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Maria-Syamsi

From My Heart

Month

December 2013

Mirrors

Written on 26th August 2013 @ 2229hrs. 

* * *

Raining. Cats and dogs.

Wet shoes. Clarks.

Broken umbrellas. Red umbrellas.

Gloomy hillside.

Sunshine after the rain. Bright. Yellow.

Green hills.

Rolling green hills.

Beautiful. Perfectly beautiful.

Peaceful.

Dusky skies.

Darkness.

Blue scrubs.

Smile.

Instant coffee. Expensive coffee.

Hazelnut chocolate.

Red paperbag.

Dizzy.

Sunrise.

Beautiful. Perfectly beautiful.

Thank you. Cheery.

Smile.

* * *

That last day.

Tears of goodbye. The first goodbye.

On the staircase.

* * *

No more.

No more.

* * *

Mirrors

Aren’t you somethin’ to admire, coz your shine is somethin’ like a mirror

And I can’t help but notice, you reflecting this heart of mine

If you ever feel alone and the glare makes me hard to find

Just know that I’m always parallell on the other side

Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul

I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go

Just put your hand on the glass, I’ll be tryin’ to pull you through

You just gotta be strong

I don’t wanna lose you now, I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me

The vacancy that sat in my hear iIs a space that now you hold

Show me how to fight for now, and I’ll tell you baby, it was easy comin’ back into you once I figured it out

You were right here all along

It’s like you’re my mirror, my mirror staring back at me

I couldn’t get any bigger with anyone else beside of me

And now it’s clear as this promise that we’re making two reflections into one

Coz it’s like you’re my mirror, my mirror staring back at me

Aren’t you somethin’, an original, coz it doesn’t seem merely assembled

And I can’t help but stare cause I see truth somewhere in your eyes

I can’t ever change without you

You reflect me, I love that about you

And if I could, I would look at us all the time

Yesterday is history

Tomorrow’s a mystery

I can see you lookin’ back at me

Keep your eyes on me

Baby, keep your eyes on me

Baby you’re the inspiration for this precious song

And I just wanna see your face light up since you put me on

Image

 

congratulations for your success.

 

It’s About Being Thankful

Lately I have been experiencing a lack of motivation, or sometimes none at all. There are times that I felt like just quitting my job and lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling. Or sell muffins.

The problem is not just the lack of motivation. Thing is, I am very close to passing my specialist exams. Or let me rephrase that. There is only one step left to go before I pass this three-step set of exams, then they can consider giving me a specialist post somewhere in the ministry of health. How many times do I need to sit for this exam, I don’t know. Many people pass in the first sitting but some needed a few attempts.

My extremely motivated friend has been telling me about courses, mock exams, practicing, and how to look out for the exam date. She’s been really great since we passed our second part together. I know, I was super energized when we first passed that part too. Even a close friend of mine who did not sit for the same set of exams has been encouraging. “So, when’s the final part?” he’d ask. “Quickly pass your exams and get out of this place as soon as you can!”

However, the past three months have seen my spirit dwindling away. “I don’t want to be a specialist. There’s too much responsibility.”

I wondered, is it just that? Was I just thinking about how many people would depend on me; the house officers need guidance, the medical officers would need help, the consultants would need me to be tip top on my management so they could trust me, and firstly and most importantly, the patients need to know that they could trust me.

Well, the main reason that I took these exams was so that I could improve my knowledge thus I’d be able to serve better.

It doesn’t make sense to back out now, knowing that I’ve sacrificed so much time and money, as well as other people’s time all this while to pass those two steps. I don’t know whether it’s just the worry about the responsibilities, or fear of the exam itself (it includes speaking to pseudo-patients and examining patients and speaking to the examiners, call it stage-fright perhaps), tired of exams, poor motivation because I don’t know what’s next, nobody to share the success with, or I’ve just become lazy.

I do wonder if other specialists felt like this when they were sitting for their specialist exams.

I do wonder if this is normal.

Then I tried to picture all those faces who meant a lot to me in my career path.

Dato, first and foremost, who has been like a father to me, encouraging and helping me every step of the way.

Dr Richard, who has helped me with his time and energy. While being a consultant, he took my medical officer calls so that I could take days off to prepare for my exams.

Dr Nick, as helpful as Dr Richard has ever been.

My dear friends and colleagues who have been there for me, supporting me, lending their ears when I need someone to talk to, those who were in the same boat and who were not, who covered my work during my absence as I studied for those papers.

My parents.

My grandpa and grandma, although they are no longer here, but I’m pretty sure they would want this for me too.

Then I was brought back to a conversation with a middle-aged lady doctor a few weeks ago.

* * *

She grew up overseas, although her parents were officially local. She finished medical school overseas and came back here to start working and raise her family.

She aspired to be a specialist in internal medicine, but there was a problem. In order to get into masters programme or to be promoted in government sector, one needs to be confirmed in a government post. If you want to get yourself confirmed, you need to have a pass in our local formal language in our high school exams. As she grew up overseas, she did not have that qualification.

So she had to sit for the language exam, sadly she could not get enough credit for that.

In the end she decided to leave the government sector and became a GP.

“There was no point staying. I could not get into masters programme, neither could I get a promotion, my petty salary would remain petty. I might as well go somewhere else and practice.”

Then she looked at me and said, “Please don’t quit your job. You have this opportunity so go on and pass your exams. Whatever happens, don’t quit.”

* * *

At that time we weren’t talking about me, how that conversation came about is another story of its own.

Since then, everytime I think about holding my future back, whenever the thoughts of “I just want to lie in my bed and stare at the ceilings” come across my mind, I’d remember her story.

It’s a story of a dream crushed by beureaucracy.

It’s a story of ambitions not reached.

I’m pretty sure a lot of good may have come through that. Yes, many people may have blamed the government for that lack of one doctor who wanted so much to be a physician, but as Muslims we understand that everything happens for a reason, or many good reasons indeed. Muslims believe that rizq (sustenance plus God’s blessing) is everywhere, you just need to work for it the right way.

But I’m not talking about paperwork here.

What I’m saying is, I have this chance to succeed.

I have this chance to make a difference, for my life and those around me.

I have this opportunity to progress in life, especially so when I’m alone and no distractions like crying kids or a needy husband.

I have this opportunity, and not just that, I have people around me who love me, or at least love this noble profession that much that they would give me all the support, time and energy they could, just to see another doctor pass her exams.

I am very blessed and lucky indeed, to have friends and colleagues who understand each other, and would help each other towards our goals, because we’re all in the same boat.

It’s about being thankful for all the opportunity that I have.

It’s about being thankful for this life, even when sometimes things don’t go my way.

* * *

No, makcik, I’m not going to quit.

I might feel tired, I might feel worried, but I’ll continue with my fight, my struggle, one topic at a time.

God Only Knows

This is a story about moving on.

If it’s even called a story.

* * *

If you should ever leave me

Though life would still go on, believe me

The world could show nothing to me

So what good would living do me?

God only knows what I’d be without you.

* * *

Actually there’s an amazing list of things that one would be without his or her loved ones around.

Yes, often a person might be so in love that he might begin to wonder, what would happen if that person is not around. What would happen if ever she left? Will I be able to take it? Will I live?

Well, you don’t know, until you decided to live your life…..like normal.

When you decided to move on, pwehaps you’ll find yourself waking up in the morning, clean up, have breakfast, go to work.

You drive, you talk to colleagues, to clients, to your bosses.

You do presentations, you get involved in meetings, planning, excecution.

You have lunch, then continue with the rest of the day, sometimes until the night falls.

You go home, clean up yourself, your kitchen, your life.

Have dinner, watch TV, read.

Maybe you’ll fall asleep.

The cycle goes on and on.

* * *

Which brings me to another song:

“I try to read, I go to work, I’m laughing with my friends, but I can’t start to keep myself from thinking, I wonder how, I wonder why, I wonder where they are? The days we had, the songs we sang together.”

* * *

Yes, life goes on, despite that calm facade that we all put up, some more successfully than others, not many know what lies within.

Not many understand that empty shell inside, that might get bigger and bigger each day, eaten away as time goes by.

Not many realised that one is barely surviving, that shell with no meaning, just trying to live by what seems to be normal.

Without a spirit, without a goal.

* * *

Of course you can move on. We all can, and should do.

It’s a matter of understanding why, and knowing how to. I know it’s such a cliche that “everything happens for a reason”, but it’s always true. Of course, a person crying and wailing for having lost a loved one wouldn’t want to hear that, would not want to accept that. But that state of mind should not last long.

There is time for mourning, but there’s also time to get up on your feet and get going.

It’s always good to have some form of social life and contribute to the lives of others. There are so many people out there who need love, attention and care, or simply listening ears.

There are so many people out there who would appreciate you more than others will ever do. You might think it’s unfair, “I miss him so much and he never thought of me even for a minute of his day,” or “all I wanted from her is friendship and closure but she’s not responding any of my messages.” Well, yes, it’s unfair, and holding on to that might actually be good for you because it is about time for you to look out for people who really care!

Perhaps your parents miss you more than you think. Perhaps you could spend your time trying to make amends with your siblings, perhaps despite the fight you two had all those years ago, your brother is yearning for a close relationship with his siblings. Maybe you should pay a visit to your aunt you have not met for months or even years. Bring your parents for a holiday, or if they are not that kind of people, cook them something special at home.

It is always worth the effort to make amends with family, because trust me, on the deathbed, the most common regret is not treating one’s family well enough.

Even without any family members nearby, there are others who need love. Orphans, the elderly in old folks home, or sometimes just random people. Maybe friends too.

It’s about time to shift the focus from ourselves to others. Focus all of our energy, emotions and thoughts towards the good of people around us. It really does wonders to one’s soul, thinking of others rather than oneself.

The problem about moving on from break ups is, one of them, thinking about how you need love from that person who left, how nice it would be if you’re still together and you’d see his smile or her twinkling eyes as she spoke to you…it ends up being all about you. The key is to focus that energy to someone else rather than yourself.

Easy to say? Yes.

Difficult to do? Of course. Nobody said it’s without a challenge.

But it’s possible. You just need to want it to happen.

And understand why you should move on.

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