By Eva Menovsky




It’s a question I get a lot. 

I come from a highly academic family. My dad, Prof. Dr. Tomas Menovsky MD – PhD, is (as seen by his title) an extremely talented neurosurgeon. He was one of the youngest neurosurgeon of his times, he invented several medical instruments and contributed a lot to medical researches. He travels around the world to give congresses, knows a technique only a few know in the world and does extra work for Red Cross (surge-ring people in need). And he is not even 50 yet. 

My mom – who is even smarter than my dad – has three bachelors in Medicine, Psychology and Bio-Medical Sciences. She was on her way to work with the greatest neuroscientist of The Netherlands. But unfortunately due to circumstances – and bad luck – she was never able to become a doctor. She is now an Art Researcher for Jewish Families (in particularly ours) to give looted art back to their original families, which a lot of governments and private-collector still don’t. She is becoming an icon and has started a movement across The Netherlands, to stand up for (in particular Jewish) people who have lost their belonging and art in the Second World War. Besides that she is the strongest, kindest and most thoughtful human being I know.

The first comment I always get is, but then why are you a creative?

Shouldn’t you be a doctor? 

I have thought about it a lot. It is still something that crosses my mind once in a while. 

I would have loved to be a psychiatrist. Or even a surgeon. 

I have always been fascinated by the brain, especially by mental illnesses.  How it works, how it feels and how little we know about it. 

I did this art project when I was in high school. Where I used a piece of the human brain to portray the freedom of the mind sewed together in a butterfly. 

When I was younger, a year of 5, my mom and dad used to throw parties and always at a certain point, the kitchen table was cleared, the medical supplies got out of the closet and my dad did minor operations, in front of me. I grew up with full skeletons staring at me, as I fell asleep. I got to see the best and the worst parts of being a doctor. 

Most of my moms friends are doctors and all of my dads friends are doctors, so I saw the change they made, I saw it in my dad, I saw how it effected their family. I saw how it effected our family.

Everything changes when you want to become a parent. My dad works 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want to be an active parent in your children’s lives, you can’t make that hours. Most of my moms girl friends have then decided not to have kids, or even when they do, I heard the crying on the other end of the phone, how they didn’t know their kids. If you ever want kids, that is a horrible thing to feel. My dad is amazing in what he does, and it’s definitely something I look up at but he sure was one shitty father.  

So the short answer to this question is, I don’t think I can handle it. 

My mom used to always tell me, “honey, you just feel too much.”

I get emotionally involved with people quickly, even if we have just met. I think it’s under control now, cause I spend a long time working on it. But it sometimes used to be unbearable. Unbearable to the point you feel so much, you might not be able to live with it. There were times in my life, where I cried everyday. Not necessarily of my own sadness or loss, but those of others. I would walk down the street and have a thought about a lonely person, someone without a home or someone suffering, and would burst into tears.

Last Thursday, my friend Chloe got hit by a car. Chloe and I were about to go home with the Uber. When I heard a clash and saw her laying on the floor, unconscious with blood streaming from her head. I got in a shock state, where I couldn’t speak or move. She luckily came by. We went to the hospital, she got a few scans, nothing was broken and we left in the morning with a few stitches, bruises and a concussion. 

I had been a helping hand in two accident in Amsterdam. I know what to do in first aid, but when you see your friend lying like that it’s a whole new story.

It’s funny how your life gets different after that point. You get this realisation moment of how vulnerable live is. Then after comes a tiny existential crisis. 

I didn’t become a doctor because I couldn’t or because I wouldn’t be a great one. I think, for me, being a good doctor means being able to stand back from your emotions and doing your job. Which doesn’t mean it won’t effect you. It just means, you can take a step back, cancel them out for a while. I unfortunately keep on realising I can’t be a doctor, because I would let my emotions get in the way. I would get too involved. 

I just feel too much. 

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