"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
- Muhammad Ali -
After graduating from high school, I created a list, a five year plan. Within the first year of that plan, it changed and changed again. Something clicked. I decided to become a physician, and so the plan went forward, full steam ahead. My plan consisted of bombarding each undergrad course until it yielded to my will. There would be no rest. Most of my college friends thought I was nuts. I didn't go out during the week and most weekends, instead it was about the grind. I pushed myself harder and harder each semester. Scoring well on an exam was never taken for granted. I allowed myself to feel the edge of possible failure, and this would be my daily fuel. Then one day, I questioned becoming a doctor. I graduated without completing the medical school entrance exam, the infamous MCAT, and thus I did not apply to medical school. I found myself lost in who I was and who I needed to be in this world.
By the grace of God, years later after starting a career with NASA, the medical school entrance exam would be the first of an absurd number of exams that would stand in my way to receiving not only my medical degree but also graduating from residency and then progressing to full board certification. If I were to travel back in time to when I was graduating from high school and if I were to tell my much younger self that I would become an emergency medicine physician, then I wonder if I would have said, "Impossible!" I firmly believe that the journey and not the individual successes or failures defines one's character. My failures on this journey remain just as important if not more important than each success. Thus far, accepting failure rests as my hardest but most important lesson.
On this day, I learned that I passed my final step in becoming a board certified emergency medicine physician. But what does this really mean? Because as awesome as I thought this moment would feel, i.e. about seventeen years in the making, it still feels a bit boring, a bit empty.
I pray that I never accept failure and never accept impossible. As long as there is breath in my lungs, it is never too late and never impossible.