love, which then became an international sensation. With Liz Gilbert even being portrayed by superstar Julia Roberts in the film version. Most people would see that as an overnight success story, but it wasn’t. Gilbert wrote for years, and was rejected countless of times. However, her love for writing was far greater than the bitterness of rejection.

Her shit sandwich of artistic rejection was her particular flavour.

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What is my flavour of shit sandwich?

I’m still figuring this one out. I am scared of insecurity and of the unknown. However, I think my flavour of shit sandwich could be uncertainty. It could be being uncomfortable. I’ve travelled South America in a car, living in it with my partner. We had no shower, running water, toilet or electricity. We also had very little money. Yet, this was probably one of the happiest times of my life. I was thriving. It didn’t bother me whatsoever. Well the money trouble was stressful at times, in all honesty, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

Maybe I need to accept the down sides of leaving medicine and closing that door. It is a scary plunge, that I am still not quite ready to take.

If you want to quit medicine but you haven’t explored the shit sandwich of an alternative, maybe you need to start thinking about it.

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