I think I’m starting to become a workaholic

During my free time, I worry about the things I have to do, or if there are things I have to do, because it doesn’t ever feel right that there’s nothing I have to do. Even if it’s summer break right now, I can’t bring myself to watch a new TV show, because I will always have that feeling, or because I actually have work on Monday and I don’t wanna get hooked on something right now. I can be extremely fixated on something when it happens. My job doesn’t require me to do some home work, but still. I know I should let it go. I might end up like a twitchy rabbit one day.

Today, my thoughts have been weighing me down. I have these thoughts from time to time but I usually manage to shake them off. I try to smile (or force my face into smiling) when I feel like absolute crap, but I just have to let it out here: it sucks to be at the bottom end of the see-saw.

I guess my guy friend who told me girls tend to exaggerate have it right: I just told myself I hate my life (exaggeration # 1), but what I mean to say is that I hate it right now. I just have all these what if’s and sometimes, it’s killing me (exaggeration # 2). I can’t wear skirts or dresses to work because street harassment is one of the things in this world I hate the most. I don’t really wear skimpy outfits, but men in the Philippines just harass you even when they can’t see anything they shouldn’t really see. And even if they do see things they shouldn’t normally see from other people, that doesn’t give them the right to harass them. My dresses are knee-length, and I don’t even wear spaghetti straps, yet when I wear a floral dress, I always have this fear that I will get yanked into a truck and get raped (exaggeration # 3).

I kept telling myself that if my dad hadn’t died, we would still be one family, living in our decent house. Public transport wouldn’t be an option. Heck, I don’t think I’d have to have a summer job – we’d probably be vacationing at the beautiful island up north. But that would mean dad wouldn’t have cancer, because he wasn’t into alcohol, because he loved his family more than his vice. Then this would be a perfect world (exaggeration # 4). But these things had to happen, and I guess I just want someone to blame at this point, maybe to make me feel better about myself for not being able to do anything to get me out of this giant rut.

I broke the showerhead right now, and if you must know, we moved in our grandma’s house last November. At first, she was all happy about having us, but then she discovered how difficult it was to live with my brother, who is entirely useless (this is not an exaggeration), how she keeps having these arguments with mom constantly, and how I can actually break a showerhead, she’s been irritated lately, and it sucks. She used to be this warm grandma who loved to have us around and pay for the movies just so we could bond. Right now, she just cursed me for breaking my showerhead. Well, she did say something like, “Hesus ka,” which is supposed to mean “You’re Jesus,” but old people use that as an expression here from where I live (so is that exaggeration # 5?). I don’t think she ever told me that before.

And then came the thought: if dad was still alive, we wouldn’t have to move in this old house. We’d still have our huge house, I’d still be known as one of the well-off girls, and maybe I’d be doing something enviable at the moment. On the commute to work, I was also thinking about how I would never ever do this to my kids if I had one or some. I will want to ensure they have the best in the world, but not without disciplining them. Just enough to equip them to turn their potentialities into realities, not to set them back.

But then I realized how uncertain life was. Cancer could pick me any time, my husband could leave me. Life will still manage to suck. I guess this is where God comes in. Life in this world will always be hard, being Christian does not exempt you from that. I’m just glad He gives me strength. Moments like this, I can’t see how it will all turn out well, thanks to our limits as humans, but with His grace, I can actually believe this will all be for good.

“In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6

Realizations of April 7, 2015

I just realized I entered a summer job that pays a lot less than the one I entered last year, and that I am a minimum wage worker right now. That doesn’t really matter, considering there are thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of people here who have graduated but can’t find a decent job. Besides, this job is bound to be fun and full of new experiences. Plus, it’s not as taxing as my job last year (I was a lecturer and that was hella exhausting for an introvert like me). The pay was really good though. What I earn in my current job for a month, I can earn in less than a week in my teaching job last year. But that’s okay. I just wish I could do more to help in the family finances.

I also realized I’m a lot saner before than I am now. In high school, I never talked to myself. I never thought it was completely normal to talk to yourself. But just a while ago, I said aloud, “Man, it hurts,” in my native language aloud, in a jeep, which is a very communal public transportation here in the Philippines. Some of the passengers turned to me. Thank God they didn’t know I was referring to my dysmenorrhea. It could mean something else, like how I’ve been recently cut off from the guy I have a bit of an interest in.

Today at work, we discussed a bit on the most common contraceptives, and I realized that most of them involve products or methods for women. I’m wondering why. I understand those which involve the ovarian and menstrual cycle, and how we can take advantage of tracking our ‘available’ days and messing up with the fact that ovulation comes monthly, as opposed to sperm production, which is always (which is probably why women are only horn dogs 12 times a year but men are horn dogs 100% of the time). But is it because we’re the ones who get pregnant? Why can’t we just eliminate the things which are required for pregnancy but which come from an external source? In other words, why can’t we just cut off penises? Ah, just kidding.

I know I shouldn’t be ranting like that, especially since I have also appreciated God’s design and how beautiful it is. But daddy issues really are real. My dad was the most dominant (and domineering) person in my life when he was still alive, and he could be over-imposing at times, which was probably where this cynicism stemmed from.

I saw this article online which is spreading on Facebook: 12 Things You Need to Know Before Dating a Simple Girl. Some people don’t like lists like these. They think they imply that girls or people who do the opposite of those indicated are much less cool or shallower. But I’d have to agree with this article, and most of the time, it sucks not to be the glamorous one, and it sucks that you don’t even try anymore because you know it won’t amount to anything – you will still be as unglamorous as you have been before you tried. And you know what? In real life, people love glamorous. Most of the guys you fancied did not bother to even glance at you because they’re busy lapping up glamorous. So for you glamorous people out there, just think of it this way: these lists are the way we unglamorous people compensate for our being unglamorous. So there.

6:30 PM of April 6, 2015

Hungry, with no internet, and with my current ‘like’ interest having no seeming recent signs to be interested in me. This is an absolutely stupid situation to be in right now. Thank God I have a summer job, though.

I do like these little changes in me. For instance, I was gonna fold the clothes my mom laundered this morning even before she told me to do so. I feel like a grown-up (which I should be, considering I’m almost about to sing Taylor Swift’s 22). Plus, I also think I’m starting to become a workaholic. I’m restless when I have nothing to do, which is why I really pushed myself and prayed for a summer job. The bed is still luring me from time to time, and it’s still tempting to just settle to being a lazy bum for four months, but I have no money, and I both need and want to earn. Plus, I believe this job will be life-changing, even if the pay isn’t too much. We are going to be interviewing mothers about their health practices, and the study will not only be for academic purposes but also a contribution for them. Lastly, our ‘boss’ is German and he’s cute, but he’s apparently also stingy and strict with time, although he looks considerate.

I commuted home today from work (my mom drove me this morning because I had a huge headache at five AM and I woke up a bit late) and my uncle just asked me if I rode a jeep. I said yes, plus, I had squidballs and kikiam, which are street food in the Philippines. My uncle said, “Ha-ha, dirty food.” I just went in the room to post this after I uttered a short prayer, “Oh, Lord, please don’t let me have Hepa B.”

It’s the evening of Easter Sunday and everyone is supposed to get back to working tomorrow. We, med students, are supposed to be an exception because it’s our summer vacation, but not for me. I signed up for a part-time job in research and work starts tomorrow. My best friend recommended it to me. We were supposed to sign up together but she had a lot of other plans and couldn’t commit. She also expected it to be exhausting, but it will only be for a month, and I’m convincing myself of the awesomeness of gaining new experiences and friends. We will be interviewing people in communities. It can be a bit nerve-wracking especially for an introvert like me, but I also can’t stand the idea of being a bum for four months. We have four months of summer break because of the calendar shift transition. It’s also nice to be earning to help with the family finances.

It was a great Sunday, and a good day to praise the Lord. It’s awesome to be reminded of how He conquered death, and also humbling and life-changing to be reminded that He died for our sins, that He took the death that could’ve been ours. It’s awesome to be reminded of Jesus, how He refused to be the King the world expects Him to be. I especially love the scene in the TV series The Bible, in which Satan tempted Jesus. It showed Jesus as worldly king, with a golden crown, guards and a palace, in contrast to who Jesus really was, whose crown was made of thorns, whose guards nailed Him to the cross. The worldly kings were conquered by their worldly thrones, but Jesus has conquered the world, sin and death. It brings me to tears to be reminded of that fact, and to be reminded of how immeasurable His love is for us. Nothing can compare, nothing should.

And this is why I shouldn’t be bothered with boy troubles. Ugh. I know God is all-knowing. He is probably stalking me as I type this. He probably already knows what I’m going to think before I think it. But yes, I’m having boy troubles, again. What’s new? We’re back to the cycle. The signs are there, the signs are good, but I also think I’m not meeting him halfway. Besides, I don’t want a relationship right away. It’s nice to be good friends first. But since everyone around us thinks something is going on, I just unconsciously keep my distance. I’m just really embarrassed, also because I feel like I will be the one who will lose more if things don’t go the way I would want them to. But that’s the point. In everything, I should just trust in God’s plan. I’m reminded of this verse I heard this morning at church, and it goes for everything:

We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that He hears us if we ask Him for anything that is according to His will. – 1 John 5:14

I just finished my first year in Medicine

And I know I still have a long way to go, I might still have ten years before I get to practice independently as a specialist, but I can’t help squealing at the fact that I am four years closer to getting that MD. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m really happy about it. If anything, it fueled the fire to my desire to become a doctor.

It was challenging, but I told myself I don’t have the right to complain because a lot harder things are in store for us. It was basically just like college, except five times harder and more time-pressed, although not as stressful as I thought, because our school was relatively more relaxed. In college, we used to have a lot of oral reports and oral exams, and my introverted self doesn’t really appreciate being subjected to those kinds of torture. Plus, they give us enough time to study, although studying never really gets done. There will always be reading material left untouched. I guess it’s normal with med school.

I haven’t mastered how to study smart, but I believe I’m improving, although it kinda sucks it took one year. I’d like to think I’m excused, because my dad died last September and it took a toll on all aspects of our lives. But second year is a whole new different journey. Plus, they tell us it will be more clinical, and there are a lot more subjects. I’m scared it might be ten times harder than first year, although I’m also excited to experience it for myself. I just hope and pray I will be able to do what I have to do efficiently. Plus, I am aiming for that scholarship, so I can study for free in Third Year. I know that seems pretty far-fetched considering my grades were a bit of a disappointment during first year, but nothing’s impossible with God, right? Plus, I really need to help with the family finances. It would be a huge privilege to be a scholar.

In terms of exciting things that happened during the first year, cadaver dissection probably takes the top spot. I remember being excited and nervous at the same time about it. It got to a point when it was normal to poke scalpels at muscles, even a point when you’d want your group mates to do the dirty work for you (remove the fascia, take feces out so you can try to find the iliocecal valve), but it was always fascinating to see everything for yourself. It was very much like discovering a shipwreck. I couldn’t believe I also had that set of organs working in me, and it was amazing to think there were more than a hundred hearts beating in the classroom, or more comically, there could actually be feces inside the room and you wouldn’t even know it.

The final exams were the most nerve-wracking for me because we had to study lessons we took up for the whole year. Nevertheless, it was part of the process, and there really was no time to panic, because energy and time should be allotted to studying. After the finals, we were taught how to suture on pork skin, which I consider a milestone. I now know how to do basic wound stitches! Isn’t that cool?

For the second year, I’m particularly excited about knowing how to auscultate, or better yet, to get my own stethoscope! I think I will never let it go, literally. I will sleep beside it. I will probably even wear it to the bathroom. Oh, just kidding.

It just goes to show that if you really want something that much, some F’s along the way won’t even matter. You realize you’d do anything you can to reach your dreams (as cliched as it may sound). Just the thought of not continuing with med school makes me cry. To others, being in med school may look like hell, and it is sometimes, but I believe it will be worth it. I believe I’ll learn to love it even more.

Just another story

about how God has been really, really AWESOME.

Mistakes never end. Sins never end. Maybe we get to know God more, we wish we won’t sin anymore. We wish we don’t disappoint Him anymore, but we do. We more often than not end up doing so. We remove all traces of anything that can remind us about temptation, but somehow, we still manage to slip through that hole.

But the thing is, we can always ask for sincere forgiveness. He will never abandon us, and He will always love us.

I for one just disappointed him for the nth time the other day, and I was praying, already condemning myself, but He gave me Psalm 119.

Obedience to the Law of the Lord

How can young people keep their lives pure?
    By obeying your commands.
10 With all my heart I try to serve you;
    keep me from disobeying your commandments.
11 I keep your law in my heart,
    so that I will not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your ways.
13 I will repeat aloud
    all the laws you have given.
14 I delight in following your commands
    more than in having great wealth.
15 I study your instructions;
    I examine your teachings.
16 I take pleasure in your laws;
    your commands I will not forget.