Ready, set, go

by Lorien E. Menhennett

When it comes to writing, once I’ve got a plan, I fly. But right now I don’t have any plan. A writing plan for this first blog post, that is. Everything that comes to mind is a cliche (and I refuse to publish anything containing cliches): “Life is full of surprises.” “Things they are a-changing.” “It’s time to move on.” Ugh.

But while my current writing plan may be full of cliches (please forgive me, my journalism mentors), I’m pretty sure that what I’m planning to do with my life is not a cliche.

OK, well maybe it is, in a way. But I’ll bet you a million bucks (ha! another one!) that the path I’m taking there isn’t.

I better stop beating around the bush, for I can’t dodge this bullet forever. (Yes, I will burn in hell for those last two.)

I’m going to medical school.

But not by the traditional route. I’m going via journalism school and jobs as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and textbook editor. And then (hopefully starting fall 2010), via a local university’s post baccalaureate pre-medical program, which will prepare me (academically, at least) for *gulp* medical school.

Why?

A few reasons: Because it is time to move on. Because I miss science. Because medicine fascinates me. Because I want to directly help people. Because this has always been my dream. Because a dream deferred sags like a heavy load … or does it explode?

No explosions, please.

But I want to have my cake and eat it too: I want to pursue medicine and to continue writing. Which is one of the reasons I am keeping this blog. I am also doing this to keep an honest record of my experiences. I believe that writing about what happens to me and what I think about it allows me to access a deeper understanding of those experiences. Doing so also can show me where I have been, and the progress I have (hopefully) made. It also can highlight what I need to work on. In short, I believe in the power of reflection. If people read it, great. If not, that’s fine too. (Note: I do welcome comments, so feel free to leave your own thoughts if that strikes your fancy.)

I have heard the journey to and through medical school compared to a marathon. Unlike my sister Sarah, I am no *real* marathon runner (best wishes for Boston!). But I think I am ready for this long race. With the help and support of my husband, family, and friends, I think I can make it. Because I’m in for the long haul.

Runner, take your mark …

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