I watched a silly documentary this evening — my 3rd or 4th one of the day because I'm desperate when I'm alone — that left me with a knot in my stomach and a bee in my bonnet. It was a documentary about kids who go to this high school in L.A. that is all about the arts and performing. I found it rather unremarkable to begin with until I found myself crying during the scene where the sweet, quiet dancer girl scored the lead in her school play, rocked it, then got into her dream school.
Some days I think I'm losing my mind. These days I cry at the drop of a hat. Maybe that comes with getting older. And I never really know what's going to set me off completely. But I have noticed that I am almost always moved to the point of tears when I watch people, on television or in real life or whatever, who are in their element. I've written before how much I envy and admire those who have found their love/passion/path at an early age and have just kept on it. It must be so satisfying to be fully in your element - doing something that fills every deep dark corner of your being. Even if it only lasts an hour, or even a few seconds. I'll admit that I'm not there yet... with medicine. How could I be yet? I get flashes of excitement and fulfillment, in study groups, or while I'm taking tests (I do love taking tests), but I still haven't had that all encompassing satisfaction. I don't think I will until I'm actually in medical school, secure on this path, and learning and practicing the things that I yearn to learn and practice.
What drives this concept into my mind even more is that I am literally surrounded by people who are fully immersed in their elements, some at the peaks of their careers who are world renown for the records they've broken and the accomplishments they've made at such young ages. My husband is one of these people. I am perpetually blown away every morning at 4:50 am when he rolls out of bed, without argument, and drives to Berkeley to jump in a cold pool to swim for hours — the same thing he's done for years upon years upon years. I've never known that kind of dedication. When I was little I was a singer (no seriously, I was all about choir and performing in school plays), but I was too easily intimidated by my very scary voice coach and my shy self decided that I couldn't hack it in show business — probably for the best. Then I was an athlete, trying volleyball, playing tennis on and off for a 6 years or so, then finding rowing. Rowing was the only thing in my life that gave me that feeling of being a complete person, but still, I held back because I was scared of what it took to be great and also scared of what would happen if I gave it my all and then wasn't, in fact, all that great. A back injury and a lack of drive to try to fix it (among some other reasons) forced me to quit my freshman year. Then I was pre-med, then I quit, and then I was a million other things as it took me 6 long years to get to a seemingly solid place. And still I worry at times if something will come around to scare me off this path, as seems to be my habit. I don't believe it will, but I'm taking all precautions to ensure that fact. This is partly why it took me so many years to recommit to medicine — so I could know for sure that this is what I wanted to do.
What I yearn for, that confidence that comes with doing what you are meant to do, takes commitment and it most definitely won't always be glory and greatness. In fact, most of the time, I think life is supposed to be pretty normal with its fair share of low points. Glory and greatness must be deserved, especially in the field that I'm trying to get into. But thankfully, having Damir by my side is so inspiring. He is living the dream and doing it with great integrity and dedication. He quietly motivates me to keep on my path, and do it without unnecessary theater or drama. Just get up, put in the work, keep chasing dreams, let go of the past – and keep doing this for as long as it takes. And it will all be worth it. When Damir walks on the pool deck, he is the expert, the rockstar. He is fully in his element. How great must that feel?
I can't wait to feel what I know is coming. I can't wait to be a rockstar in my own arena. But for now I'm still chasing, and I'm going to continue to chase hard and there are and will be ups and downs and feelings of uncertainty and certainty. But I'm lucky to still be chasing. That is for sure.
[Lyrics in post title from this song]