Diary - November 19, 2015

Combining Med School With A Blog: Dream Or Reality?

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I have always had a lot of dreams. The one-goal life never really excited me. You can call me unrealistic, but I’m convinced of the fact that realistic thinking is what keeps society so mediocre. And really, I’m okay with mediocrity. Everybody has a different mindset. But it’s just not what I want for my life to be.

I wanted to write about combining medical school with The Sacred Closet for a long time already, but I never really found the time to do it perfectly. Because it is what it is. I can’t tell you about my future and what I absolutely want to achieve in life in between other things. In the beginning, I caught myself for weeks on thoughts like “You should mind your words when you’re gonna write that article” and “People will find you too self-assured or arrogant after reading it”. And if that last thought really is the case, that’s fine. As you know I’m not the type of person to hide what she’s feeling or thinking. Sometimes that character trait turns out less good than I expected, but most of the time I notice it is highly appreciated. So as long as I managed to equip you with something to think about, with something of which you think it has an actual, not so stupid content, I’m a superhappy blogger (or more a doctor to be?).

If you’re a blogger, I don’t have to tell you that the thing we do here on the World Wide Web is an almost full time job. Of course, it depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put into this. It would be totally irrational to compare myself to bloggers that don’t do anything but travel all over the world like -real fancy- gypsies. Those who attend the most exclusive events and get tons of free Chanel here, free Louis Vuitton there. I admire (as I guess many, many girls do) how far they have come in their career though, at such a young age already. But behind all of the fanciness and the goodie bags hides a lot of work, and people forget that easily when they see the beautiful pictures one Instagram. I guess that’s the most important thing that I learned the past two years: you’re just NOT going to get anywhere in life without sacrifice and hard work.

So, let’s begin by telling you my story. Among three years of blogging, I set up The Sacred Closet a bit more than a year ago, when I was in Biomedical Sciences. Yes, I studied something else before my big dream of becoming a doctor could finally make a start. In Belgium there is a hard entrance exam for medical school, and I had to do it four times before I passed. Maybe I have put less effort in it than I was ought to be, maybe I don’t have the best insight in mathematics and physics on the planet, maybe I didn’t choose the perfect direction as a preparation in high school… I don’t know. But what I do know, is that the disappointment of real failing at something for the very first time in my life, again and again, has been the best life lesson so far. It has been real hard, especially mentally after the third time I failed for missing like half a point, to get myself up and do it just one last time. Giving it another shot. I admit I thought of quitting and letting it go. Even my parents said that I had to leave it, it wouldn’t work out for me anyway. But I couldn’t live with the idea of having to choose another direction but this. What would I do for the rest of my life? Something that I’m commited to for just 50%? That wouldn’t be healthy, not for me, not for the people I would be working with. So I gave it another try, did everything I could, and experienced the most beautiful moment of my life so far. Crying, laughing, everything at the same time the day I got the message in my mailbox that I fucking did it.

Now this is the point I wanted to get to… You know that moment when people ask you what you study and you tell them, and the next thing they say is “Waw, that must be really hard”? Well, when I get the question, them knowing I’m a dedicated blogger, their reply to my answer sounds more like “Do you think you can carry on running a blog and studying a direction like that at the same time?”. And yes, that reaction made me think, even until I couldn’t sleep of it. I mean, can I? It is true that there aren’t a million fashion bloggers in the world that dream to be a doctor one day. But, they exist. Even a girl of my campus, now in her sixth year of med school, runs a successful street style blog. I was so happy when I met her, because before I had a lot more doubts about my capacities in doing this. Now I know, that it is definitely possible to have two, or even more dreams. But only if you divide your time well. That’s something I guess people have most difficulties with. Getting up and actually start something. Not lingering and planning time for every little goal (according to what is most important at that moment). And believe me, I have been struggling with it too. Because honestly, if I had to choose between becoming a doctor or my blog… That would be the hardest and most heartbreaking decision I would ever have to make. My interests lie in both fields: hoping to help, inspire and connect with people.

The one more trigger I needed to write this post, was when I suddenly got so many questions about how I do it from girls I know and girls I don’t know, that would love to start up a blog but are afraid of two things. One, the fear of failure. “Will people laugh at me if things with my blog won’t work out? Will I only ridicule myself?” Fear number two: “Will I be able to combine it with my studies? Am I smart enough to manage all of that?”

I set up some tips for helping you dividing your time well as a blogger/student, as well as some encouragement in case you need any:

#1. Make a weekly scheme

It’s so simple when you think about it but it really helps. Seeing your plans written down in a strict order helps you to finish off every task! Try not to start multiple tasks at once, this will make them heavier and will hinder you to simply finish them. Choose a color for every kind of activity. Courses are for example green, study hours blue, spare time red and why not yellow for blogging? Make an agreement with yourself about how many times a week you want to post on your blog, and stick to that number. I normally post once a week because I really don’t want to neglect my studies which ask a lot of time, and the social life that goes with it taken into account. In time of exams, I try to update my Instagram account more frequently instead of my blog and run some sort of ‘Instagram-blog’. But if you think you can handle more, just do it. Experiment, and you’ll see by itself what works for you.

#2. Buy a moodboard

And hang it right in front of your face! No, like seriously. It should be the first thing you see right from the moment you wake up, and the last thing you see before you fall asleep. You can do anything you want with it. Write, sketch, stick pictures, pin quotes… As long as the (life) goal(s) you want to achieve is clear described. Seeing this all the time will give your brain a superboost and you’ll be more likely to make efforts for your goals. Hema, for instance, is an excellent address.

#3. Always always always believe you can!

I can’t emphasise enough on the fact that whatever you want to be, you will be if you’re willing to work hard. This may sound like the greatest cliché in history (and it is) but that doesn’t make it less true. To answer the questions described a little higher: YES you will be able to combine your blog with your studies, if you’re really going for this. It has nothing to do with being smart or not!! ‘Intelligence’ is such a wide term. NO you won’t ridicule yourself. How ridiculous themselves are the people that want to judge you for expressing who you are and what you stand for? Two words: short-sighted bastards. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. All I can say is that they will be the first in line to check out on how you make it in life, or be the first one to read that new blogpost you wrote. That’s ironic, isn’t it? Haters are actually fans. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life, so leave those far behind and surround yourself with the people that see the best in you, and in what you do.

#4. Try not to compare yourself with others

A common problem. Me, you and anyone else around you: guilty. The big question is, why do we do it? It crossed my mind several times already that human beings are actually so selfish (which, sometimes, is necessary) and that we grudge the light of each others eyes. But you know, one must live and let live. Here you have two examples. Having more followers, likes or whatever doesn’t make a blog better than yours. It happens a lot that I discover a really cool blog with good writing, that’s not as popular as a blog with only pretty pictures and that’s it. Not having to study a lot and make the grade, that’s fantastic. But it’s also more than okay to run your own course at your own pace, even if that involves having more difficulties than one another achieving the same goal. Plus, you don’t know other people’s stories: they will never be you with all of your other talents. It would be a more than boring world if we were all great at the same thing! I’d rather empower with other bloggers or my colleague doctors when I’m older than to be envious of their capacities. Learning from each other and making contacts that may become friends for life means so much more than a stupid number at the top of your Instagram account, or than having the best degree. And don’t forget, you do this all for you. Not to please/do better than anyone else. You’ll be much happier!

I admit, it’s not always going to be easy. But nothing that’s worthwhile ever will be. To me, the most important thing is to live it all in the moment. I try to live from day to day, but still with a major plan in the back of my head I’ll never forget. Having faith that one day I’ll get at the finish line, no matter what road I took, keeps me going. I’ll do everything it takes to make a tiny part of history with what I want to do in life. Being a successful and awesome doctor, insane friend, sympathetic blogger that people can relate to and maybe one day a loving mother. I hope I can be an example for anyone who thinks exactly as I do. Focus on your goals honey, but please don’t forget to dream. Life’s too short for growing up too fast.

You were assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.

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I was wearing: Mango skirt, Essentiel sweater, Reiss boots.

❤ Pictures by Annelies Schrevens ❤ Hair by Annelien Boonen

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