Today I received my first graduate medical school offer (and after all, it might very well be the only one 🙂 ).
At the very moment I saw the offer letter, what struck me was the same unexplainable feeling that I experienced when I crossed the finishing line after running a marathon back in December 2011. The only irony in this case is the realisation that the start of an actual lifelong marathon awaits just around the corner.
Now feelings and facts aside, I am utilising this public sphere and writing this with only two goals in mind:
- To thank you, and
- To also encourage the ones who are still running towards this first finishing line.
You may be my family member, teacher, friend, relative, colleague, acquaintance, or someone whom I have only met a few times or even for a spilt second. You may be the one who always had faith in me from the very beginning, who have helped and supported me in any and every way possible, and have stood by me through this long and challenging path. You may be the one who have taught me everything I know, instilled values and ideas in my mind, and inspired me to keep changing and striving for the better. I could only have crossed this checkpoint because of you. If you are reading this and I have yet to reach out to you personally, thank you, thank you very much.
You may also be the one who had doubts about me, who thought that I was not cut out for this, or who still thinks so. I would like to thank you too, and I do not mean this in a sarcastic or bitter way. You taught me the importance of different perspectives, how to respect and incorporate them, and of all, the truth about the real world we have to face. Your viewpoint showed me that there is always the possibility of failure. But from this, I also realised that beyond failure, I have nothing else to lose. You gave me that limitless courage. And for that, I want to sincerely thank you.
This collective thankfulness and reflection came to me in the middle of one admission interview, where I realised every word that came out of my mouth and every thought that ran through my mind was shaped by every single individual I have been lucky enough to have met in my life. Things may have changed and things will change, but that moment of connection I had with you, it will always remain priceless and unchanged.
And if you are the one who is still running, first of all, perhaps why don’t we see this as a journey rather than a race.
Because in a race, we win or we lose.
And the spotlight is only on the first few.
In a journey, in one way or another, we make it.
Where everyone is a winner.
As long as we don’t stop.
Even if it is the slowest jog.
I do not have perfect grades and scores. I have failed many times before.
I am not smart. I only have passion, and that keeps me running, right from the start.
Trials and tribulations do not end here, and will not end for a long, long time. They will make you feel weak, fill you with doubt, make you feel like giving up and stop running all together. They did for me, in all honesty. But they also gave me strength. Because when seen as challenges, they are only there to make you, your very best.
You have been running long and hard. Please don’t stop. You are almost there. The ones who came before me have brought me here, and I believe that we will all make it to the other side.
As cringeworthy-ly cliche as this whole post already sounds, I still want to revisit two of the most helpful quotes with you:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
– Paulo Coelho
If you truly want to help and empower people as a doctor, you definitely will one day.
(Now attempting to leave this naivety and dive into reality where I will have to first finish up the honours year, figure out how to pay for this medical degree, start med school, complete med school and trainings, learn endlessly, and keep challenging myself a million more times till the day I die, so that I can help others the best I can . Oh hello dreams! 🙂 )