Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Inspiring Friend #4: Liz

In a previous post, I shared my fear that motherhood will interfere with my dream career (once I figure out what my dream career is).  My understanding is that when you have a baby, life becomes chaos and nothing gets accomplished for eighteen years, give or take a year.  So when one of my friends manages to be a mother without giving up her other life goals, I find it both inspiring and comforting.

My friend Liz is a perfect example of doing it all.  She’s always had a talent for multitasking.  In fact, the reason we became friends during our freshman year of college is that we were both able to go out every night and still maintain a perfect grade point average.  (What can I say?  It’s a gift.)  That wasn’t the only thing we had in common.  Neither of us had any idea what we wanted to study.  Out of desperation, we asked the Dean for advice, and she suggested that we major in Economics.  So we did.  I added a double major in Math, and Liz added a double major in Computer Science.

After graduation, Liz got a job working as a computer programmer.  In addition to being the world’s hottest programmer, she was also great at her job.  It wasn’t long before she was managing an entire team of geeky programmers.  But, like me, she ended up having a career crisis.  After a bit of soul-searching, she concluded that she was in the wrong field and that her new dream was to become a doctor.  So, she completed the necessary undergraduate courses, took the MCATs, and sent out her med school applications.

A few weeks before Liz was supposed to start medical school, she gave birth to her first child.  Her family and friends urged her to defer school for one year, and she reluctantly agreed.  She finally started medical school this past September, just days before her 30th birthday.  Liz has always loved a challenge, so now she’s pregnant again.  Her second baby is due one week after her first-year exams.  When she told me the big news, she seemed relatively unconcerned.  “Oh well,” she said, “I can handle two babies and medical school.  Piece of cake.”

The other day, Liz was reading the lecture notes for the first time while walking into the exam, and a 22-year-old classmate pointed out her poor time management skills.  Liz gave her the evil eye and said, “Thanks, but actually, I can read this chapter and five others right now and still pass the exam.”  And of course, she did.

Whenever I feel depressed, I picture Liz as the old, surly, pregnant woman in class, and it immediately cheers me up.  She makes me so proud.  I can’t even imagine how stressful her life must be.  But I once watched her swallow a live goldfish on a dare purely for pride, so I’m pretty sure she can do anything she sets her mind to.


  1. As a fellow Austin-ite, I implore you to introduce me to this Liz character :)

    Meet you on 6th street sometime soon!

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  2. Sadly, she lives far away. I keep trying to convince her to visit, but obviously she's short on free time.