It hit me last night that I spend a lot of time working. Naw, I mean for real for real. As in all day long. Yall know what I’m talking about?
I am a workaholic by force and not by nature. As a resident my time is not my own. I work tediously long hours and the responsibility of what I do is over-ridden by the enormity of the actual work. The sheer amount of paperwork, medication changes, staff mediation, patient mediation, bureaucratic madness, time schedules, call schedules etc etc etc eats away at the time left to ponder the deeper significance of what I do; though at some deeper level I know I must be processing (cause I have these moments).
As a doctor I make serious, life changing decisions about people, about their illnesses, their medications, their outpatient follow-ups all the time; and somewhere in the back of my mind I recognize it; but I’m too busy trying to do it all to think about it all.
When I was in Pgh, I had folks to talk to about the ’sitcheation’; people who were living my life with me if not exactly in my shoes. Now, I do so much solo flying and it’s a strange sensation. It’s not the loneliness that I’ve described before, naw, it’ s more of an awareness of the uniqueness of my circumstance.
To anyone else who gets up, works a 9-5 job, has kids and a spouse; this might sound strange; but to me it’s what I do. I mean, other folk have people in their houses that they share their living space with or that they talk to and see face to face on a semi-regular basis. When I come home, it’s me, the tv without cable, my radio, my Bible and the daily newspaper. There is a distinct lack of human interaction within the context of my private and personal space. It makes its mark felt given the fact that I have never lived by myself before–even in college I lived in a dorm with people with whom I interacted on an hourly basis. In graduate school I shared an apt. Now I’m in Miami, creating an extremely individual space within which I exist–a space without grain balls hanging from a nail above the kitchen sink, or Nigerian tapestries, or large wooden furniture pieces. This is my very personal and very private world–devoid of the immediately overt representations of others.
True, the presence of other people makes its sublte mark in my actual living surroundings–paintings from Ade and Ezmin, cards and books from friends–as well as in certain aspects of the style and coloring of my apt; but this is truly Akua’s space. It means that for the first time I am responsible for the placement of myself–whether that is the inanimate extension of myself (the bed, the couch, the bookcase or the candle, the tv, the wooden spoon and fork set from E. Africa) or my actual self–and the movement of my own body. The flow of my existence from my Mr Rogers moments when I first come into the apt (change my clogs/working shoes for some Ghanaian bought flip-flops, take off and hang my white coat on the little door that hides the breakers, hang up my keys and put my purse on a chair) to my schlepping about the tiled floors to my turning off the lights whenever I can, all of this rhythm is distinctly mine AND mine alone.
I make singular decisions about coloring of the bathroom (sunny yellow), curtains up front (actually a towel I’ve nailed up), kitchen table setting (where I place my computer ’cause I don’t need a desk). It’s a period of developing my own sense of style, for exploration and innovation. It’s a period that will define my future existence with the presence of someones (husband and kids) and that thought is a bit mind boggling. One day I will be a wife and a mother and my children will know that when they come home, they have to take off their shoes and go upstairs to change their clothing and rest a bit before they move on with the activities of thenight such as reading the Word, studying, school/sports etc. I am creating the habits that will shape someone else’s space! The rhythms that I will combine with others to form for a new generation…
I could be overthinking this or I could just be a 29 y/o single, working, well-educated female feeling the boundaries of my personal style. Peculiar.