Tag Archives: Love

Few things are harder than brain surgery but this is one of them (#14)

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Few things are harder than brain surgery but this is one of them

Despair is good intention shrouded in pain
And hopeful plans with no where to go
But massive kindness is releasing someone
From the burdens of uncertainty

Thank you for closing the doors
That I could not bear to myself do
For paying for the right decisions
With a lifetime of “what if”s

With all the strength afforded to me
Still I could not carry the fickle weight
Of a brilliant mind filled to the brim with fear and doubts
Placed there by the hands of gods and goddesses
Cemented by cultures older even than love itself

I am too far from fine to fix you up;
I am far too blind to lead the way

I hope for the weight to fall from your shoulders
Like leaves off a tree
May you blossom to fill the shoes
You were always meant to wear
May your spirit take on the likeness of birds
And soar in the air

I hope you remember me

I forgive you for all things you could not articulate

I hope when you open your eyes
It is a lovely day

Jolyn

Family First (#13)

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My brother graduated from university last Saturday, so I flew in to Singapore over the weekend to attend his graduation. I arrived home early on Saturday morning at 4am only to fly back out again the following Sunday morning. I have been getting scarcely any sleep over the past few weeks and was feeling particularly exhausted, and I must admit that battling a headache on a red-eye flight made me feel like spending hundreds of dollars and sitting through 10 hours of flight time for a mere 32 hours back in my country was all a bit pointless. I had to actively remind myself that family came first, before everything else.

I think I had been coming close to hitting my limit last week. I want to do nothing else besides veterinary medicine, but I think the constant pressure and sudden burden of very real responsibility was just slowly getting to me. I had been reaching a point where I had trouble sleeping and would always wake up tired. I would go into work and perform consults and treat my patients with gusto but come home feeling absolutely drained. Perhaps it is because we are constantly assessed every minute of the day: there is a constant need to be at your best at all times; there is no room to let your guard down and just breathe. Perhaps it is due to the lack of structure and consistency, every rotations spans only a week or two, so just as you are getting settled into the normal daily routine of say, anaesthesia, you find that the rotation is over and you now need to learn all the ropes of being a GP, or a surgeon or wildlife practitioner. The constant stream of exams doesn’t help either. Last Thursday I came home and felt totally devoid of joy. I just curled up into a ball and cried. Looking forward to a tiring weekend of little sleep and rushing to airports only added to the stress – and I think I forced myself to say yes out of duty – I’d do almost anything to make my family happy.

As it turned out, I needed to see my family a lot more than they needed to see me.

I had always thought that “family first” meant compromising on your own comfort and well-being for the people you love. And whilst it does indeed mean making time and putting in effort to show that you care in a tangible way, I have come to realise that it can’t purely be out of a sense of duty. Prioritising the people in your life doesn’t mean forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do, but genuinely wanting to do things despite them being inconvenient or tiring because your well-being is connected to that of others. It is not so much a rule to abide by, but a healthy mutual dependence on each other to keep on going. I am happiest when the people I love are safe and happy. I think I had been slowly coming apart, and spending just one day with my family and dog really helped to pull me out of that hole again. Whilst my work brings me a lot of purpose and life meaning, it is ultimately a means to provide for the family I will have in future. And I hope that that will not be something I need to actively remind myself of, or regard as a chore. I think truly putting family first in your heart means that you innately want to do what’s best for them, despite the inconveniences. It doesn’t mean that work isn’t important, but that you derive the most joy out of the people you love. It means loving people over promotions and recognition and material things.

I thought that putting family first meant I needed to go home for the sake of my family. But really, I needed to go home for my own sake because I put family first.

Jolyn

Nobody’s Somebody (#7)

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I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts these days. Being on my anaesthesia rotation is a contributing factor, I’m sure. It really just isn’t for me: all the pharmacology and physiology knowledge, the high stress environment and need for rapid decision making and mental calculations. Perhaps it just isn’t my area of interest. Whilst monitoring my patients in surgery I find that my eyes drift from my anaesthetic monitor screens to what the surgeons are doing. And I long to be there, in the midst of the action rather than sitting to the side with a clipboard in hand. I am fairly confident now that if I were to specialise in the future, it’d either be in conservation medicine or surgery.

This Valentine’s day was the first one in very many years that I have spent single, but it was a really good day. After a long day at work I went climbing and shared many laughs and smiles with all the people I have grown to adore. I made lots of new friends, ate lots of chocolate and had an impromptu friendly road race in a sleek race car – all whilst singing along to Taylor Swift. I’ve been trying to decide if I enjoy being single. I certainly don’t miss anxiety and dependency that being in a relationship can bring. And now with working full time and spending my nights studying, I simply don’t have the time to spare. I think I have grown so much. I have made more friends in the past year than I have in the previous 6 years before that. I think I have been making an effort to put myself out there and push my comfort zones, and in doing so, found my confidence and spontaneity back again. I’m really proud of that. But at the same time I feel this emptiness in my soul when it gets too quiet. I wonder about the decisions I have made and debate the value of having renewed hope. I’ve been better than ok in the past year, and I think everything I have gone through was something I desperately needed to experience and learn from. But I do at times miss being somebody’s somebody.

I have decided that if I am going to be nobody’s somebody, I will try to be the kind of nobody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.

Jol

The Spaces Between Your Fingers (#6)

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The Spaces Between Your Fingers

I remember you in the spaces in between
The darkest hours of the night
And the pale morning light
A lithe susurration of what could have been

You appear only in the fleeting seconds
When the pink of my eyelids give way
To the orange glow through the window
Before promptly marching away with the minute hand

You flow between the crevices of my mind
Stubbornly insisting your presence
Marking out territory that is no longer yours
Carving hard stone into deep ravines

You are the dust that settles on the windowsill
When I absently look through old photographs
On lazy afternoons born of petrified clocks
When it is so quiet I can hear myself missing you

You are carried in by a million faraway lights
Brushing my arm and making fleeting promises
Before being swallowed up by the sunrise
You only ever promise to stay the night

I remember you in the spaces in between
Wild unbridled hope
And the deepest pits of despair
Balanced precariously on the interim

You exist only in the spaces in between
You dance away with the last dredges of my dreams

Jolyn

On the shelf (Fickle Friday #50)

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I attended a wedding on Christmas eve- it was a beautiful affair, and especially special because the groom is the first of my little climbing group in Singapore to get married. A few days ago my best friend got engaged, and my heart soared with joy for her. I do not think I know of a more beautiful or deserving couple of a happily-ever-after. I am home for Christmas, and yesterday I learned that all my godsiblings have found themselves beautiful partners over the past year, that my cousin is expecting another child, and another cousin has selected a wedding date for November of 2017.

I am twenty three, and it feels like everyone around me is getting engaged or married, or even having children. It seems congratulations are due every few weeks or so. This holidays have been a little tough because I’ve had to finally face all the questions from curious friends and relatives- “Where is your boyfriend?”, “Wow, weren’t you guys together for a long time?!”, and the most painful one of all: “I always thought you’d be the first to come off the shelf!”. I have had a year to ask myself these same questions and to formulate satisfactory answers and perfect my noncommittal shrug.

I expected to struggle with this- I worried that I would selfishly feel things other than joy upon hearing good news. I worried that I would be bitter or cynical- that I would struggle to sit through weddings or hesitate when asked to be a bridesmaid. But I am ok. I think it does make me a bit wistful- I had believed with all my heart that I would be among the masses to get engaged this year; I had given my best and my all in my relationship, only to see it fail in the most painful of ways. But I still love weddings- it still fills me with a joy I cannot contain to see two people so in love and committed to each other. I don’t question the validity of their love, I don’t think to myself that the promise of a ‘forever’ is an impossibility. Watching my friends promise their lives to each other reminded me to believe in the immensity of love- of everyday miracles.

It made me feel hopeful. Impatient. But hopeful.

Jolyn

God is Absurd (Fickle Friday #46)

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I am always careful with the promises I make because I believe that they should always be kept. I find it difficult to trust people who make wild promises without a second’s thought or consideration- I am always suspicious of the likelihood of it being carried through.

I think that God is absolutely absurd. He makes the wildest most insane promises.

And he makes good on them all.

In every instance of my life, through every hardship and struggle, He has made good on his promises. And I have seen it work so evidently in my life this year. With surrender comes peace and rest.

I admit that I sometimes am of little faith. I am of a rather pessimistic nature and I sometimes innately doubt God’s hand over my life because I want to be emotionally prepared for any disappointment. But again and again He proves his hand sovereign above all. This weekend, after 10 years of praying and doubting, my mother finally accepted Christ. And my heart is brimming with joy that I can not contain.

If God can work miracles when I have so little faith, I can’t imagine what he can do with my faith renewed. I am thankful and I am excited. My God is absurd in mercy and power. What a marvellous thing.

Jol