At its best, life in the fast lane of fast food is outrageously fun. In fact, it's amazing how socially disarming a giant wiener can be. You begin to realize that people lose their inhibitions around the Wienermobile. Normally quiet, reserved and "responsible" types become empowered to scream, wave and honk their horns. Giggling children flock to catch a passing glimpse. The truth is, no matter who you are or where you come from, you have to smile when you see a 5200 pound wiener coming down the road. And in a very unique way, that fun and laughter bring a refreshing sense of hope to many.
In many ways, life as a hotdogger has given me a better sense of how I want to live. For me, the Wienermobile has been the ultimate "live for the moment" experience. For the first time, I began to feel a spontaneity for life which had previously gone unexplored. And as bizarre as it may seem, my approach to "hotdogging" was often filled with a heightened sense of "reality". I began to appreciate the diversity of people that crossed our path everyday - from a curious mom to TV anchor, or RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to the always stylish Donny Osmond. It was this surreal pseudo-celebrity cult status which helped create an aura of limitless possibilities. Perhaps most importantly, life with "BIG BUN" gave me a lofty sense of freedom. To transcend money, power or merit and simply live life for the experience.
Looking back, I know that I've often chose to embrace life for its diverse experiences. My passions have brought me from living in Russia to working for an US Senator. But as I approach the start of my medical career at Yale, I find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between how I want to live and how others expect me to live. I've always been a little fearful of judgement, and those who are given to judgement would probably look at my life as a fickle series of misguided fumblings:
"Where are his commitments?" they would say, "Has he no loyalties to science? And what is this unholy alliance with large mechanical sausages? Yes, well, all these exploits are good and well, but when will he become a serious student of life's higher pursuits?....."
My coveted accolades have become "their" insane escapades.
Ironically, the same "diversity" from which I draw strength and take immense pride (and which was at some point valued by someone - I was afterall accepted), now seems only to torment me. I often wonder if I have chosen a career in medicine based in spite of and not because of my diversity. For starters, medicine symbolically embraces incoming students as uniquely creative and diverse individuals. And although creativity is preached, the nature of medicine seems to demand conformity.
The emotional, financial and physical commitment to medicine is also a bit frightening. I doubt most can see the hilarity in countless hours of study, thousands of dollars in debt and years of training/sleep deprivation.
My commitment has always been to live a passionate life.
As June weddings begin to hit full swing, my thoughts turn to that of my own marriage to medicine. Soon my glorious bachelor days of self indulgent personal growth and superfluous extracurricular binges will be at an end. Nay, my full attention will be demanded by my bride.
As I reach for the ring, I know my feet will cool as I shudder under the stifling expectations and commitments of this marriage. "Am I ready for this alliance?" I ask myself.
In a sudden burst of fear, I begin to imagine the worst case scenario - divorce. "Oh sure you could divorce," you tell yourself, "just be prepared to live in a foreign country under an assumed name in order to avoid your loan officer."
"What about a prenuptial? " you ask yourself, "Is it too late for a prenup.?!" Panicking you realize it's too late. Besides, there are no promises where you are going......
As you prepare to exchange your Hippocratic vows and enter holy matrimony in sickness and in health, released only unto death, you comfort yourself: "Perhaps that sickness in the pit of your stomach is just a case of tapeworms afterall..."
Sweat begins to pour from your brow as the last remnants of your former self cry out, "Hey bozomeister! Where's da passion in dis, schmutzo? Ain't cha gotsa enuf guts to follow da passion?...huh?....."
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