Sometimes I think my two-pager resume is nuts. I swooped into each job to change people’s lives for a handful of years, then moved on to the next place. I’m a native New Yorker who lives in LA by way of Chicago, Milwaukee, Taos, and Santa Fe. The one constant has been dance. As an adult, that became flamenco dance. But wanting a solid lifestyle for my kids and being either sola or the bread winner, I chose to use my MD in my day job as a professor and university administrator. Most days I feel like a failure – I yelled at my younger boys too harshly, I didn’t get to dance, I forgot my daughter’s birthday. But a new friend recently extracted my life story over brunch and concluded that I was an “extraordinary person.” That moment shifted the way I perceive my Self.
I tend to find myself in mentoring situations, and I love doing that. But inside my head I have often thought, “Who am I to give such advice?” Now I know. I am a flamenco-dancing MD with grand ideas and too little time. I lead a pretty ordinary life – driving kids, paying rent, chugging too much espresso. And I’ve done some pretty extraordinary things, achieved some pretty extraordinary goals, crashed and burned in pretty extraordinary fashion, and learned some pretty extraordinary lessons. I hope some of these lessons are useful to you as you create your own extraordinary life.