Melbourne this weekend and the excitingly brilliant day of learning has ended with a dinner with one of my heroes.
Professor Leanne Rowe is the co-author of 'First Do No Harm: Being a resilient doctor in the 21st century'; the other co-author being Professor Michael Kidd, another hero of mine.
In the time she was speaking to us, without her realising it, Professor Rowe had answered every single one of the lingering questions that has been painfully plaguing my mind for the past 6 months.
A part of me felt relieved and ever so grateful. Another part of me felt ashamed and embarrassed.
She reminded me of the person I aspired to be. And it wasn't the list of accolades and accomplishments that she's acquired over the years (although they indeed are mind-blowingly impressive)... It was her. Not Leanne Rowe the Professor... But Leanne Rowe the woman, the mother, the general practitioner.
I have spent a large percentage of my life in pursuit of my life's true purpose, with life events leading me down the path of General Practice. But in light of that, I look at myself and my life right now and I can't help but feel somewhat out of place. I don't recognise my reflection. I feel uncomfortable under my skin. I feel betrayed and like I've been a betrayer.
I've put my life on hold when I said I wouldn't. I've let go parts of myself when I promised myself I'd hold on to them. I've focused on the wrong things, I've got my priorities mixed up and it feel like the foundations under me have shifted.
I've let my fears and unrealistic expectations of myself direct me down a road that, while I enjoy taking, would have much rather strolled through while stopping occasionally to sniff the roses and admire the view, rather than whizzing by on the bullet train.
After deliberating for so long and agonising over what would be the right way to live out the next 5 to 15 years of my life, I finally found the courage to make the decision to live my life the way I want to, and not the way I feel that I should.
I'm putting on the brakes and stepping off the bullet train. I think it's time I put my runners on and went for a stroll instead. Recharge myself to the fullest and take in some solitude.
To Professor Leanne Rowe... Although I doubt you will likely ever stumble upon this... In the off-chance that you do...
I just wanted to say, Thank you.