I am a writer. I always have been.
When I think of the things that define me, what comes to mind is not my profession, but what has led me to it.
My first love was a love for the written word. As a child, I loved nothing more than to curl up with a good book, churning through multiple in a day. My day would begin and end with the usual things that filled the life of a child, but I still strongly recall the joy that I found in those quiet moments when it was just me and those incredible words that illustrated different lives and far-away worlds that seemed foreign and yet all too familiar.
I started my first journal at the age of 7, and wrote my first serious novel not too long after that. From there, I went on to writing poetry and, after teaching myself the guitar and drums, moved on to writing songs. My love for music, art and literature preceded my love for medicine. I was an artist long before I ever imagined becoming a doctor.
Author Joan Walsh Anglund once wrote, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." Writing, like all my artistic pursuits, has always been about self-expression. I write for me; to organise my thoughts, to make sense of my world. I write what I know, and although what I know is extremely limited, writing helps me put it together and figure it all out.
Since I stepped into the world of medicine, it feels like every other part of me has needed to come second to my pursuit of being the best doctor I can be. My writing, my art, my music... Language and philosophy... Health and fitness... Family and friends... Everything else has been dedicated a smaller piece of the pie because medicine just takes up so much.
I have recently been given the opportunity to write an article on a topic that means a lot to me. It scares me that I might not do it justice because I'm so out of practice, but it's a piece that I would love to write well.
I can only hope that, in my attempt, I'll find what I need to make it great. And here's hoping that I find a bit more of myself in it as well.
Wish me luck.