the strange kinds of thoughts you have at 11am when driving home from a long night (mostly because your hospital’s EMR was down for the few hours when you had the time to write notes) — me, I’m a storyteller. I’ve always been. I realized a long while back that telling stories was part of what makes me feel alive — what ultimately drives everything I enjoy doing. I want to reach out, touch your heart, help you feel and live (not that I’m always the greatest at that myself, oh no). but. to create, to breathe life, to make it all come alive. music, the piano, eighty-eight keys black and white but a million evocative colors in your mind. peace, longing, loss, pain, joy, dancing, butterflies, sunlight; I’ve lived & played it all. singing: the stories of others with my own intertwined, sung. a prayer carried on all the heart & soul I could muster. I always thought in lyrics. voice acting; bringing someone to life, telling their stories & conveying a character with pitch and inflection. countless hours roleplaying with friends on the MUD; blind nymph-girl Aoi and her great love for her friend, the most feared thief throughout the land of Sindara. large insectoid Jeti and her love for food and eating and sharing her childlike pleasures & joy with you. High Summoner Yuna, the Evening Calm (and sometimes, the Violet of Doom), and her spiral into icy madness. it all extends even to my more recent madness — cosplay. fabric, clay, worbla, paint, trips to the hardware store for progressively stranger things, and a hundred thousand hours of sweat, blood, tears, and screaming at my sewing machine, all to bring characters & stories to life in yet another way.
the strange thought, though, was — as sometimes I feel that my job is so woefully unrelated and different and alien and takes away from my time to tell stories & sing songs — it’s not so unrelated after all. as a physician, my job is also to be a storykeeper. an archiver. not that I’m not or wasn’t already. I’ve done it, always; journaling through the good and the bad because my own memory sometimes loses the details for the emotions. but I listen to stories all day long. sometimes they’re short, sometimes they’re long, sometimes they don’t make sense, sometimes they’re made up for one reason or another. but I listen, I accept, I chronicle. I hear. in bits & binary, I make sense of the story, to be written down and passed on only to those who will also care for the patient. as maddening as it can be, opening the doors to my hospital’s ancient cobwebbed previous EMR and searching through musty tomes of scribbled and barely legible writing to figure out the story that needs to be told — I love doing this. I love listening. your stories. my patients’ stories. I want you to feel heard and cherished and like you aren’t alone. the moments that bring my heart to fullness are those when I feel like I’ve made a difference. a mother thanking me through tears for listening to her anxieties and fears, respecting what she had to bring to the table, working with her to come up with the best plan for her child, not washing my hands of her or treating her as if she was difficult.
I suppose that at the end of the day, it’s all just two halves of the same coin. I guess that more than just being Sailormoon, guardian of love & justice, I’m Fairy Doctorgirl Prissi, guardian of stories.