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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Match Day

Oh to be young and carefree and bolder than is warranted by good common sense.
My brother-in-law and his wife, expecting their first baby, are celebrating Match Day today. After four years of medical school, he now has a residency to conquer. And med school seniors have a very special process for finding out where they will spend the next 2 years of their lives - Match Day. In a formal ceremony, after professors and other speakers have ceased speaking all their obligatory words of inspiration, they begin handing out white envelopes filled to the seal with destiny.

Each student, when his or her name is called, walks across the stage to retrieve the envelope designated as his or hers. Then the students makes what must seem like an even longer walk back across the stage, clutching mystery in a sweaty palm.

The Envelope Please.
The crisp, clean, white envelope contains the name of the city and hospital of each M.D. candidate's residency. With a rip and a tear, which they all swear is no reflection of their surgical precision, the mystery place is revealed, and life turns on a dime and shoots off in a different direction. And they find themselves free to lay down the burdens of one place to seek and find the thrills of another.

I want an envelope.
Frankly, I'm jealous. I want an envelope. I want that freedom to just go where someone told me to go, without ever having to make the decision myself. I want to go on an adventure that makes left turns and zig-zags to places I wouldn't have chosen for myself. I want to experience that emotion of change.

But, I'm a southern lady, and I well know the difference between foolish and fearless. It is foolish to believe that life would be any different somewhere else than it is right here. When the sport of it wore off, I'd have the same problems in a different place.

The quality of my life depends more on what I do with it than where I live it. (Although, admittedly, if I drew an envelope that took me from my southern home, I would probably try to rig my next draw to bring me home.)

Making my own Match Day.
That doesn't make my desire for venturesome behavior any less intense. So I stuffed some envelopes of my own. I put in slips of paper that say things like, "Go get ice cream," "Take the kids to a movie," "Have your nails done," "Take your husband on a date," "Day trip to the beach," etc. When I need a little fearless fun, I plan to pull an envelope and do whatever it says.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: In your Book of Lists, brainstorm a list of things you would like to do but rarely make time for or let yourself indulge in. Then write the ones you really like on slips of paper and seal them in envelopes. Keep your stack of stuffed envelopes in a safe place, and pull one whenever you feel like you're making too many right turns and you need a curve in your road. Commit yourself to going wherever the envelope sends you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tell my girls that you can't get through life without laughing on a regular basis. :)

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