When was the last time you had a haircut? My hair stylist asked me.
Sheepishly I told him it had been over a year. Tsk. Tsk. He looked in disdain and waited for me to give him an explanation.
I didn’t know what to say. As a medico, haircuts are least important to you in your day to day work.
The look of horror on his face said it all.
And indeed as a young doctor, you are expected to make sacrifices. No tattoos , no fancy outfits, no nail polish, no makeup in college,no highlights or fancy haircuts. The list is long and nonsensical just like the people who make them.
It’s not as if young medicos don’t take care of themselves. They do. But it’s usually at the cost of either studies or sleep and I love both of them too much to give them up. Indeed all the toppers I know take little or minimal care of themselves. One girl I know, cut her hair very short just so that she wouldn’t have to maintain them and waste time.
Old doctors, certainly derive fun in ensuring that their juniors experience the same rigid traditions that they were forced to endure never minding the fact that even medicine has changed with the years while these rules haven’t.
My stylist insisted that as a ‘young’ girl, I get a highlights or even a fun bob as I quote ‘these are your golden years’
But is it? A doctor’s golden years only start in their 30s. Till then you are expected to adhere to those rules.
When you think about it, many people spend their 20s discovering themselves, committing mistakes,going on travels and settling down in life. But me? I have to learn how to be an adult since the time I entered this field.
There is no time to do things that normal people do. I cannot take time off to take a gap year or discover myself. I’m not unhappy about my choices but merely wonder what could have been had I not been forced to grow up so soon.
We give our 20s for saving people’s lives but unfortunately no one talks about the sacrifices we make. I certainly don’t expect any one to understand them
And as I listened to my stylist ramble on about the poor way I took care of myself, I realised with a heavy heart that he, like other people would be unable to understand my side of the story. The sacrifices I make are mine alone.
So after promising that I would take better care of my hair, I went away with a new haircut wondering when my next lecture with him would be.