A few days ago I had a dream. I learnt something from it.

A few days ago I commented on a friend’s note. I learnt something from my own comment too. You know, sometimes we could see things clearer when we start talking about it.

Anyway.

Lesson learnt: What I was wishing for is just lurking around the corner. I just needed to work a bit harder. Which brought me to the second lesson: a friendly and unconditional smile will not only make other people happy, it will make ourselves happy and fulfilled too.

Work hard, eh?

Have you ever worked for something that needs patience, self-control, perseverance, guts, confidence, and charm? Something that needs building up so slowly that at times things don’t seem to move? But you know that one day, the end result is so beautiful and long-lasting that you don’t regret every second of it? Or even if it doesn’t work, at least, at the very least, you know you have tried all your might but it’s just not meant to be?

Just look at the trees around us.

Every time I feel like certain things are so tedious, I would remind myself about the trees, and the tree trunks, of course.

The harder, higher quality wood come from trees that take millions of years to grow. Layer by layer, year after year. The longer it takes to grow, the harder the wood, the better the quality, the more expensive it gets.

Same theory applies in our life.

* * *

You may have heard about this ‘stranger’ story before, but I’ll write again anyhow.

One day in April last year, I was feeling very very sad. I could still feel it now, in fact, but that’s another story to tell. Anyway, I was very down at that time, my eyes were swollen and I was just not in the mood to do anything much.

I was talking to someone else, but this stranger just looked at me and smiled. A warm, big smile that reached his eyes, and admittedly, my heart too. To my regret, I didn’t smile back at him. I was so taken aback with the smile. All the while (in that period of time) I was thinking, who would want to be warm and friendly towards me at that time – melancholic and depressed and humiliated and angry and all. But there he was, a stranger to me, me a stranger to him, with his toothy big smile, unconditional and warm.

Hope, was what the smile said.

Hope, as there are so many beautiful things in life.

Hope, because the past don’t mean a thing, unless you learn from it.

Every now and then, it would come back to me. The thoughts. The cheer. The twinkles in the eyes. It added a new dimension to my world. The way I see my friends, my colleagues, my patients. The deeper meaning of a smile. The essence of it. The joy of it.

Thank you, stranger, and I promise you, I’ll bring it forward. I do.

* * *

On a totally different climate..

I guess many of us have wished this before: wishing that we could choose the memories that we want to keep, and erase the ones we don’t like.

Again, number one: be careful of what you wish for. Wishing for memories to be erased is actually never a good wish…
Number two: Sometimes what we want is not what we need, and what we hate is probably what is essential for us at that time.

Every time I came across the same thoughts, I’d remind myself of both lessons. But I guess we could actually repress some of the more negative memories with some slightly better ones….I don’t know whether it’s healthy for our minds and souls, but this is what I came out with:

I would rather mourn on Uncle Ong’s death, than have this anger creeping inside me…although a lot of time I was fine with all the reminders around me, today I felt angry when I passed by Sri Ayuthya in Damansara, ward 6A, Jalan Pahang roundabout….

I would rather feel stressed about the exams, than to have this sinking feeling inside me….at least with exams you just have to work your way out of the stress. Being melancholic is just something else – looking for things to cheer myself up, reminding myself about ‘the climb’, ‘the hope’, and all other things, thinking about all other people who’s had difficult times and survive and then live happier than they ever did before, that I’m a lucky person to have gone through this because it would only make me stronger…but then again if reading on antiphospholipid syndrome could make you cry….

It’s temporary.
There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s always hope – for me, for you, for everyone.

* * *

Cheer up, myself. Cheer up, everyone.

It’s nice to know when you’re supported in your career by a senior person.
It’s nice to know that there’s a few people who would give you support from start to the end. Especially when you don’t ask for it.
Especially when you have only mentioned a little bit or two, and they offer you much more.
Really, it’s nice to know.

Thank you for making my day. My week. Although the week may have appeared to be a tad cloudy.

(written on 20th February 2010)

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