For the past two months, I have learned almost every… single…inch of the human body. Every nerve, artery, vein, and muscle that moves inside of this massive organ we call our skin. I could go on and on about how unbelievably sexy the anatomy of the human body is.. more inside than out. As a Physician Assistant student at PCOM, I have officially started the path toward my dream career. How do any of us even know what our dream career is? We are told to ask ourselves one of the most important questions of our lives at the age of 18… what the hell do I want to be when I grow up? Half of us have an idea of what we might like, and half of us have no flipping clue. Regardless, with the help of our parents money, student loans, and some brilliant people we call professors..we eventually find an answer to this daunting question.
Luckily for me, I knew that I wanted to become a PA since my senior year at Potomac Falls HS. For some strange reason the site of blood, organs, and flapping skin did not phase me. I craved every day I was able to go into an OR and watch surgeon’s perform magic. After learning that I went through an emergency spinal surgery and am now missing three spinous process from my spine, people are surprised to learn that I’ve wanted to be a PA long before my trauma. Even though I’ve always preached about my ‘dream career,’ I never actually knew if I was doing all this hard work for nothing. I mean, do any of us know for sure? Well…I hope this post hits close to home for many of you both younger and older there I am.. because these last two months of dissecting a human body and memorizing every nook and cranny has 100% solidified that I am quite literally living my dream.
For those of you who have read some of my previous posts, you’ve probably noticed the common theme of ‘passion.’ I’ve always had a passion for the medical field in general, but never quite to the extent I’ve felt while holding the heart of a cadaver in my hands. Each chamber has it’s own unique characteristics, giving a beautiful pathway for the infinite amount of blood cells that run all the way from the tip of our nose to our pinky toes. I could write a novel about how amazing every inch of the human heart is but it was in this moment, holding the strongest muscle and most important lifeline of this man’s body in my hands, that I realized I was meant to be here.
Just yesterday, I opened my mailbox to find a letter sent from 3,000 miles away in Sacramento. On top of the endless reasons why I am thankful for this man, Ryan wrote two sentences that I will simply never forget. “I have seen a passion in you I have never seen before. What you see in me when I ski, I see, hear, and feel in you when you describe the things you have done.” True passion really can’t be described in words… but I hope and pray that each and every one of you has or will experience these feelings I’ve described.
One year ago, I had accepted the fact that starting PA school directly out of undergrad was not a possibility. I didn’t get my hopes up after only applying to two schools. Miraculously I got an interview at one school, fell in love, and here I am.
Just remember that you are the only person keeping you from following your dreams. Let passion be your motivation to live an unconditionally happy life. We’ve only got one to live.
~To the man who so graciously dedicated his body to science, thank you from the bottom of my heart. (literally)~