Secret Sessions

Once, I dreamt of nothing.  I could not envisioned myself having that kind of torture. What kind of person would put themselves through that kind of pain, I questioned. I did not understand. Nor did I want to understand.

And as the years went by, and as people began to hurt themselves, or to heal themselves with this particular defining moment – I wonder, will I be next?

Yes, yes I was. It was then that I slowly learnt that while it may be torture, it did bring joy. It brought some life into me, and a confidence I did not expect. It is as though there is freedom through chains.

Now I’ve made a choice, a choice to break free from the norm. And with it I find judgemental and shocking retaliations from close friends. It hurt me for a moment, and with it came loneliness. Am I really alone in this stand?

It is difficult for me to talk about it because I do not know who would truly understand. And so, I will keep silent, and continue to do so despite my discomfort. After all, loose lips sinks ships.

In any case, Step 1 is ready, and onward to Step 2. The preparation that comes will be long and tiring, but I will be ready. My dreams has changed since then, and there will be more than nothing beyond this horizon.

Perhaps one day I’ll be brave enough to talk about what has changed. Till then, there is only the exercise of secrecy.

Nicole.

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Amnesia

Occasionally I reread drafts in my writing folder and I wonder – did I really write this? 

There are times I cringe at my horrible writing, and then there are times where I go – holy shit I wrote this? When? How? And why did I stop? 

Today I read something interesting that I wrote that was apparently the prologue for a new novel I was planning for. Unfortunately I have lost most of my files for that particular idea and so I have no idea what I was thinking then, and what I wanted to do with it, haha!

Oh well, I would have procrastinated from writing it anyway.

This just goes to show that I should continue writing little by little everyday, even if it is a 50 word story. Skills rust with disuse, and I do not want to lose this small skill that I have.

So yes, maybe to more writing? (And now writing is an escape from studying for exams – oh self, why you gotta be this way.)


Thank you for reading.

Love, Nicole.

Hari Malaysia 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. As always, when exams are approaching, that’s when ideas come pouring out. I’ve many pending works, most of my stories incomplete on that writing website. Mirror Madness is on hold, and suddenly I’ve been itching to write Zanefier’s story once again. (Zanefier being the lead character in the very first novel that I attempted to write. I miss her.)

Today I was wasting time on Facebook, procrastinating from studying when I saw a mini competition – to write on what it means to be Malaysian. Once upon a time, I wrote a story for MPH on Being Malaysian and won the consolation prize. It struck me with nostalgia (coincidentally the name of my story haha!) and I decided to write a short piece on what being Malaysian means to me now as an adult. It’s only about 150++ words because I’m very rusty and also because the mini competition only asked for about 100-200 words. It’s nothing much – but perhaps it is the start to a writing frenzy.

Anyway, here it is!

Continue reading “Hari Malaysia 2017”

Day 4 – Why You Gotta Be So Mean

Day 4 of tagging in the Surgical department and it has been an exhilarating experience. It has been a tremendously enlightening experience, and I’ve learned so much in just a few days and yet I know that it’s not enough, far from enough and that I’ll learn even more and more each day.

The days are long and tiring but I get the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve finally begun the journey of becoming a better doctor than yesterday. Each and every day is a learning process and I’m enjoying it.

It can be terrifying, doing new things on the go, with little preparation. I find myself clueless, fumbling for answers and generally trying to get things done while being completely stunned by the responsibility I’m holding.

What a strange, new experience.

I’ve been feeling so stressed up by the amount of things I do not know and I’ve been struggling and trying to do things right. Eventually this emotion overflows and I cry.

Getting yelled at after crying and chased away from the wards isn’t a nice feeling as well, but I suppose every new HO will feel this way at some point in their journey to becoming a good doctor.

I will persevere. Each day is a new day, and I’ll become better than yesterday.

Yes.

Fight on, dear self.

 

Love,

Nicole.

Day 0 – HO Life

Dear Self,

Today is the first day for you in Sandakan. It’s the first time you’ve set foot in Sabah, and it’s been an interesting journey already despite it being just the first day here. No details will be shared publicly, but you know how hard it has been today. And it’s only the beginning.

On Wednesday, you’ll be starting on your job. This job that you’ve been preparing yourself for, these past seven years. It has been grueling, tiresome, and I want you to remember where and when it all begin. You need to remember the steps that you’ve taken to reach this point. You need to remember—

Because when times are hard, remember that you’ve gone through difficult times before and each time—

It has only made you stronger.

Let’s begin.

Right after SPM, you were given two scholarships, two choices, and both very different. Were you going to embark on a journey to become a doctor and study in India? Or were you going to be a teacher, and study Literature in the UK? Those were the choices given to you, and both of them were your passions. You have always wanted to be a doctor since you were a child, and as you grew older and developed a bond with reading and writing, you have also started to dream about studying English Literature. And God has blessed you with the choice of selecting a path to either one of your passions. It was a tough decision. Do you remember how many sleepless nights you had as you contemplated on which choice you would take?

In the end, you chose Medicine, mostly because the chance to become a doctor wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship, and to obtain it was a miracle, a blessing, and you didn’t want to lose that chance.

From that moment on, you sealed your fate. You chose this journey.

We move on to those two years of pre-med in INTEC. One of the most amazing times in your life, a transition period, a ‘getting-to-know-yourself’ phase. In this part of your life, you took a step of faith, you chose to change yourself in ways that you never knew you could. Despite all the ups and downs that you encountered, you haven’t had any regrets as these experiences has only made you stronger, and I want you to remember that.
India—

Ah, what memories. From dissecting bodies during Anatomy lessons, crying over Biochemistry, staying up the whole night to study to struggling with the Kannada language—

There has been so many amazing, crazy, strange moments during the first two and a half years in Manipal. I cannot recall a time when you regretted this choice to take Medicine at this point in time. Perhaps you griped about it as you tried memorizing information in textbooks. And yet—

It wasn’t a regret.

You were always filled with gratitude, with joy whenever you were able to interact with patients. You adored talking to patients whenever you could. You still remember that child that you were taking care of in the Paediatrics ward in Karkala don’t you? You’ll never forget his smile when he got better and overcame pneumonia. Those are the moments that you cherish, those are the moments that you remember when times are hard. You made a small difference just by being there, and that matters to you.

Coming back to Melaka and heading off to the hospital every day has been interesting. Diseases encountered here back in your homeland is slightly different. You begun to learn about the hospital protocols, about ways to take cases.

You had some regrets at this point. When it got too hard, you would say, “Ah, why didn’t I pick Literature instead?”. And yet, if you had done so, you wouldn’t have met the love of your life, you wouldn’t have met your beautiful friends, you wouldn’t have gone through breakups, heartaches, and you wouldn’t have become the person you are today.

So you persevered. You toughened yourself up. You learned, despite it being so difficult.

Despite being yelled at, despite being hit. You persevered and learned.

Exams were hard, lecturers could be cruel, you cried a lot. You struggled.

And yet, there were the good days when a few would pat you on your back, hug you and spoke to you. Your love held you in his arms, and he helped you through the dark days as well.

You struggled through medical school. Indeed you struggled.

And yet—

Everything would be eased yet again.

How so, you might say, when you read this back on a terrible day.

I want you to remember then, the feeling that you get after you’ve worked hard. The absolute joy that you feel when you’re able to help patients, when you’re doing your absolute best. When patients thank you, when they smile at you, when their hands shake yours with such gratitude.  I want you to remember why you’re doing this, why you still chose this path.

You have always loved Medicine, loved being a doctor. Your ultimate joy comes from assisting those who need help. Those who have come to seek your help.

There might be those who are ungrateful, who yell at you. There will always be someone who isn’t satisfied despite the fact that you’ve done your best. There will always be hatred when you try to counter with kindness. But don’t let that get you down too much, don’t let them win.

So, let me remind you yet again on your love for this field. Don’t forget those who gave you a smile, a kind word, and blessed you when you told them that you were going to be a Doctor. When that Pak Cik says, “Saya doakan untuk kamu ya dik.” When that Auntie says, “Thank you Doctor.” When the Mother says, “My child hasn’t smiled since he got sick, but you made him smile again.” Those are the moments you will always remember. Those are the moments that give you strength. Those are the moments—

Never forget those who held your hand, thanked you for helping them, and gave you a smile. Never forget the sacrifices your parents made to get you to this point. Never forget the blessings of God that has led you here today. Never forget your family, your relatives who has prayed for you each and every day. Never forget that life is always hard, and there will always be the good and the bad in every situation—

Persevere.

Persevere.

Persevere.

In the darkness, there will be light. There will always be suffering, there will always be hurts, there will always be troubles. But no matter what, there will also always be those who will stick by you, there will always be a beautiful end.

Never give up, never surrender.

Remember why you chose this path, remember your passion for the job, remember your love for helping others, remember the joy you feel on doing your best—

Always remember.

Always.

 

Love,
Nicole
9.20pm, 30th May, 2016.

silly little drabbles

Screen shot 2016-05-10 at 11.10.33 PM


Sometimes I wonder which is better. To simply post up random snippets, or to properly write them down and to take a screenshot of it, as if it’s poetry worth reading.

Haha, please let me know which formatting you’d prefer.

Thank you for reading,

Nicole.

thoughts

out of kindness they still their tongue,

unable to speak,

lying by omission,

and here I stand,

watching,

mute,

for when do I speak,

when do I break the spell,

when do I say,

enough is enough,

kindness does not always save.

there are days when lies come far too easy,

there are days when it’s better not to say,

and when times passes,

to soothe over memories,

it becomes a thing to laugh over,

a fondness,

instead of bitterness.

half-forgotten thoughts,

bury and dig deep into me,

so they never leave.

your skin is amber,

igniting and burning bright,

shining like the sun.

there’s a tightness in my chest,

as I walk along familiar roads,

there is a fondness in my words,

as I speak of days of old.

yet it isn’t quite the same,

and already I see new sights,

strange and wonderful,

overlapping memories.

there’s a pain in my heart,

of never seeing this place grow,

as time passes,

it moves further away from me.

and one day,

without knowing,

I will never know,

this place I once called home.

to new adventures,

to further chaos,

to bright struggles,

to neverending sorrow.

your words cut deep into my heart,

when I know they shouldn’t,

they sting me,

till I reach despair,

I wonder why,

why my heart is too soft,

that your words that aren’t sharp,

still pierces me,

till I bleed.

a death in the family,

a hope flickering out,

a candle burning away,

a darkness amidst happiness.


Thank you for reading.

Love, Nicole.

 

 

losing

to lose your sense of self
to be nothing but a shell
how does one do it
by disappearing slowly
day by day
a little by little
into nothing

sometimes grief is an ocean of despair
with unknown depths so deep
that light doesn’t pass through
dark and unforgiving

sometimes grief is an all-consuming fire
that burns and blazes through
destroying everything in its path
never to bring life again

and there are days when there is joy
and there are days when there is sorrow
and then there are the days
when there’s nothing at all
but to breathe, to live,
as if,
you’re alive.

how does one define sadness
is it the piercing pain through the heart
is it the sharp stabs through the gut
is it the emptiness within our minds
is it
can sadness be seen
or is it merely a construct of our imagination
evidenced only by the tears
running down our faces
to prove
that we are sad

Thank you for reading! Some random rambles resembling poetry for the night.

Love, Nicole.

To Pretend

These tears that won’t fall

They lodge themselves deep within me

They strike with claws of despair

Cutting my heart into ribbons

These words that have no sound

They hide themselves away

If they’re not said then they don’t exist

They merely breed and fester

These hurts that have no end

They rise and rise

Filling me to the brim

And then I end

I end.


 

Thank you for reading!

Love, Nicole.

Reminder: Don’t Give Up

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer.

And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this.

And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.

And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile.

You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

– Ira Glass


A reminder to myself, and to anyone out there who needs this.

That with each day that passes, with every story that I write, I am improving little by little and that makes all the difference. That I’m not giving up, despite all my insecurities.

It takes time.


I needed this today.

Brief blog post, but thank you for reading!

Love, Nicole.