It’s hard to tell in the photo but the wine glass says “FUN” on the side. I didn’t realize that when I pulled it out of the cabinet. As I was pouring wine into it late at night I read the glass and had to laugh because nothing about that moment was lowercase “fun” let alone uppercase “FUN.”

I was tired after a long day of work, feeling especially emotionally drained because child abuse cases are my kryptonite, it was hot as hell in our house, our AC works as well as it can while contending with a giant hole in our ceiling (a pre-COVID project we’re finding it hard to get someone to finish amidst COVID), our nephew-son is flexing his 21 year old attitude right when I’m ramping back up to full time hours, all of my spare time is going into my upcoming book launch, I haven’t been sleeping well, I haven’t been making time to work out, nor have I been eating as well as I should, and the truth is I miss my pre-COVID life. I miss seeing my friends, going out to restaurants, taking day trips and doing occasional shopping.

All of it just hit me at once seemingly without warning. I was sitting in the kitchen sweating my ass off, ugly crying, and sipping wine in the dark thinking to myself… being a new attending was supposed to be this glorious launch into real adulthood. And after sitting with that cognitive distortion for a minute I realized that there is no difference between the life I had when I finished fellowship and the life I’m living as a new attending a whole 34 days in, it’s just a continuation.
There is no “I made it!” There is no finish line because life is the marathon that doesn’t end until you die.

When my ugly cry was over I texted a friend who offered to FaceTime with me. We exchanged stories and struggles.

During that conversation she reminded me of a few important things:
-we all carry our own burdens-growth and change happen during hardship-the struggles you have now will pay off down the road in ways you may not have thought of-right now, in this moment, maybe you’re just where you’re supposed to be

These few simple thoughts really helped put things into perspective. I was able to shift from feeling overwhelmed and anxious about what was happening around me to being grateful for the things I do have.

My hope is that even when life seems difficult we are able to find happiness in the things that are going well (even if it may not be much), and help each other to remember that we truly are in this together.

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