I fully expected yesterday that, on sitting down to write this this morning, all of that anxious anticipation I talked about yesterday would be intensified to the point of being almost overwhelming. Not the case. While I felt pretty much at peace about it before, now I feel a sense of calm and acceptance that is beyond what I have felt previously. It actually feels not unlike when I used to take the penalty kicks for my high school soccer team – always in the moments just before taking the high-pressure shot, all of that initial rush of nervous energy was transformed into a sense of dead calm and complete focus. It wasn’t that the outcome didn’t matter – it very much did – but rather that passionless focus was the more constructive way to face the situation. I feel entirely ready for today, and am looking forward to actually enjoying the whole process.
Speaking of that process, here’s what my day looks like:
10:30-11:45- Pre-match party with mimosas and bloody mary’s
11:45-1:00- The Match!
1:00-2:00- Champagne reception and light lunch
2:00-4:00- After-celebration at a local bar
While you’re probably most impressed with the fact that nearly every scheduled event of the day involves – and is even centered around – alcohol (and may be wondering what that says about this next generation of physicians), I’m looking at it more as an opportunity to socialize and really don’t think I’ll have much at all to drink. I’m just really looking forward to catching up with all of my classmates and hearing where they end up.
For the record, I didn’t drink last night either. (Okay, maybe I had a beer at my friend’s party to welcome him home from Tanzania, but I had to help celebrate his safe return!) After the party though, while I was thinking I might watch a movie or otherwise try to take my mind off of things, I actually ended up reading through a few of the essays I’ve written reflecting on the things I’ve learned through some of my experiences at medical school. While completely unplanned, it ended up being a great way to put things in perspective, and more importantly it reminded me of the phenomenal – almost sacred – privilege it is to care for people as their physician… wherever that happens to be.
PS- An interesting aspect of the Mach day ceremony that I just learned of last night: Each of us is being asked to bring $1 to the ceremony, and while I thought this was because they wanted us to contribute to the champagne luncheon they were putting on for us, I heard what they actually do is collect everyone’s dollar bill, stuff it into an envelope, and give that envelope to whichever person happens to be unlucky enough to be randomly selected to receive their match news last. $150 consolation prize? Heck yes I’ll go last.