Journey

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I was going to tell you about these sort of weird/awesome but weird pants I found at Target the other day (here), but that's sort of a snoozefest of a post.

Truth be told, I'm underwater in mommying and working and trying to get clean diapers on babies and clothes cleaned and healthy food in our bellies. As everyone is!

But, since I love reading these sorts of history-lesson posts, I thought I'd share a little about our current phase of life. I'm not exactly sure how much I've blogged about this specifically, but we are getting close-ish to the end of a long journey. Well, the end of Phase 2, let's call it.

Side note after looking in archives: gee whiz, I've had this blog a long time. Holy cow, since 2006, really!

2006 is the year Jonathan and I got married. Since that time, we have had one year with two incomes. When we got married in April of that year, Jonathan worked in mutual funds trading. He had been at that job for four years, straight out of college. That first year of marriage, after a lot of introspection, research, and prayer, he decided to quit his job and go full-time to begin work on pre-requisites for medical or dental school, he wasn't sure which.

His dad is a doctor, and after several years settled into adulthood, he began to see how the call of that line of work would suit him and his desire to serve people. That sweet man, love of my life, just never wants to be center of attention, nor is he one to be described as "talking your ear off" ... so the vocation into this line of work (and I truly believe it is a vocation) would give him the ability to help others, to have a marketable/useful skill, without requiring him to "sell" anything really (for lack of a better term--you always have to sell yourself, right?).

Thus began Phase 1, in my terms. He got himself some highlighters, notebooks, and a backpack and went back to school to complete the pre-requisite courses. He took general biology. He took organic chemistry. He took genetics. He studied and studied. And studied. He studied for the MCAT on vacation. He took the MCAT, wrote a personal statement, and sent his applications in.

Then, after three years in Phase 1, at age 29, he began medical school (thankfully here in Memphis, so we didn't have to move). And oh boy, was I relieved. I just knew that once we were "in," we would be "good." But, as others had tried to warn us, the journey was really just beginning...

For those who are unfamiliar, medical school is 4 years long. After you complete school, you are an M.D., "Dr. So-and-So," but the training in your desired specialty really just begins after that. You will rotate through many specialties while in school, but only commence focused training ("residency") once school is completed.

The first two years are spent in the classroom. It is (from what I've been told) an unfathomable amount of information--I've heard it described as standing in front of a fire hydrant with your mouth open. That image probably (most accurately) describes the state of things in our house those first two years. Treading water. I became foreman of everything household. Watering the new grass? Me. Getting the house sprayed for bugs? Me. G.C. of our laundry room/kitchen remodel? Me. Paying bills? (gulp) ....Still sorting that out.

Add to all of this the brilliant plan of having our first baby the first week of second year. Yikes! Needless to say, it's probably best I didn't know what I was missing in the spousal-assistance-with-a-first-baby dept.

Third and fourth years of school are spent rotating through different specialties in 8-week blocks, with all types of different schedules (day/night)... but it has DEFINITELY been better/easier/less stressful to our household than having 24/7 crazy-studyfest-library-marathon time going on.

Toward the end of year three, we added little Molly to the mix, and now here we sit, cruising into the thick of fourth year--applications (now), interviews (Nov/Dec), etc etc etc, preparing to land into Where We'll Be For Residency (match day is in March!). The specialty my husband wants to pursue (pediatrics) requires a 3-year residency program. This is on the shorter side, thank goodness, so despite not exactly knowing where we'll be 9 months from now, even if it's not here, we know that training won't last for a super long time.

It's pretty crazy to operate in a world where a computer will basically be telling you where you and your family are going to live for the next 3-5 years. BUT, I am sorta thankful that it's just enough out of our control that we can feel like wherever we land is where we were supposed to land. You know...Providence (aka, God).

I can confidently yet humbly say that I believe with all my heart that my husband was made to be a pediatrician. I am going to have to figure out a way to be a fly on the wall someday so I can just watch him in action with patients. I would/will be just a mess of tears.

This journey has been long...we are over six years into it and are not There yet. But I am so indescribably proud of this man I call mate, for going through more red tape, headaches, paperwork, stress, studying, tests, hassle, stress, fatigue, financial strain, stress, and more just plain hard work than I could ever dream of doing. He did the hard thing to pursue his dream. And although it's been hard in the day-to-day (and I haven't always handled myself with as much grace as I would've liked), I am proud to have been able to support him and our family through all of this. It has, by no means, been easy.

SO! Stay tuned. 2014 is the year we begin Phase 3.

4 comments:

  1. I like posts about pants from Target, but this one is better, yes. JJ is a special one. Calling him Dr. JJ would be tough for me, but if you move to Searcy I'll do it :)

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  2. Sounds like you're BOTH doing the hard thing! A tip of my hat to you, my internet friend - you are a working mother/wife/household operator extraordinaire! We could all stand to take a few lessons from you, I feel sure of it. (And, I have to say I am interested in hearing about the Target pants.)

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  3. I am so proud of all four of you for the love and support you share ALL of the time! You two are the best parents, the best kids, the best professionals and the best humans.

    Love, Grammy

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  4. love this post for so many reasons!

    Reading this account of the last several years of your life brings back so many memories!

    Seems like ages ago that he started preparing for this journey but not too long ago, too that he started med school (for those of us on the outside!).

    Can't wait to see what God has in store for the sweet Jerkins' family next year.

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