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.