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Monday, March 23, 2009

Now Two Different Persons...

I remember the hype right before the Christmas break last December. I remember how I felt, on our last day of classes before our 14-day (or so) break. (Needless to say that a 14-day break in Med School is nothing short of a trip to heaven).
I felt light. Relieved. Granted, It was not my first time looking forward to a long awaited, much needed break, and yet, the feeling was unique in a way that I cannot put to words. December 24, 2008, we went out for lunch, a bunch of close friends/select classmates, meeting with expatriated childhood friends who had just flown in from respective countries, and the atmosphere was just fantastic. I felt light. relieved. I felt different, and silently baffled at how good it felt to feel different, and how long it had been since my last similar moment. A glass of wine helped. Later on it took a bunch of my friends, who noticed the difference, a few minutes to describe to me how they saw me from the outside. They said I was a different person when I was taken out of the academic atmosphere. The atmosphere of constant stress, constant information binging, and constant evaluation and scrutiny. Apparently there are more smiles, pleasantness, jokes, and less worrying. That made me a different person. So what's unique about that? Everyone is different under stress right? The problem is, this was the perception that I had of my personality, and it was supposed to be the case no matter what the context. My affect in this atmosphere was supposed to be unchanged no matter what. I made sure of it, and was complimented on it by many friends. I am now different. Apparently I cannot maintain my laid back character anymore. Things get to me more easily now.
When did I change? How and when did I change so much? And could I have changed so much without even noticing? Not the slightest clue! I don't know... It's hard to sum up, and hard to pinpoint exactly when or how this change occurred. That's Med School for you. I guess the last 2 years of my life have gone by in a flash. And a flash may even be too long... that's how fast, yes. I can't help but carry this thought further back into the dark alleyways of my memory and try to remember the last 'checkpoint' in my life that feels genuinely distant in time. I can't find one. I could wind up all of the 26, soon to be 27 years of my life in a heartbeat, and It's a frightening feeling.
So here I am, on another one of my late-night musings, typing away with a Gastro-Enterology book obstructing my reach, thinking that oddly enough, it is now Monday morning, rather than Sunday night, rather than Saturday afternoon... Where did my weekend go? Might as well have been last Monday, the one before that or the one before... Same difference... Yes, here I am, Monday, March 23, 2009, at 1:35 AM, with a lost track of time, anticipating (for a change) the change that I'm about to exhibit "tomorrow": Friends have flown in, exams will have let off for a little while (Upcoming exam in exactly 6 hours and 25 minutes).
I wonder what's in store this time...