If you know me personally, you would know that I try not to talk about my difficulties. I’m of the opinion that there are others around me that have hidden problems and struggles that are much worse than mine and have achieved more amazing things under more difficult conditions. But this time I choose to do something different. This time, I choose to celebrate.

Four years ago I was faced with a cross-roads in my life. I was told that being a doctor may not be right for me and I was told I couldn’t continue with my education. At the time, I was convinced that I wanted to pursue this as a career, but if supervisors and other doctors are telling you that you’re not cut out for the program, who am I to say otherwise? I had the opportunity to pivot. Abandon the idea of being a doctor and pursue something else. In hindsight, I probably could have done that and just been fine. Quit. Today I would be 26 and in the work force making a decent salary and living a comfortable life. But I chose not to.

Instead I chose to go to Boston and do it all over. I pushed and I pushed and I struggled to get to where I am. I made it past obstacles that I could never have possibly foreseen. I dug myself in a financial hole with the promise that I’ll be able to climb my way out of it. I sacrificed time, equity and a good portion of my emotional well-being in order to stand where I stand now. But I am standing. And I’m proud of it.

These photos are two separate White Coat Ceremonies, traditionally done when we’re 2nd years. The top is a picture taken in New York and the bottom is from my time in Boston. To all of my old peers in New York, if you’re reading this, I told you that I would meet you at the finish line, just a little bit later. Now, I can proudly say that I did it 2 years later.

As a side note, if you’re going through something tough in your life, I promise you things get better. I know it’s a cliché and something to wave off, but it really, genuinely does get better. Adversity and hardship tend to make the near future look dark and uncertain, but if you take small steps forward, you’ll always find a way out of it. It might just be a little too hard to see right now.

If I can do it, you can to.

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