And what now

A couple of close friends recently passed the medical board exams – we celebrated last weekend. They were recounting the whole experience: of course they were on a high immediately after the results were released. A few days after though, they couldn’t help but wonder, “Okay, what now?”

That was how I felt too, after I passed my boards.

And I’m guessing so did every person who spent all of his life doing something and suddenly stopped, or spent a considerable amount of time planning and preparing for a big move, a big shift, and finally did it. You could be fresh from high school who just entered college, or a recent graduate who just landed your first job, or a professional who just recently decided to explore another industry – the most immediate and disconcerting question is a big “Now what?”

Sometimes I think to myself that “on the way” is a much better place to be in than “already there.” On the way gives you something to look forward to, gives you somewhere to actually go to. On the way is familiar. On the way is exciting. But when you’re right where you want to go, right where you’ve been looking forward all your life to be, it’s a different story. It’s scary and confusing and somehow you can’t seem to have enough of the doubts.

I am right smack in the middle of “already there”. And sure it’s great, I love it, but secretly I wonder if I will ever make it big, or make it at all. Depending on how the rest of my day went, I would sometimes think yes, but most nights I would think no.

But here’s what I’ve realized: no matter what others say, no matter what sort of thoughts my ruthless mind manages to conjure up, the truth is, I am only as good as I allow myself to be. And if I want to make anything happen, I need to constantly, deliberately choose to concede to that thought. Of course I will, at one point, fail –that’s a given. Of course there will be days when I would feel that I am not good enough –well, maybe I’m really not. At least not yet. Thank God tomorrow always offers another opportunity to do better and be better than the day before. I just have to seize it.

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