On my way to the studio early last night, I had this great post from fellow Gemini Girl (when you click on it, don’t let it confuse you. You did end up in the right place. We just happen to have the same WP theme) going around and around in my mind.
Even from the first time I read it, I could tell we shared common check points and traffic bottlenecks while we were doing the proverbial slip sliding away down the highway of life.
Only that mine didn’t exactly go in the same order. After managing to survive the childhood from hell, and graduating with honours from high school at 16, I found myself exhilarating with power but – unbeknownst to me, in a very precarious mental equilibrium. Oh, but I thought I WAS moving. Fast and furious.
Before I had time to understand what the hell was happening to me, I found myself married and with two toddlers at 21. And the brilliant scientific career I was supposed to have? Buried under a pile of laundry along with other various dreams. At least they were keeping each other company, I guess.
I too found myself unable to recognize the woman looking back at me in the mirror. I was stuck in a perennial brownian motion, not really going anywhere
I woke up one morning and decided it was time to go look under that pile of laundry and rescue my dreams. I talked to my husband and told him that even though being a housewife was a good thing, I needed to finally do what I intended to do when I met him. So I applied myself hard for six months and then submitted my application to med school. I took the admission test on my birthday. There were 2,000 applicants from all over the country for 25 coveted spots. I placed 12th.
We arranged for day care for the kids and I started my first year of med school. This is it! I thought. I’m going places now. Right.
Going through med school was a whole different kind of hell but I did manage to graduate, not with honours but with a more than decent average. Most importantly, I had a solid reputation as a “young” researcher and landed a much coveted position at one of the most prestigious research institutes in the country. Only that it was in a different city and my husband was at that point in the middle of his residency in pediatrics. Moving the family was out of the question. The marriage was already suffering so I decided to decline the job and stay in order to try and save the marriage. Ha! Stupidest decision ever.
He left anyway, and I was back to my good old friend the Brownian motion. Jobless, husbandless, pretty much homeless too.
So I decided to risk everything and follow my other dream. Which I did. I came to Canada. I was going places again!
After a few hurdles with my permanent resident status, I applied and was admitted into the Cellular & Molecular Medicine program at the University of Ottawa. Oh yeah, I was DEFINITELY going places now. I could almost taste that Nobel prize. My friends used to joke that soon they would have to call me doctor doctor SSG.
And then all hell broke lose. Again. Now in my mid-thirties, my health both mental and physical was rapidly deteriorating. Whatever dam that held all the issues and help me stay sane all those years finally broke and after that it was a tsunami of health problems. Having the ex pretty much holding my children hostage in Colombia didn’t help one bit. I had a nervous breakdown and I had to drop my PhD.
It took me some long years to try and put myself back together. The kids, who were finally – by some sort of a miracle, able to come live with me, couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I had to come to terms with the fact that my brilliant scientific career was no longer an option. Those were dark times. Forever stuck in Brownian motion.
But we survived. The kids finished high school, took jobs, life went on.
And here I am now. Somehow, I found the strength to reinvent myself. Self-taught a new set of skills. Found myself a new career. Two, actually :)
I am where I want to be. I’ve watched my children become two wonderful young adults. I have good friends, I am happy. Sure the monster lurks in the dark. It never lets me forget. Sure there’ll be times when the world becomes dark again. But I know I can beat that monster.
I also know I will never make a difference in the world they way I envisioned it when I was growing up. I won’t discover the cure for cancer, or the vaccine for whatever. But I rescued a kitten two weeks ago. I sure made a difference for the kitten.
I dance even though I’m in pain each time I do. I’m in pain even if I’m just sitting down anyway, so I might as well dance and have fun. Cause I rather be in more pain and dance and be happy than be in less pain and be sad. And I even get to teach! It is so rewarding when someone comes to me and says, I had so much fun tonight. Thank you for the lesson. I am definitely coming back!
Thanks to TFG, I am even re-learning how to play the guitar. Soon enough we’ll be jammin’ (I hope).
Yeah, I am definitely moving!