Bonjour tout le monde!
Let this be proof that Tammy and I are alive and well. I apologize for the lack of posts lately. There has be a significant challenge with usable internet that still plagues us.
Currently though, I have enough down time to at least update everyone on how I have been.
Emails are still on the back burner at this moment but I am unfortunately grounded “somewhere in France” due to unforeseen events.
The Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) workers here have been on strike and our train that was to lead us on our next leg of the train was grounded. We have had to make some significant adjustments to our itinerary.
Having said that though, we are making the most of it and enjoying our slight detour in France for the next few days.
By the 22nd, I should be home, by which time postings should resume their normal schedule.
Thanks to everyone for their patience and I look forward to updating you all again soon!
Tom of the Medical State of Mind
EDIT: A reader has correctly pointed out that it is the SNCF that is on strike, not the entire EuroRail system. Thanks for pointing this out.
Thanks to everyone who has written in with well wishes and congratulations. Tammy and I are very humbled by your support as we approach our big day together.
On a different note, apologies for the break in form. There has obviously been a shortage of medically-themed posts recently but I assure you that will return in due time. Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we celebrate this once in a lifetime moment.
Tammy and Tom
There was a time when I did not hide behind a veil of anonymity on this blog. It was many years ago now. But since reaching that conclusion, I have always tried to keep my two identities separate. Having said that, how to separate two sides of the same coin?
The majority of my readers have yet to meet me in person but a few have. Some of my initial readers were within my close circle of friends and acquaintances. It would come as a surprise on a few occasions since, that I have met people whom I have been acquainted with that also read this blog. Some of these people discovered it by accident, never fully realizing it was I who penned these posts. Others heard from a friend of a friend, as these things tend to go.
But recently, I met a complete stranger who recognized me at a bus stop. It was a chance encounter, based on the memory of who I was before I became the anonymous Tom of the Medical State of Mind.
"This may seem crazy, but I think I follow your blog."
"I beg your pardon?" I was taken aback.
"Do you keep a blog? I think I might be following it."
"What blog is it that you follow?" I decided I would neither deny or admit to anything.
"The Medical State of Mind."
I paused. The gig as they say, was up. I gave a smile in acknowledgment. It was a strange feeling to be recognized this way in public. I knew nothing about this person yet they knew everything about my medical schooling experience for the last four years. While everything I share publicly online I curate heavily and have no regrets, for a brief moment, I felt naked and exposed.
We spoke a bit about my blog, about school, about where my training would take me before this person thanked me as we boarded our separate buses.
A digital identity in today’s world is an extension of who we are in reality. It is an inseparable presence that we must all be conscientious of. Everything I write is heavily curated, fictionalized, and anonymized to protect those mentioned in the experiences I have had in these last four years. But the one thing I hold constant and true on this blog is myself. It was this honesty that led to this chance encounter with a stranger.
I have always been comfortable with who I am and what I write. However, out of respect to my faculty and my governing college, I have explored a different path to allay their concerns. The encounter left me not with a feeling of anxiety or fear but of relief and acknowledgment. While there are risks with social media in any situation, when used appropriately I am confident it can make a difference, as it seemed to for this individual.
At least one thing is certain though.
We live in a small world.
I would like to extend my thanks to everyone, especially those who wrote in yesterday. I am happy I have made it this far and with all of your support over these past few years.
Thanks for making my journaling process an amazing experience.
Tom of the Medical State of Mind
Thanks for the compliment. I honestly cannot tell you how muchtime-wise I have invested into this blog. I would probably say “far too many hours.” Financially however, my total investment to date is the healthy sum of: $10.
The return on that investment:
And there is still room to take that ten dollar bill further as I hope to continue blogging into residency and beyond. Thanks again for your question and take care.