Skip to content

Repeat After Me

May 9, 2014

I’m typing this as I hurtle westward back to Cardiff. One of my oldest friends got married today and the reception-party-thing is tomorrow night. He’s the first one of my old social group to get married which is a shock on many levels. I almost did a double-take earlier when I realised I’m actually 25 (NB: A double-take is not a wise manoeuvre when peddling manically around Marble Arch.

Clegg-life continues on. This is the end of my fourth week there – the party’s already half-over. Tempus fugit indeed. I am getting a lot of stuff done however. Last week, my editors were away so I just powered through four articles I wanted to write. They need work but I think I’ll have them under my belt when I finish. I’ve spent a lot of time this week reviewing various manuscripts. The power of the red pen is seductive. I thought I must’ve been in a bad mood because I was tempted to reject all of them. My editor reassured me that, no, they really were all unsuitable. Oh good.

I still miss Eve something awful. Life is just…boring without her. I have been making attempts to remedy that. Between the gym and Nando’s, Alex continues to provide me with counsel and succour. We also met up the other night to make fajitas and binge-watch Naruto. Because we are young, independent and cool, dammit! Elsewhere, Dominic has allowed me to join his (and his dad’s) pub quiz team. Last week, we came second by one point – though I did win a free drink with my encyclopaedic knowledge of Back to the Future.

I’ve been sending Eve postcards and drawing on the back of them. I think my arty talent might be improving the more I miss Eve.

IMAG0617 IMAG0624

But what I really want to talk about is the limbo I find myself in between failing Medicine PACES and the impending resit. St George’s finalists received their results today. I wished my Twitter-pals in the enemy camp my congratulations, but it was a bitter replay of when the Imperialites got the news. Everyone around me is succeeding and progressing and I am stuck – static – in this purgatory built for one.

I do honestly want to congratulate Moriarty and the others but their celebrations bring my self-pitying situation to the forefront of my mind and summon the little voice to prick upon my consciousness.

This is the first exam I have ever failed. There couldn’t possibly be a worse exam to fail. I’m halfway through nine weeks in which I can completely re-interpret and invert my sense of self. My past successes can be recast as a remarkable string of flukes and failing the PACES was an inevitability. I wish Eve were here. She has a way of breaking me out of these untrue thoughts. Instead, I have to do it myself. I can, don’t worry; I just wish I didn’t have to.

I aced three of those six PACES stations and I can ace them again. Two were close calls and I can build on them, come back stronger. One was an unmitigated disaster, I know this, but there is no way I’m letting that happen again. I can do this. I can do this. I will do this. This private CBT can usually put the little voice away.

(I call it the little voice but I reckon it is my biggest obstacle leading up to the resit. Funny that)

I am inevitably reminded of applying to medical school. My first try got me nowhere. I had a chance to compromise for biomedical science and try for graduate-entry medicine later on but I didn’t take it. I went away, got a temp job, got more hospital experience, buffed my personal statement. It was a montage Rocky Balboa would be proud of. And I came back stronger and got into a better medical school than any of my first choices. I am not a loser. I am not a failure. I am the guy who doesn’t give up. You can knock me back but you can’t knock me down. With my bone-headed determination, I can do anything…eventually.

This might all be bluster, but if I’m going to tell lies to myself, I might as well tell lies to build myself up, right?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. A fellow PACES Resitter permalink
    May 7, 2015 1:32 pm

    How surreal. This is all too familiar, but fast forward one year. The pat on the shoulder. The meeting with a College Big. The shock that this was the first exam ever. The remedial placement. The purgatory for one. The only difference.. Surgical PACES. How I cannot wait to turn this dark corner too. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Getting On | Quinnfeld

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: