When do you reach the point when you stop celebrating birthdays? I hope never. Today just happens to be the 25th anniversary of my birth and quite honestly I feel as wonderful and youthful as I did when I was 15. I have many beliefs in life and one of them is that we only get better with age. While some would disagree whole-heartedly as they try to recapture every morsel of their youth, I have decided to live each year and experience all I can in that year and then -move on to the next. You see with each year I gain experience and knowledge and while the looks and beauty of our youth may fade at an alarming speed I find something alluring and enchanting about the wisdom and sense of self- awareness that comes with each calendar year.
Now don't get me wrong their are moments that I look in the mirror and think wow...is this what being 24 and in med school does to a person. I too have started to see the little lines of age creeping up around my eyes and mouth. I like to call them my smile indentations and the signature sign of a life full of laughter and happiness. Even more wonderful is with the turning of each chapter in my life I have found that I become a little more comfortable in my shoes, and more accepting of who I am. We all have our own hopes and passions for our lives and I look at what I have done in the last 25 years and am amazed. I have traveled to some of the most beautiful places on earth Spain, London, Italy, El Salvador, and lets not forget the gorgeous terrain of Maine. I have ran 4 marathons and have devoted my life to serving others through medicine. I feel so richly blessed because I have some of the most amazing family and friends that anyone could ask for. Thus adding another candle to the birthday cake this year for me is only an indication of the things I have to look forward to in the year to come.
What do I want for the next year ? In medical school we are forced to look as the psychology of age and it just happens that 25 is a pivotal role in development. It is the year of self-evaluation. You look at your life and decide if it is going in the right direction. Are you happy with the events that have occurred or are you going to change the way you live? I find it an interesting evaluation because right now in medical school I feel like my life is on pause. The world around me revolves friends get married, buy houses, and have babies and I am stuck on the endless wheel of studying and stressing. Don't get me wrong I am very happy for these people in my life, but wonder am I missing out on something. Am I paying for an institution to take away the so-called best years of my life?
Yet, after this deep contemplation I realize that what matters right now is the present. I want to enjoy each day whether it is my birthday or not to its full potential. I can't focus on what other people have or are doing, but only on myself and where I am currently. Thus here is to Pasko panache being 25, in medical school, single, and fabulous. Here is to loving the outdoors, running, La Croix, the Biggest Loser, and peanut butter. Yet even more important are the years to come and the things I have to look forward and to experience like for example growing old and wearing ridiculously large hats with feathers...yes the possibilities are endless.