I’m back home. Well, in a new home, but I’m back in my old stomping grounds all the same.
Matching into a residency where my family and friends are minutes, not hours, away is giving me hope that I can make it through my training with some modicum of sanity left.
Residency is hard no matter what specialty you chose or where you go. The hours are rough. The work is nonstop. You learn a lot and do a lot. It’s a job that you work towards for years and then can only begin to master after years of grunt work. The Class of 2021’s grunt work starts July 1st (the traditional rollover day for PGY [post graduate year] classes). On July 1st, PGY-3s become chiefs, PGY-2s become upper levels, Interns become PGY-2s, and the Class of 2021 becomes Interns. I am excited and nervous and hopeful, but mostly I want to begin working to start getting a paycheck.
That’s one thing that gets lost in the scramble of residency prep: being a doctor is a job.
I’ve had many jobs, so that is one thing that is soothing me. I’ve had to work with many different people and deal with a myriad of situations. I can do this. I just need to remember that on Day 1 and through Day 365, Day 730, Day 1095, and finally on Day 1460 when I graduate residency and am a full blown attending. I am looking forward to that six figure salary and way less call days.
I want to buy a house. I want a fancy new car and to finally give up a bunch of my stuff. Living on a budget, making way less money, and worrying about bills has got me in this broke mentality of scarcity.
And yet, I secured this beautiful apartment based on a letter from my boss listing the salary I will earn in the next year, more money than I have ever earned in one year. As an intern. It only goes up from here.
My apartment has a balcony. I already put out one chair, a table, and a trashcan. I haven’t used it yet because cicadas. The Sun streams into the inner courtyard that my apartment faces. I can hear the yelps of people in the pool.
Since moving in, I’ve walked to the grocery store, the post office, the local beer wine store, and a Jamaican spot that is going to get a lot of my money.
This is the nicest place I have ever lived in, nicer even than the expensive apartments I paid for in medical school. I don’t want to move until I finish residency… unless I get married.
I feel safe here, protected, secure.
I splurged and bought myself a new bed. My old one was at least thirty years old, a hand-me-down from a since deceased relative. My new bed has a thick foam mattress that sucks me in and doesn’t want to let me go. I have had the best sleeps in the past week. This may be a problem, but I’ll worry about my alarm schedule later.
Through the generosity of strangers, I have new luggage, soft slippers that feel like I’m walking on pillows, new bed sheets, as well as a weighted blanket and blackout curtains that will come in handy soon. I start residency with a night shift.
The next four years won’t be easy. I’ll be stressed and learn more than I ever thought I could, but I’m happy. I have friends and family nearby. I have real security. And I have this place with all my things.
I have a home again.
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