Ok. Stale stuff here again. Stop reading if you want to spare yourself the agony of my droning and ruminations.
It’s December. It’s about 4 months since it happened.
I’m glad i’m over it. So glad that i’m so over it. I think back and ask myself why so much heart ache, why so much tears? Well i do find it kind of silly in retrospect, but if i had to replay the whole scene, it wouldn’t be too much of a difference. What happened would still happen, and i would do what i did.
When i think about it, or even talk about it now, that tinge of sadness isn’t even there anymore. Sometimes there would be anger- you could sense it when my voice got louder. Sometimes there would be an air of nonchalence, a sense of ambivalence, a sigh, or the refusal to talk about it. But the melancholy that was once so palpable and unmistakable, isn’t there anymore. Or so i believe it to be.
Because i choose to believe that i walked away. And while it didn’t seem to be the best choice for me then, i believe that it was one of the best choices that i’ve ever made in my life. Because if i didn’t, i would still be in that deep dark hole till this day, and would continue to fall even deeper.
Leaving caused me a lot of grief, i won’t deny. The entire ordeal has left an indelible mark on me, and being me, i will remember till the day i die, the exact people who created the ruckus.
(I’m telling you, i remember the girl who was my direct competitor when i was 5, the teacher who humiliated me when i was 7, the friend who unfriended me when i was 9, the teacher who terrified me when i ws 11, the teacher who mocked me when i was 14, and the teacher who gave me hell when i was 16.)
Well, those who’ve heard me know that i had nothing but postive comments about one of them. Damn it, nothing but positive comments, and a sunflower on Teacher’s Day no less. And another one had a birthday cake bought by me even though i hated her to my guts. But they chose to end it this way, and so they’ll forever be remembered by me to be the ones who changed my life. And trust me, even when i’m 60 or 70 or 80, their faces, their actions, everything they did to damage me would still be deeply etched in my mind.
I guess though, that i have learnt a major life lesson that would add on to my insights. A life-changing lesson for sure, and a really hard one that i learnt, not quite by my folly, but by others’. I thought through the whole process, from day 1 till the very last day(and i can tell you what we did in every training, i’m not kidding), and the last time i questioned on this blog, i had no answers. But now i do.
I did my best, and no one can contest that. Perhaps there were occasions in which i wasn’t up to par, and i knew i was disappointing. I knew it, and even until i now, i cringe at the thought of those moments. But i did what i could, and no one else could contest my commitment to it. And the problems that added up? It wasn’t my fault too(of course it isn’t, damn it). It wasn’t my fault that i had so many problems. And it definitely isn’t my fault that i didn’t have proper coping mechanisms, or that i was coping in a seemingly wrong manner. There were certain things that could’ve been done differently, like me pinning my sense of self-worth to it, that could’ve made a drastic difference to how everything turned out. But of course i didn’t have the wisdom then, to know that. The competition was feeding my sense of self-worth, my pride and my ego, and that was i needed to sustain then. It’s reassuring to know that i made active efforts to try and improve the then dire situation. I did not cower, i did not hide. I might have sat on some of the issues, but at that time, there were either more pressing issues, or it was because there wasn’t a definite, quick and clear cut solution. No one can tell me that it was otherwise, because it was so apparent that i was trying to make the situation better, albeit in a rather futile attempt. I compromised so many things during the entire ordeal, and they are things that i would never ever have compromised unless there was a good reason. And for me to have given in and to have compromised, it goes to show how much it meant to me. For me to have given so much time, effort, pain, self-doubt and tears to it, i became totally helpless. I remember that Friday that i declared to one of the teachers that i was ready to walk away if the situation doesn’t improve. So much determination and commitment, and yet i contemplated giving up. Because i became entirely helpless, and it became so bleak and dire. I was sick. Sick of it all. It was too burdensome, too heavy, and i was going to keel over. That was how much i tried, and that was why there was so much heart ache.
In my heart, i think of it as a situation that was very badly mishandled. Badly mishandled in a very cruel, inhumane and heartless way. No empathy whatsoever. Only knives, and even artillery shells. And with the cruel, inhumane and heartless way that it was handled, the people who had a direct hand in it were even more cruel, inhumane and heartless. And even this is an understatement i tell you. Because the way i handled it after what happened? It was as though my whole family died(no kidding).
In my mind however, i would like to see it from their point of view, and see it very rationally(i give everybody a chance ok). The only reason why i was lost that confidance was because she was helpless too, at a situation that was only getting worse, and she was only trying to help. They treated me the way they did because they didn’t know what to do- they’ve never experienced it before. And they said the things they said because it made perfect sense to them(whereby we see people messing about with other’s minds because of their fucking insensitivity and a lack of empathy) in that present situation. They didn’t mean harm. And they dismissed me just like that because they needed to move on to get their jobs done.
But wait there. That is the logical and rational part of my mind, which serves no purpose to me whatsoever when this business is in talks. I would very much like to believe in that, and believe me, i wished that was reality. But it doesn’t seem to be. So of course i would listen to what i think is reality. And that would be the thing about them being cruel, inhumane, heartless and knife-wielding.
I’ve learnt so much about myself, other than the cold hard facts of life. I knew my communication skills were better than my peers. But i only truly understood the extent of it through the whole process. It isn’t something that can be learnt so easily, and i am proud of that. My ability to empathise, my desire to treat them like how i would want to be treated- with humility and respect, with assurance and care- are things that i’ve discovered about myself. And i am proud of that too, because i can say that not many nurses can do that because they’ve never been really sick. So many of them do not know what it is like to be a patient, and that is where they lose out terribly. My tenacity, the fervour, was quite unlike anything else since my dancing days, and there isn’t much in life that could yield that much out of me. And i’m glad it was, because i now know that if i put my heart and mind on something, i can and will do it. I do not want to regret. My discipline and my stubborn insistence to take pride in the things we do and the way we present was also very apparent. I was never late for trainings(except for once or twice that i was on the dot), i was always in the right attire, and my hair was in proper order. First to come, last to leave too, very often. Those were the basic rules that i live by with the things that i am committed to. Because i respect the people who are spending the time and effort, because we should always be presentable to our patients(no one wants to see a nurse with messy hair and crumpled uniform right? same logic), and because i take pride in what i do. And another damning thing that i learnt is that i am hard on myself. I am hard on others, but i am even harder of myself because i believe that we should always strive to be the best- to be the best nurse to our patient, to make it worthwhile for others to spend their time and effort on us, and to refuse to be anything less than mediocre. What for do things if you’re going to half-hearted, shoddy, less than mediocre and half-past-six? That is a very good way of disrespecting and being irresponsible to yourself and to the people around you.
Damn it. All of these and i actually let myself believe that i wasn’t good enough? That they weren’t good enough reasons to make exceptions so that i could stay? Well then, i guess that if they were being so unappreciative of someone who already embodied certain desirable traits and skills(because it’s hard, or even impossible to teach a person how to be punctual, committed, disciplined and what not), then they do not deserve my time and effort. Really. Out there, in the real world, there are so many other people who see that in me, and appreciate it fully. So many of them have seen it and felt it for themselves. And these are the people who are worth my time and effort- my patients, some of my peers, and my role models. Certainly not them.
If there is anything else that i learnt, i learnt that you can trust anyone. Anyone in the world. But whether or not that person lives up to it- the way you define trust- is an entirely different story. And once broken, it’ll take ages, or it’ll never be mended. It will never be the same again.
Time. Time is never on our side. We are always racing against time. But through it all it is the best gift to yourself, and the best gift that anyone else can give you. I will also remember what my friend told me, that i must learn to be patient with myself. As they say, good things come to those who wait. Time is never on our side, but we have to give ourselves time in everything. And although we may not have the wisdom to know or understand something at that moment, that wisdom will come one day, if you just give yourself time.
It’s been 4 months since it happened, and about 5 that it started. I’ve come a really long way, and i’ve put in much of my time through the whole process. (7 months is a bloody long time to learn a lesson, i’d say, and about 4 months to recover from it is a bloody good bargain already.) I would say that this year has been the shittiest year that i’ve ever had in my life. But i know God works in mysterious ways.