Journey Log 5 By adam Schwartz

The Endless Drive

9 hours and 15 minutes, 533 miles, google maps says, Tampa, FL to Clemson, SC.

High school, college, medical school, residency, fellowship, practice

There’s nothing I can do but groan. As much as I want to just be there I can’t skip one step.

Mile by mile, highway to highway, city to city I must slowly edge my way towards my destination.

Night by night, class to class, school to school I must slowly edge my way towards my destination

This begins the process… the slow journey working towards my overall goal: arriving to Clemson, becoming a doctor

“You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way” said Lamott, metaphorically and literally.

What am I trying to look forward to? Success? Failure?

All I can think about is reaching Clemson, and I can either succeed or fail, no one would remember the process so why should I?

All I can think about is finishing school, and I can either succeed or fail, no one would remember the process so why should I?

When I look too far, it becomes too complex, too many classes, too many requisites, how can I do it all?

Look too much past my present situation I will lose focus and veer off my path.

I’ll fail today, fail to appreciate the lesson from that day, fail to realize why the process should matter.

Look too far ahead driving on that interstate highway, I miss the car ahead with the flat losing control.

Look too far ahead and the classes become too overwhelming, piecing together with no attachment.

Telling myself to not look ahead makes it worse, how can I not look at my end goal? Don’t I want to be prepared?

The pressure of failure building up inside increases every time I think about my final destination.

I cannot fail, I will not fail, everyday my goal is to find out how previous people failed.

What if it’s heavily raining in Georgia, and I’m still in Florida, should I not be prepared?

What if this anatomy class pieces together everything I need for future use, shouldn’t I really be reminded to pay extra attention?

Take it day by day, mile by mile, but also be prepared for future you will certainly face.

So, turn left but when you go to take that left actually take a right?

Maybe failure is dependent upon self, there’s so much information on how to succeed and how to avoid failure. Be cognitive of both, but know that those don’t objectively pertain to me.

There is a suggested path, but highway-301 and highway 95 will both eventually take me there

There is a suggested path, but studying abroad or classes at Clemson will both eventually take there.

Every reached city is a checkpoint, every finished semester is a check point.

Look back, take it all in and apply that knowledge to the next tasks.

Understand that you can’t skip steps, just keep going, complete that task.

I don’t know when and how, but I will arrive back to Clemson

I don’t know when and how, but I will arrive one day as a doctor.

I am literally at square one of my professional life, being the youngest child it’s so hard not to look what’s ahead, and think about what tomorrow holds. So much advice given to me tells me to take it day by day and I will learn from everyday experience once I reach a large road block. Others though warn me of that eventual road block, and say to be prepared by doing steps A, B, and C. What’s the better advice? The true answer is who knows, there needs to be a healthy mix of both. Overall, this poem is basically all my thoughts put together in how they really come put. It’s organized but not organized, it’s specific thoughts like driving back up to Clemson, or it means my entire life. What made me really think about this was Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I really enjoyed her article and definitely took a lot from it. I continue to try to find that balance, to be cognitive of my future and how each day affects that. But also just enjoying each day individually and living in the present.

All the pictures in this serve as line breaks, they needed to be there to show separation between the two stanzas, or otherwise it all looked like one long poem, so don't look too much into the pictures

Credits:

Created with images by dannyb - "114832846JM063_FINALS_G6" • tookapic - "road night city" • RemazteredStudio - "sport treadmill tor" • aitik - "railway way path" • Bryan Pocius - "Sunset?" • NeilsPhotography - "Map" • Alexas_Fotos - "target arrive reach"

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