Where I Want to Be

I’m not supposed to say it’s a priority because
my husband is here. As women, we’re expected to

do a lot. To deal with a lot, without needing a
lot. Some would say my career should come first.

The possibility of being apart, of being somewhere
without my biggest support, scares me. I know he’ll

be wonderful no matter where I go; it’s a gift
to have a relationship this patient and loving.

I’ll be grateful when I know where I’ll be, and I’ll
be happy and relieved if we can stay here, together–

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

“There’s not a lot within your control in the match process, and I think that’s creating anxiety for me,” she said. She was going into her fourth year of medical school, which is where she’d met her husband. They were friends at first, grew closer over time, and were married earlier this year. “I know every specialty is competitive, and the possibility of being in different locations scares me. Residency is trying, emotionally and mentally. I think I’m fearful of being somewhere alone without my support system.” She told me how loving her relationship was, and that she was incredibly grateful to have such a sweet, supportive, and patient spouse. She didn’t feel any pressure from him. She knew he would do whatever it took, but she did feel some pressure that she wasn’t supposed to say her preference was to be where he was. “A lot of people would tell me my career should come first,” she said.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Student
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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