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.

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.

Sun and Moon

I’m like the tide.

I’m pulled and tugged, and laid to rest by you.

Your anger, your sorrows, all your whims and fancy, they are the source of my indecisiveness.

Your cries, they pierce through me.

You cry, and say love me.

Yet when I hold you close, you stab me, you wound me, before you push me away to bleed.

When I hold you, you unravel me, you break me, and you push me away to rot alone.


 

I’m like the tide.

And you hold power over me.

I would like to say that you’re the moon, the orb that shines in the sky guiding me in the dark nights.

But you’re the one that leads me astray, with lights and illusions, and paths not meant to be taken.

I would like to say you’re the sun, that brings life, that brings light to my life.

But you’re the one that burns me, with your heat and temperament, and you leave me to dry under your gaze.

Like the sun, and the moon, that plays with the tide, you play with my emotions, you play with my life.


 

I’m like the tide.

And I will not forget your hold over me.

There is not a day that passes that I do not think of you. There is not a day that passes that my heart does not weep for you.

Our roots are tangled up together, our bodies intertwined. There is no escaping fate, there is no escaping reality.

We will never be rid of each other, we will never part for too long. We can only bend away, move away, further and further, our eyes refusing to glance at each other.

Even in death we will meet again.

For you surround me, and I cannot escape.

I am but the tide.

And you are my Sun and my Moon.

Lies and Pretense

My memories of the past

Have always contained you

At the heart of it all

For you built my core.

In the present filled with pain

I cannot fathom why

Where has the you gone?

The you that I knew so well.

You were my light

So benevolent and kind

You taught me to live

And I would live for you.

Yet I am led to believe

That I’ve been wrong all along

That maybe you’ve always hurt

Covered in despair and darkness.

I was blinded by your pretense

Of alrights and I’m fine

I saw only what I wanted to see

Never the pain you hid inside.

My eyes were blinded

To the real you that hurt me

I tried to believe instead

That you were just drunk on lies.

I cannot look away now

I cannot unhear

The truth of the words you spill

From your lips that smells like alcohol.

I mourn for the you

That shined so brightly before

The you that I hope

Was not a lie from the start.


Continue reading “Lies and Pretense”

The Distance Between Us

Today, like any other day

I thought of you and I cried

I’m here

And you are so far away.

There are too many miles between our hearts

Too many hurdles to overcome

Too little words between us

Not spoken in anger and regret.

And yet

With one word from you

I would throw it all

Just to be back with you.

Even though I know

This peace won’t last

Because you are who you are

And I too, am who I am.

Tomorrow

We will not fight anymore

Only tears left drying

On tombstones in graveyards.


Continue reading “The Distance Between Us”