Grateful Endings, Faithful Beginnings

It starts, with this.

A fairly normal morning at work. I was feeling anxious then, more focused on the fact that I needed to get my boss’ signature on my leave form just so I could book the flights tonight.

Halfway writing down plans for a particularly sick patient, my colleague beside me suddenly laughed. He said my name then, and I hadn’t really focused on what it was that he mentioned. After a while it suddenly hit me.

“Nicole, Nicole got Likas! Wow, SWACH!”

… Wait, what?

I froze, my hands stilled, and suddenly I couldn’t write down the things that I was supposed to during rounds.

“What about Sarvin?” Shit, this isn’t going according to our plans. Maybe he’ll get Kota Kinabalu too— Desperation— Hope—

“HDOK.”

Shattered.

After spending nearly 7 years together, in the same class, the same group, the same posting— It was a shock to know that we would be separated for the first time after so long. I spent that entire morning in a daze, unsure of what I felt, unsure of what to do.

I was happy that I got the department of my choice — Paediatrics. And yet shocked that I had gotten Likas, seeing as how I did not even apply to that hospital. The thought of going to Likas was terrifying and alien. I’ve heard so many stories about that place and they did not inspire feelings of happiness.

On the other hand, it was a good training centre, (if I survive the tough parts), and would eventually be a good start to continuing Paediatrics!

And yet— It would be far easier to stay at HDOK, and I could still be with Sarvin! But—

Oh, so many buts and maybes and what-ifs—

It’s surreal. It’s a change.

 


 

Man proposes, God disposes. It’s a fairly common saying in my household, one my Mum often used whenever we had plans for something, and yet never went through.

A more biblical version would be this:

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV) 

We had plans, we had a dream, and now

Lord, guide us, lead us, carry us through.

 


 

There’s sorrow in my heart, of unfinished plans and distress of not fulfilling what I’ve wanted.

It’s not as if I’ll be away forever, it’s only a short flight distance away. Yet it’s the sentiment that remains, that I will not drive pass this roads on a daily basis. That I cannot simply think in my head, maybe I’ll go to RDC today, but did not go. Maybe brunch at the Agnes Keith House, and yet did not. I’ve not even gone to the main attraction at Sandakan — Sepilok, and isn’t that laughable.

It’s the thought that I would not have the luxury of making whimsical plans that pains me.

I could always come back, yes, but it isn’t quite the same anymore. It becomes a trip, a planned activity of weekend fun. It’s different.

There are small stalls and delicious food that I’ve not explored. There are so many hidden treasures in Sandakan that I’ve yet to try.

2 years seems like a long time, and yet, I’ve squandered it away, and have not explored enough. I had thought that I would have years more in this place. But what did I know? I did not expect to be placed in a new city.

In my new home,  I do hope I’ll have the time to explore it the way it should be explored. Till then, I guess, it’s goodbye Sandakan. Thanks for having me, thanks for taking care of me. It was a good two years with you. I’ve never regretted the decision to work here. It has been amazing. 

Here’s to celebrating the end of a chapter, and the beginning of entirely new adventure.

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Nothing

Tears run down my face. The chaos of anger, despair and frustration mix together in a colourful tornado, tearing me apart – leaving me breathless. It is the unfairness of it all, that they’ve left me alone. It could have been different if anyone had cared. Yet they choose to do it this way, and in turn, breaking my heart in the process.

In the moment of solitude, when the quiet pierces my skin, I can feel the tendrils of sorrow slowly wrapping around my heart. Sorrow deftly makes its way around, slowly but surely destroying me. Every so often, it squeezes my heart, reminding me that sorrow remains. It leaves whispers of despair imprinted in my mind, assuring me that there’s nothing for me, that there will never be. Nothing.

Describing the hurt always makes me cry. As if acknowledging it merely opens up a dam within me that has slowly been filling up with pain.

There is a small part of me that speaks up, shouting – there are those that care. Yet it is often drowned out by the persistence of sorrow. Sadness does not care. There is only me, myself and I. Everything else is blurred out into the distance.

I used to carve lines into my skin, the pain pleasing to sorrow. I used to wish I was brave enough to pierce through completely, letting the blood run free, just to see it end. I don’t do it anymore, but when my control slips, in times like these… I just wish, and wish and wish, and I take the blade, the cold against the warmth of my skin–

I can’t even tell anyone, because I do not think they will understand. Even if I did, what can they do?

Nothing.

And that leaves me….

Alone.

 

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In the silence, I cry.

Nicole.

Plans

“The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the Lord.” – Proverbs 16:33

In my eagerness to plan my life, I have forgotten something very important — that it is pointless to worry. I need not force a path to form where it will not. I need not bulldoze my way through walls.

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 

He has a plan, far greater than mine will ever be. And it is He who will open doors for me. It is He who will guide me to the path I am meant to walk on.

I can only put forth what I desire, pray over it, and allow Him to lead me to what is right.

It may not be what I want, and there may be many hurdles ahead. Yet, I will continue to worship Him, to be the salt of the earth and light of the world.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11

Here’s to a great adventure ahead of me.

 


 

 

Thank you for reading.

Nicole.

 

Crossroads

Once again I stand at the crossroads, torn between decisions. I am to choose one road, one path. One choice against the other.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—


I am nearing the end of the beginning, and it is time for a new start as a Medical Officer.

Where do I choose to continue my journey as a Doctor?

I find it hard to make a decision, simply because this is a time which may bring forth great change in my life. Either choice has its own set of pros and cons, and I keep mulling about them over and over, wondering which options resonates with me more.

If I am to choose to go back to my hometown, I will be able to spend more time with family. I will be able to see them more often, to drive down the highway and spend the weekend with them.

If I am to choose to stay, I will be amongst wonderful people, in a place of familiarity and comfort. I may also be able to study for MRCP/MRCPCH and perhaps, then opt to go back and get the department that I want.

There are uncertainties with either choice. There may be many twists and turns to either decision. And I can only wonder — will regret chase my every step? Will failure haunt me? Will I dread waking up every morning, will my nights be filled with sorrow?

The decision is made harder by the fact that Sarvin has to make a choice as well. There is no certainty that we will even get the same place, no guarantee that we will end up together.

The future lies ahead, in a grey gloom of unpredictability.


I stand at the crossroads; afraid, uncertain, and in doubt. Which path do I take? Which road do I tread?

 

I can only pray right now, and pray that He will guide me to the right place.

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He has a plan for me, and I will trust in Him.

Please guide me under Your unfaltering hand.

 


Thank you for reading,

Nicole.

 

 

Farewell 2017

I begin 2018 alone, just as I did, in the year 2017. In the beginning (or the ending of 2016), it made me melancholic, washed in the throes of sorrow. As if loneliness is synonym to abandonment, as if being alone is synonym to outcast.

I know it is not true, but as my darkest self rages on, caught in the bittersweet moment of endings – it is far too easy to be dragged down in desolation. It is then that I thought that 2017 would be laced with the undercurrents of hopelessness.

No. It was not so.

I had begun 2017 with sorrow, and yet the year 2017 has only been a blessing, with much of God’s grace in my life. He brought so much light into my life, and there were so many times that I would end up being so surprised at the happiness that life could give me.

Yet, it wasn’t as if there weren’t moments of despair, for which there were plenty.

Those were the times when I would pray for God not to test me, not to bring too much pain. “I cannot take it,” I would cry out, I would beg. But ultimately, I survived with His guidance, with the strength He has given me.

And so I would say that I end 2017 with mercy and grace. I end 2017 in quiet exultation, awaiting great things ahead. It is the end of another wonderful year of growth, but the work is not finished yet.

I have not finished learning. I have not finished becoming. I have not finished.

Therefore I declare the year 2018 to be a year of change.

I had been afraid in the year 2017. So frightened of the possibility that I might be consumed by unhappiness, by pain that I prayed for mercy. I could not bear the thought of my heart being broken, much like the years before this.

I will not be afraid in the year 2018.

I will not be afraid for the tumultuous times that will come. For there will be storms, the darkest of nights. If not for those, we will never truly see the brightest of skies.

I will welcome change, I will welcome a metamorphosis.

I will conquer 2018 with His power.

Even as I write those words, they are becoming true; morphing in the space of tomorrow, evolving into absolution.

Silence those fears, and embrace the change to come.

That will be my motto for 2018.

What will be yours?

 


 

Thank you for reading! I’m sorry for the sparsity of posts. A resolution for 2018 will be to blog more. And I do hope I keep at it. Anyhoo, thanks for joining me in this journey. Here’s to welcoming the year ahead. Cheers!

Nicole.

Hey Friend

you end up not speaking
you fear making me ‘not nice’
when i’m not that nice
in the first place

you hesitate because 
you think i’m perfect
you don’t want to
corrupt my niceness

i’m not
i just want you to see me
as i am
i’m me

why do you leave me alone
in your insecurities
you cause mine to rise up
and we both drown

we’re both insecure
we both fear
and we both want
the same things

a hand to hold
a shoulder to cry on
a place to be
a friend to cherish

so hold my hand
hug me close
tell me your secrets
and i’ll tell you mine

i’m not nice
i’m not perfect
i’m me
and i want to be
your friend

Sun and Moon

I am but the tide.

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.

Poets In Progress Workshop #1

An evening with the amazing poet Zohab Khan.

So I attended a poetry workshop recently. I wanted to experience how it was going to a poetry workshop and it was pretty interesting.

zohan

 

It was hosted by If Walls Could Talk – Poetry Open Mic, organized by the amazing Ms Melizarani (I love her poems too!).

TL;DR: PRETTY EPIC. YOU SHOULD GO FOR THE OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS BY IWCT-POM.

Continue reading “Poets In Progress Workshop #1”

Lies and Pretense

And you can no longer hide. For Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll are one and the same.

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”