Because I need some air

Literally and not. It’s been an exhausting week even though I didn’t want to admit it at first. It’s late Saturday morning and I haven’t started on my studying. It’s exams week next week and if I don’t blog, I might go crazy.

I got sick with colds and cough in the middle of the week and that’s not a really good thing with a bunch of stuff to study for the exams. My head weighed a ton. Thank God I didn’t get headaches from sneezing and coughing and lacking sleep. We had a lot of case analyses or reports, we had to work in a group, and my tolerance for annoying people has plummeted. I’d usually be able to work with them even though they are kind of considered the class outcasts. One is a know-it-all and the other just manages to put people off in the wrong way all the time. They’re friends, they both annoy each other most of the time, and unfortunately, they sit in front of me. The latter spilled her coffee in my bag and it got on my white uniform skirt but I didn’t lash out at all at her. It’s just that some things they did this week irked me quite a bit, so I tried to steer clear of them. Needless to say, I feel guilty feeling and thinking about these things. I know God is not pleased with me right now. I ask for guidance when it comes to dealing with people like these, and because my patience has thinned, I just avoid them as much as I can. The former is my groupmate, and I am just really annoyed when he butts in on everything, even my private conversations with my friends.Why. WHYYY. I likened him to a barnacle on a whale. It was not a personal thing – he really is just like that. The group talks about him behind his back and laughs, and even though I don’t add in to the conversation, I’m guilty of not stopping it and giggling along with them. The most I could do was to not rant about them to my friends, because that’d be backstabbing them, and that would be against Philippians 4:8.

I know, I’m not really proud of myself right now. I haven’t really had a good relationship with my mom, too. She’s been insisting I drink all these herbal things, and though I believe her, I just don’t like the idea of spending a lot on them. We don’t have a lot of money especially after what happened with dad. These herbal things cost thousands of bucks. I know I should trust that God will provide. She’s in networking right now, and though the company is reputable and their products are backed up scientifically, when she talks to me, she sounds as if I’m a client, too. I’m trying to tell myself I should be proud of what she’s doing, but it’s been quite a challenge, especially if you want someone to just talk to you like a normal person.

Plus, the emotional toll of being stuck with things to read the whole week (day and night) is increasing. I would’ve studied last night if not for the fact that I was frustrated at myself – for not having a better brain, for not being able to wake up decently, for having a cold, for being weak. I tried to pray, but I was too sleepy even for that. I did talk to God a bit before sleeping, but this morning, I finally, finally got His message.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Cor 3: 7-9

I know it could be talking about faith in God, but it applies with many aspects of my life. I can work all I want, but God will see me through ultimately in the end. What I do has its purpose, and I will reap what I sow someday, but only through God’s grace and only because of God’s purpose. I am here for a reason. I’m in med for a reason. I love being here even though it’s exhausting, so I should just remember this when I feel like not going on. God will see me through. God will provide. It’s not my brain, it’s not my abilities. Whatever happens is in God’s hands, and there’s nothing I should do but trust.

I know it’ll get harder. I’ll be more frustrated at myself, and I will have to deal with even more intolerable people. But the message is here – I should never lose touch with God. I don’t want to be alone with myself when dealing with these things. I can’t do it alone. I’ll fall the moment I try to do it alone. As much as I feel like time is running out, as much as I do everything in a rush, I should try to have even just a few minutes a day with God and not forget that He is the reason for everything in my life.

I’m good

The song by The Mowgli’s came up on my Spotify playlist and I realized I’m good. I just viewed a post online about comparing med students’ typical lives to that of other people and though at first it looks undesirable, I realized I loved it because I’m not looking at the downside of it. What stood out on the post was not having a social life and having to study on Friday and Saturday nights. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, even though most of the time, I miss my family. But I don’t feel lacking in the social life department, because I had never been really good with mingling. Plus, strangely, I feel more relaxed when I’m studying or reading something during idle moments because it means I’m being productive. I hate being idle. I can’t sit through a whole movie without worrying about the stuff I have to read.

Today, though, with my notes right beside me, mom thought it would be nice if I play board games with people from my church. Remember the guy? Yup, he came. I wished he wouldn’t, especially since I didn’t want him back on my mind after he hasn’t been in it for more than a month now. But no. And what happened exceeded my daydreams – he ended up bringing me home. The others were gonna go to the movies but I declined because I had to get back to studying and mom thought playing board games was enough for a break. He, on the other hand, told us he’d think about going. I’m trying not to think anything about it by focusing on studying, but I just had to get it out. It makes me so freaking uncomfortable. No wonder I don’t bother with having a social life. The only good thing it does is to stimulate my digestive tract and get rid of constipation.

Maybe I don’t bother with it because I miss my family, and I can’t tend to my family so much. Plus, they’re busy. My uncle is always in the office, my brother chooses to isolate himself, my grandma keeps herself busy, and mom’s always out, even late at night. I’m even more saddened by the fact that when I’m home, they make me run around the house or do different things all the time, and I can’t focus on my studying, which is why I’m investing in coffee shops on weekends from now on. At the end of the day, my mom would go online and my grandma would be watching TV. I’d read notes instead of exchanging stories with them. I’m getting the feeling grandma wants me to help her with moving and sorting things around the house (we have to, because we’re putting the space at the back for rent). She also asked me if I could help with the garage sale she planned. I thought it was kinda pointless – grandma doesn’t really want to let go of anything. Garage sales exist to dispose of invaluable things, and she still makes them as expensive as she can. We did this last summer already, and no one was coming in because of that. I can’t spend the whole day trying to study while making sure no one’s gonna barge in to hold us up. It’s not safe these days. So, yes, I think my grandma’s kinda pissed at me. But I have to study, and if I don’t, it’s gonna cost us a lot more. I need that scholarship.

Other random things aside, I dreamt I had a baby last night. The dream started with my giant abdomen, I was wondering why I was pregnant when I never even had sex. I was contemplating whether I was abused, but it didn’t seem like it. Plus, I was scared because childbirth hurt like hell. I ended up giving birth and I was surprised that it happened so quickly. When I woke up, my initial reaction was to look for the baby. I was kinda sad there was no baby, but I told my mom about it, and the first thing she asked me was, “Who’s the father?”

For the events of today, I’m gonna put the verses I read this morning from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time for Everything

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.

He sets the time for birth and the time for death,
the time for planting and the time for pulling up,
the time for killing and the time for healing,
the time for tearing down and the time for building.
He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,
the time for mourning and the time for dancing,
the time for making love and the time for not making love,
the time for kissing and the time for not kissing.
He sets the time for finding and the time for losing,
the time for saving and the time for throwing away,
the time for tearing and the time for mending,
the time for silence and the time for talk.
He sets the time for love and the time for hate,
the time for war and the time for peace.

What do we gain from all our work? 10 I know the heavy burdens that God has laid on us. 11 He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does. 12 So I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. 13 All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift.

14 I know that everything God does will last forever. You can’t add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him. 15 Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.

To let go of your insecurities

is an awesome, liberating thing.

It makes you appreciate people for who they are. You start to look at their positives. People are different, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have different kinds of fun or form different kinds of friendships. It pays to be open-minded. Plus, you are able to learn more from them. It pays to control how you react to certain situations in ways that do not offend them, even though at some point, they do offend you.

It pays to control your thoughts about how you measure yourself against people. Once you stop treating them like opponents you have to overtake, once you stop measuring yourself as a bunch of strengths against another person’s bunch of strengths, you begin to see that harmony – both in your head and in your relationships – can exist.

Moreover, it makes you appreciate yourself more. You are not a bunch of strengths or weaknesses. You are another story. Though you may be much too involved in your insecurities, people actually do not pay so much attention to them, because they’re also busy dealing with their weaknesses.

Since I haven’t been dealing with emotions lately

When I’ve been feeling things, I really feel them. I cry, my heart makes its existence known, and I literally shiver. I cry when two characters hug on a TV show, and I cried when I wrote my letter for my mom’s fifty-fifth birthday.

Homesickness used to be a huge thing for me. I don’t think my roommates get it. I’m the only one in the room who has a really good relationship with my mom. I’m the only one who calls her every day, and I never heard them say “I love you” to their moms. I do every day. When they talk to their moms, it has something to do with work, not so they can talk to them. I used to think I’m such a baby, but I value this relationship I have with my mom.

Or used to have, because we’ve both been busy lately. I haven’t had a real weekend in a few weeks. I haven’t had an hour wherein I just sit down and rest. It makes me sad. Plus, I’ve been trying to not think about missing home by concentrating on work, but when emotions get to me, they bump into me really hard.

So yes. I hate that I don’t get to talk to mom anymore. I also don’t like that she doesn’t listen to my ramblings anymore, so I don’t even bother, but I miss the old times. Real life is happening. I just wish it wouldn’t take us away with it.

It is becoming a challenge

For me not to get irritable while at home. On the outside, I’m quiet and keeping my cool, but on the inside, I get agitated when they disturb me to help with something in the middle of my studying. It also bothers me that everyone in the house is really busy. I miss everyone and there’s a huge chunk of me that I’m trying to suppress – the part of me that wishes we still get to bond as a family every Sunday. I have visions of us walking on a nice mall park with our dogs. Unfortunately, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon, also because we kinda cannot afford it. I suddenly remember how it used to happen with the four of us (dad, mom, me and my brother) back when my dad was still alive and I was much younger, like ten years ago. I used to dislike it because it was a routine – go to mass, visit grandparents, go to the mall because my dad needs to buy something from the hardware. We do have a tendency to take things for granted and we only appreciate them when they’re gone.

It also feels weird that I can’t seem to rest if I don’t read anything school related within the span of an hour. I can’t sit down to watch 20 minutes of a sitcom episode anymore. I still love writing and venting, or else I think I might go crazy. I’m loving medicine, but I’m also nervous, especially since we’re going to debate on euthanasia on Monday for ethics class, we have to case analyses next week, and it’s my mom’s birthday on Monday and I’m planning to surprise her by going back home even though I’m supposed to be staying in the dorm. Balloons and cake inclusive, though I dunno how I’ll pull it off.

I’m just sad we don’t have time to sit down and talk, or even just watch a movie on TV. My mom doesn’t listen to me anymore. She’s not the best listener – she always thinks of what she wants to say while you’re talking. And most of the time, she sounds as if she’s still selling me products even though I’m telling her about my insecurities, which is why I just shut up most of the time. But I still miss having conversations with mom, because she’s fun to talk to. My grandma does listen to me. She smiles at everything I say and she has her own bit of wisdom to contribute. But even she is tired. At eighty, she’s always busy in the kitchen, and she’s the one who suggested we celebrate my mom’s birthday tomorrow.

Plus, I have to work. I’m going broke. Preliminary expenses in med school aren’t doing my pockets well, and I’m saving up for utilities. I refuse to ask mom for money, except for that one desperate week. I just never beg for money, especially when it’s for my own miscellaneous needs.

Despite that, I’m pretty happy with where I am in life. I don’t like that I haven’t had a lot of time for God for the past week. I haven’t been waking up early to praise Him and pray, and by the end of the day, I’m too exhausted and sleepy to pay attention, but I love that I’m clinging onto Him like crazy. It is true that you find true rest in Him.

Clinical Evaluation

We have this subject once a week, and this is when we get to see and practice on patients. Yup, even I get uncomfortable at the thought of that. This morning before we went to school today, I found out from my roommates that students do exams on private parts. I’m not uncomfortable at the thought of doing it especially since it’s necessary, but it makes me wonder what the patients’ thoughts are on that, especially since they have no choice. They are what some would call “charity patients,” and even though they wouldn’t want to oblige or it makes them uncomfortable, they wouldn’t be able to object.

It makes me sad. We did a bit of history and physical exam a while ago, and I was feeling excited at the thought of becoming a doctor, but also sad, that there will always be patients who will have to wait long lines just to see a doctor. Some, or most, won’t even get the results they want after a check-up. Even I don’t go to a doctor, and I always dread the thought of having to do it. There’s some desire in me to serve these kinds of patients.

When it comes to group mates, though, there’s a bit of a trouble. Doctors usually do history and PE alone, unless a group of them comes in a hospital room of a confined patient. But a while ago, we did history and vital signs – all eight of us – and it was a giant mess, it irritated me. What’s more is that people who have experience in the hospital tend to speak a lot more, overshadowing those who need practice. No one likes a know-it-all and I wondered why. There are two people in the group who are very much like that, and though technically, they don’t do anything wrong, the rest of the group becomes irritated at them. Even I get irritated. It led me to think that we don’t like know-it-alls because we don’t like being trampled upon. We always want to be the better one. I don’t know. That was just my two cents. What’s more irritating is when these people don’t let you do any work, and then remind you later on for you not participating. It drains me to deal with people like them, but I guess you do meet different kinds of people in the work place. We just have to get used to them.

This year’s breakthrough

In church, we always pray for breakthroughs of different kinds – financial, for relationships, and spiritual. I’m sure there are other kinds but these are at the top of my head. Back then, I always believed holding on to God would bring me the comfort of the worldly kind. Maybe if I believed in God, I’d be successful in what I do, I’d get rich, I’d be happy 100% of the time.

Apparently, that’s not the case, although there are still times I have that tendency. Every day, I talk to God because it’s just been an essential part of me. Even more than that, I like to think it encompasses my whole being. Every time I’m hesitant of something, it’s because I think twice about whether God approves of it. I talk to God every day, saying my usual prayers, but there are notable moments when His word really just strikes. I wondered why – why can’t it be every day that I rejoice in His word? Why is it that some days, His word seems ordinary, because it’s not answering any of my questions?

I realized maybe it’s because if we don’t want anything from God, we won’t really bother listening to what He has to say. We knock on God’s door only when we want something, but when everything’s smooth-sailing, we don’t make that extra effort to know what He wants to say.

I am still plagued by my favorite troubles. There’s this constant fear that I won’t be able to reach my goals. There’s the usual crappy feeling when it comes to people “having more” than I do. A lot of bad thoughts surround me, but the question He has recently answered is if He exists.

I know it’s ridiculous to proclaim to have faith in Him while still having those thoughts at the back of my head. But I’m honest about it to Him, and I do believe in Him. I’m holding on. He answered me (refer to previous post) through Exodus 17. It was my exact question – “Is the Lord among us or not?”

There are a lot of other times I experienced God, most of them chronicled in this blog. This blog is also evidence of my past self and I realized I never want to be like that again. I have faith I won’t turn away from my relationship with God. That’s my breakthrough of the year. This is the year I truly found God. I always believed in Him, but I realized it was always easier to thank Him when life was good. When it became rough (as it did for the past four years), I hid from Him even though I knew all along He had always been there. It was useless, but it was also amazing how He welcomed me with open arms despite everything I’ve hidden inside me. I feel things when I am reminded of His presence, just like relationships we usually have. I cry, my heart leaps, and I smile. I realized nothing on earth will ever match that. But during tough times, I now try my best to turn to Him, say sorry when I don’t, and talk to Him and confess what I really feel. He is enough every single time.