The Fab Five
I abhor excessive complexity and that aspect of my persona was reflected in my “Fab Five’. I know. The title lacks creativity but I never demonstrated a talent for ingenuity in the art of creating witty titles, so sue me. My love of people is what started my story. I began my life as a timid little girl, a chameleon in social situations to supplement my lack of companionship. If I changed my personality to suit others I’d be able to befriend someone. Loneliness was all I knew then and it took the loss of my father and the realization of the transiency of life to give me the impetus to enforce change in my life. I accepted my eclectic hobbies, unusual addiction to dark humor, and my passion for learning and testing my intellectual and academic abilities. When I acknowledged my true self, I started my journey to becoming the person I was meant to be.
The ability to adapt to any field of study seems impressive to the onlooker but poses the most difficult question to a then 18 year old. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? I began my college career with the goal of becoming an engineer. I registered, collected my acceptance package and attended the introductory orientation of the degree program. The professor posed the simplest of questions to the group of 120 future engineers.
Why do you want to be an engineer?
My colleagues murmured the obvious cookie cut responses but I couldn’t answer. Twenty hours passed and I still couldn’t answer that basic question. Engineering was not for me. My mother was my confidant yet I felt like a failure when I admitted to her my reluctance to continue with the program. She snapped me out of that mindset and reminded me that I was brave to admit that I was uncertain about the path ahead instead of pursuing a ‘dead dream’.
Years passed and I had a myriad of friends in my clique. A group of 3 of my friends and I were celebrating Christmas when we got into a car accident. I was the most injured in the incident and was completely ignored. The paramedics and onlookers took care of me yet I was abandoned by the people I called friends. The sacrifices I made to mold and build ‘the real me’ shattered in a day. I was subjected to many things in my life but I had never experienced the feeling of insignificance. Years of self- esteem, self- image and self-worth issues flooded back to my immediate memory and I was pummeled by the force of that pain. It took parental and spiritual guidance and the support of my true friends to restore my perspective.
Failure, loss and abandonment, though negative experiences, laid bare my weaknesses but also my strengths. Those friends made my future college life as a Biology Major a bit uncomfortable, as our partnerships disintegrated with the dissolution of the friendship, but with loss, there was gain. My pursuit of a career in medicine was supplemented by the friends I kept around me. We were able to form a network of medical professionals in the Caribbean who tended to the development of a stronger and more efficient health sector that promoted a holistic outlook to the standard concept of Caribbean medicine. My husband and I, despite not sharing similar career backgrounds, complemented each other. The quirks of my persona were matched with the oddities of his personality. Although it was a bumpy ride, subjected by a lot of pain and insecurity, I would not trade the memories and the people I have encountered in my life for the world.