I would do anything to undo the damage that I incurred upon myself by signing up for a thing I wasn’t cut out for. And yet here I am stuck in it for God knows how long with little hopes of it getting any better. There is a lot to say about how we should never give up on our dreams, how we must not flinch from stepping out of our comfort zone but not every time we dive into a new experience, we come out victorious. Sometimes a new thing leaves you crippled, sometimes new thing is a mistake and we must accept it as such. We should leave room for our bad experiences to be pronounced as such. We should be more welcoming to the idea that not every endeavor teaches you something, sometimes all you walk out with is a lesson to not be involved in such a thing in future. It is indeed hurting to face this reality upfront, to let that idea sink in that not only that new experience has made you feel miserable, it has left you with nothing but a void. But I believe that being able to do this does wonders for our personal growth. And so I have no choice left but to persist in the face of this adverse experience of mine and to come out of it smiling not because there is something worth carrying along but because there is something worth leaving and that should feel equally satisfying, if not more.
Perhaps the biggest favour you can do to people around is to simply listen. Just listen for the sake of listening, not for putting forward your own brilliant arguments or for proving your point. This is something that is so rarely practised, something that is so strikingly deficient amongst us humans that we can hardly hear anyone else’s stance for few seconds without forming our own opinions. We shamelessly disregard and underestimate others’ views in the back of our minds considering ourselves some superior beings sent from heavens who just can’t go wrong. What is to be said about a world where everyone talks and nobody listens? How difficult is to exist in such a messed up place? No wonder that we see chaos all around us. Because everybody is so obsessed with getting their own ideas across that they have virtually no tolerance, no receptivity towards alternate ideas. Anything which goes against their mindset infuriates them, sets them on fire.
And you know what is the worst part about this attitude of ours? It just leaves us profoundly alone because just as we don’t listen to others, people don’t listen to us. Our ideas md thoughts can’t be our companions, they can’t make us genuinely happy. We need people for that and for people to be there for us, we need to respect each others’ opinions, we need to love each other despite our differences.
You know when you come to medical school you expect all the fierce competition to be over, till the graduation at least. Little do you know that a world of torture awaits you. You may have heard of peer pressure in your pre-med years, you may even have experienced it but what you feel in the confines of med school is extreme. It’s intense. And it literally kills you. And no it’s not about who gets to the top of the class, or who excels at the studies, it’s actually everything else. Like all of a sudden, you are thrown in an arena and you have to fight, you have to fight everything that you’ve ever held dear, you have to give up on your own prized values in order to fit in. It’s insane. It’s hard to describe, you know perhaps because it’s not that stressful for all of us. May be some people are at advantage, owing to their ability to socialise. Or may be everybody is just so good at pretending. If you ever come here, you find people happy, stressed but happy, at least on the outside. People thriving in their circles, people laughing their hearts out. You don’t see the dark and depressed souls, those who are not thriving at all, who are just trying to exist unapolegetically. But they are here, you know those who cannot blend. And seeing everyone having such a good time makes eveything even harder for them. You know studies may be tough, but it’s actually people who are tough. People who create fences around them so that nothing less of ‘coolness’ approaches them. People who cannot extend a ‘gesture of kindness’ towards someone outside their cool circle. If only we could be more humble, if only people were good to everyone regardless of their friendships. If only the environment in med school were a little less hostile. If only the pressure were a little less!
When was the last time you took your mask off and saw yourself for real? For the unremarkable being you are? Better off keeping it on, Huh? Think again. Does that ‘cloak of imperviousness’ suit you when in fact, you care too much? Why do you roam the earth with that air of arrogance and composure about you when deep inside you’re a mess? Does it not suffocate you? Does it not blur your whole idea of life? To be on the go all the time? To check every step of yours because somebody is watching, when they are not? And even if they are they couldn’t care less? You matter as long as you matter to them. No one is interested in you, they are interetsed in themselves, like you are interested in yourself. So all that fence that you’ve built around you to conform to the standards of propreity, all those extensions to your being that you have created to be acceptable, all of it is a hoax.
So how about you let your bruised ego go for once? Take your mask off. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let that fresh air rush inside. Make this moment count. Thrive in it. Be proud of your maskless face. That’s all that is to your existence. And guess what, it is perfectly fine.
It’s one of those phases of life when suddenly nothing makes sense and everything seems to fall out of place. When mind is a blur and when thoughts are fragments, how do you even decide what you really want? And in this state of constant indecison what a mess life ultimately becomes! It is in times like these that I realize what a blessing it is to be able to think clearly in most situations, to be able to let go of the comparisons, to rid oneself of all the doubts. We all have this ability in us, and it is upon us to bring it to life. Yes, we cannot just put the thought away by calling content people lucky, contentment comes from conscious effort and if I and you are not making it then we don’t deserve to be content. May be we deserve to be stuck. Stuck in our ‘nowhere’, where everything is ‘non-sense’.
So let’s try to make an effort. Delve into our minds instead of delving into music. Let’s not lose ourselves while finding meaning. Because the meaning won’t ever be there, it rarely is. Our mess does not need to have a meaning, it just needs to be organized. Let’s just do that.
It’s so horribly calm.
It’s time, perhaps the reality to be thrust into my face.
Should I continue to be in a daze?
Should I keep on believing in the impossible?
No matter how much I try, I can’t help thinking.
I can’t help hoping against hoping that may be one day, just may be my search will bear fruit.
And if that day does come, would it be just in time?
We just cannot be important to everyone. Period. That’s the biggest lesson I learned from ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. We all know this, right? I do too. But how many times do I find myself secretly yearning for attention and recognition?All In vain. It gets quite on my nerves sometimes and then then I remember Hazel’s words to Guz, well not the exact words but somewhere along the line of ‘This is what you get, the whole world doesn’t care about you but few people do and that should be enough for you.’ This is just so true. Why do we fret so much about leaving a mark on every freaking being? This crazy obsession is futile, only subjecting you to misery and desolation. If only I could master the art of not caring about silly stupid things, life would be so much happier. If only I could be me for once.
I barely recognize myself anymore. In my pursuit of building myself for better, I have ruined myself for worse. What is it that I’m after? How do I stop myself from losing my identity? Do I even know where I’m headed? My conscience betrays my logic. I am enslaved by my obsessions and goals, I should not be but I am. Goals keep me focused but they make me forget some of the bigger realities of life like death. My goals won’t make my death better, my kind deeds would. So I should work on my goals less, and on building myself as a person more. I should be able to recognize myself. Things that were once bad are bad now as well so I should not be too flexible in adopting them. I should not ruin myself for the better. For the greater good that might not even see the light of the day.
We are on a surgery rotation nowadays. As third years, there is little that we actually understand in surgery. The complex surgical procedures clearly don’t make any sense to us. Take a flap here, suture it there, blah blah. Not that we are expected to know much either. At this level, we are just supposed to learn to take detailed, comprehensive history. It does sound easy but it ain’t easy. Especially when surgery is your first rotation and you are clueless to the very idea of talking to patients.
Third year also means that my empathic instincts are already deteriorating and I hate myself for it. I have certainly become less thoughtful of the sufferings of the patients, too busy to look around, too selfish to really care. But when I do, it is revealing in so many ways. Like yesterday I saw two women break into to tears, and the helplessness on their faces was a clear testimony to how devastating their illness was. (Both had dysphagia, a medical term for difficulty in swallIow) Imagine not being able to eat or drink, not because you don’t feel like it or have some dietary restrictions but because you just can’t make the food or water go down your food pipe. It comes out, just like that. Seeing those women sobbing uncontrollably made me realize that how disease is more than an abberation in our body and how it defies our treatment strategies too often. Disease leaves a person crippled and helpless and while we have devised so many ways to combat it, sometimes all we are left with is nothing. Like when the cancer has metastasized, or when the tumor is too aggressive. What do we do then? Words of condolences? Really? Do they suffice? I guess that’s where we fail. The sky might not be the limit but there is a limit after all. So there’s little to pride ourselves on. The ease with we which we achieve the complex process of swallowing is not some skill that we have wonderfully mastered but rather a gift of nature that we take for granted. And just because we have been given the power to manipulate it as we wish doesn’t mean that this power is supreme. Remember that power is limited!