Ugh, I had this whole thing written up about stresses, and how medical school is tough, and WHY IS IT FULL OF IDIOTS, and how people are mean and when it rains it pours, and being a grownup is so much harder than you ever think it’s going to be etc etc.
And then, as my computer is apt to do these days (note to self: look into getting new computer) it shut down.
“Fuck this”, I imagine it thinking. “I am a rock now.”
And just as I’m about to reach a new level of “why always me” based thought processes, I remember David Foster Wallace.
In my head, I call him DFDubs, like he’s my best dead author friend or something.
In 2005, DFDubs gave this commencement speech at Kenyon College, entitled “This is water”. When I first heard it a few years ago, I didn’t know where Kenyon College was, or why he was speaking there. I had never heard of Infinite Jest or The Pale King or any of DFDubs’ other works. But I listened to this speech and thought “Hey, this guy is on to some stuff”. And then I didn’t think about it again.
Until I got stressed out. In that self pitying, ‘why-is-everyone-against-me’ kind of way. The most selfish sort of stress that has no regards for anyone or anything else. And for some reason, I thought of this speech, and remembered that, although it’s my default setting to feel this way, I can actively choose to feel otherwise. And that, even though that’s hard to do, it makes the world a little bit more bearable.
Since then, I’ve come back to DFDubs each time I’ve been majorly stressed out. Especially when I’m stressed out as the nearly direct result of the actions and words of everyone else around me. When you’re constantly in situations full of type A kids, who always strive to do everything right, and are used to being THE BEST(read: when you are in medical school), this is pretty much ALL of your stress. And that is the perfect time for DFDubs.
And part 2
And my favourite quote:
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.
Life updates soon.