Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A void

Two years since I last posted on this blog. In that time, I've graduated med school. The end of internship is coming fast and with it, the prospect of more career planning. Yet, in what are meant to be my most productive, most ambitious, most passionate years, I find myself tired, stagnant and adrift. Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying my job. ED at the moment is always varied, learning comes in increments and painful leaps. I enjoy most of my colleagues. I'm often surprised to find myself returning home more cheerful than when I left. I just feel like I've lost track of who I am. I'm unrecognizable to my 17yo self. Work has brought on this crushing myopia. Each shift is a race to the finish line and at the end I collapse and feed myself and numb my mind with games or TV. I fear the creep of apathy. I fear I am living in spiritual poverty. Where I once loved reading, now I glance at headlines. Where I once defined myself by love of languages and music, these interests now decay from neglect. But even worse, I fear a disengagement with the world. This year has been a momentous one. Harrowing disasters like the Japan earthquakes, tectonic shifts in geopolitics like the Arab Spring, the death of dictators and terrorist bogeymen, the end of the Iraq War, the famine in East Africa - events that mark a generation, events which once would have impassioned me and kept me up nights. Now they barely skim the surface of my concern. I have lost that altruistic drive to make my mark on the world. At 25, somehow, I find I've given up on myself. I've talked myself into believing that a quiet country general practice will suit me fine, where once I dreamed of the United Nations, striving for Peace, Justice and other capitalized pipe dreams. Being the change. It stings that some of the people in my year at school are actually living these dreams while I trudge onwards in the medical career rut. It is a taboo to admit, in this profession which in the public's eye is a vocation, an avocation akin to taking the cloth, that it is not mine. I strive for competence but I will never excel. This is not modesty, merely plain truth. So the years ahead look dark, if I let myself continue in the status quo. I cannot wake up 40, alone, merely surviving. I'm feeling vulnerable to evangelism at the moment. I envy people of faith their centre of gravity. I'm not talking the hypocrisy and bombast of religion; I mean the private, heartfelt faith which i have seen transform others. It brings serenity and purpose. What's next, then? Where to from here? The blueprint is easy: find one's intersection of belief and talent, direct that towards an area of need. It's the specifics that's the killer. I feel a deja vu, like I've said all this before. Existential ennui, lather rinse repeat. Carry on.


warrigal said...


warrigal said...

I'm responding to an earlier post regarding the late guitarist Chris Freeman. Like your Dad I learnt some of his songs after hearing him play around town, & was trying for ages to find out what had happened to him ( a google search led me to your post). It was sad to hear he had passed away so young.
Chris's music had a big influence on me, got me playing & now making guitars & producing tonewoods (from Aussie timbers).
I would love to find out more about Chris & where he came from as his is a great story in what he produced & also in the influence he has undoubtedly had on many others like myself (your Dad)
I have copies of 3 vinyl records & some sheet music which I would be glad to share.
Any chance to communicate (e-mail or otherwise) would be greatly appreciated.
Regards Andrew