Aug 13, 2012

The lady with the red cape

As a kid you get asked who your hero or role model is, who would you like to be like when you grow up? You're supposed to say your mom or teacher or maybe a movie star. I always said my mom, and sometimes my dad, but the truth is I just didn't know what else to say. Does that sound harsh? It does doesn't it. I mean, I love my parents and I have the utmost respect and admiration for them, but I don't want to be them. I've been raised to want to be more, to aspire for more and expect more for myself.

Last week I had some classes that I found immensely inspiring. In part it was the subjects, the novelty and greatness of them, but mostly it was the professor. She is a lady of 66 years who has worked in Public Health all over the world with among others the WHO and the UN. She has worked in the field and taught classes at university and lived all over the world. She taught a class in Public Health Demography, one in Aging, one in Human Rights and one in Sexual and Reproduction Health. As I said, it might have been that these subjects are new and in my general interest, but I think she personally made them fascinating. As I was sitting there, mesmerized by the statistics (and I'm not even joking!) I couldn't help but think, "this is what I want to do - how did I never know one could work with this?" and "I want to be like her when I grow up". 

I know, it sounds like a little girl admiring her teacher and I guess it kind of is, and I've never had that before so it feels a bit silly. The thing is that as everyone who has read a single one of my posts about my work, or asked me about my current job, know that I am crazy about what I do. I love it, everyday, even at the crappy "babies-keep-forgetting-to-breath-and-kids-don't-stay-in-their-mommies-bellies-for-as-long-as-they-should"- 24hour shifts. I wouldn't want to trade it for anything else in the world, except that I would like to combine two things, working as a pediatrician and working in public health internationally. I guess I already knew it or I wouldn't have applied to the course or have been considering working with MSF for so many years, but this has made it clear that it's not just a kind of fluke, this is something that feels like when I started, it feels so right.

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