Tuesday, June 21, 2011


'Do something every day that scares you.'

The desire to do more is coupled with a fear that maybe I will not be good enough. But jumping in is the only solution and has brought me to where I am today.

I have been afraid I am not good enough, smart enough, witty enough, etc, since the third grade. This would be when my step-mom came into the picture and decided she needed to tell me daily that I was too stupid to amount to anything in life. By college I actually started believing it. I let the anger I felt towards her and her comments take over me. So much blame, wasted energy. I rode the downward spiral through two failed MCATs, even up through one attempt to get into medical school. Finally, with the help of my husband and a fantastic friend, I am breaking free of her hold over me. For the first time since I can remember, I know I can get into medical school. The knowledge is empowering, exhilerating and even peaceful.

The best part is I finally stopped pointing the finger and blaming and took ownership of my feelings and thoughts. That whole 'sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me' saying is crap. Words hurt, negative words nine times more than positive ones. The more you hear, the harder it is to brush it off and move on unscathed. It takes a giant leap of faith to break free of the hold by the negative words that have sunken in over years of repitition. I see the bright light at the end of the dark tunnel.

As I'm filling out my second round of AMCAS, re-writing my personal statement, I feel so much more positive. I know I will still feel nervous going into interviews, but I have a sudden confidence from diving into the things that scare me most in life, namely the possibility of failure.

Some things I dove into recently are both related to volunteering. I signed up as a volunteer tutor for the local Boys and Girls Club (finally), despite my fear that I would not be a good enough teacher or able to explain things to the kids. All it took was five minutes of fractions with one girl and that fear vanished. I tried to recycle the scratch paper I had used to explain why 1/2 is bigger than 1/3, but this girl took it from my hands immediately exclaiming that she needs this scratch paper in order to learn about fractions. That initial fear melted into excitement that I had done something for this girl that truly helped her. I then signed up to volunteer in the PCC of the Seattle VA. Though I know my way around a clinic and paperwork, I feared being in the regular employees' way and not getting tasks done quickly enough. But as I faxed letters, delivered mail, and made copies of needed handouts for all of the over 50 patient rooms there, it no longer bothered me that a nurse was disgruntled I was using the copy machine for over 100 copies. I know deep down I was doing her a favor by setting up each patient room with all the paperwork necessary for proper care of the patient, and she'll see that when she opens a file drawer and doesn't have to return to the copier yet again.

From fear to confidence, I'm ready to reach for the stars. Even if I miss, I'll still land on the moon, essentially hitting my goals one way or another. Because I've got a lotta love to give.