Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is the trick to creative work: it requires a slip-state of being, not unlike love. A state in which you are both most yourself and most alive and yet least sure of your own boundaries, and therefore open to everything and everyone outside of you.

...the fragile constructions of grey breath and thought that were his theories for changing the world without setting foot in it. 

My boundaries weave in & out - broken away by a night in the air, holding onto a small foot through a perspex cot. Back as I discuss discharging patients we can't find, reporting to child protection. Blown away again as the toddler with head lice reaches for the pearl hanging around my neck.

Medicine is creation, at times: the art of sifting for the treasure, the piece that completes the puzzle. The shared building of future hope, the push to trust in another. This point of connection teeters out beyond the edges of comfort, requires a willingness to set foot in the world, to be bruised by it and, at times, to be swept away.

A slip-state of being.

With thanks to Anna Funder, whose words I have cherry picked for my own ends.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I define myself by what I do.

I've known this for a while. Ever since my year 12 biology teacher suggested that, in fact, he did think I could do medicine, it's been me. Ok, so I've been other things too - a bookshop sales assistant, a friend, a public speaker, a daughter, a foreigner - all of which have been more or less terrifying at times - but it comes back to this.

I want to be good at it. Others can be better, but I want to live up to my own expectations. And sometimes, I don't.

Does that make my expectations unreasonable? Sometimes they are. I talk through them with others and occasionally have to be reminded that that's ok. As long as the outcome is good, or not bad, then the process can be acceptable rather than perfect. I'm just as human as the people I treat, and must remain grounded in that.

The last few weeks have shaken my confidence - or at least, made me re-evaluate my expectations. The kids involved are fine - and my involvement with them helped them towards that outcome. But my idea of my own responses, my own level of practice and perhaps even my sense of who I am, has taken a hit.

Is it the settling in crash that did not yet happen? Perhaps.
Is it the new consultant imposter syndrome, that would be inevitable wherever I practice? Perhaps.
Is it being tired, in an unfamiliar place in the middle of the night? Quite possibly.
Is it that I push beyond my comfort zone? I should not then balk at feeling uncomfortable.

Is this where I am supposed to be?
I think so.

Is it who I am?
It's a big part of it.

Can I do better?

So I look back, look for areas to strengthen.
And keep looking forward. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I've been drained recently. New environments, new people, new systems. Being called in the middle of the night and needing to perform. Flying. A lot. The heat. The intensity of others, and the inability to control my time.

This spoke to me today.

Via Sarah.