Lately, I've become more aware of how I compare myself to my peers, my classmates, my friends. Don't get me wrong, I have always known that I have done this. I mean, I live in our society, and I'm 99% sure a side-effect of that is social comparison. I suppose it is more accurate to say lately I have observed the thoughts more rather than getting completely consumed by them.
I am going to be completely openly honest and fearlessly authentic here, so buckle up your seat belts. In the past two years, I have felt as if my life has been in a stand-still. The majority of my closest friends have been married and now have children or are pregnant. They are getting homes and becoming more established in their careers. I feel no where near any of that. Admittedly, these are things I thought we all would experience together. See, up until a couple of years ago, we had gone through so many major life events together - college, first boyfriends, horrid breakups, etc. I guess I just subconsciously assumed we'd all experience these "adulting" stages in life together.
I have come to understand and accept that medical school puts you on an interesting timeline. I have often heard it said that here (in med school), "the days are long but the years are short". Considering that I'm already more than halfway done with my first year, this certainly rings true. It's like time is flying by yet your life looks very similar to the way it has for years: the life of being a student. Uncertain of where you will end up at the next step, in our case, for residency or thereafter. It's not like a "regular job" for a while. You are learning and working, but you're not really making money. You're accumulating loans. It's all very psychologically intriguing really. Especially when you're a "nontraditional" student like me and enter medical school at 25 rather than 22.
But, I've come to understand that I really need to slow down these comparison-types of thoughts in order to logically process them. I have to continually understand that my path is uniquely my own. There are no right or wrong turns unless the ones I deem so. We all have the privilege of writing our own story, so we should strive to embrace that rather than trying to apply the plot twists and characters of someone else's.
That brings me to the line in one of my favorite songs that prompted me to pen these thoughts. From Minnie Driver's "Everything I've Got In My Pocket":