20/20 Vision

Hey! What’s up? I hope you are well! It’s been a long time! I’ve been getting busier with med school, continuing to strive and fight against dull and uninspired days. But here I am!

I just got off a 2-hour lecture on Ophthalmology and I have to say that our doctor professor is really a great teacher even if he’s young! (I believe he’s still in his early 30s) This is one of the rare times that I’m able to retain so much information from a long lecture! His greatness is truly worth emulating. ✨

Anyway, I would just like to share how he ended today’s class with this quote:

“Sunsets are proof that bad days can end beautifully.”
(Photo from doc’s lecture, credits to the rightful owners. 😊)

He also added, NV, “2020 may be a bad year, but in ophthalmology, 20/20 will always be the normal visual acuity.”

So yes, in spite of this year being so bad, I am thankful that my vision is still 20/20 (with glasses, but that’s still good!)

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?

I Got The Scholarship!

I got the scholarship! πŸ₯Ίβ™₯️ I was informed last September 28 (all 3 of us who applied got accepted), and until now it still so surreal! ✨ If you’re interested to know how my journey to becoming a scholar started, you can read about it here. 😁 (I wasn’t able to update about the whole process tho—we had to get through lots of obstacles! I’ll just make another post about it one of these days.)

I know, this deserves to have a better way of announcing, but I’m just too overwhelmed by everything right now with life in general. I may be thinking too much already. Is this the quarter-life crisis? (Is there even such a thing πŸ˜…) But I’m so afraid.. I just can’t seem to function fully at this moment.

The past few weeks of school have been draining. Two weeks ago I failed our weekly exam miserably and last week I had to juggle 10 long chapters with an infection (which has been recurrent since 2018 and weirdly every September of the year) and bottle-feeding a premature puppy at least hourly for 6 days (he died on the 7th day 😒).

But because I was accepted into the scholarship, everything felt lighter. I didn’t feel so bad anymore whenever new financial problems arose because I’m already one less problem to deal with. My parents can finally breathe and enjoy their small salary a little more. I can help with the family needs and I can finally add things to my To Buy list without guilt.

But for the past month, I noticed that dad is having occasional coughing, and it doesn’t sound good to me. It’s kind of forceful and with wheezing. I told him to hydrate and take care of himself and even tried to talk him into getting checked by the doctor, but he doesn’t want to. He’s really firm about it but I keep trying to convince him. I know, it’s difficult to declare that you have a cough during these times because you know the drill. I’m just afraid that it might be something more serious and I just hate how I know a lot of things in medical school. It makes me think of the worst case scenarios even with the littlest symptoms. But that’s the reality—in some clinical presentations you’ve got to consider the worst case until proven otherwise, because sometimes it does happen (according to evidence). 😒

I remember praying to the God that I don’t want the scholarship or any other reward or earthly joys if it means losing my loved ones earlier. But still He granted me the scholarship. He knew we needed it. But I’m just too afraid that after it will come great sorrow. I know it’s inevitable and even other people had to deal with untimely and unthinkable losses, so why would I be an exception?

If you can still remember, I wrote in one of my past posts about my grand uncle’s death, and whenever there is news about death especially of relatives or friends, I tend to dwell in scary thoughts of endless what ifs. What if I or any of my family is next? 😒 Well, today, a good friend of our family died. He was a great Attorney and he always catered to our legal needs. He died of cancer (nasal, I heard) and left behind his wife and 3 young children, the youngest only a baby. He was only in his 50s.

I’m afraid and overthinking because my dad has too many comorbidities for his age (he’s 54). It seems that he is being punished/cursed with bad health (but of course, maybe it was his lifestyle when he was younger that predisposed him to all of these). My dad is a good, hardworking person and a great husband and father. He doesn’t deserve to be sick at such a young age. How I wish I could just partake in his illnesses so that he wouldn’t have to suffer that much. πŸ˜₯ But he leads an active lifestyle and he is very religious too. But honestly, sometimes we are not so much compliant with diet because we can’t afford the healthiest meals but we do try to make affordable alternatives. He’s also sometimes sleep deprived because he has to record his online lectures at dawn just to avoid daytime noise. I know I’m being too paranoid but I just don’t want to lose him or my mom early. I want them to be there when I and my brothers become successful in life. I want them to experience feeling excited and proud and fulfilled when I top the board exams (okay this is way too ambitious already but it’s just a hypothetical joy so just bear with me πŸ˜‚), I want them to experience walking us down the aisle on our respective wedding days, and hold their grandchildren in their arms. I know that the heavenly life that awaits us is far beyond our wildest imaginations, but I also want my parents to experience the best of this earthly life that God has given to us. I want them to experience the fruits of their labor. Everything that I’m striving for now is for them—I just can’t imagine going on without them.

I just got off our daily online class today, but halfway through the lecture I lost my focus and I just spent the rest of the time crying my heart out (with my camera off, of course) since I’m all alone in the house right now. My younger brother went to his on-the-job training and the youngest one went out to sell his delicious homemade Carbonara. I just wanted to let this all out because I feel like everyone else is very busy with life and can’t talk right now. My thoughts especially about dad’s health have been keeping me up till the wee hours of the morning lately and distracting me when I’m studying. I know we all got battles to fight, so I just try to carry on.

It’s our last week of Surgery and here I am just taking the time to clear my mind so I can get back to studying later. We will be having minor subjects next, so I guess that’s kind of a break.

Life is indeed getting scarier as I’m getting older, but I’ll just continue to pray and hope for good things to come. How about you? How’s life so far?

Stay safe!

Supine

Weary eyes stare at the night as the mind wanders
Colors fade, patterns scintillate as they spiral onto me
My heart screams out in the black sky as silence fills the room
That voice keeps whispering at my side until the sun kisses the moon
Louder and louder it goes

I lie supine in my bed
Wake me up, save me from drowning in my head
Pull the stars by a thread
Tie them up like a collar around my neck
The ocean's deep but I see what's underneath
I lie supine in my bed
Take me back to my dreams where the nightmare ends

Lyrics to a song I’ve been writing during quarantine! Inspired by late night overthinking and some elements that have been recurrent in my dreams for years. Haven’t had the time to finish it yet but the music is going great! Today is Avril Lavigne’s 36th birthday and she’s the one who influenced me into songwriting when I was in high school. πŸ’–

2-in-1 Award Nomination

Hello! It’s been a while. Been really jampacked with lots of schoolwork for the past few weeks and so far, it’s been quite tough. Anyway, here I am with my 2nd and 3rd Liebster Award nomination and I’m very thankful to these two amazing bloggers TKBROWNWRITER and Sobia for tagging me. They have such lovely and impressive content and they inspire me a lot so if you haven’t already, go check out their blogs here: TKBROWNWRITER and Sobia

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers to connect and support the blogging community. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  4. Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  5. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

Sobia’s Questions

  1. What are the top three things you wish to accomplish with your blog posts? To become more eloquent, to create nice poems, and maybe share my music one day. πŸ™‚
  2. If you could visit any time period, past – present – future, when would it be and why? Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about 2019 because it was just so beautiful, I can say it was the peak of my adolescent life where I experienced the simple but happy little moments I’ve always dreamed about. ✨
  3. What do you like most about blogging? I get to express myself and improve my writing and vocabulary (I guess) as I go along because of the influence of the amazing bloggers here. πŸ’–
  4. How does your writing enhance you as a person? I think it makes me more confident and it gives me a sense of positivity that I can actually write tho I’m not really that eloquent like the professionals. πŸ˜…
  5. How do you manage your blog along with your studies/work/kids? It’s honestly kinda hard especially with medical school because I can’t write that easily and fast in one sitting. I really need to spend time to edit but I can’t do that because it would consume my study time. I just try to write some parts of a single post everytime I have a study break—like what I did with this post. 😁
  6. Have you experienced any positive impact of the Corona Virus on your life? Yes. It made me closer to God and my family and it made me appreciate what little I have. I think it has also made me a bit more flexible because of adjusting to this new normal.
  7. How does blogging improve your mental state? It makes me feel like I have someone to share stuff to, especially things I can’t just share with my family or friends.
  8. Where do you see yourself in next five years? I honestly don’t know. I’m too afraid to think about the future, but I hope I’ll be happy and healthy by then.
  9. What three writers have had the most impact on your writing style? You’d be surprised that I’m not really into reading—I’ve read only about 7 novels in my entire life. I guess I’m influenced mostly by my school books. πŸ˜…
  10. What β€œcolor” best depicts you emotionally? I guess muted colors. I’m a really dull person lately but most people would find me jolly and funny so I guess that would be an orange. 🧑
  11. What β€œmain character” would you most want to be? Either a female Avenger or a witch in Harry Potter!

TKBROWNWRITER’S Questions

  1. What color best describes you and why? I guess muted colors as of the moment! I just love being low-key or subtle.
  2. What would be your dream vacation? USA or UK with my significant others.
  3. If you were writing a fictional novel, what genre would it be? Conspiracy!
  4. How has the coronavirus influenced the person you are today? It made me closer to God and my family and it made me appreciate what little I have. I think it has also made me a bit more flexible because of adjusting to this new normal.
  5. In addition to writing, do you paint, sketch, sculpt, etc.? I do try visual arts sometimes—I have Autodesk Sketchbook, but I’m more into music—playing musical instruments. πŸ™‚
  6. Is writing a passion for you, or just something to pass the time? I guess I’m already somewhere in between but as of the moment still leaning more towards something to pass the time.
  7. If you were on a deserted island with only one item, what would you choose? Lip balm!
  8. On that deserted island, what would you do to survive? Pray and scavenge.
  9. Do you have a β€˜number’ that seems to follow you? If so, what? I have a time that’s been following me for years. It’s 6:21 a.m. It’s really weird. Sometimes I think it would be my death day and that’s scary. Wow, I never thought someone would actually ask this kind of question. I mean, I thought I was the only one!
  10. What was, or is, your favorite subject in school? Why? I used to love Physical Education during high school and college because we did sports and dancing and it was sort of a break from all the hard subjects πŸ˜‚. In medical school, I love Anatomy and Physiology because it amazes me how the human body is such an unparalleled masterpiece created by God.
  11. If you are in the library, what section do you go to first? The Magazine Section! (at least during high school, but since college and now in medical school it’s all medical books there so I really have no choice πŸ˜…)

My Nominees and Questions

I’d be glad if YOU who is reading this will do the honors! Just say I tagged you. πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear your answers from all the questions above—just pick your top 11. Go ahead, you deserve it! ✨

That’s it for now. I had fun answering all the questions! Thanks again to TKBROWN and Sobia. 😁 Really sorry if it took this long to finish this post—I’ve just been overwhelmed by everything lately. But life goes on and we can do this! πŸ’– Stay safe everyone!

White Noise

This past week was tight because we had 3 modules, so that’s 3 online classes a day. It means more data to be consumed. But this is the new normal and I have no choice but to keep up. But this week was disheartening. We had our SGD (a graded group conference) last Tuesday and I could say that I was more prepared than the last one we had during the first week, so I was quite confident that I can have a good performance this time. But I was wrong—the internet acted up again like always, and I ended up not being able to attend the meeting properly. Worse, my laptop screen started blinking everytime I turned my camera on. It’s because my laptop already has a defective LCD. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time and money to have it repaired.

I felt bad and disappointed with myself, because it hurts that I studied for it but I couldn’t get credit because I have a bad internet connection. But there’s nothing I can do because the location of our house has a bad reception to begin with. My dad finally decided to apply for the cheapest Home Fiber WiFi plan but until now there has been no update because understandably, services are delayed nowadays due to the high demand. Anyway, Thursday came and we had our 2nd SGD for the week and this time, it was worse because it was raining hard that afternoon and the signal was really totally going out. I was only able to connect back at the closing remarks. πŸ˜” The doctor was chatting our SGD leader to tell everyone to turn their camera on, but I know that he meant that for me, because everytime I was able to connect back, everyone else had their camera on. I tried to tell him that it was raining hard and circumstances wouldn’t allow me to travel to the city to find a good connection and that my screen blinks whenever I turn my camera on because my LCD is defective and it was beyond my control at the moment, but in the end he didn’t accept it and told me to find ways and be responsible for these things because I signed up for this online school after all, despite all its cons. I agree with his point tho, but I was just hoping that he’d be empathetic and loosen up the chains a bit since we are in a pandemic.

Not to put them in a bad light, but some doctors think that all medical students have equal privileges, but I don’t think so. Or maybe I’m just the only poor student in my class—it seems that everyone else has nice stuff and can eat Samgyupsal once a week but I can’t even afford a dorm room that is over P2,000. My parents can only afford the normal physical medical school which entails me having to find the cheapest living conditions and we certainly were not prepared for this pandemic, which would require good performing gadgets and a secure internet connection (which will cost more than my actual living expenses in the city back in pre-pandemic days). This laptop that I’m using was won by my dad at a Christmas party 3 years ago, and my phone was given to me as a gift. I don’t have the physical medical books, because we can’t afford them. I can’t print out chapters from my e-books either because a chapter in our books is more or less a hundred pages, and my parents who are teachers are printing their class modules for their students as well and we are saving on ink and bondpaper, so the priority is them because it’s their work that sends us to school. My scholarship application is still being validated, and I’m really hoping and praying to get it.

I’ve been struggling this week, because my parents are already having their online classes as well, and my mom who is not very techie is having a really hard time in using her laptop for class. She’s the least techie among all her colleagues, and she has been getting the most criticisms from her supervisors. She even told me once that she wanted to quit already because she can’t take it anymore. πŸ₯Ί Poor mama, she doesn’t deserve to suffer like this—all because of this pandemic. If only I could clone myself so I can help her 24/7. My dad and brothers are now the ones taking turns in helping her because I have to study, and it’s not very conducive when I can hear them arguing or ranting while helping her (she keeps forgetting some of the basics and sometimes they lose their patience over it). Our dogs and the neighborhood dogs often bark a lot too, and we live beside the road so I can hear vehicles passing by especially the daily fish vendors with a recorded announcer, so I listen to white noise while I study to obscure all of the noise. It was okay at first, but as the week progressed, I felt exhausted because there was so much to read, added with the heavy feeling of having to face my SGD doctor again and hearing him imply that I’m not doing enough, the anxiety for upcoming exams, and the fact that it’s sometimes still hard to unhear everything going on in the environment even with the white noise in my ear.

Now I’m scared to share my sentiments to anyone because some people think these are just pathetic excuses. Yeah, maybe they are, but being human I sometimes drown in negativity and I may rant and ramble a lot, but it doesn’t mean I’m not trying. I just need some moments to let my thoughts out, and then I get back to the grind.

My brothers were doing most of the house chores this week—the youngest even gave me breakfast once on my study table while I was up early for class. The younger one who just graduated college is currently busy looking for an on-the-job training with pay so he can help out. As an eldest child, I’ve never felt so conscience-stricken. How I wish I could make things easier for everyone.

I know, most people would ask, why did I even go to medical school in the first place if it meant suffering financially. It’s because my dad supported this dream of mine and he believes it’s a valuable lifetime investment. He always says that education is the only inheritance he can leave us with because he has no lands or other riches. I’m eternally grateful for that but I’m starting to feel the pressure, because I failed my exam today. But most of the class did, too, anyway but doesn’t mean it’s okay. We have to seriously make bawi (do better) next time (like we always try to do). I’m just scared because unlike others, I only have one shot at this, and failing a year in medical school is the gravest thing I could ever do at this point in life.

I’m feeling the “tired (3rd) year” atmosphere already and what’s sad is I can’t share my sentiments with my family, because they might think I’m being too entitled to feel tired and sad about my exams. πŸ˜” I’ll just continue to strive hard and pray. And listen to white noise.