Just trying to get the most out of life by figuring it out
Life's patterns
Published on August 21, 2008 By So Many Questions In Life

To preface, I want to to explain that I am in medical school. I have had a fairly challenging time for the last 4 months with finals, boards, and a rotation with very demanding work hours complemented by condescending residents. I have worked very hard during these 4 months with the continued belief that once I got through this limited hell, things would get much better, life wouldn't seem so difficult and I'd be able to enjoy summer. The 4 months are over, and I am still left with feeling frustration and misery in all aspects of my life including friends, school, love, etc.


I have finally come to realize that my frustration stem from a basic, widely accepted "truth."  I tend to naturally assume that if people deserve something they will get it. I have lived life in a somewhat karmic manner and have always believed the fundamental assumption that you do unto others as you would have them undo to you. You treat others with kindness and you will be treated with kindness. You work hard at your work and it shall be recognized.

Unfortunately, it is logical to me to realize that life is not fair. However, the way I regard life is as though it is. I don't know how to go through life without assuming that justice is a pattern to be followed. I get most irritated by people around me when I feel that they didn't deserve what they got, while I am not getting what I deserve. Or when I see friendly people in the hospital with kind eyes, but cancer vs. people driving happily but oozing with negative vibes and pompous strides.

How do I get past this constant idea that life does not have a pattern like this? I can't expect that my 5th month will be great just because I worked hard for 4 months? That life doesn't truly "have a twisting kaleidoscope that moves us all in turn"? How do I become ok with seeing my skanky roommate end up with some great guys while I end up wondering what the problem is with guy after guy even though I've really worked on becoming a confident, great girl?

How do you just accept that life is not fair and that there is no real logic or rules to life at all? Or do you accept that?

on Aug 21, 2008

How do you just accept that life is not fair and that there is no real logic or rules to life at all? Or do you accept that?

I have accepted it since I first saw the "bad" people living well.

Life is not a legal document that passes supreme court muster.  Life is a random series of events caused by billions of people egged on by their environment.  As such, trying to program the throughts and actions of billions of people is beyond any attempt man can possibly muster to make things "fair".  So you either accept it, or get bull dozed by life moving on without you.

on Aug 21, 2008

How do you just accept that life is not fair and that there is no real logic or rules to life at all? Or do you accept that?

I know the feeling. While this is not toatlly true, sometimes life seems to work backwards from what you just described. Things should be a certain way but that's not how it works. I accepted this a long time ago; I know that not all my good actions will result in good reactions. But I have, somewhat, learned to accept that as long at I did my part I am somewhat happy about that. One thing I refuse to do is to do wrong just to get the things I want. I rather work 3 times as hard because in the end I can say I worked for it, I earned it, even if it took longer and took more work.


on Aug 21, 2008

It's a lot easier to accept when you stop thinking about all the good things you deserve, and in a fair world would have, and start focusing on all the bad things you deserve.

For instance, have you ever drank one too many and drove?  In a fair world then, you should be in jail, or labeled a DUI offender.

Have you ever said something or done something you regretted?  In a fair world then, you should suffer the consequences without a chance of forgiveness.

See the pattern?  If getting what you deserve works for all the good times/things, then the same would go for the bad times/times when you screw up.

I don't know about you, but I am GLAD I have not gotten what I "deserved" at various times in my life.

Does it suck hard core that your hard work isn't being recognized?

Yes, and I am sorry to hear it.  But don't stop doing the right thing because no one is taking the time to stroke you.  Do it because its the right thing, and like Charles said, at the end of the day you know at the very least you did the best/right thing.  Do it for you, for your peace of mind.

I do believe in the big scheme of life people get what they put out.  So if your skanky roomy is getting guys she doesn't deserve, she won't be able to keep them in the long run will she?  And if she does, maybe your definition of skank and a man's definition are not the same.  Heh.

Personally I am glad there is grace and I didn't always get what I deserve.  I wouldn't have lived past 10 years old if I did.

You're going to be a great Dr.  You don't need the accolades of others to make it so.

on Aug 24, 2008

Thank you all for reading & writing. I always appreciate the comments more than people know because this is often one of my only outlets!

Dr Guy: you're right. I have often been frustrated by how life can go on when things seem so unbalanced in life. And then when I finally regain a balance, I can see things in a greater limelight and learn to accept it a bit more each time the questions arise.

Charles: good point. I think that is what has kept me going and clinging to doing good things because I tried the "crazy" route and I never felt good the next morning. It will forever be better to wake up having full appreciation/approval of yourself than have notice from anyone else.

Tova: that was beautifully said. And I love the point your making. I somehow overlooked this realization and needed it to be said. You're right in that there are many times when I'm sure I have done something and not gotten what I deserved (thankfully). However, I do think that there is a difference between linear deserving of something in terms of drink and drive = straight jail vs. drink wayyyy too much and end up losing your wallet. Everytime something happened that really drove me to be frustrated and angry (ex. my purse got stolen), I used to evaluate myself to think about what I had done recently that could have happened for me to "deserve this" and teach me a lesson. Oftentimes, I could easily place it. It wasn't an obvious if you do this, that will happen. But it was more like I feel like my purse might have gotten stolen because I was such an idiot this weekend. When I did more dumb things, I definitely had more bad things happen, but there were also times when things just happened and I couldn't think of anything that really warranted it. So I never really figured out if there was a correlation. Either way, I hear what you're saying and appreciate it because it does make sense. I also agree that I sometimes look too much in the short term for that acknowledgment that life works in exactly this fashion, but at heart, I think I will always believe that in the end, life works out...? (Hopefully, fingers crossed).

Btw, for anyone to answer this: I had once read a quote that didn't resonate with me. Whenever a quote doesn't resonate with me, I keep it in the back of my mind because I have found that over time, often the quote will make sense of something that I'm trying to figure out. This one never did. Please tell me if you have an interpretation:

"Wouldn't it suck if we all got what we actually deserved?"

on Aug 25, 2008

Tova has your back.

Having been there & done that, I can tell you that the final months of medical school can be very 'decompressing' for lack of a better word.  I can also tell you that caring for patients is its own reward.  You'll be fine.