Some people call it a mid-life crisis. You could call it regression to the teenage years, when impulse control was rare and pimples were the norm. You could call it immaturity. But whatever you call it, I call it nice to finally be able to put who I am out there.
When in college and medical school, no one ever talks to you about your career choice. You just push on through, regardless of whether it's what you should be doing or not. There are no career counselors, armed with Myers-Briggs or Strong Interest questionnaires, ready to help. There is no business consultant there to teach how to run a practice. There is just the student and his or her dreams, no matter how unrealistic they might seem.
I wish there had been someone there for me. Not necessarily to tell me I was making a mistake, but to tell me to take my time and take everything into consideration. I wish someone had told me emergency medicine is really hard for a mother with a family. I wish someone had told me that it's hard to change course once you've set upon it. And I wish someone had told me that there's more to life than a paycheck.
I went into medicine to help people, and I have. Now I'm questioning whether the help I've given came at the expense of my own happiness. Time will tell on that one. For now, I'm trying to learn who I really am, and I'll be figuring out who I need to be, for myself and for my kids. I'll keep you posted.