So if you remember, I decided to turn my life around at 31 and apply to medical schools. To enhance my application, I needed a working experience in healthcare setting. I found a very good and thoughtful excuse to avoid working with a teenage crush, but I still needed to find this apprenticeship.
I resorted to speaking to dad, he’s a semi- retired cardiologist, so the chance of working with him are practically non-existent.
“I’ll see what I can do, but I thought you asked David.” He prompted.
“It didn’t work out.” Well technically, this was no lie, it did not work out for real, I just didn’t mention the causes of the failure.
“Dad, can we keep that between us? I don’t want David to feel bad about not finding an apprenticeship for me. You know how much he hates to lose.” I added. The same, no lie, just rearrangement of the truth.
I felt good about myself, I wasn’t lying to my father, which I would hate because whenever I lied, the truth eventually came out.
I had noticed a sad pattern when it came to lying to my parents since childhood. I never ever managed to get away with it.
I would have been a despicable spy.
Sunday family dinner, my siblings, their kids, Lina (my daughter) and I gathered at my parent’s house for our traditional once-a-month Sunday family dinner. We all brought a meal that we share together. I enjoyed these moments. Even though some members of my family enraged me, family’s dinners are great. I felt like I needed to write a little disclaimer about my family, following the post on my status as “the family idiot”. They were great, in their own peculiar way.
Anyway, back to the dinner. In the middle of it, Dad interrupted us:
“Great news, Olivia, I got you an apprenticeship.” He exploded with a laughter. Didn’t I say to the man to keep this as a secret? And obviously, David’s gaze at me just fumed.
“Seriously Olivia? Dad, my friend Lucas from Cambridge…” he never missed an occasion to mention Cambridge. “He offered her an apprenticeship and she bailed on him, because she had a crush on him 20 years ago.”
“Olivia, is this true?” My mother asked with a disappointing tone.
See how the truth eventually came out, that’s why I hate lying to them… even though I still believed I wasn’t… but who was I kidding.
I nodded in capitulation for my mistakes. They started off at how disappointed they were and how stupid it was of me to bail on such a generous mind. I just turned my hearing sense off… until my mother suggested:” Olivia, are you serious about your project of becoming a doctor?”
I suddenly paid attention. “Of course I am.”
“This is an irresponsible behaviour. When you’ll be a doctor, you will face difficult decisions and you can’t just bail or avoid the situation because you don’t like it or it’s uncomfortable.” She probed. “You want our support, then prove it and stop being irresponsible.”
It struck a cord and a painful one. Was I really irresponsible?
And after all what does “irresponsible” really mean? Google search result:
Adjective (of a person, attitude, or action) not showing a proper sense of responsibility
I went home with Lina very upset and, apparently, the emotion clearly showed onto my face, because Cole stared at me, worried.
“That look again, what did they say to you?” He eluded at my demeaning composure.
“Cole, do you think I am irresponsible?” I genuinely enquired. He sighed, visibly annoyed. Oh My God, he agreed with them!
“No, I wouldn’t say irresponsible…” AH thank you, Cole! Finally, someone saw me through.
“But you tend to avoid responsibilities…” Uhh, that was the definition of “irresponsibility” Cole!
“and run away from complicated situations, instead of facing them.” He finished, killing my last hope of disagreement with my parents.
“I was not asking about our marriage, Cole” I responded defensive. I heard this statement over and over again about how I ran away from our marriage when it got complicated.
“I was not talking about our marriage either. You asked a question, I just answered it.” He bluntly took off with Lina, leaving me processing his last words. The conclusion was…. Arrgh, I found it hard to be face to face with my flaws, especially one that could potentially prevent me from fulfilling my dream.
Life was hard! Life was even harder when trying to pull off a project… a project dear to my heart.
When I first engage in this project, I imagined that the tons of hours studying sciences would make me cry, but instead, tears were rolling down my cheeks at the thought of me being… irresponsible
To the left, to the left (wink at you queen Bey)
If I wanted this to work, I needed to look at my flaws with a microscope. I needed to assess myself under the light of honesty and resolve myself to work on my weaknesses most detrimental to the success of my project.
How to work on my weaknesses?
- Identify them. I filled up three pages, A4 format, with my weaknesses.
- Impacts on my project. The ones mainly impacting my project, irresponsible, not disciplined enough, procrastination, idiot of the family
- Feel the discomfort and keep going. Take the main ones and set up a daily minor action
- Starting meditation again. To give better insight
I went to bed at 4 am this morning as I designed a plan for my flaws.
As soon as I arrived in office, I made an important phone call. My hands shook as I dialed the number. My heart raced, I needed a glass of water as my mouth dried. This was so uncomfortable… do I really… no question Olivia, just feel the discomfort and keep going anyway.
“Hi Lucas, it’s Olivia.” Silence “David’s sister.” I felt obliged to add.
“Hey, how are you?” he jollied. I hadn’t heard his voice in a very long time and it had remained very charming.
“Not too bad. Does the apprenticeship still stand?”
“Sure! When can you come for an interview?”
“Today.” I prompted, hastily in case I would have a change of heart.
“Today it is then, see you at 6 pm”.
I hung up, still feeling restless, but smiling at my small victory. I did it! The butterflies in my tummy continued; their rumbles and the sense of discomfort didn’t disappear. Even worst, I ran to the toilets… a diarrhoea awaited me.