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—
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.