3am

It is 3:30 in the morning, and I cannot sleep.

At around 1:30, someone in a rusted out, old pickup truck outside our apartment decided it would be a good idea to blast his radio and shine his headlights into our bedroom. I must have been in the middle of a REM cycle, as I immediately awoke without a trace of sleepiness. And I’ve been awake ever since. Nothing seems to be working. With as cold as it’s been and the recent snow we’ve had, I cannot wait to give up apartment living. I want my own space, a garage, and no unwelcome visitors at 1 in the morning.

To preoccupy myself, I caught up on the emails I’d missed during my brief stint asleep.(One part I had quickly forgotten over break was the incessant emails we get when classes are in session. It’s an ungodly amount of emails to begin with, and then throw in the needless ones that demonstrate medical students’ inability to “Reply” instead of “Reply All”.) One of these emails is about an event that is occurring later today.

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of having a conversation with a local physician whom I greatly admire about what my plans are for my career. It is so easy to forget the big picture when there is so much information to understand and retain in classes, on top of techniques to perfect for the clinical skills exams that are quickly approaching. It was a nice reprieve to remember why I’m doing this in the first place, and has given me a bit of a refreshing enthusiasm for my projects outside of the classroom.

Later today, there is a lunch session for the Global Health Interest Group that I’m excited about; the session is titled “Helping Babies Breathe”, and it’s an interactive, hands-on event. In this same email, Dr. H listed a blog to read if we were interested in neonatal mortality, a blog written by none other than Dr. V, an acquaintance of mine from IU who runs a clinic and research programs in Kenya. I’ve been following Dr. V’s blog for almost three years now, and I love it. (Can I just have her job??) In reading it this morning in my state of dreadfully conscious wakefulness, I am reminded once again why I love medicine. There is a neverending amount of good that can come from it, doing almost anything. Which made me wonder, where exactly does my job end? When will I be “done” with my job, when will I feel as though I’ve accomplished my objectives? Will I ever feel that way? Or will I turn out to be a workaholic, working on my projects and creating new ones until the day I die? Will there ever be enough satisfaction in a job well done, or at least in a job completed enough, to feel that I’ve reached my limit? These are the weird things I wonder at 3am.

It’s been a pretty big week. We started two new courses yesterday (technically, on Tuesday, but with an actual SNOW DAY, classes were kinda-sorta-not-really postponed until yesterday. I am thankful (so far… I’ll probably eat my words later) that we’ve started both Biochem (Genetics & Molecular Medicine, GMM…aka, Biochem) and Physiology, and I’m feeling optimistic about them because they coincide with the way that I think. Every so often, it pays to be a certified biochemist! Also, I generally love spring semesters anyway… sure it’s winter and cold now, but every day it’s getting closer to spring, warmth, green grass and fresh flowers… and my last “free” summer ever. It’s going to be a good semester. Several side projects of mine are finally coming to fruition, so I’m excited to see what lies ahead.

Now that the clock is telling me that I need to be up and moving in a matter of two hours, maybe I can finally get some rest before starting another long day. Living the dream, I tell you!

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