I guess it’s only fitting that I dedicate my first entry to explaining the blog’s title. No, this isn’t a blog about cleaning. Let’s just clear that one up first.
Seven years ago, I set out to accomplish my dream of becoming a kick-ass surgeon. I knew I had my work cut out for me, with having to juggle residency training, and being a single mother to a little boy. I spent long, sleepless hours at the hospital. On days when I was not on 36-hour duty, I would come home, and would have to help my son, Job, with his school work even though I was basically running on fumes. Then when he finally went to bed, I would have to crack open my books to study for the next day’s cases. From the beginning, it was a struggle. Without my parents and my then-boyfriend (now husband) pinch-hitting for me all the time, I never would have been able to do it.
I won’t go into great detail about everything I had to go through during that time. On one hand, I learned a lot, developed skills that I still use to this day, and forged friendships with people who I hope will remain in my life for a long time. On the other hand, I experienced things that would later cause me to develop a battle with anxiety.
Unfortunately, things just kept going downhill for me. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Aside from performing poorly in conferences and exams, my relationship with Job, who was then 8-years old, became very strained because I hardly ever got to spend time with him, and when I did, I was either half-asleep, or extremely irritable. One day, when I snapped at him for something, he stomped his foot in frustration and said, “WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS ANGRY?!”
That made me stop.
I hadn’t even noticed that I was taking out all my stress on him. I thought I was doing all of this for him. For his future. My little boy was making so many sacrifices for my dream. I began to ask myself if it was worth it.
That moment with Job made something in me snap. I no longer understood what I was doing. It gave me no joy. I would wake up early every morning and have this sense of dread as I prepared to go to work. Palpitations would hit me while I was assisting surgeries.
At the end of 2011, I walked away. Let me tell you… I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. But don’t get me wrong—I was scared. This was the first time in my life that I didn’t know what I was going to do next as far as my career was concerned. But I knew that walking away from that toxic situation was the best thing I could have ever done.
SCRUBBING OUT is what surgeons do when they’re either finished with the procedure, or if they need to step out of the Operating Room for one reason or another other. I had done it countless times. When I carried my stuff out of the hospital on my last day, I felt like I had scrubbed out of that phase of my life. I was sad, relieved, excited, and terrified all at the same time. But I drew comfort from my supportive family, and from one of my favorite bible verses:
Since then, I have married the love of my life, moved out of my parents’ house, joined a ministry at our church, found a new path in my life as a physician, opened myself up to trying new things (like cooking), and have revisited the things I used to love to do, which includes writing…hence this blog. It’s like getting to know myself again.
Here’s hoping some people will actually enjoy reading my posts about all the things that inspire me, or spark my interest when I take my “doctor hat” off, from family, food, and music, to movies/TV shows, makeup, saving the environment, and whatever else that comes my way.
Here goes nothing.