I had a dinner with the Regional Director of WHO. Nothing special, all new interns get to do this. During the dinner, the RD mentioned that I was the oldest intern he ever met. I wasn’t sure how to view that particular statement. Should I be ashamed of being old? Of course, I know the old saying ” you are never too old”. However, his comment did unsettle me.
Few days later, I had dinner with my boss and his wife. When I saw her name on the dinner invitation, I though it looked very familiar.
During the course of our dinner, I asked her if she was the person I am thinking of and she was surprised that I knew her name. About 20 years ago, I read few of the journal articles she had written. At that time, she was a pioneer in Virology. But her husband was working for WHO in Geneva and she was working somewhere else and the kids wanted to stay in Geneva. So she quit her job and never went back to work. A decision she regrets to this day.
I know my path ahead is not going to be smooth. I know I am old.. there is no denying that. But I also know, if I stop now, I will be in the exact same position as my boss’s wife in 20 years. I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.
So this is the march of the old woman.. and onwards I go…