Tonight I said, “Sure, I’ll walk with you.”
This is so unlike me. I enjoy my solitary walks across the medical center campus long after sunset – the way the lights circle the tree trunks along the greenway, a little bit of cheer among a sometimes cheer-less day. I’ve been known to stay later simply for this time alone.
Today I had plans for the same. I had bottled up my frustrating moments of the day, ready to release streaming tears down my face as I walked, a therapy in itself. But tonight I said, “Sure.”
We walked side by side with faces pointing forward, the unexpected rain pouring down around us, jackets pulled tightly around our bodies protecting from the wind. We talk, without seeing, about clinical rotations, plans for the upcoming months, the insanity of it all. We laugh when the cars driving by send waves crashing up and over the curb, threatening what little of us is still dry.
We parted ways on the third floor with a smile and see you tomorrow. My face is damp when I reach my car. From the rain this time, not from my overflowing overwhelm. And I’m glad that I said, “Sure.” I’m glad that you asked.
I wrote about match day just a hot second ago (actually months now). Things change so quickly that documenting the big moments feels overwhelmingly impossible when all of our moments feel like the big moments. And that’s okay, for me at least, because there are times when it gets foggy and recognizing any moment at all is something of note. Time may pass as if it was never there, but to be aware of the passing is a gift. A difficult, humbling gift. I’ve now moved to my new city and begun what is sure to be a challenging and rewarding residency program. In the short time at my new hospital, I have completed orientation, training, and almost my first rotation as a pharmacy resident. What have I learned?
Residency takes a village, y’all.
It takes co-residents who sludge through the daily grind together, share exhausted smiles, and offer small bits of encouragement. It takes preceptors who love to teach so that new pharmacists succeed and grow in confidence. It takes program grads who reach out and ask how things are going. It takes coworkers who tolerate questions upon questions. It takes summoning 700 different selves deep within you to meet 700 different challenges throughout the day. It takes non-pharmacy peeps to keep you grounded and round out the “outside” life a bit. It takes family who have no concept of what I do each day but still firmly believe that I can do it (and remind me of that, too). It takes all of these people and more who daily go unnoticed in the background making every little detail of a large program run smoothly. Residency takes a big, strong village because these months aren’t easy. Young grads are filled with such strong desire to learn more and be better, and it’s this village that will help us do just that. I’m grateful for mine.