The Sky never was the Limit...with God

Ramblings and reflections of one growing in stature and wisdom and in his walk with God :)

7:20 PM

Nostalgia

Etched by Isaac

I've been holding off blogging "properly" (at least to me) for so long that right now I just decided that I'd chuck everything else aside and do a proper post. For time has passed just way too fast and if I don't grab at the loose ends while I still can, then it will be no more.

Gone with the wind, indeed.

What triggered this nostalgic feeling? For me, it was reading someone else's blog. This blog was, to me, something that I had wanted to do for a long time - feelings in words, with pictures. Well written and eloquent, the style was substantial, and the posts were neither too long or too complex. Thank you, Stephanie Wang.

My blog has always been, and will probably always be a collection of my ramblings and thoughts about life, work, study, God, people, and hobbies (read: PICTURES) and other such stuff. Ironically, I can write way more freely here than I can on Facebook. I can be sure that for any single post I write on Facebook, at least 70 people (about 5% of my current FB friend count) will see it. Throw up a post here, however, and it may go unnoticed by almost all my friends (simply because most people don't read blogs or other such long-winded pieces of writing anymore because listicles are way too popular although most of them contain absolutely nothing of value), which is why I reiterate, I will NOT link my blog to Facebook. Let them be separated like day and night. Facebook is becoming too bloated for me, and I'm sticking to using it to communicate (messages) and to publish pictures. Even for pictures, only certain types fare well on Facebook.

I've done enough photo publishing on Facebook to have even gone to the point of analysing what makes for more likes on Facebook, for photos.
I've boiled it down to a few factors:

  1. Type of Facebook friends of the photo publisher.
  2. Type of Facebook friends of the people tagged in the published photo.
  3. Time and day of photo publishing.
  4. Content of photo.
  5. Quality of photo.
  6. Artistic values of the photo.
That's roughly in decreasing order of importance. Oh, and of course, photos of pretty females get more likes automatically, but that's a story for another day, haha.

Five-years-from-now Isaac will look back at this post (assuming he has the time to do so amidst not sleeping so he can draw blood like a vampire from bed-ridden patients) and chuckle at the immaturity of it all. 

But I digress. 
My blog currently records a grand total of EIGHT posts for the year 2014, and it's the 20th of June 2014 today. Looking at those posts, I feel that I haven't truly blogged this year - none of them are my actual blogging. 

In retrospect, my life at IMU has been, in many ways, blessed. 
But besides the blessing, there's also the altering of personality, or perhaps, the maturing cum growing up cum not so naive cum more skeptical part of me now. Looking back at the choices I made, I can really see why the statement "Your life is a series of small decisions" is so true. 

So have I made the right decisions? Absolutely not. I'm not perfect. I make bad decisions too. Some that I will probably regret for a long time, but some that may have put me on the path towards a more wholesome *cue non-nerdy music* life. Some that took me through the pits of depression and some that uplifted my spirits. God has been good throughout; He's the only thing that never changes. Everything else does. In this state of constant change, I continuously realise that I should appreciate people more, and thank God more too. 

IMU Bukit Jalil - 2.5 years of studying, approximately 6 months working. 
It's officially over (although I do some peer tutoring now and then, and also SP-ing). The Chiropractic SP-ing just ended today for me and I daresay it was a very fun experience. The inner medical student in me wanted to just yell at them "STOP MAKING THESE SILLY SIMPLE MISTAKES OMG" but the SP has to keep mum, so keep mum I did. After all, it wasn't too long ago when I was doing my OSCEs (actually it was quite long ago - 7 months? And I haven't studied a thing since semester 4? I really really need to get the study engine up and running again after over a year of disuse). I would probably make silly mistakes too, under the examination pressure and all. 

I enjoyed my job at IMU as an Administrative Assistant. I really did. At least up till the point that I grew fed up of doing overtime (although the money was useful). I promised myself (and told my boss) that I would not be staying back late any more. That was in March, coinciding with the period of practice for The Choice 2014 (Metro's Easter Musical which was totally awesome YES - great experience and great moves of God). Gone were the days of eating lo mai kai and pau for dinner, then locking up the office after everyone had left (10pm?) and dragging myself back home only to fall asleep past midnight before I was to awaken again at 6.30 to drag myself out of the house before 7 in the morning. Yes, I was a workaholic. Maybe I still am. I don't know. But that period of time saw me valuing myself by the value of the work I was doing in office. Only when I realised that my work does not equate to my value as a person, I stopped being a workaholic. Sometimes, it takes pride to cause a fall. And fall hard I did. I think I went into something like clinical depression. It was all like that up till an event at church when a pastor from Kenya came and prayed. I went up for the altar call, and caught the FIRE again. By FIRE, I mean like fall-on-the-floor-and-yell-and-scream-and-laugh-and-cry-for-45-minutes FIRE. I often observe these people and I hear that this is what happens when God is doing some work in their lives. Now it was my turn. 

Never be too proud to ask for help, before it's too late. 

I revisited my purpose for working - to gain experience, earn money and pass time, and decided I would work overtime no more. And so it came to pass that my colleagues were surprised to see Isaac going back at 5.30pm sharp. That felt really good. 

I learnt from my part-time with full-time portfolio office job that I immensely dislike desk jobs. I would be akin to a bird trapped in a glass cage, never being able to fly away, being dragged down by the weight of the iron ball fastened to my feet. 

Hence a renewed happiness and vigour for the pursuit of Medicine - becoming a doctor. 
This too I had struggles with over the past two years or so. There are many hidden undercurrents in the convoluted sea that is the practice of Medicine in Malaysia (and around the world too actually). First up, a vast imbalance of supply and demand. A more precise term would be an inequality in the distribution of doctors throughout the country. Not to blame them, but someone's got to work in the interior areas of the states. We can't all be in the big cities. 

Next would be the flooding of the country with fresh medical graduates, and a terrible lack of teaching hospitals to train them in (housemanship is compulsory for two years here and we seem to have way too many people in the waiting list at the moment).

The teaching problem extends up to the Masters level, which is required for a local pathway to becoming gazetted as a Specialist (that's where the money and fame is, apparently).

So, too many graduates + not enough housemanship places + not enough specialisation training places = Huge backlog of untrained fresh graduates (and those who are, are questionably well-trained because there aren't enough opportunities for them to learn simply because there are too many of them!)

Bearing all that in mind, plus a few other factors which I will not elaborate here, I was unwittingly extremely burdened. It bore into my heart and my soul, and before I knew it, I had morphed into the cynical unthankful person that was Isaac for about half a year plus. I can tell you that it was not fun. 

After the FIRE, I realised once again that I had been called to do Medicine, and that God opens doors, and when He says He will make a way, He will indeed make a way. I was revitalised and had motivation to live again, so to speak. Of course this didn't just happen in a snap - it took about a few days and all, but the point is, God is good. I mean, I still don't believe I got this scholarship because I'm good. I'm anything but good. I'm just blessed. Undeservingly so, too. If I don't use what He has given to me, what's the point of having it?

All of that happened after my final Phase One examinations, which I passed with a slightly-above-average-grade, thank God. All this while, I have been second-guessing myself - saying that it's alright to not work so hard, as long as I pass etc etc. NO. It is most certainly NOT alright to do second-class work! What a terrible mistake. All this serves as a reminder to me that I have to work much harder for my clinical years, and truly shine, to make this opportunity count, and to be used in the future. For the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. I prayed that God would use me, and for that, I need to make sure I get myself thoroughly equipped.

Regarding the preparations and stuff for my upcoming Phase Two at Brighton-Sussex Medical School (BSMS), it's all fine and dandy (although getting a cheap house is still decidedly a disturbing experience), except for now I'm still missing my CAS number (pending the good people of BSMS) which I need in order to apply for my Tier 4 Visa. I salute the people who designed the UK Visa online application form. Such elegance and simplicity. Just like IKEA. 

Currently, I toil day and night to organise stuff. Digital stuff. Photos, mostly. What am I organising on? One laptop hard disk, three external hard disks, one pen drive, one mobile phone, two PCs, one Flickr and one Facebook. This is my version of a self-inflicted 1st World problem. I daresay that my 13-month-old GX1 has helped me improve my photography tremendously, but the improvement came with a lot of hard work. Of course, whilst this photo organisation continues, there are new photos being added to it. Control myself. Control... myself.. 

So back to the title of this post - Nostalgia



I compiled a summary of the photos that I have intended to post here, and am going to put them all into one post. Those photos were a summary of my photos, so this is a summary of a summary. Yet there are still forty-two photos. Trigger-happy me. But photos evoke a sense of nostalgia, and I have discovered that I am quite the nostalgic person, happy to look back and to reminisce, instead of moving on and moving forward. Tsk tsk. So here goes:

--in a Crowded Train--with my SGS2-- I took this to work every morning.
 --Yes, I am nostalgic. And I discovered RM0.35/pc 4R printing at Harvey Norman!--
 --ooo, yeah. =D--if you look carefully, there's a picture of pictures in this picture. Heh heh heh.
 --Christmas 2013 at Metro--
 --Christmas Eve at SSD with my friends/colleagues/fellow part-timers--
 --Raya Open House@Nas' place--We had a great time there and the food was just lovely!
 --Shutterbugs--
 --Ruth's quarter-life crisis celebration =P just kidding--
 --Badminton Buddies--Gonna see Shi Han in a few weeks' time!
 --This gathering was actually quite memorable, but maybe not why others think it was--
 --Penang, with Annabel's family. It was amazing!--
 --After we got our Semester 5 results, we went for FOOD--
 --We had a meal with Sahan before he flew back to Sri Lanka-- Gonna try to meet him in Liverpool!
 --The day I went shooting with Lucas. Epic day.--
 --This day was after church, and fun =D--
 --Such a rare chance, to meet up with our fellow BB Brothers--
 --Heh heh--
 --Ain't enough room =P--
 --The day Alicia and I talked and talked and talked--Gonna miss this girl.
 --Badminton Buddies #2--(I actually trained both of them - so proud, =P)
 --Friends for Eleven years, and counting. All thumbs up! Give thanks. =P --
 --Looks like a studio portrait, no? =D --
 --The day Voon Ho left for Turkey--And I had to help him pack last minute HAHAHA--
 --1 + 3? Double exposure actually. PS. --
 --Well, finally, an extended family photograph, hurrah! --
 --Prefectorial Board '08 MBSSKL CNY 2014 gathering. Meeting adjourned at 2135 hours or so.--
 --Visiting the Band Room is always fun =D --
 -- Also, a rare chance to take a picture with Captain Cheong! (forever Capt. to us) --
 -- Blands met up in Singapore before Dennis had to fly.--
 --Most of the younger people involved in The Choice 2014--
 --Night #2. Really glad they turned up! --
 --Also on Night #2, a busload from IMU. Amazing! --
 --Night #3 - we eat Bread! Also an amazing turnout from IMU--
 --our Main Sanctuary-- It's beautiful, but the most beautiful thing is that God's presence is here-
 --the IMU Admissions Team, complete. Heh heh. --
 --a picture taken with the GOLD medalist! --
 --The day we went to KLCC and Johnny Rockets! =D I was so full till midnight--
 --the CSU family--
 --Presenting, the one and only, SELFIE of JACK KEE! Best birthday present ever! =D--
 --Gordon's final day at work before his course starts --
 --We know how to talk with doughnuts on our table, indeed--


Finally, this girl. I miss her. 
study hard, Vanessa.
cookie for you
=)

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