Sunday 15 May 2016

The Uncertainty of Choices

As I was contemplating the inevitability of the changes that are going to be ushered into my life from next week onward, I realized I was getting into something that is going to make my life a whole lot harder than it already is. From a medical researcher, I shall be taking the plunge to get into the choppy waters of USMLE preparations. Considering the pros and cons, I realized that it is a matter of weighing the options.

The way I see it, it makes sense to take this leap of faith, this risk, and give my passion a chance to work out. If it does, I gain a lifetime of fulfillment; and even if it does not, I can come away saying that I gave it an honest shot - you can't always get what you want!

This whole quandary reminded me Edgar's soliloguy from Shakespeare's classic King Lear:

And worse I may be yet. The worst is not
So long as we can say “This is the worst.”
Edwin Forrest (1806 – 1872) as Lear. Berkeley
In one of the most poignant segments from the play, Edgar, the long lost son of old, blinded Gloucester, is referred to as "poor mad Tom" (for he went under the moniker of Tom O'Bedlam); to this slight, the ever self-effacing Edgar mumbles to himself the lines above. Basically, he says, yes, he was poor; yes, he was crazy; yes, unfairly accused of plotting against his father, he was unjustly deprived of all his fair share of creature comforts - but still, as long as he possessed the mental faculties to understand and verbalize that "This is the worst", this, clearly was not the worst. 

Unlike Edgar, who was, hopefully, trying to put a positive spin on things, I think, this not being the worst is actually a bit of a scary situation. Although now I think I am in a difficult situation, things are about to get a whole lot messier once I do take the plunge. I have to, at some point in the future, quit my cushy job, and try to find clinical observerships in the US (which are getting as difficult to land as a residency slot); I have to save every penny I can manage, in order to continue paying the substantial loans I accrued as a student; I have to scrounge every morsel of time I can find in order to maximize my studying; I have to work that much harder in order to keep up with the rush of work that promises to inundate me at my job... I am not even contemplating the difficulty of getting back into the swing of things, starting with studying for the USMLE, with subjects that I have left ling behind in my past. Things are about to get a whole lot worse for me, and very rapidly so, too!

If I ever needed strength of resolve, it is now.


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