Recently, I found this note on the hood of my car. I immediately noticed it was surrounded on all sides by varying BMWs. In the place where I live- where I pay rent, where I pay to park my car- I felt attacked and judged.
Every part of me started feeling like an imposter, in my personal and professional life.
"Do I deserve to live where I live?"
"Should I buy a different car?"
"Do people think I'm a bad doctor because of the car I drive, the clothes I wear, the cell phone I own?:
And it spiraled to, "Am I even safe in my apartment building?"
I sat in my car and began to cry. It felt like after all the years of faking it, someone had caught me. Someone had realized that I'm an imposter and that I don’t belong.
I gave myself a few days to think about it. I gave myself time to act, and not react. And in that time I realized that after 16 years of education (4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of residency, and 1 year of fellowship), I am able to afford a BMW (or any other luxury car for that matter). But instead I CHOOSE to drive a car I am proud to own, my 2014 Ford Fiesta.
I am proud of my car not because I bought it with my own money, but because my father bought it for me as a gift upon completing medical school. A man who worked a blue collar job nearly everyday for the past 40 years to provide for my brother and I. His dedication to our family has allowed the two of us to obtain something he had never obtained- an education.
As my financial status is changing, I will always remember where I came from. I will always be proud of all the things I own, including my car, but most importantly my education- which no one can take away.