Decisions, Decisions

How much do you believe in the cosmic concept of fate?

Do you believe you decide everything that happens to you, or do you believe everything that happens – even if it feels like you make decisions – is just how it’s meant to happen?

I probably believe in the latter.

I know I think really hard about making decisions (mostly) and then make them, but so many times, things have happened so that I feel I don’t really control what happens.

This isn’t a cop out. I absolutely take responsibility for every one of my decisions and face the consequences. But when you expect a certain outcome from experience and make a decision, and it still goes awry, it makes me think that maybe that’s just how it was meant to be.
I made a decision the other day. I made it with several things in mind. I made it for someone else.

But it was a bit of a risk. The outcome hasn’t become clear yet. As only time will tell that. But I can already kind of see that it may not have been the best decision for me and I’m likely to have some misery from it.

I made the decision anyway. I didn’t really think much about my own state or whether I’d be able to handle the consequences or even if there was any point in doing it.

I prioritised something else over my mental health, despite the fact that I was given something, and I chose to give it away. And knowing that this will probably bring me unhappiness.

And that made me think of the last few decisions I have made that ended up not so great, that I’m still paying for.

I wondered if I was messing with my fate by making these decisions that are so obviously causing ripples in my life. I wondered what would have happened if I had just let things be and the way they were handed to me.

But I figured, there’s not much point. The way I’m feeling now, it’s a bit like oh well let’s see how much I can screw up my life on my own and find out how much I can handle. If I’ve hit rock bottom by my own devices, then after that, the only way to go, is up.

I feel kind of okay about it.

Maybe these decisions are part of my fate. Maybe changing what I was given is what is meant to happen. And what I’m supposed to get, is really what I’m supposed to get. If it was meant to be any different, I wouldn’t have been able to go through with my decision. But the fact that I was, makes me think I was meant to face whatever happens because of it.

And if that’s more unhappiness,

well hey.

I’ve made it this far. Let’s see how much more I can take.

But I know that fate aside, every decision I make, is my responsibility. No one else can be blamed for the consequences coming.

Dying to see, how this one ends.

Future

So. Today was my oficial last day of this year at uni. We even had our orientation for the final year of med school. 

Man. Was it weird.

Because I’ll tell you why… Even though you didn’t ask.

For the first time in ages, all 244 of my classmates were in the same lecture theatre together. It was so packed that I couldn’t find a seat. And what was more, I still didn’t recognise all of them. It’s been 5 years and yet there are people in my year group that I do not know. And probably will never know. Because today was the last time we were all going to be in the same room together other than our graduation at the end of next year. Who knows what’ll happen by then. 

And my friends, well, the few med students I consider myself close-ish to, I wouldn’t be seeing as much of anymore. They are either at different hospitals altogether next year, or are on different rotations than me. Which means there’s very little time to meet up with them and discuss life. Today was the last day I would see them in a while. Of course, the ones I’m really close to, I would make an effort to keep in touch and catch up with. But then again, who knows what’ll happen.

What a melancholy thought.

And then, we had several lectures about the year after next year. First year house officers fresh out of medical school. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do??

This is where things got weird for me. By the middle of next year,  everyone has to apply to the hospitals they want to work at in their pgy1 year. Eugh. Too much pressure. Up until recently, I was an obsessive future planning person. I always had goals, lists, etc. But now, I don’t bother anymore. What’s the point of making plans that aren’t really going to work out? 

Well anyway. There are 20 hospitals across New Zealand that you may work at. Only 3 of them are in my home city of Auckland. So you’d think naturally, I’d want to pick one of them, right?

Well actually, no. 

I’ve been to all 3 hospitals in the last two years. And now. I want out.

I can’t really explain it. But events from the last 2 years have really made me think that I need to get out of Auckland. Auckland is home. It’s the only place in NZ that I feel attached to. And that is familiar. But the hospitals in Auckland have really made me want to forget all that other stuff and move on. 

I’m the kind of person that remembers things vividly. So a place where significant things took place, will always remind me of those things. It will invoke certain feelings. I’m not proud of that. I wish my mind wasn’t like that. But it is. 

Back in 4th year, I was in middlemore hospital. I’ve got to say that there isn’t a single part of that hospital that I have not cried or felt lonely in. Of course it may have been because it was a difficult year in general, but even so. I get the feeling it has this innate negative energy. 

This year I spent a lot of time at northshore hospital. I’ve never felt so scrutinised and judged so harshly in my life as I had been by people during my time at northshore. There are still people there I hope I never have to see again. 

And then there’s Auckland city hospital. I’ve not had any horrific experiences there as of yet. Which is why I’ve chosen to complete my final year at Auckland city hospital. But even so, it’s not a fantastic place to be. 

The environment you’re in can have a significant impact on your outlook and your mental well-being. Of course I am training to be a professional and I should learn to deal with such things and not run away from issues, but to be honest, no one should have to feel trapped in a place just because it’s in their job description. 

I also want to be by myself. If I continue to stay in Auckland, I will invariably be around the same people I have been around the past few years. And I just can’t tolerate working with people who once looked down on me or pitied me, etc. 

I know this may sound unbelievably childish, pathetic, etc. But I just think that everyone should have the chance to choose a comfortable environment to work in. Not that I think moving out of Auckland is going to solve all my problems and I’ll be happy etc. Because every place has its negativities. But atleast I know what it is I want to get away from. 

But hey. This is a whole year away. Who knows what’ll happen.

And here’s a picture of Mt. Taranaki. A mountain on the west coast of the North island. 

There’s no reason this picture is here other than to project feelings of calm as the rest of this post is pretty melancholy. And because I took it recently and I think it’s a nice photo. 

Dress to…..Unimpressed

I live in a part of the world where the Doctor’s white coat is no longer worn because it spreads more disease than it helps cure (because most doctors do not wash their coats as often as they should – being a clean freak myself, this fact scared me very much). And because it induces white coat anxiety and tends to widen the gap between patients and doctors making empathy and cooperation difficult to achieve. Which I am told is very important in the clinical arena.

And while all of that is great, it does mean that students like myself no longer have the freedom of wearing whatever they want (other than crop tops and shorts, of course) with the confidence that it will go unnoticed under the very professional looking white coat. This means I have to wear formal clothes all day every day in hospital. And that means 2 things:

  1. In order to look formal, I must trade off the most important thing I think of when I buy clothes – comfort. Straight pencil skirts, stiff blazers that scrunch at the elbows when you bend them, dresses with no pockets, etc. Definitely not like my ideal choice of clothing which, although unimaginative (jeans and a top), allows me to do everything I need to do without sparing a thought to my elbows or knees from where my skirt is riding up.

 

  1. I need to get a whole new wardrobe because I don’t have a shred of formal clothing available for the hospital setting. And I know what you’re thinking: shopping spree! What could be wrong with that?! Well I’ll tell you. I stink at shopping. I am one of those people that only ever goes shopping if I lack one item of clothing. Or any object for that matter. I then proceed to go “shopping” whereby I walk into one shop and find this ONE item I need, buy it, and walk out without giving a second thought to anything else in the store. So if you tell me I need 50 items of clothing and they all have to match and they all have to look presentable, you’d see me implode. (well you wouldn’t see it, but you know.) I also do not consider myself very fashionable. I do not bother to keep up with trends or anything of the sort. As I said, my major intent in clothes is comfort and practicality. Which means I’m never seen in particularly trendy clothing or anything very out there. So you can see where I’d have trouble with this new lifestyle in hospital.

 

Formal clothes can be a good thing though! They make people look so professional and much older than they are. Which in my case, isn’t always a bad thing because with my small size and innocent expression, if I was in my casual attire, people in hospital would think that I am visiting a patient instead of seeing one and they would probably ask me where my mommy is. But if was wearing a very severe looking blazer, they’d know I was actually someone kind of important. Right?

So I did it. I went “shopping”. Turns out, if I actually pay attention to the other things being sold at stores, I’d find that there were lots of different types of formal clothes! Skirts, dresses, pants, blouses, shirts, and in all shapes and colours! Err… almost too many. The problem soon became deciding what exactly to buy. I found that another reason I only buy one thing at a time is because otherwise I become very indecisive and come back empty-handed. There were far too many options! It made me wish I was a boy meaning all I would need was a shirt and trousers which would be a nice adaptation of my regular jeans and top! But no, it just isn’t that simple for a girl. I’m still going mainly for comfort even among the formal clothes though! And practicality – by casually doing jumping jacks in the dressing room to make sure what I’m wearing allows full range of movement. (I’m not kidding) Otherwise it’s no good. Because I would need my elbows and arms if an emergency situation comes up and I’m the only person able to save a patient by commencing CPR! (I am kidding.) So far it’s working out pretty well. I still have a lot more clothes to acquire, but I’ve got almost a month left before hospital time begins, so hopefully I’ll be all set by then! And hopefully people will take me seriously in hospital.