A message of solidarity and encouragement in times of struggle

by Lorien E. Menhennett

Medical school is hard. Life is hard. However you identify yourself — student, employee, patient, mom, dad, child, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, the list goes on — we all have to scramble, strive, scuffle, and struggle sometimes. Sometimes, it feels like most of the time.

That’s how I’ve felt lately. I’m guessing some of you have felt that way recently, too.

I was out walking on 2nd Avenue the other day, running a quick errand, when I saw a sandwich board sign in front of a fitness studio called Pure Barre that stopped me in my tracks. In New York City, with so much weirdness and activity all around, which you just come to accept as normal, it takes a lot to stop me on the sidewalk. But it was like this sign was talking directly to me. So I paused, and allowed myself to fall into the category of “annoying person stopping on the sidewalk taking a picture with their phone.” This wasn’t a stupid selfie though. This was important self-talk aimed at self-soothing and self-preservation.

So I took a picture of the sign, and walked to look at the other side. Lo and behold, it had a personal message for me too. So I snapped a photo of it as well.

I share these pictures here for multiple reasons. So many of my posts are uplifting and positive. That’s not me faking anything. But I want my readers to know that I’m human, and I tussle with human emotions, trials, and tribulations. I also want to let other people know — other people who may be struggling themselves — that they’re not alone. And last but not least, I want to offer a public message of encouragement to all of us, myself included.

So whether you’re grappling with a difficult boss, a difficult patient, a difficult family member, a difficult illness, or something else, know that you’re not alone. And hard as it is, for you and for me both, we will get through it, like we always do.