Conversations we have again and again

When I meet people many often are interested in what I am doing and why and I don’t mind talking about my decision but often I get the response about how hard what I am doing is and how awful it would be to go through all this and NOT get in, yada, yada, yada.
Do any of you have this happen? How do you politely say you know very well how hard it is and don’t need to be reminded? I feel like it’s like someone going up to a marathon runner at the start of the race and saying, "You know you’ve got 25 more miles to go? That’s a LONG way, if you don’t fininish, man that will suck!"
What’s up with that?

I hate this too, especially coming from people who know me! Like they don’t think working full-time and being a mother to two energetic kids is stressful or trying? Heck, I’m actually looking forward to doing something I WANT to do instead of having to work at a job I don’t really like! And I expect that school will be a blast…When I say that, they look at me like I’m so naive and innocent.
So much of life is what you expect from it. If you expect it to be difficult, it will be. I’m expecting my life as a med student to be fun, challenging, somewhat stressful, but oh, so enjoyable. And that’s what it will be…

I think its like a death: people feel like they HAVE to say something, anything. Silence is awkward for most people. People keep talking when they should just shut up.

Alyson (Calvin), yeah, I know what you’re talking about and your marathon analogy is great! I think some people probably walked away from conversations with me thinking that I was frankly psychotic, definitely delusional. I was just never able to be anything but cheerful and positive about it because it was the ONE thing that really had me motivated and excited - like Selina said.
I do think there are a LOT of people who are unhappy with their lives and disgruntled by their situations. when they encounter someone who is taking a bold step to improve her/his situation, it puts them on the defensive and this is how they react. Granted, that’s not everyone who rains on your parade but they are out there. And I realized that a lot of them don’t even realize they’re particularly unhappy. But when they confront someone who is going waaaaay outside the mold, well, that is upsetting their world a little too much, stretching their comfort zone to where it’s uncomfortable, and so they dump on you to try and move the comfort boundaries back in where they like 'em.
and lest you think this is all totally unqualified psychobabble, I kicked this idea around a fair amount with my therapist back in the day and he agreed with me!

Ya, some just really like to spread their own miseries around. Some of the people care, or at least empathise and in reality, (hard to face as it may be) what they are saying rings of truth. It WOULD suck to work so hard and not get in! It hurts to be faced smack dab with our own worst fear. WE squash the fear with our hope and determination, they just blurt it out to us and it does get old. Giving the benefit of the doubt, that most people don’t intend harm, take it in stride and accept the gesture. Try not to be defensive, most people really don’t deserve it. I try to return it with a somber nod of the head, a “ya, I know”. Now, some are truly insensitive and rude - good practice of professionalism for you. Doctors are community leaders. Be a leader.

Hi there-

I think that recently I made the unconscious decision not to talk about it if I don’t have to. It may have been something on this site…that suggested being a quiet old pre-med may make life easier. It has become too hard to explain the motivations for this path in the small amount of time that you usually have for these interactions where the topic comes up…like…“do you have an hour and I will try to explain myself.” Well, I think I am going to spend less energy on “explaining.” I have 5 kids and a full time life with an active athletic hobby…blah blah blah. It is so strange because others seem amazed by this pursuit…and I feel so regular (and insane) trying to track down this dream with no guarantees. Sorry for venting, must have been on my mind. Thanks for mentioning this.

I realize that I did not stay on topic here too well. But to all those people who may already be overwhelmed by their own life and this kind of path sounds REALLY overwhelming…well the truth is…it is HARD. But, we do it anyway. Your life and your choice and your lack of sleep.

Hope that is better.