Thursday, August 1, 2013

limbo

I'm in a strange limbo. I have another three months of fellowship, but I've finished all my major requirements. I go to clinic a few times a week, study for my boards (which aren't until November), work on a manuscript, and try to muster the courage to ask all those "dumb questions" during this last period before my professional training wheels come off.

I have my nights and weekends off. I pick the kids up early most afternoons and on hot days we go to the pool for a few hours before dinner so that my husband (who works at home) won't be disturbed. I've been baking, which is something I hardly ever do, and we (husband sans children) just finished a two week binge of Breaking Bad. I'm also moonlighting to mitigate some of the financial damage I've done with so much free time.

It's a sweet time, but it's also a strange time. I've wasted too many of my unstructured hours perseverating on the looming change to come. The Move. The Job. I can feel this change near me like the warm heavy breathing of a sleeping animal that's soon to wake up. I'm not scared of it, just aware of it being there.

Perhaps that's a little melodramatic. We've moved a lot in the last fourteen years, got married, had a few kids. Most people I know have undergone at least one, if not a few, major changes during the same time period and more often that change included a cross country or international move. We aren't moving that far and someone else is going to do the actual move for us.

But, for the first time time since I left for college, that move is home, rather than to a city I (correctly) anticipated to be a 3 or 4 year pit stop along the way to... well.. somewhere else I guess.  

While I wouldn't call it a regression, "going home" has, until just recently, entailed a component of just that. I stay with my parents in the house where I grew up. My mom cooks. My dad and I watch reruns of Law & Order with huge bowls of ice cream. We talk about the neighbors, high school sports, and the weather. I don't usually venture far from where they live, which is fairly suburban and removed from the "hipster-chic" elements that have birthed stereotypes of the city- unrecognizable to me- in the time since I've left.

I am unsettled by the idea of living as an adult in a city I've only known as a kid, especially as now, at the completion of my training, when I am expected to act more independently than I have at any previous time in my life, professional or otherwise. I wonder if I will ever feel grown up in a place that reminds me of being 17.

Moving home. More complicate than I had anticipated. 

2 comments:

  1. At this point in my career, moving any place grandparents are sounds like heaven! Automatic babysitters? Food? Ice cream? I agree that moving to my hometown would feel strange, but think of how amazing it will be to go someplace that is not new?!? Someplace where you have history. Have tons of fun! Life beyond training sounds scary but very necessary! Best wishes!!!

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  2. Dear Red Humour,

    I loved this post.

    First, I hear you about perseverating on a change to come. The Unknown. It is human nature and very difficult to avoid. I love the idea of mindfullness in theory, but I think to some extent we are all hard-wired (at least we "type A" are predisposed) to anxiety about future unknowns. As a military doc, I find it very difficult when a departure is ahead. I, ironically, cease to enjoy my time at home as much as I could or feel I should. I am too distracted by the future. And I do TRY not to be. I get mad at myself for not focusing on my husband and children. But I perseverate on the unknown.

    Or, in your case, the unknown of your formerly known hometown. Which brings me to my second thought - you have perfectly articulated what before was a "feeling" I had whenever I thought about moving home to practice. That happy but strange but good but weird jumble that happens when you think about exactly the factors you describe - being a grown-up (and a physician) in a town where everyone remembers you as 17. It's not bad. Not good. Just strange.

    I hope you do enjoy some time at home this summer. It sounds like you are. You have worked so very hard and deserve this break. All the best to you!

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