#transformationtuesday

This isn’t a “before” and “after” picture. It’s simply me in two different stages in my life. Neither is more “beautiful” or “better” than the other, they are both simply me.

Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts)

"This isn't a 'before' and 'after' picture. It's simply me in two different stages in my life. Neither is more 'beautiful' or 'better' than the other. They are both simply me."-@kellykkroberts ••• The difference between last year vs. this year at the #mohawkhudsonhalfmarathon = 8 minutes and 25 seconds, 20 pounds (apparently lost only in my face 🙂), and MOST importantly, a more confident, happy self running, school, and everything-wise! (P.S. More #transformationtuesday/#TMItuesday on da blog. Because I didn't wanna study tonight. 💁🏻) ••• #medschool #medstudent #womeninmedicine #medschoolproblems #medschoollife #medschooldiaries #oisellevolée #capitalregionbirds #womensrunningcommunity #wrctransformation

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As I received my medal at the Mohawk Hudson Half-Marathon last Sunday, I couldn’t help but smile, (slightly deliriously) reflecting on where I was a year ago. Yes, the difference is obvious in my almost eight and a half minute improvement in time and the scale shows I’ve lost 20 pounds, but the only change that really matters is the one you can’t necessarily see from the results and my outward appearance.

A year ago, I was a hot mess. I had just restarted my second year of med school (mais ça, c’est une autre histoire…), feeling completely embarrassed, fragile, and alone without my usual school friends and comfort zones to lean on. The previous seven months had been a whirlwind of confusion, self-doubt, and lack of direction. It’s scary not knowing what your next step is, but it’s even scarier realizing you are the only one who can make that decision about your next step.

I tried to make the most of my semester-long hiatus from school: I gained clinical experience working with a local doctor in her private practice, accompanied her on house calls to local assisted living homes, and provided direct care to patients with dementia and other illnesses at her own assisted living home. I trained to become an SAT tutor with hopes of becoming better prepared for my own battles against future standardized tests. I finished out my duties on the Albany Tulip Court and volunteered as a Running Buddy for our local Girls on the Run chapter to stay connected with my community. I signed up for an Ironman, something on my bucket list, and raised almost $8,500 with my family, friends, and school community for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my grandfather who had been struggling with the illness for four years and the patients I had worked with during my time off.

It all culminated with my grandfather passing away, a sprinkle of seizures, and a series of doctors’ appointments and tests. With a miraculous medical clearance, only eight days after my seizures, I finished the 140.6 mile race. Some called it “badass,” while others bluntly told me I was, “idiotic,” but for me, it was redemption for all of the frustration that had built up over the past year and my mistakes I just wanted to close the chapter on.

My second year of med school (take 2) after that “fun” summer, I was on edge. Despite witnessing my body succeed after pushing its limits in such an extreme endurance event, I didn’t trust it to not fail me again. I felt like everyone I saw was judging me, and I purposely avoided the library at school because it made me so anxious. I feared the grind was too much, that I wasn’t cut out for this doctor thing. I was ready to quit the moment I hit another stumbling block. I’m a crier, but even for me, there was a lot of crying.

But with each passing test, I regained my confidence little by little. I surrounded myself with a strong network of a family who has seen me through my highest highs and lowest lows, the most patient and supportive boyfriend, and a few solid friends who would drop anything to be there for me. They constantly remind me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that God will see me through any and all challenges I may encounter this year and beyond. For them and a gracious God, I am beyond blessed.

This year, I’m still a hot mess. BUT I’ve also survived my second year of med school, Step 1 of Boards (and lived to tell the tale!), and have been loving life on my rotations learning from patients, my peers, and physicians alike. I still don’t feel like I belong 100% 75% 50% of the time, but everyday I get better at asking for help, projecting confidence, and finding my voice. I know the people and prayers I can rely on when things start to feel dark again.

Are we ever really polished, final products? I like to think I’m always striving for a better version of myself than I was last year, last month, yesterday. I guess a #workinprogresswednesday might have been more appropriate than a #transformationtuesday!

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