The 20s

Sometimes I think that being in your 20s is a very frustrating time in life. I mean, I have no frame of reference, but I just think it’s hard to be in your 20s.

When you’re 20 whatever, it’s a rather crucial point in life. You either have a lot of ideas of things you wanna do and places you wanna go but are frustrated because you can’t just get all those things done straight away. It takes time, money and freedom. Which very few people have if they’re still in uni or just starting out in a job they know isn’t where they want to ultimately end up.

Or you don’t have any sense of direction and no real plans because you’re sort of stuck in a position with multiple factors in limbo and are equally frustrated.

I mean. Career, future, friends, family, relationships, etc etc etc. It all starts now-ish.

And nothing makes it worse like when relatives or family friends ask you what your “plans” are.

I hate that question. Not because I don’t have any plans, but more because it’s annoying that they think I’m going to sit there and explain each bullet point of my 10 year plan that I have taped to the wall of my room or something. I don’t have anything like that by the way. But I don’t know why people think I do.

The expectations are high and things are changing rapidly. I remember less and less of my school days. The people especially. Some are gone. I have no idea where. Some are in the same situation as me, some are living large by travelling, etc. Some have turned into wild people (If you know what I mean). But we’re all the same age basically.

Oh God and some people are getting married. Which I suppose doesn’t mean much. Like I’m not going to over hype marriage like it is an achievement. If you found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with (hopefully), that’s great for you!  But that’s another expectation when you’re in your 20s. Start thinking about “settling down” (whatever that means). I think that’s an awful expectation. Like it is hard enough to work with some people in a professional sense let alone like them enough to talk to them outside of professional arena. I mean, if that’s how it is in a professional sense, how on earth are you meant to find someone likeable in general? I assume this is why we have things like Tinder these days. Like I literally have 4 people whose company I enjoy. Of course that might just be me. Because I hear that quite a few people my age are engaged, planning their weddings, deciding honeymoon locations and where they should work next year so that it best works with their wedding plans.

How weird is that? Well maybe it’s not weird. Maybe it’s normal. I wouldn’t know.

And that’s another thing when you’re in your 20s. You’re just starting to work. And everything that goes with that is a big shock. Working with others, the hours, the demands, etc. It’s all overwhelming. But also, you start to learn a whole bunch of things like learning when to say what, who to say it to, how to carry yourself, and you feel like you can do a lot, but you just can’t.

Where am I? I am frustrated. I sort of have ideas of things I would like to do. But no way of executing them any time soon. I’m still in uni. I have a huge student loan piling up. I have my parents to look after. My dad had started working when he was younger than me. He still is. I’d like to get him to retire. I would like to move. But little idea or potential of that with all the other plans. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too idle. Maybe I should take on extra things. Sometimes I envy those people who have done all of it and have their lives sorted in their 20s. Eughhhhhhh.

What am I doing everyday? the things that need to be done. Waking up, going to work, studying, watching videos, talking, and stressing. I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. But of course it won’t for a while.

How am I supposed to deal with this frustration? I wish I could fast forward this messy part of my life. And skip to the part where things fall into place and everything will hopefully be okay.

Yeah. And I also want Santa Claus to be real.

Wishful thinking is not a good idea apparently. I’m basically doing each day as it comes. But meh. There’s always the underlying frustration of being stuck. It’s probably not eternal. But it is worrying how much might be different when I come out of it.

This isn’t to say I’m miserable. There are a lot of great things happening for me which I am always grateful for. But yeah. This is a weird time period for me. I guess I’m dealing with it by writing on here. 

Kinda helps. 

 

Shut Out

Consider the following scenarios:

1. Friend A was in a relationship that ended badly, with the other person continually harassing them. Friend A blocked them on all social network and deleted their number so they may get on with their life. 

2. Friend B blocks people on Facebook and other mediums who “annoy” them 

3. Friend C had a fight with a friend they had known for years. This resulted in the friend blocking them on everything. Friend C was so upset that they deactivated their Facebook, and went off the radar for a few months. 

4. Friend D was in a relationship where their partner had cheated on them. When they confronted their partner, their number was blocked. And they were unable to talk to them. 

5. Friend E was receiving messages from someone they didn’t know continually. So they proceeded to block them.

6. There was a meme on Facebook that said in order to get revenge on someone or “hit them where it hurts”, you simply have to unfollow them on Instagram and block them on Facebook. 

You know, in this day and age, communication is so easy. There are millions of ways you can talk to someone. And there are ways to know when someone has seen your attempts to contact them. Which is all a good thing really. Because I cannot imagine how agonising it must have been in the days when everyone would communicate through letters. And in the days/weeks that followed sending that letter, wondering whether the other person had received it, had read it, when they would reply, or if they were even alive. There was just no way of knowing. 

So it should be a blessing that there are now so many options to reach out to someone else. Your friends/family, etc. 

But with anything, there’s a dark side. Off late, I’ve been hearing from people about this whole “blocking” business. As in the act of clicking on someone, going to options, scrolling down and hitting “block this person” on whatever app you use to communicate with them on. Then sitting back and feeling triumph. 

And I say that last bit because that’s the kind of blocking I hear about. When websites such as Facebook were first developed, the blocking feature was most relevant to people like friend E. It’s basically a way you can avoid the less than great people in the world you don’t even know. Which is fair enough.  And then after that, it was next most relevant to Friend A. Who was being harassed by someone they knew, and wanted it to stop. Also reasonable. 

The problems, are with Friends B, C, D, and the meme I mentioned. Blocking someone out of malice. For revenge. Intentionally to hurt that person. 

Yeah. That’s not cool.

Like yes it means you don’t want to talk to that person in that instance or for the foreseeable future, but essentially what you’re saying is that they meant so little to you that you basically can delete them from your life at the simple click of a button. 

And that’s what hurts most people. Of course 20 years ago that wouldn’t have made sense to anyone. And it wouldn’t have been possible anyway. To stop someone communicating with you, you’d usually stop replying to letters, stop answering the phone multiple times when they call, or in extreme cases, move.

But this is slightly different. Blocking is like going out of your way to make it clear to someone that they are no longer privileged to attempt to contact you. To be in your life. In that one click, it’s all literally over.

Which is so weird. We live in a time where this is possible. Friend C had a terrible time. To the point where another friend and I had to go visit her to make sure she was okay. She began to spiral quite a bit and all because her “friend” had blocked her and she was beyond devastated. 

I can understand that. The feeling that you spent time/effort/feelings on someone who only cared about you as much as the effort it took to flex the MCP joints of their finger and apply pressure to click the “block” button. And then carry on with their life. 

What would motivate someone to do that? Well. As in Friend  C’s experience, someone can just be angry and act out by blocking. The equivalent of hanging up or slamming a door in their mind. However, if they perpetuate that, it becomes worse. As adults I think that if you’ve known someone for long enough, you should be able to face them and work through whatever problems you have. That’s not an unreasonable expectation is it? 

Unless you’re one of the people that Friend D encountered. Who had clearly done something wrong and chose to deal with it in that pathetic way. By running away from the confrontation. As though that would solve everything. Honestly I can’t imagine what this person was thinking. But the word despicable comes to mind.

And then there’s friend B. Who blocks people who annoy them. Basically friend B told me that if someone posted unnecessary things or messaged them for no reason, they would be blocked. I didn’t quite understand this. They were usually people who friend B didn’t know very well. And yes sometimes people can be extremely annoying on social media. But that’s why websites like Facebook came up with an “unfollow” button. So you don’t see their posts and they don’t know it. That to me, is less damaging then telling someone that you went out of your way to make sure they know they’re so annoying that they are no longer allowed to be a part of your social platform. And they will know. I don’t care what Facebook tells you. If someone’s posts and comments mysteriously disappear, they’ve blocked you. 

And the meme suggests that this is actually something you can use to intentionally hurt someone????

Who came up with that?? And why on Earth would people endorse that idea? As though it’s acceptable?? Basically you’re admitting that you are a petty enough person who would resort to revenge and that you’re incredibly immature that you would choose these means to hurt someone, and that you’re cruel enough that you’re okay with doing that. 

I’m sorry but I think that’s unacceptable in every sense.

But the more I think about it, it occurs to me that the only reason someone made a meme like that and the reason people continue to do such things is that we all give a lot of importance to this blocking idea. Like friend C who was very hurt. But if you think about it, if someone told you 20 years ago that there was this website where you could talk to someone, but they could “block” you, you’d probably not care very much. And say something to the effect of I’ll call them or go over to their house . And 20 years from now when Facebook becomes obsolete, no one’s ever going to care or remember that person who blocked them. 

So really, it’s all a matter of perspective. If you know someone beyond Facebook and you know about them as a person, all of that should matter more than being blocked. 

And for those who block people just to hurt them, please remember that karma is a witch. And it’ll come back threefold. You never know who’ll become a serial killer, you never know who’ll be the doctor operating on you someday, and you never know who’ll approve that loan you desperately need. 

As Ellen Degeneres would say:

Be kind to one another

Worthwhile

Today I was on my long shift and feeling the blues as usual when I was asked to see a patient as part of gen med review. 

She was a lovely elderly woman who had come in for some obstructive jaundice 

As I began to examine her, she looked at me and said 

“You have healing hands. I can feel it.” 

She then turned to her relative in the room and said 

“She’s the most gentle doctor I’ve seen you know”

And as I was leaving, she asked me when she would see me again.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m really helping anyone. When I’m tired, I wonder if I’m good enough to do the things doctors do. Sometimes I feel like maybe I’d be suited better somewhere else.

But when I interact with patients like this lovely woman, and they tell me the smallest things make a difference for them, I am so incredibly grateful for me and being in a position to impact someone in that way. It makes me strive to be better. It makes me appreciate my apparent skill of treating people in a way that makes them feel comfortable. 

I am so grateful to have met that woman and to have made her feel that way. It made me smile. It makes other things seem less significant. 

I’m glad.

Pressure 

Whenever anyone says “No pressure”, even if it is genuinely in the setting of very low stimulus for any kind of pressure, my mind still tends to build up a few thousand Pascals. And it doesn’t usually end well. 

Blech. Why. 

Is it just me? Or does this happen to a lot of people?

People should just stop using that phrase. 

On Gen Med I..

Wake up tired

Get to hospital way too early and tired

Go on 3 hour ward rounds getting progressively tired

Answer questions through the scrambled fog of tiredness in my brain and feel kinda good

Eat way too late and thus feel hungry and tired

Trudge up and down 5 floors of stairs to do ward jobs while still tired

Get home way too late to be motivated to study and do the things that need doing despite the tiredness

Fall asleep far too early 

And repeat.

Sighhhh. 

Improvement 

You know how back in 4th year when consultants would ask me questions and I would “umm” for 5 minutes and say I dont know to things I actually do know? 

Well. I think I’m breaking the curse.

This past week on gen med I’ve been able to answer most questions posed to me! And correctly, I might add. And even ones with giant lists of answers, I can provide atleast 2. Where before, I’d draw a big fat blank. 

My consultant even told me that I’m doing really well.

I’m so glad I’m getting over that awful fear and mind blank that haunted me back then. 

Hopefully this means I’m becoming competent in some way. Huzzah! 

Hostile

Sometimes people make me ponder the word ‘maturity’

On my long shift at the hospital, I ran into a girl I knew from highschool. She is now a nurse at my hospital. 

6 years ago, I had a big group of friends in school whom I used to hang out with all the time. This girl, we’ll call her Betty, was in the same year as my group of friends, but not exactly part of the group. If you remember highschool, you know what I mean. 

Anyway. 6 years ago, when we were in our second last year of high school, she had organised a birthday party to which she invited only half of the people in my group of friends. She claimed to know us all but only invited some of us. I was invited, but my close friends were not. Of all the people invited, I knew her the least. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the splitting of my group of friends because the friends who weren’t invited knew about it and told me how they felt a bit left out. So I told her very politely that I wouldn’t be able to make it. 

Since that one party, my entire group got permanently split up into the Betty squad, and those of us who didn’t make the cut. To this day that remains. I’m not bothered by it. I stopped caring about this situation 6 years ago. 

But yesterday when I ran into Betty, this happened. She seemed perfectly happy to see me and we smiled and hugged etc.

Me: hey! I didn’t know you were working here!

Betty: hey! Yes I live here now! Haha what are you doing here?

Me: oh I’m an intern here now so I guess I live here too haha! So I guess we’ll be seeing each other more now!

Betty: yeah! And maybe you’ll come to my party next time I invite you!  

We met in the hallway when we were both going somewhere so I said something like  “sounds good!” And walked away. What she said only registered 2 seconds later.

I was in complete shock. It made me wonder what kind of person would say something like that. 

That whole affair was 6 years ago. Actually it was high school so it’s basically a million years ago now. And I haven’t spoken to her about it at all. Every time I saw her after that, I had talked to her normally and she had done the same. As far as I can remember. 

What would cause someone to hold onto something so little for 6 years and bring it up to a person they haven’t seen in 6 years?? Did she expect me to stop and be like oh I’m so sorry. Let’s stand here and discuss that whole situation in the middle of hallway and clear the air.

What the heck?

It’s just so immature and sad and petty. This is in fact, Taylor Swift level pettiness to be honest. She’s clearly the kind of person who buries hatchets but keeps maps of where they are. 

It was ridiculous. What exactly does anyone have to gain by holding on to such minor grudges? Now I’m likely to avoid talking to her ever again. She made me feel glad I missed her party and didn’t join the Betty squad 

I just don’t understand continually harboring negative feelings towards someone. Especially not about something this small for this long. 

How mature is that? To say it in that passive aggressive way to someone who stopped to say hi to you. Someone who was genuinely happy to see a familiar face. Hostile much. And way way immature. 

She must have had extremely strong feelings about what I did. But even then. After a certain age, don’t issues like this become small in perspective? They certainly have become small in my perspective. What else is this person likely to hold grudges about? Omg remember that guy 10 years ago who took the last cookie at the shared lunch when I said I was hungry but didn’t want the sandwiches? He’s such a jerk. 

If I think really hard about my life, there’s only one person that comes to mind who I have negative feelings about. But that issue is still relatively recent and it was certainly not because they didn’t show up to my birthday party. And even So, if I saw that person somewhere, I would not bring up the issue – or anything for that matter. I’d avoid them as best as possible. Not smile and throw out a shady comment.

It’s just. Some people just don’t grow up. But then again, does anybody? I mean, I was bothered enough to rant about this on my blog which is supposed to be quite significant. Some might think that’s immature. But I don’t know. I find what she did/said so appalling. You just don’t deal with people that way. 

I suppose I’m grateful I won’t be doing that to anyone anytime soon. 

Admin Nightmares

Nothing says back to uni like a big admin stuff up.

I just cannot stand the admin people in universities. Medical universities in particular. They are the most frustrating people in the world.

Yesterday was my first day back at hospital. I showed up and had a little orientation meeting with one of the consultants, during which I and other gen med students were handed a pack of information about our run. Including the team we would be attached to.

I was assigned to the Black gen med team ( at Auckland hospital, the team names are colours. But even so, black shouldn’t really be a colour associated with healthcare. I don’t think they thought this through very much)

Anyway! I trotted up to the ward and asked the nurse where I could find the Black team (The first fail was that there were no contact details or names for any members of the Black team provided in my “information pack”).

The nurse looked at me and said “which one? We have 3 black teams”. I stared back in horror. My “pack” did not specify which black team, nor did it mention there was more than one. Useless. I told the nurse I didn’t know. She was kind enough to call the Black team that was currently on the ward to look after me.

The consultant asked me who I was meant to be with. I said I didn’t know. He then proceeded to call the consultant I had met with this morning to see if he would know. He apparently said that it  should have been printed as part of my “information pack”.

Oh for God’s sake.

After standing there awkwardly for a bit, the Black team consultant said he would take me on. And I spent the last two days with this team.

Today, I received an email from “admin” specifying that I should be attached to a registrar of another black team.

And this wasn’t just me. The other students also joined whoever was present at the time of their arrival to their respective wards and we were all collectively pissed off by this late email asking us to switch teams.

It cannot be that hard to have the tiniest bit of communication between the so-called “admin” department that are supposed to run the whole show, and the clinical teams. Like what is the problem?

And it’s not just my university. Admin people worldwide are crap at replying to emails, answering phone calls, and just generally getting things done that they are supposed to do.

I mean it’s not like anyone is asking them to move heaven and earth. We’re only asking what is part of their job description. Surely this isn’t mission impossible.

All the students on Gen med decided to ignore this admin person’s jumping team suggestion and to remain with our own chosen teams. It seemed so much less messy.

That’s how you do good administration to be honest.

Blech.

Well that’s my rant for the day. I shall talk about Gen med itself later on!

Accountability 

“I mean, I was just doing my job. I was getting paid. I didn’t do it to offend her or take her out. She had made a mistake.”

“Yeah I think people just have trouble with being held accountable for things. Like if you call them out on something they just jump on the defence and say you’re personalizing it. They just cant handle that responsibility.”

Back To Reality

I have returned!! And it’s the new year! Which means absolutely nothing to me because I lost 4 days in travel from Europe to NZ. But also, not much hoopla from anyone this year. Nothing much on social media. The sappy posts are missing!! What a shock! I guess people finally realised how unnecessary those posts were.

I am also yet to hear the word “resolution” uttered by anyone. This is great! The year seems to be off to a good start!

I’m very jetlagged. But I have to prepare for the start of uni the day after tomorrow. My first rotation of the year this time is Gen med. Back to the old grime. 

I’m very excited. No, really.

I guess the most significant thing about this year, is that it is in fact, the last year of my degree. After this year, another section of my life will have been completed, and the next one will (hopefully) start. I often feel like my life is broken up into stages. Mostly around my education. So in that respect, a big stage of my life is ending. 

Well actually not really. Because of the profession I’ve chosen, I’ll be studying for ever basically. So I guess it’s not particularly significant. I’ll just have a title attached to my name and a heck of a lot of responsibility.

Oh man. I hope I am ready when that happens. Because currently, I feel I am not.

I gotta make some fairly important decisions this year. About where I want to start working, whether I want to start looking into the PG thing straight away, where I should do that, whether I should take the exams that let me practice in other countries around the world, etc. Big stuff.

But we’ll see what happens. New Year new prospects? Ewww God no. Too cliche.

New Year. Hopefully new-ish things happen that I may handle. 

I hope everyone has a year that somewhat lives up to their expectations! 🙂

Also, I got back home and it’s pouring rain in Auckland right on schedule. Typical of a NZ summer. Oh God it’s good to be home. ^^