The Pause of a Pandemic

  • I fell in love with a new hobby (boxing) and was able to share this experience with six of my friends from work. We boxed, we laughed, we seat, and we reveled in one another’s company.
  • I submitted a creative piece for publication for the first time in years. This piece was published in a narrative medicine journal (with an audio recording!)
  • I wrote my first textbook chapter and then wrote three more. I will never forget how good it felt to complete my final draft of the first of these chapters. I can’t wait to share them with all of you when they are in print.
  • I went on a date with a professional football player — this one had to make the list because it was the silliest date of my lifetime.
  • I promised myself that I would read my work before the end of 2020. So far, I have read twice. I read two poems (one was mine; the other was a poem that I have read many times over during the pandemic) at my institution’s humanities grand rounds. One week ago, I read at an open mic night hosted by Please See Me and was humbled to follow up Dr. Michele Harper (author of The Beauty in Breaking) and Samuel Shem (author of House of God). I could not believe that I had occupied the same space as such esteemed individuals. I shook as I read but I still read. I shared my work and I am still so proud of myself in that moment.
  • My strongest relationships deepened (significantly) and the relationships that I was uncertain about have newfound clarity. My circle is more intimate now and I am abundantly grateful for the people in my corner.
  • I found a virtual church community that sparks joy. Who knew that church at home could still feel so powerful.
  • I shared my lowest point of my PGY-2 year on the Nocturnists’ “Black Voices in Healthcare” podcast. I am happy to say that I feel as though I have recovered and I hope (for those of you reading) that if you are ever in a circumstance when a patient or family member threatens your safety, that you make efforts to protect yourself and that you don’t internalize the dysfunction as an indicator that you are anything less than an incredible member of your team.
  • I learned how to use a new data analysis program. I analyzed some data. The data is published!
  • My advocacy team submitted our work to the American Academy of Pediatrics and our abstract was at the AAP conference. We have cool off-shoot projects coming that I am so excited about.
  • I’ve been involved in the antiracism work at my institution and it’s been incredibly fulfilling.
  • One of my college best friends came to visit and we had the most amazing two days walking through Philadelphia.
  • My friends got their dream jobs; passed their licensing examinations; finished their PhDs. We celebrated over Zoom.
  • Last weekend, I contributed to the “Inside the Match” podcast.
  • I wrote so many poems – it has been unreal.
  • I found new parts of Philadelphia that I appreciate and love.
  • I learned new things about myself that I appreciate and love.

The ups and downs of these unprecedented times are hard to put into words. I don’t have all the right words to describe my feelings or to even make a guess in regards to your feelings. Sending positive energy your way. Lean into the mandated pause of this time. We can all use some rest.

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