You can only apologize for being yourself once

I did my last serious interview. Now my rank list has been thrown into chaos, and I'm still trying to sort it all out. This last place was more cosmopolitan, and the people were super friendly. It felt really good. One thing though is that it's pretty far away from my med school friends. You'd think that'd be a minus, but for me, it's in the plus column.

It's not that my med school friends are bad or mean or evil. They're good people, fantastic people in fact. But here's the thing. When I came to medical school, I tried to be everything I thought I should be. I was cheerful, gregarious, and social, and the shame of it was that it wasn't me. It was some other guy entirely who made all those friends. He's the guy going to parties and such. Not me.

And of late, I've tried to be more like myself. I've tried to leave that guy in the past. I've been more true to myself than I have in years. But I can't help but feel a little phony. I can't stop thinking that when your friend only knows you for who you project yourself to be, who is that person really friends with?

So I've shown people a slice of the real me. That happy fellow was fine, but the guy who runs along the edge of depression, who has so many hobbies and interests to distract himself from thinking about the emptiness of his own life, he's a little scary. He's not as much fun.

I feel more like myself now. It's like I've been in a long sleep, and I'm just waking up and taking in a few deep breaths. And it's a little rough, has caused some issues, and stirred up some ripples. I've tried to smooth things out a little, but I find it hard to be apologetic when I'm being who I am.

I was talking with West Coast, and I said something like the problems in my life revolved around being lonely, and if I wasn't so lonely, my life would be falling into line. He didn't placate me. He just said no.

"That's a lie, and you know it. You could be fucking the hottest 24 year old girl in town, and you'd still be miserable. Because that's not your problem. It's a problem, but it's not yours. Maybe you hate your father for being emotionally distant. Maybe you resent your family. I don't know. You don't know either. It's something that you don't figure out until after years of therapy. But don't lie to yourself and think that the problems in your life will be solved by a girl."

And I loved him for saying it, because he was right, and he was unafraid to know me in that deep sense, in that way you know where your hand is, even if your eyes are closed. Proprioception, it's called, knowing where your hand is.

I'm not eager to leave my friends here. They're good people, and some of them are people that I'd like to know for the rest of my life. But it's an uncomfortable position I'm in. Because with most of my friends still, after 4 years, they just don't know who I am.

Cheesehead, she asked me, "Are you okay?" noticing that I looked pretty awful. I turned to her and gave her a choice: "Do you want the real answer, or the flippant one?" And that's the deal. So often, so many have chosen flippant.

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