When Joe and I first found out we were moving here, it was a bit of a shock. I was sad and worried, not knowing if I could leave my home, family, friends, and way of life behind. There was a lot of stress involved in the move, and we had to worry about finding an apartment and selling our house. And would we have enough money to live on? However, I think my biggest concern was the fact that medical residencies are very demanding. On the doctors themselves, but also on the wives and families. I’ve heard horror stories about how many hours a week residents are required to work. And Joe told me he would basically be going in to work at 5 AM every day and not coming home until late at night. Except for the months he would have to stay overnight at the hospital. Yikes. I worried that I wouldn’t get to see Joe ever, and I would miss him so much. I’m a person that can keep myself entertained, but how can you have a relationship with someone you never see? I worried, “Would he and I grow apart?” Would he come home stressed out and tired and grumpy all the time? What would happen to us?
We’ve been through a lot of things in our seven-year relationship (not the kind of stuff I usually write about on my blog), and I do have trust in our ability to weather a storm and become stronger. Maybe the force behind my anxiety has been a fear of change. I'm someone who goes to a restaurant and always orders the same dish for six months in a row. But then again after I get sick of it, I try a new dish and order that for six months. Maybe New York and residency is my new dish. I’ve also heard from wives of doctors that although their husbands work long hours and get paid very little during residency, that time was still one of their favorites. I think maybe it can be so difficult that people really form strong bonds because they are going through it together.
Now that I’m here in New York, I know that this will be good for me. I already feel that I’m getting out of my Kansas rut and experiencing new things. Kansas was so easy, and New York is not. But sometimes easy is not a good thing. I get lazy and complacent when things are easy. My life stagnates.
When I look back over my blog posts about moving, I see that I was trying to express what I was going through, and I don’t think some people really “got” it. Some of the comments were so sweet, and some of them were just either insensitive or too simplistic. A lot of the message I got was “You should be happy!” Well, life is not that black and white. There are gray areas and mixed feelings. Sometimes people feel sad or anxious. The only way to get past that is to feel the pain and then move on, not to bury it under cheer. I don’t feel happy or excited or positive all the time. I’m okay with that. It wouldn’t be genuine to pretend otherwise. I do try to live my life with a positive attitude, but it’s also very important to me to feel my feelings honestly and express them honestly.
Sometimes when I feel misunderstood, I wonder if I should just stop posting anything personal on my blog at all. Because some people act as if it gives them license to judge my life or talk to me/about me like they know me. Most of the personal stuff in my life doesn’t get anywhere near my blog, but I do like to post about life things that seem appropriate and interesting in a public forum. The thought of not being able to do that anymore makes me sad because I love expressing/journaling my thoughts (about some things) on my blog. It’s a really great outlet for me. And I guess it’s nice to feel heard. Maybe it’s okay that my feelings aren’t always validated by the comments. I just wonder if it’s worth it.
Joe started his first day today at work as a real doctor. I am so immensely proud of him. The last four years have been difficult, and he’s worked his butt off. We’re both nervous, but I think excited too. Doing general surgery (for the first two years before he starts Urology) in the middle of Manhattan, I think he will see some crazy stuff! Maybe it will be tougher than some of the other residency programs he could have joined, but I think he will gain much more experience. I believe in him so much and in what he’s doing. Really. My doctor Joe. He has a good heart and wants to help people, which makes this all worth it.