June 8, 2008

The Last Last

Things are winding down here in New Haven. Actually, that’s not quite true. Winding down implies a slow and steady decrease in pace. This was more like a frenetic dash through calendar days until suddenly... there’s nothing left to do.

We sold our house. We went to Texas and bought a new one. I gathered multiple documents and applied for my for-real-grown-up-doctor medical license. We packed up and moved our belongings. I went to the Pediatric Academic Society meeting in Hawaii to interview for the Pediatric Scientist Development Program. I studied for (and passed) the Texas Medical Jurisprudence exam. I worked long into the night making and editing our final residency class skit. I went to my graduation dinner (skit a huge success, thank you very much). I found out that I was awarded a PSDP grant.

Now I find myself vaguely blue, or at the least sentimental. It’s not that I’m not ready to move on with life. I most assuredly am, and will be glad to be done with residency. It’s just that our time here has been so filled with change and intensity. Despite how ready I am to be done there’s this angle of bitter-sweetness or melancholy that I can’t seem to shake.

I’ve been ticking lasts off of a mental list. Last call night. Last day on the wards. Last ED shift. Last night in the first house we owned. Last visit to restaurants we like. Last time I’ll see this friend or that attending. Last end of the year dinner. Last night with Julia and Grace in New Haven. Soon last continuity clinic and last night of pager call. After that, last day of residency. Then... what? I get in a car with the dog and drive out of town. And somewhere in there is the last last. At some point I have to stop counting lasts and start counting firsts.