The blaring ring of my alarm clock jars me out of my peaceful sleep. A groan rips from my lips and I slam the snooze button. Ten more minutes. In what feels like only seconds, the ringing is again assaulting my eardrums. I pry my heavy eyelids open to look at the clock. 6:00. I really need to get up this time. I swing my legs over the side of my bed in a robotic motion and hoist myself up. Time to start my day.
First stop, the bathroom. I switch on the lights and am momentarily blinded by the brightness. I pull out my makeup bag from the cabinet and start painting my face. A simple, bronzy look will do. I pay special attention to the purple like bruises under my eyes. I swipe my concealer on like warrior paint beneath my eyes. After blending it in, I look at the finished product, I have a refreshed, faux glow, which I certainly do not feel. Once I no longer look like a zombie, and have brushed my teeth and hair, I exit the bathroom and head back to my bedroom. I card through all the beautiful clothing in my closet and land on my outfit; scrubs, just like every other day. I quickly throw it on and look at my appearance in the mirror. The material hangs off my body and gives me a formless shape, just like a potato sack; perfect.
As I make my way down the hallway, the smell of eggs immediately hits my nose. Strolling into the kitchen, I see my husband’s back turned to me, hunching over the stove. My dog rushes over to me, happily wagging his tail, and I scratch behind its ears.
“I just took him for a walk”, my husband says.
He hands me a plate of scrambled eggs and gives me a quick peck.
I lower myself into a seat and my husband hands me a steaming cup of coffee. I take a large gulp; just the way I like it, cream and sugar. I relish in the way it slightly burns my throat going down. I glance at my watch. Shoot, I have to get going. I shovel the eggs into my mouth in a frenzy. I give my husband one last kiss before I go.
“I love you”
“I love you too. I’m gonna get going in a few”, he tells me.
I gather up my keys and purse and close the door to my husband and I’s apartment. Now for the trek down the stairs. After walking down five flights of stairs, I am finally on the ground level. I plod through the parking lot to my Toyota, nothing special. The apartment complex looms in my rearview mirror as I pull out. It may not seem like much, but I have everything I want and need. The apartment is by no means the best; it’s cramped, the wallpaper is peeling off the wall, and you can’t forget the leaky pipes. However, with my husband and dog by by side I feel perfectly content. We are saving up to buy our own house, so it will only be a temporary pain. In a few years, our struggle here will be nothing but a memory and all our hard work will have finally paid off. Then, I can begin thinking about children. All around me, I see my friends starting a family, but I want to wait until I am stable in my job and have my own house to get pregnant. For now, I need to focus on work.
I am pulled out of my thoughts by the blaring of sirens. When the ambulance zooms past me and I see the flashing red and blue lights, I know I am at work. I pull into my spot and prepare myself for a long day of work.
Throughout the day, I find myself being pulled in many different directions. I rush around the floor from room to room performing a variety of tasks. I listen to numerous patients. They tell me about problems ranging from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders. I listen to them and make adjustments to their medications. It feels good to know I am directly making a positive effect on other people's lives. I can’t wait until I can be a psychiatrist and be done with my residency. I might even start my own practice.
When the sun has long since left the sky, I exit the large, double doors of the hospital. My body aches and I long for the comfort of my own bed. I barely recollect the drive home or the journey upstairs to my apartment. When I enter my apartment I throw my bag on the ground. My dog happily greets me at the door. I’m envious of his simple life of sleeping and eating. I fight back my fatigue and start preparing dinner. On tonight’s menu is chicken, rice, and broccoli. When the chicken has ten minutes left on the timer, my husband strolls through the door.
We sit down at the table and eat our hot, fresh meal. We talk about our day and just anything interesting that comes to mind. Then, we wash the dishes together and talk some more. Afterwards, I wash my face and do my nightly skin care routine. At last, I hit my bed. My husband and dog curl around me. I set the alarm clock and get ready to do the same thing all over again tomorrow.
My vision of the next ten years isn’t perfect. I won’t have a mansion, a range rover, fancy gadgets, or a perfect family because that’s just not realistic. As a person going to college and medical school, I know I will be in significant debt in this point in my life. I don’t expect to be living like a Kardashian or even want to. The most I can hope for is to have a strong group of friends and a loving husband; a dog would be nice too. My simple desires for the future are only to be genuinely happy and pursuing my passions. The superficial things in life don’t matter at the end of the day. When I die I won’t remember the items or money I had, but the moments I spent with the people I love.