BY GUEST BLOGGER DR. LEAH KATZ
Whether you like her music or not, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Lady Gaga has served up some pretty interesting life advice throughout her career. When it came to women following men or their dreams, the singer once said, “If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” Something about that really resonated with me. While Lady Gaga wasn’t the single soul who encouraged me to pursue a very competitive residency, her quote definitely gave me a little extra encouragement to continue to follow my dreams.
In retrospect as I revisit the quote from a different place in life, I wonder if love and career always have to be at odds. If I were to channel Lady Gaga, which I often do, I think she meant don’t give up your dreams for love. In other words, don’t ever sacrifice yourself for love. But with all the questioning today of whether women can really “have it all” without toeing the line of insanity or harnessing some really killer acting skills, I wonder if we should realistically focus on pursuing both career and love at the same time.
Both men and women in medicine and other training-intense fields often lament that the logistics of training and the time constraints make it nearly impossible to seriously date or get into a relationship. Marriage and kids are always pushed off and the rates of unmarried singles are higher in some professions simply because some people don’t think they have the time, energy or focus to try to multitask. Some people in the training phase even swear off relationships, resolving to be single no matter what in order to fully focus on education. What I think is the real problem, though, is that people see this as a problem. I’ve met many people who feel very bitter toward the training process, complaining about the length of time it takes and how it’s unfavorable to being available emotionally and physically for a real relationship.
On the other hand, I know several people who successfully managed amazing relationships during training. What I’m saying here is that no matter what your Facebook relationship status is or the amount of time you’re able to spend finding “the one,” if that’s what you’re looking for, be happy and accept your station in life. That, in my opinion, is the only way to attract a suitable mate.
The truth is people in relationships are not the ones who have all this time, energy or focus to devote to each other. They’re not the ones whose jobs don’t take a great deal of emotional energy every day. These individuals are the ones who suit each other and complement each other’s passion. So be happy no matter what your station in life because only then will you attract someone as amazing and devoted to your career as you are, regardless of how much time you have to text or go to the movies.
Image courtesy of Quarterlifeadvice.net