As a dietetic intern, similar to other students going through rotations or clinicals, I essentially start a new job every few weeks. I meet new people, learn new practices, and get lost trying to find my way around new buildings. Needless to say, it’s exhausting. I often find myself wishing to just start my career already.
After a long day at one of my rotations, I sat on my yoga mat as my yoga teacher set the intention for the day, santosha. She began telling a story about Voodoo donuts. She waits in line for at least 30 minutes until she gets her well-deserved donut every time she goes. In the end, she says the donuts are good but it’s the overall experience that makes Voodoo donuts unique. The familiarity of waiting in line with her friends and family is part of why she enjoys going to Voodoo donuts again and again. Santosha, sanskrit for contentment, is recognizing that the wait in line adds to the overall experience, making the end result even more delicious.
I almost laughed out loud as I realized waiting in line at voodoo donuts is a metaphor for my experience as a dietetic intern. This metaphor created a new perception of my experiences in rotations. Instead of being inpatient with the fact that I’m currently “waiting in line” to be a registered dietitian, I appreciate that being a struggling intern will help shape me into the dietitian that I strive to become. Thinking back to a year ago when I was anxious about possibly not getting accepted to an internship, I am exactly where I wanted to be. Thinking a few years in the future when I am a registered dietitian, I might be wishing for the days where it was okay to ask questions and make mistakes.
As students, we are constantly reaching for the next accomplishment, waiting for the day we have checked everything off of our to-do list until we are able to practice. We tend to subconsciously disregard the beautiful moments that make up the present. Santosha is not just accepting the present for what it is, but it’s finding the joy in our experience. Santosha is laughing at ourselves for being lost, it’s reflecting on our long days so we can cherish the countless learning opportunities that we encountered. Through the mindset of santosha, I truly value being a dietetic intern. I know that where I am right now, waiting in line, is exactly where I am supposed to be.