Are we alone?
We can be surrounded by so many people and yet feel alone. Sometimes we advocate for something, and it’s just frustrating to see that not everyone operates on the same values as you. We all were raised in different environments after all. In whatever we do, I hope we make it a conscious effort to examine if what we’re doing is truly the real us, or if we’re are doing something just so we can please other people. I hope and pray that we all get better at being who we are. Personally, I do feel good. I sleep at night knowing that I contributed, that I gave the day my best shot, that I’ve been kind to my friends and that I did something that was true to myself. Although there are just moments when I still feel so alone, having a spiritual practice, such as writing makes me feel more aligned, and makes me evaluate the things that I do.
Love and belonging
Love and belonging are two things that is a necessity for us humans. We need to love and feel that we are loved, and we want to feel like we belong wherever we are. In my work, I do my best to exude that love and to be honest, I feel it reciprocated as well. Whenever I am rotating in a certain department and I sense negative energy, and too much gossip and doing work like it’s just another transaction, I get instantly turned off. There are departments though that I feel like I belong. It’s like my DNA knows that this is the right place for me. I still have time to think about what path I’ll choose, but so far I do feel that love and belonging in a specific department. They are the right combination of intellect, kindness, and warmth. The residents are nice to each other and they have weekends and holidays off so there’s no constant stress. No matter how enamored I am by other specialties such as OB-Gyn and Internal Medicine, I still see myself doing other things than being a hospitalist. I want time with family. I still want to go on nature trips, go the gym, play with my dogs, and travel. I still want to sing, dance, and write. All those things, I just couldn’t do while I was rotating on the other departments. I want to be in a place where there is love and belonging. I want to live again.
On rehumanizing and dehumanizing
Last May was a sad month for us kakampinks. I really wanted Leni Robredo to win the presidency. I just don’t understand how people could support someone who’s not even familiar with the Filipino’s suffering? Living in this world is just crazy. One of my friends even wrote an offensive comment on my facebook post. I have unfriended quite a number of people because of their political beliefs. However, I realized that we are all humans. We have to stop dehumanizing each other. My God, it is so difficult to do this. It is hard to understand when we can’t comprehend something, it makes it a lot harder to love.
I want to preserve my humanity and not engage, so I deactivated my social media accounts and decided to just stay still and be present in my life. No matter who is the president, no matter who the leaders are, I know that our lives will not drastically change in a snap. I am still a broke postgraduate intern living in a third world country, trying her best to survive and be of service. Aren’t we all just trying our best? No matter what we believe in, don’t we just all want to have a better life? Isn’t that something that’s common among us? I hope we treat each other as human beings again. I don’t want to base how I treat people according to their political beliefs. I want to be better at seeing everyone as a human being. Inhale. Exhale.
I’m not gonna do it perfectly.
As I was hosting a Christmas party last night, I remembered my first few hosting gigs way back twenty years ago, my goodness I started doing it at eight. I was very nervous. I even cried one time because one of my so called friends told me that I was just repeating what I was saying. When I was a kid, I was laughed at because I incorrectly delivered the closing spiel.
It’s funny because last night two surgeons told me that I was so good at this. Damn, that felt good. Looking back, I had epic fail performances, I’ve lost count of many embarrassing moments onstage but I learned how to laugh at it. Whenever anyone gives a negative comment, I just tell myself, “They can’t even do what I do. They don’t even have the courage to stand onstage, in front of so many people and make sure that everybody’s having a good time. Their opinions are valid when they can replace me and do what I do, better, onstage.” That was the trick. I rarely had panic attacks afterwards, and everything just felt natural. I was just being me. I am not perfect. I am not the best. But I am the only one who is absolutely good at being Kate. No one could ever out-best me at being me.
Even in my job as a doctor, I accept that I’m not gonna do it perfectly. But I sure as hell do my best to get better everyday so that I can deliver excellent work. Again, for those seniors who belittle us newbies in the medical field, “We’re not gonna do it perfectly.” Just watch us work and I swear we’ll keep on improving. I hope you see how we try so hard be good. I know for myself, that one day, I will be good, and this will all be just like breathing, it will be very natural and my patients will feel it.
On speaking out
This blog is my way of expressing my thoughts. It’s actually hard for me to type this but I am having an internal battle about the things that I see and experience in the hospital. Harassment is common in females. I don’t want to normalize it, and I am trying my best to put light into these issues. I get sad that I hear stories about female co-workers who get harassed in the hospital. I just get triggered when I think about it. I cannot and will never accept a world wherein men think like it’s okay for men to touch you without consent, and to comment on a woman’s body or anything that suggests sexual things. As an intern, I have personally experienced this and when you are in this situation, it sucks, because you can’t do anything, you just freeze. This person is your senior and as a powerless woman, how do you respond? Why can’t all men respect women? I am speaking out here because this is the only place that I can freely do this but, I just hate that almost all women have to go through this.
On important conversations
As hard as it is to talk about certain topics. I want to live in a world wherein we’re not afraid to have honest and vulnerable conversations especially about things that matter. Even if it is uncomfortable to talk about politics and abuse, I want us to talk about it. This is just a tiny effort on my part, but on my last breath, I know that I helped move the needle forward. Even if it’s a few inches, I want to know that I did something. I hope we don’t opt out, and that when we are in a position wherein our voice can be loudly heard, I hope we choose to engage in these conversations with utmost respect and curiosity.
Nobody wants to be shouted at, period. I wonder why this is normalized in some fields of medicine. As I am now choosing the next step in my career, my choice is based on values that I firmly believe in. I want to go to a field wherein seniors don’t shame their juniors for their mistakes. Being called stupid or dumb, is a big no for me. People who lash out instead of verbally articulating their needs is also a big no. Why is shaming juniors normalized? I understand that doctors have a high stress job, but it’s just not an excuse to be rude. So thank you to all the seniors who have treated us juniors like a human being, I will do my best to pass on what you have started. We are going to change medicine. We are not going to be monsters.
That ends my ramble. Hope we all live better.