I think one of the hardest things for us to do is to be truly honest with ourselves. Sometimes I'll try to sit down with the sole purpose of allowing myself to just take it like it is, but even when you do that, it's hard to not suppress the feelings and facts of yourself that you wish weren't true. It's really easy to convince yourself that something about you is true in order to make it work with what you want or what others want of you, but isn't it better that we face the truth early rather than let our lives continue with lies? It's ironic how I always want others to be brutally honest with me but I can't do the same for myself, but that's also true of a lot of things. Sometimes I'd say it's the fact that we're really afraid to confront the truth and make a change to act on it, and I am plenty guilty of that. Even as I say this and know that some of the decisions I've made are due to familial pressure or personal desire, I'm still resisting. Even if I know a definite answer that is not the answer that I want, I revert to saying that there is uncertainty and that I don't know anything for sure. But it eats away at me, and I have and will continue to reach the decision points where I can't sit on the fence anymore. So let's be honest.

I, for the life of me, cannot figure out how I feel about medical school. That's where I'm headed, that is what my parents expect of me, that's the path that all of my career decisions are moving toward. But I don't know if that's what I would be good at, if that's what I would want. One thing I know is true: I'm not great at communication. I said that I would work on it and that's what I have been doing and maybe one day I could be as good as I need to be to be a doctor. I have empathy (I think?), that's good for a doctor. I know the things that make a good doctor, but a critical evaluation of if those things exist within me or if I could develop them is lacking. I want to help people, sure, but by prescribing them medication? I don't know. My rationale for medical school right now is that I could do research with my degree, but I don't even know if research is right for me. It makes my brain hurt. I guess this isn't even about being honest with myself, it's more about me not even knowing what I want. That's actually really normal right now, isn't it?

And then I go and try to tell myself I'm a very family oriented person who would sacrifice anything for my family when I don't even know what family oriented means.

My point is that we hold a lot of truths back from ourselves for the sake of just being happy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if we avoid confronting the situations long enough, the long term effect probably won't be so happy. I guess my question is, can you become what you believe you should become? Can you become what you want to become even if you yourself are resisting against it? That probably makes no sense. Your reasons are practical but the change must be emotional, or your reasons are emotional but the change must be tangible. Maybe part of who you are is someone who wants to make her parents proud, trusts that they know you, but that part can't convince the rest of you that what they want you to do is good for you emotionally, that it will fulfill you, satisfy you. Maybe you feel a relationship should be more valuable to you than it really feels like it is. Can convincing yourself otherwise make it real?

One Response so far.

  1. If you care a lot about your family, "family-oriented" as you call it, it's best to do exactly what you are passionate about. Becoming a doctor if you don't want to is not a sacrifice for your family - I'm sure your parents want you to be fulfilled and happy, and they will be proud no matter which area you go into because research, medicine, etc are all noble professions and earn a good living. To do something you don't enjoy fully, especially something that requires so much time in school and in general, to follow what everyone else says is good for you, is not a sacrifice but a waste. I'm sure your parents don't want you to "sacrifice" for them - in their eyes its no sacrifice, its just the awesome thing to do for yourself. So no sacrifices. Your family might not understand now, but a decade from now their satisfaction with their contribution to your life won't be based on which profession. I think if you put aside the opinions and "should"s of everyone and leave only yourself, you will in good time know exactly what you want. In the meantime, it's ok to be unsure.

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