The MEP structure is such that we are in a classroom setting for the first 1.5 years of the program, and afterward, we are set free into various clinical placements until graduation.
Freedom from the classroom was pretty much all I ever wanted. Returning to the school environment in 2014, after years outside of it, was a tough adjustment, and I found the education microcosm of the “real world” difficult to adapt to. You can imagine how happy I was to be outside of that microcosm when placement started this past January, though recently, while I was soaking in and enjoying the new normal of clinical life, it suddenly hit me – I have 2.5 years left of the program … and I will be spending it almost entirely on my own, interacting with people almost exclusively through the computer.
In chatting with other classmates, we are all feeling lonely. Most of them have family nearby to visit on off-call days, or partners to hang out with, and they take full advantage. We have a lot more free time, while we are waiting for the call to go to a birth. Meanwhile, I have Gemini, and my friend S. who lives a couple blocks away. They are my saving graces.
Sure, I’m essentially working and am developing wonderful professional relationships with my clinic coworkers and hospital colleagues; but when I’m not working, I have very little to do. I miss some of my fellow learners, and above all, I miss my BC family.
With that comes a longing to be home. I can feel myself slowly distancing from my BC friends. Slowly but surely, I’m not part of the picture over there. What was a close relationship last year, and a dual effort of keeping in touch, is slowly waning to casual hello’s here and there. It leaves me feeling conflicted. On one hand, it must be a sign that I am settling here, out east; but, on the other hand, does it mean my BC life and I are letting go of each other? The thought of that fills me with insurmountable loneliness – and that’s on top of being physically alone and separated from my classmates and overwhelmed with this program’s demands.
I know that I’ve moved a lot in my life, and have written about how the role of keeping in touch is one I’ve adopted because of that nomadic life. People are busy with lives (amazing and wonderful ones that I am proud to say are the lives of my friends and family), and it becomes difficult to remember to send a greeting. It’s no one’s fault, really, though that lack of connection causes me to struggle to figure out where I belong now, and how to fill the gap between the past – the memories I share with people – and the present that I need to be fostering to feel happy today.
My heart wants to stay out west, but my reality is here. The future career and life I’m building is here, and that makes being part of life at home difficile. So I’ll keep trudging, maybe try my hat at dating, and hope that my friends and family out west don’t forget about me just yet. It’s only year 2 – what will we life be in year 4?