Last night I had an awful time trying to fall asleep. I was going out for coffee this morning. It was kind of a “last minute” plan, or last 24 hours plan, really… Nonetheless, I didn’t have much time to “think” about the coffee date.
I was so nervous. You’d think I was going on a first date or something. I guess it was kind of like a first date, in a way. But not really. I was going for coffee with K.
This was the first time I was meeting with her outside of the work environment since August. But more importantly, it was the first time that we were actually talking face-to-face since I wrote her my letter… and then got her long awaited response. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to talk about.
I always overanalyze my interactions with her, both before, during, and after they happen. I wish I didn’t do this. I don’t do it with other people that I go out with. But she’s different, I guess. In many ways, she is very different for anyone else in my life.
It turns out all my worrying was for nothing, really. We didn’t talk about the letter nor did we talk about the response. We also didn’t talk about “mentoring business, ” like we did at our last few official mentoring meetings. We just chatted, like a pair of old girlfriends. I tried to be more relaxed than I normally would be, and eventually I eased up a bit. She asked me about school, about exams, about my upcoming clinical. We talked about the field of Medicine and being a woman in a demanding career. We talked about how annoying our husbands can be and how even when they’re trying to be supportive, they aren’t always doing the best job.
The conversation was great. The coffee was great. The company was great.
I have other mom friends, but they aren’t busy students nor do they work very demanding jobs. I have med school friends, but they don’t have kids. None of my friends have a true and clear understanding of what I do and how I feel. KM, while not a student anymore, does what I do. And, while she does the same thing I do, she has more control over her own schedule, she makes a lot of money (and I make none), and her husband is a Mr. Mom… So I would like to argue that maybe I have it a little worse off than her… I don’t know for sure.
I don’t regret, for a second, that I found the courage to ask K to be my mentor, despite my intense fear of rejection. I love that we had the conversation and coffee date that we had today. For an hour, I forgot that she’s above me, that there is still a hierarchy that exists between us and it will exist for a long time to come. I need to respect that and I know she knows that too. But sadly, I just want us to be friends. I need her to be my friend.
But this is the closest I will get and I have to make it be okay. I have to make lemonade out of lemons, like they say. More like drinking the orange juice instead of eating the orange, though. I love oranges and orange juice is just a different presentation. My situation with K isn’t a bad one (like the lemons suggest), it just isn’t exactly what I want. I want the orange, but all I can have is the juice. Oh well.
Coffee was fantastic. I also gave her some of my baking from yesterday’s extravaganza, as well as a Key Lime yogurt. It’s kind of a long story, but the last time we met, in August, I told her how amazing it was. She said she’d never tried it before but that she loved eating lime yogurt as a kid. I recommended she get some. I never found out if she ever tried it or not, but I had one for breakfast this morning and it reminded me of that conversation. I thought I would bring one for her, just in case.
She was so, unbelievably excited. For the yogurt and the cookies. She couldn’t believe I remembered that part of our conversation from so many months ago. She gave me a hug and wished me Merry Christmas. And, I drove away with a smile on my face.