December 1, 2011
il faut d'abord durer
Hemingway was known to sign personal letters with the French phrase il faut d'abord durer. Idiomatically, it translates as "first, to endure". It's been my motto ever since my brother died. And it's a hard axiom for me. I always enjoyed excelling. Being above average was fun for me. In football, I played to win. And you don't get into med school by being middle of the road. So it's a hard pill to swallow to set my sights at this point on merely surviving. It feels like I'm settling. But with the trifecta of med school, death, and my dad's condition.....I remind myself that it's a lofty and noble goal at this point. If I can just get through all of this intact, that's no small victory. So entering into the next round of exams, woefully unprepared, I remind myself, "first, to endure." Go easy on myself and let go of the notion of honors and be content to endure.