An Unexpected Gift

I’m someone who likes plans. I like to
know what’s coming and where I’m going.

I sure never saw him coming! Certainly
not right now. Dating during residency

is rare. Finding someone outside healthcare,
even more rare. Not to mention, we’re in

a pandemic. So no, I never could have planned
for this, because this is a gift. That’s the

difference between plans and gifts — plans
are made; gifts are simply given. I just never

expected a gift as generous as this.
This gift feels too good to be true.

Then again, who am I to argue with the stars?

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This person was a second-year surgical resident. She told me she liked to have plans, and so it was challenging to have so many unknowns in her career right now. How could she best serve her community? Where did she fit in best? She also told me she was in a new relationship that had recently gotten more serious. It was making her reconsider the impacts of her career choices on her future. “He instills so much confidence; offers so much encouragement. He provides such a counterforce to where my professional life is. He just makes me really happy,” she said. “It’s working so well. I didn’t know if I’d ever find this! Dating during residency is so rare.” She told me the stars must have aligned because this was the last thing she expected to find during such a hectic time in her life.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Resident
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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