I had the honor of being chosen as the class speaker for the NUNM graduating class of 2017. The transcript and video of the speech are below.
This school almost killed me. When I came here 4 years ago I knew who I was. I knew what this education was and what it was going to give me and how it was going to change me. I was ready.
…I was wrong about all of that.
School was like a chisel, slowly chipping away at me, giving me new shape and perspective. But immediately it wasn’t happening how I expected it to.
The chisel started its work on my confidence the day I met most of you. I saw that you’re all amazing and talented and accomplished and good looking and super smart and maybe I was in over my head.
It continued in one of our first classes where the topic was MRSA infections. I was stoked. The intricacies of over-prescribed antibiotics, natural alternatives; I showed up prepared to start changing the world – until the very first question stumped and deflated me: What does MRSA stand for?
And every day, I was reminded that I didn’t know anything. A good test score was immediately forgotten as another stack of books was thrown at us full of words I couldn’t pronounce.
Eventually, I had no more confidence to chip away but it didn’t end. It started chipping away who I thought I was, what I thought my future was going to be. It chipped away my happiness, my hope. I wanted to give up. There were days I went home and cried myself to sleep. Sometimes I didn’t even make it home and just cried in the middle of class.
But I kept showing up. And I realized all of that needed to happen so I could learn the single most important thing about being a healer.
It was during those difficult moments of questioning my worth, the moments I truly needed a healer, when one of you would give me a smile, or a hug, or tell me you’d totally vote me “least likely to fail” and suddenly I was able to start moving forward again.
The layers that were chipped away were being replaced by stronger, more meaningful, more profound layers. My hope came back. I found my happiness. I remembered why I was doing this.
The classes here prepared me to deal with diseases of all types but that’s only part of it. Extremely necessary, yeah, but being a healer is so much smaller and so much deeper than any of that medical knowledge we have. It’s that willingness to listen. It’s the skill and compassion it takes to notice when a smile might change everything. It’s caring.
You’re all going to be amazing healers – you already are. I mean, look around. Look at what you’ve accomplished. Let this sink in.
If you get scared out there when you’re practicing, if you lose your confidence, if you forget everything – just know that being a healer isn’t all about the knowledge or the tools. It’s deeply, profoundly personal. It’s that human connection and it comes from being the caring, loving people that you are. Start there and you’ll be on your way. Seriously, that’s all you actually need to remember. Everything else you can just Google.
I am grateful for the unbelievable education I received here. I am grateful I was able to walk these halls with you. Thank you for being there for me, helping me re-build, for showing me what it means to be a healer. I wish you all the very best.