Prior to arriving in New York City, I’d made decisions that once again limited my freedom—that is, maintaining a relationship for which I was the sole financial supporter during the five months abroad in Southeast Asia and the first month in New York City. This happens in life, occasionally. Perhaps your partner gets laid off. Perhaps your spouse becomes temporarily disabled. One breadwinner in a two-person relationship is an acceptable heterosexual model, although it is less frequent in society now, as the idealized American “middle class” gets replaced by “working poor.” (You know the story—occupy everything because the flow of money has been uni-directional towards the 1%–an integral component of capitalism, but I digress.)
In any case, it is clear that when we value something as individuals, we try to keep it by whatever means necessary. During most of my adolescent and adult life, my philosophy had been that money is merely material—that is, it’s replaceable. Love—true, unconditional, compassionate love—however, is not. Of course, this leaves me as a prime target for a plethora of debacles. How can you know what is true up front? I just believe so and let the rest unfold.
What unfolded in those final few months abroad and my first month in New York City was that my then-partner and I needed to part ways. I was depleted and could no longer continue to limit my freedom for the sake of a fragile relationship. But I would help her transition in the city—one that she detested before meeting me—until she found employment. I did so on the premise that our friendship was true and valuable, but subsequent unfolding indicated otherwise.
I didn’t realize then, that when you limit one kind of freedom, you consequently limit other freedoms, such as being able to choose a job that actually coincides with your own values. While I’m not exactly against medicine, I don’t entirely value its agendas. To me, the body is finite, but ideas, culture, literature, meaning—those actually resonate with my soul.
Of course, as a naturally curious person, I enjoyed science enough. I even finished a minor in biology, thinking that I would be a conservationist of some type. I knew I would enjoy the co-editor position at a medical journal, at least for the next year until I was able to get settled in New York City, a city I’d dreamed of living in since my first visit.
In fact, I was extremely happy and grateful. Not many people can find jobs now, especially not through Skype ten thousand miles away with Hurricane Irene in the Atlantic and Typhoon Mina in the Pacific.
Read the rest on scribd: here.