Saturday, September 11, 2010

Emerson wisdom

Writing a personal statement forces you to delve deep into your desires, motivations, ambitions and life experiences. It's hard to pause in life and forcefully reflect on why you are who you are, and what you want and why you want it. They are such big questions that don't really have concrete answers that can be arranged in a neat little 2 page essay. The demands and pressures you face!

So of course, I've been procrastinating. There is always something else to be done, seemingly more productive to be done, than sit and think about yourself. However, today, I found myself drowning in the burden of finishing my application and all that stands between me and the online submission button is my personal statement.

After brainstorming a bit, rediscovering myself on a superficial level, I created a start to my outline that focuses on how my life experiences have given me the confidence and direction to pursue medicine. Two categories of experience stand out the most: my cross-cultural service and my teaching background. Now I have to weave it all together with witty leads, smooth transitions and unique evidence that helps me stand out in the crowd...God help me.

A theme stood out as I reflected, it was the idea (no great light bulb here), that life is a journey, not a destination. I decided to look up my quote to see if someone had said it before me (which I was convinced, because it is not sheer genius), and sure enough Ralph Waldo Emerson received the credit. It is such a true statement, no matter how simple it seems. I think that is why it is hard for me to answer the big questions as to who I am and what I want, because my life is not focused on a destination. I'm more interested in what I do in the meantime, the adventures that have led me into teaching, driving across the country, serving in mexico, the dominican republic and uganda, mentoring high school girls, building relationships with my friends and family. Where I end up, is not as important as who I am becoming and how I am impacting others in the process.

So here I go, enough procrastination, back to writing.

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