Sometimes you just feel like starting over.
Like tearing the canvas apart and starting anew.
A new canvas.
A whole new story.
I was just talking about you to my friend on Saturday.
And then you contact me today.
After almost 3 years.
And yet, it took one simple conversation to remind me that I’ll always love you.
Even twenty years from now when we’re both old and fat and grey and we hadn’t spoken in 10 odd years, a part of me will always still love you.
I think a part of me hopes that you’ll somehow always love me too.
“Maybe she can reach her goals the same way you did”
And what goals did I achieve?
“I’m taking a year off before I go to college”
I’ve heard this a million times, from my friends, from kids overseas.
I even met a girl from Australia who decided to take a year off after school and travel around the world by herself.
It’s seems like such a wonderful idea, doesn’t it?
Take a year off, give yourself time to do everything you ever wanted, to figure out exactly what you want to do with your life before settling down at college.
It’s also an idea I never considered.
Right from the beginning, everything has been a race.
Right from Standard 1, when everyone was competing to be the top student in school,
Standard 3 when we worked our butts off studying so we could pass PTS and skip Standard 4. We were only 9!
Standard 5, when it took so much effort to catch up with the rest of the students because we’d skipped a year,
Standard 6 when we had to get straight As so we would get into good classes when we went to secondary school.
Form 1, when we again competed to be the top in class so we’d get streamed into good classes again the next year. And again in Form 2.
Form 3 when we had to aim for Straight As again in PMR so that we’d be streamed into good science classes in Form 4.
Form 5 when we gave it everything we had for SPM.
Because we needed those 12A1s so that we would get into good colleges. Because at that point in life, not getting straight As would have meant the end of the world.
And just like that, school was over.
And there was never a question of where to go from there.
We all applied to the colleges we wanted. We all got accepted. And we all started college 3 weeks after SPM was over.
Three weeks after high school ended, we were in college.
Our results hadn’t even come out yet but we’d gotten accepted based on our forecast results.
And then college.
Same thing all over again, study, study, study because anything less than an A was simply unacceptable. Because if you didn’t get As then the universities you wanted wouldn’t accept you.
And barely a week after our SAM exams finished, we were filling in uni applications, going for interviews…
Take a year off? No way!
And three months later, I was in medical school.
I joined medical school when I was barely past 17.
I’m 21 now, and in my final year.
Three months after I turn 22, I’ll graduate as a doctor.
Take a year off then? Hell no.
And then it’s two years housemanship, and three years as a medical officer.
And since we’re overachievers, we want to do MRCS during second year of housemanship,
so that by the time the 5 years of compulsory service is up, we’d be specialists.
I’d be 28 then.
Take a year off then? As a specialist? But the money!
And so it’ll go on. Never ending.
Sometimes I envy those of my friends who took a year off after school, those who took a year off after college.
At least it was a proper break.
I’ve been on the go since I was 7 years old, and I’ve never had more than 3 months of holidays at any given time…that fact is just hitting me now.
At 17, it was so important to get into a university.
So important to graduate early and start working early.
So important to be the youngest doctor among my friends and family.
But at what cost?
And now my friends are talking about taking a few months off after graduating?
But we’d lose our place in this never-ending rat race against the rest of our peers!
Sometimes I wonder whose fault it is that we turned out this way.
Was it our parents who pushed us too hard, that the mere idea of taking a few months off scares us so much?
Or was it society, where everyone around us works so hard that we became so terrified of not being able to keep up?
What are we doing to ourselves?
Just went through all my old posts on October’s Child.
Funny how I used to be able to write so much last time, and now it just feels like there’s a block. I can’t write. I can’t pen down all my emotions.
Maybe it was having a private blog that did it.
A place where I could write whatever without anyone reading or judging, but once the follower count went up, my privacy disappeared, bit by bit.
Maybe it was also the fact that I was hurting so badly when I started this blog.
3 years ago.
Sometimes its seems like a lifetime ago. But it’s only been 3 years.
And sometimes it feels like it all happened just yesterday. But it’s been 3 whole years.
Funny how easily the words pour out when you’re in pain, isn’t it?
Oh my god.
I forgot Sahil’s birthday.
I forgot Sahil existed.
HURRY UP AND SHOW UP ALREADY.
Found out today that my CFCS patient passed away.
It was part of our course requirement albeit a community outreach programme : follow-up a patient for 2 years, educate them on their illnesses and help them deal with their illnesses on their own.
We’d (my partner and I) been following up with her meticulously since September 2010.
Except for when I went to Ireland last December. That’s when she passed away.
And we’re only finding out now, because we’ve only just gotten back to uni now.
Our 2 years would have been up in August.
I wouldn’t have had to deal with this news. I wouldn’t have had to deal with this guilt of not having been there for her.
I’m sorry I couldn’t have done more for you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when it happened.
Rest in peace.
So, so far I’ve fallen in love with a Malayalee Muslim boy from Canada whom I let slip away (also the same boy I started my tumblr for).
And now I’ve fallen in love with a Malayalee Christian boy from Ireland, also whom I’ve let slip away.
Maybe one day I’ll find a Malayalee Hindu boy somewhere closer to home, and if I ever do have him, this time I’ll never let him go.