Babies feel a lot like blank slates.
Everything is new: they have these brand new hearts that are growing every day, new toes and fingers and smiles. But as babies, we're helpless. We can't even control the saliva in our own mouths. It forces us to be dependent on our parents and loved ones, and it created a space for bonding, learning, and love. I think in many ways that's how we are as adults. We need people who give us what we don't have, or complement what we do - and in return, we create relationships. But I think it's more than this - God made us for community. Each of us are valuable alone but together - together, we can change the world.
So when thinking about community, I think about how interesting it has been to meet all types of people from all walks of life. How much I love getting to know peoples' stories. And how grateful I am to know others deeply, and to be deeply known. As I was sitting down trying to decide who to invite to my medical school graduation, I thought of the people who know me - my people. The list I came up with was an interesting one. I realized I had one person from each stage of my life: high school, college, the 3 year gap where I was working in health care, and medical school. Of course some were already going to be there by my side: graduating with me. And there are plenty I wanted to invite but couldn't. But it's nice to know that I still have people in my life that I've known for what seems like forever. You need people like that, people who have known you since the beginning.
Medical school has been the longest, shortest years of my life. Learning to be a physician has been more than just academics, but medical school itself has been much like a baby learning to walk - you gotta learn to crawl first. Unless we are talking about Jesus, I don't think blank slates exist. We are always building on the foundation of everything we have learned up until that point. But that's the beauty of it, isn't it? You always get better.
Becoming a new physician = just a little babe in the medical realm. Still so much to learn. Surgical residency itself will be one of the most daunting things I will ever take on. But I also cannot wait.
It is not end, or even the beginning of the end - but it might just the end of the beginning.