I have spent my entire life wanting to be a physician. I want to save lives, help people, make a difference, and live a life where I can experience science first hand every single day. To me pursuing my goals and dreams has always been a priority; and, it still is. At 24 years old, I have never experienced life without “school”. To some that seems ludicrous, however, to me it’s not only normal but completely okay. Learning is something I could never be tired of doing. I absorb knowledge like a sponge taking in water. It’s what keeps me going and helps me maintain my status as a know-it-all.
I’m getting older though, and many of my friends from both high school and college are now getting married and starting families. At times I can’t help but think that maybe I’m wasting my time trying to pursue a dream that still seems so far away from me.
Yes, I am aware that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to everyone around me, but really, how can I not? It can be frustrating to be the person in the room with such heightened ambition and desire to do so many different things. It can also be frustrating to be the woman in the room who desperately wants a family and also wants to achieve the heightened career and academic goals. Often I find myself asking if one desire is worth more than the other. Will I grow to resent my family if I seek that over my career? Will I grow to resent my career if I choose it over having a family? Should I be aiming to have both?
I don’t know the answer though I often wish I did. The only thing that I can do is continue to take it one step at a time. I can only hope that I’ll be lucky enough to have a mate that is both ambitious like me and understanding of my ambition. I never want my husband or my family to feel like they are on the back burner. I also don’t want to feel I am putting the one thing that’s such a large part of my being aside either. One day, I will be Gabriell Gassaway, MD, MPH. When that day comes I’d like to think that I will see it as the fruition of me following my dreams, not me wasting my time.