(Belated) Reverse Culture Shock

When you get the means reds and you don’t know why.

When each day ends with crying and you start to take solace in it.

When you turn a ½ glass before bed into 2.

When, suddenly, surrounded by friends and beloved by family, you are so alone and so disheartened, you start to lose faith in yourself.  This is Peace Corps 101, revitalized.

You doubt why you’re in medical school.  Why you chose this path of information that disinterests the core of you.  You came here to learn how to connect with people so you could help them medically.  Now, all you feel is disenchanted and disenlightened by the monotonous facts that consume your days.  Due to your misadvised preconceptions, you over commit.  Now, you have put a seemingly impossible task in front of you: consolidate your 5 week timeline into 3.  You will fail if you don’t start soon.  Quite the mission.  A large part of you has no idea of the outcome.  To be completely honest, none of you really does.



You oscillate between pushing people away and clinging to them tightly.  They are damaged by your whiplash.  Odes whispered between silent, burdened lips become phosphorescent with timelines and schedules.  Your hatred brews.  It is directed at the wrong things, the wrong people.  But still, you know not where to turn.  You cling to tangible things: your teddy bear, your stoic wine glasses, your boyfriend’s crisp shirt, the scent of pungent candles.  It is not enough.  Why?  You know the answer.

Your problem lies in at the heart of your being.  For, what are you being with all your heart?  An overwhelmed medical student?  A loving friend, daughter and girlfriend?  These things don’t matter enough to you.  At your core, you are in love with your self-proclaimed mission.  A disillusioned idea that you need to strive for something you don’t really understand – you need to positively contribute to society for all the right reasons.  A society you can’t fully know.  Reasons you can’t really articulate.  You are afraid that your ancillary loves will get in the way.  That is always why you debate pushing them away.   You are most productive, most intense, most successful when you become the tortured soul.  You are highly aware of this fact.  So, guiltily, you try to find the balance.  It sways and swoons as you tickle wisps of enlightened rage.  You let it seethe.

You taught yourself long ago to speak out.  Others voices keep trying to silence yours.  Everyone, most especially your peers, blinded see only altruism in everything.  In their minds, good intentions always equal good deeds and they proceed.  Scoffing is not enough.  And, sometimes, it makes you look like an bitch.

Still you persist.  Typing out hurried words and forlorn phrases by candle light – and the glow of the computer screen – as you quell your spewing mind.  Another night without productivity.  Alas!   And the night delves on.


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