Yesterday, once more.
Hey there, friend.
It took me a year and nine months to contact you again.
I never told you how much of an inspiration you were to me.
I never told you how much I appreciated the fact that a person of your position and stature would speak so humbly to a young, naive and inexperienced kid who just entered the workforce. I was enchanted by your experiences and knowledge, and damn, a good storyteller you were. I'm grateful for all the life lessons, and I'm thankful for having you as a role model of character. I had always been amazed by the amount of enthusiasm you had in imparting your wisdom. Sometimes you were tired, but you never seemed so.
I saw you in your worst days, and I saw you climb back up. I was really happy to see you getting your life back on track the last we met, though it was taken from you again, this time forever, a mere six months later. I'm glad to see you do the work you did, to continue being an inspiration to so many others, in your selfless provision of time and energy. I hope my light-hearted banter in your darkest times helped to keep you from straying onto a path you'd never return from. You gave me a treat to thank me for the kindness I showed to you in those days, but I've never told you how much kinder I felt you were to me.
It took me a year and nine months to contact you again, the last message though, to no avail, and another month to finally suspect something was amiss - to come to the shocking realisation, after looking you up, that you were gone. I didn't contact you for reasons I'd rather not state, partly because I assumed you'd still be around the next time I did. Looking through your messages, I guess you kinda' knew, especially in your position, and you kinda' prepared me for the fact that your time wasn't going to be long. But in retrospect, I guess I wasn't ready to take that in. I'm sorry I couldn't be there, because I didn't consider the possibility that you might not be here now.
It wasn't much, but I'll miss the times we spoke, and I'll miss all the lessons I'll never learn from you. And I thank you for everything.
You've achieved so much in the distinguished life you lived, and wherever you are, I hope you're at peace. See you again sometime. Maybe then we'll finally sit down for a chat once more, roasting marshmallows over the fireplace, while preparing a rum-infused concoction of hot chocolate.
Totally woke up from my nap to write this.
I had a really interesting dream in which I was watching 2 music videos:
1) A band singing a rock song. Dystopian setting in a city, full colour, mid-day. People going about their day on the streets, all visibly anxious about something and yet not knowing what exactly, giving a lot of tension to the scene. Suddenly one man exclaims to another man, "They said we'll be boiling at 11:00", seemingly having an epiphany about what that statement from them entailed. What follows is a nuclear explosion, and the scene was filled with images of the people melting away. The music that followed reminded me a little of Linkin Park's "From The Inside".
2) Male singer singing a rock song. Same setting as the previous one, as if it was meant to be a follow-up of the story. Best I can describe how this singer looked like is Jared Leto in a black Mephisto Pheles outfit. This guy visits the aftermath of the nuclear explosion. Everything in the city is in shambles. This one was particularly interesting because I was half awake and aware I was dreaming, but could clearly hear the song playing out in my head, somewhat impressed that my brain were creating lyrics so fast to the tune. The song REALLY sounds like something 30 Seconds To Mars would sing. Can't remember the lyrics anymore, except for one part in the chorus where he sings, "I wanna go back, I want my friends". Kinda heartbreaking because you learn he lost his friends in the nuclear explosion and he is absolutely depressed. At the start of the song he also starts by singing something about how his body is reacting to the fresh radiation waves at the blast site (head is throbbing hair is falling that sort of stuff), as the scene shows him arriving at the sidewalk his friends disappeared at.
When I said I was "watching 2 music videos" earlier, in actual fact in the dream it was more like I was an onlooker in the actual scenes. Took me a while to rise from the bed, and the first thing I did was to google whatever I could remember about the dreams just in case they weren't really dreams. Alas, they were. Would have liked to hear those songs again though. Isn't the first time my brain made music in my sleep, and because I felt so immersed in it they tended to feel particularly intense.
Rest in Peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
We have lost a great man of vision, who dared to do what was right and not what was popular. A man who followed his convictions to the very end, a man of principle who was an inspiration to so many others. We may not always agree with his methods, but ultimately he was just a well-meaning, heavy-handed parent who did what he could, who did what he promised.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask yourself what you can do for your country". In this period of time, I have seen for myself what one man meant to the people he had given much of his life for.
The sun had risen, we had enjoyed the brilliant light, and as with every other day it is now time for the sun to set.
Thank you, Mr Lee.
I guess it basically took an afternoon with my grandma in hospital to realise how much I miss inpatient work.
The Best Possible Day
Ever since I discovered Atul Gawande's books, I've been hooked to his writing. Gawande's writing is wonderfully insightful and reflective, and reflection is essential for anyone looking to advance their own practices. Just came across this article by Gawande in the New York Times this morning (yes I know I'm a little bit slow) and shared it on Facebook, but I thought this was too memorable for it to be overshadowed by all the frequent updates there.
A cancer patient who saw no hope and only fears: just by asking her what she cared about most in life and what the best possible day meant to her, the hospice team was able to change her environment and enable her to do what she truly wanted and found meaningful in her last days.
Medical care sometimes has too much focus on the illness and not what truly matters to the patient. You play a major role in determining how your patients live their last days, and how their families see them in this period of time. How would you be client-centred and look past the illness, to minimise this "sick role" that they usually take up? If you were in the patient's shoes, would you want to be confined to that hospital bed for "comfort and safety"?
Could you be that occupational therapist (or any other healthcare professional for that matter) advocating and empowering Peg to continue teaching and inspiring her students despite her immobilising hip pain and incontinence, to retain her identity and dignity throughout her last days? If I could, I don't think I would want to do anything else in life :)
A Greater Good
First off, this is going to be very fragmented. I have thoughts here and there and no way of organizing them.
After some failed attempts to get different groups of friends to watch How To Train A Dragon 2 with me (what, a 23-year old can't watch cartoons?!), I decided to pop by the cinema myself after work on Saturday.
First off, there was this advertisement I really liked, about how an ex-prison inmate turned a new leaf and dedicated herself to helping others. To quote her, "when you help others find their way, you also find yours" - sometimes, when you're overwhelmed, you become blind to the important things you need to see in order to find your own path. When you decide to help another with finding theirs, along the way you start to see what they need to face, which in turn becomes what you needed to find from the very start. This is actually one of the reasons why I decided to join a career in healthcare, to dedicate my work to helping others - I know that with this, I won't lose myself.
Coming to the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, one of the reasons why I really love these movies is that unlike most other children's movies where everything turns out well and good with no real loss, they show that there are times where you have to sacrifice important things that mean to you in order to attain a greater good. These sacrifices are real and permanent.
And back to real life - I guess I've never been someone brimming with confidence. It's a good thing I have a little more (lol) but I have to remind myself to tread carefully. To not allow overconfidence to take me over. Why I'm being treated differently, albeit in a positive way, also bothers me a lot. To someone who values impartiality, it hurts to see a friend being reprimanded while I'm not, even though mistakes I make could have been of larger magnitude. Is it a question of experience? Not that I agree with, if that's the case. Yes, maybe I do have life a bit easier, but I would feel better if I were dumped the same shit, because guilt is a harder thing to bear.
Then again, c'est la vie.
I have no idea why, but recently I'm rather overwhelmed by the fact that others seem to have more confidence in me than I have in myself.
Yes I know that's probably a good thing, but I. Am. Very. Stressed. Because I'm inherently aware that I am not as good as they think and I have a whole host of knowledge I don't know about and I take a longer time than others to process certain things.
Well, I guess you could say that with the last few lines I'm actually exemplifying exactly what I said in the first part. Now I'm running away.
Two nights ago, I had a lovely dream.
I was exploring the world on my own boat (yacht?), navigating the blue seas and exploring new lands, capturing memories on my camera, without a single care in the world. My voyage had reached its 100-day mark. All I did everyday was open my eyes and appreciate the beauty that is the world.
And then I heard my mum's voice calling me. I opened my eyes, and realised I was lying on my bed. Disappointing.
Newest member of the family
This is the result of the latest GAS attack (otherwise known as "Gear Acquisition Syndrome"): a Nikon F3HP with a 50mm f1.8 Ai-S Series E lens.
Disclaimer: Prior to having its portrait taken, the F3HP has been zhnged with a red soft shutter release button, and Peak Design's Leash (which is honestly one of my best purchases yet). Oh black and red so pretty~
This baby is HEAVY. I thought my Yashica Electro 35 GT was. This is heavier. But so much more solid. As with popular reviews, the F3HP is built like a tank and it feels like if I drop it, it would dent in many many areas but would still work perfectly. Before you ask - not gonna try.
A roll of expired Lucky 200 has been loaded, and pictures of Cubebot and Danbo (among other things) have been taken as test shots. I go through film so slowly if I'm not on holiday, I hope I actually get to develop this roll (and my other I-don't-know-how-many-months-old roll still sitting in the dry cabinet awaiting its birth) in the next...1 month.
Just something worth a short post
Earlier, I woke up from my afternoon nap in shock.
I dreamt that a friend had texted me a suicidal message. Which started off with the friend saying what he was planning to do and ending with "if I would do it, you would too right".
Apparently I was dreaming lucidly, so I was aware that it was a dream. However, this friend was a friend with a history of attempted suicide and I couldn't get over the nagging "what if it's real" feeling and I had to make sure. Because my brain woke up earlier than my body did, I was in a state of paralysis and chanting "BODYWAKEUPBODYWAKEUPBODYWAKEUPBODYWAKEUP", etc., and the first thing I did when I could move was run over to my phone. Thank goodness it wasn't real.
Not a good dream, that feeling...