Every morning, my little Rogue and I drive to work together. When I find my way into the parking lot at the hospital, I am always greeted by a fleet of Lexuses, Teslas, and Maseratis, etc, all parked incorrectly, the vast majority taking up more than one spot. I drive around and around, looking for somewhere to park and end up finding something a little more remote, despite my doctor’s parking pass, and I squeeze my little Rogue in and head up to my office. Sometimes I look back at my goofy little car with the Mechagodzilla on the dash and my fuzzy dice in the window and just kind of giggle a bit. It does look kind of out of place amongst all the other luxury vehicles but it’s just…more….me.
I realize at that moment that it is kind of a metaphor for how I don’t exactly fit with my colleagues at any one time. I have spikey hair. I have tattoos. I don’t act like I am better than anyone else. I talk with people not at them. I am not employed or owned by anyone. I don’t see a high volume of patients like cattle on certain days. I say what I think while at least attempting to be professional and appropriate at the same time. I am pretty goofy and I like to laugh. My job is not just a drudgery to me. I love it and hopefully it shows! ( By the way, I am not saying that everyone is like this. These are just some differences I have noticed over the years in some cases.)
I used to perseverate a LOT about the fact that I was so different. I felt this pressure to conform, fit in, be a grown up all the time, get in line….all that. In fact, I worried about that until this last year as a matter of fact. Then, I got cancer and my whole world changed. I definitely had an epiphany YOLO moment. I realized that life is too short to try to mold yourself to others’ models. Being you is your best chance to be able to live YOUR life at YOUR best. In fact, I have noticed that since embracing my uniqueness more lately, I feel like I have attracted more patients, built better relationships , and been more successful. I think the key was getting more comfortable with who I am and caring less about the opinions of others. That removed an unnecessary distraction that was just getting in the way of my own success. Now, let me be clear, I am not advising anyone to be out of control or fly in the face of every applicable convention that is laid before them. I am not saying to never go by the rules. I am just saying to enjoy….being……YOU!