I fancy myself as someone who does a pretty good job of holding it together, 99% of the time. I'm the "rock" in most of my relationships. People can count on me, I'm rarely late, I'm reliable. I'm like a Rolex.
Today, I had a melt down.
I presented a talk with a nurse practitioner at an AIDS conference in LA this afternoon. It was great. We both spent time in Kenya -- she's been living there for 4 years, working with some of the same people with whome I worked. She lives about an hour north of where I was, and in the HIV world in Western Kenya, everyone knows everyone. So, I got hear how my old friends were doing, how the country was, etc. I felt so connected. We met last night at the pre-conference dinner, and we really hit it off. It's hard to live there and not automatically bond with anyone who's also lived there.
So, the conference was a big success today. The NP and I spoke about HIV in Africa and how to make a successful program there. I'd been working on my portion of the talk for weeks, so I'm relieved to have it done. Needless to say, talking about HIV in Africa always makes me emotionally vulnerable, and talking about my time in Kenya is like picking off a scab.
Then, my phone breaks. It just locks up and it won't unstick. I try everything, and I eventually have to go to the Verizon store. The nice man there wasn't able to fix it, so they had to reset it -- I would lose everything. I had backed it up a few days prior, so I thought it would be no big deal.
I get home, and I can't get the phone to sync with the desktop. I'm sitting there with the phone in my hand, connected to the computer, and I just lost it. I'm literally bawling as I frantically search through program files, Windows applications, etc. I finally get it to work and calm myself down. My contacts and calendar appear on the phone, so I think I'm out of the woods. Oh, no. The medical programs I put on are gone. They, apparently, weren't backed up, even though I thought that's what I was doing every time I hit "Back up my Device." Cue the tears...and yes, I'm back to being a blubbering mess. I go back to the websites, download everything again (fortunately it's all free), and a mere two hours after starting the project, my phone is darn close to being the way it was. Except I lost all my pictures. Dang.
So, I'm an emotional wreck. I was frustrated that this stupid phone had so much control over me. (I'm working tomorrow, so I need the medical programs to be there!) And, I realized after gaining some greater insight, that I really just want to get back to Kenya. I was jealous that the NP gets to fly back on Tuesday. I was jealous that she gets to go back to really impacting a community. I was frustrated with spinning my wheels at the VA. It all came to a head, and I reacted like a champion: buckets of tears.
Once again I'm reminded that I'm no Superman. I'm just a girl, and a doctor, and I just want to make a difference.