Weekly Round-up #27

If you need a pick me up as we begin this week, here’s this great video from a few months ago that still makes me smile:

Let’s get into the week review then?

It was pretty okay, pretty normal. Nothing particularly fantastic happened, nothing horrific happened. Not that I can think of anyway.

I read ASKING FOR IT by Louise O’Neill and it just made me feel so many things. Okay, not ‘so many’. It made me angry and it made me tear up. I had to put down the book a few times because it was horrifying. I highly recommend it as a book to make you think, but believe me, it’s not a happy book. It’s not remotely fun. The blurb on the cover (or was it the back cover?) had the words ‘O’Neill writes with a scalpel’. That is an apt description.

I have been reading more lately which makes me very happy.

2 weeks in Surgery. 4 weeks before Melbourne. I am still panicking.

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source 

Another two important recommendation: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s UPenn Commencement Speech. Beautifully written and so meaningful. And no, I’m not just saying that because I am crazy about everything he does.

And Sheryl Sandberg’s Commencement Speech at UC Berkeley. I am a sap. I admire this woman, and her speech was just so moving.

Okay, awesome people. Go forth and have a great week. Just remember that you can do this and that I believe in you. You’re better than you think you are.

Shut up! Dance it out!

As any regular reader of this blog knows by now, I fall into my dark hole of despair fairly often. And yesterday was no exception. I spent a good 5 hours or so just lying in bed being unproductive and wasting a whole lot of time.

Later in the evening, I was guilted into doing the laundry and I decided to either binge watch YouTube videos or watch a movie while doing it. Neither worked out. The videos were ones that I have watched before and attempting to watch WILD when you’re in a crap state of mind was not a good idea.

So, I took advice from the Twisted Sisters and danced it off.

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Unfortunately for my neighbours, a Me Party consists of me singing along really loudly. Clearly, I have very kind ones because there has yet to be a noise complaint.

Here is what got me out of my funk, or at least shifted me nearer to the entrance of this pit:

  1. MmmBop by Hanson
  2. Hide Away by Daya
  3. Goodbye by Who Is Fancy (there are alternate videos for this that are just as good 1 and 2)
  4. Boys Like You by Who Is Fancy feat. Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande
  5. In The Heights by the Original Broadway Cast of In the Heights
  6. Two Step by Laura Bell Bundy
  7. Called Out In The Dark by Snow Patrol
  8. The Story by Brandi Carlile
  9. Anything Goes by Florida Georgia Line
  10. Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips (alternatively, there’s this great video that goes with it too)
  11. Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner
  12. Feelin’ Kinda Naughty by Rachel Bloom from ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
  13. Just Another Girl by The Killers

And in case you want to listen to any of them, all the songs have been linked to their respective YouTube videos.

Does doing that help anyone else? Try it out. Sing and move in the privacy of your own home and just let it all out. Who cares if anyone is watching?

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Weekly Round-up #26

When I write a post for this blog, I imagine that you, dear reader, are a good friend. And that we are catching up over nice brunch on a weekend. It would be a Saturday and we would both not work on weekends. It would be 10am, we’re seated across from each other in one of those cafe-like breakfast shops, or maybe a diner as seen on American television.

We would have known each other for a long time, and this would be our weekly routine of sharing our thoughts and experiences from the past week.

Dear friend,my week has been alright. I have fallen into the comfortable pace of knowing my Surgical rotation supervisor’s routine. Some days are just hours in the clinic, and in the past week, there were only two days with patients in the ward. I went into the OT twice, mucked up my task of holding a retractor and generally feeling a little vacant.

I will be swapping over to orthopaedics for one week in Week 5 of this rotation (not this coming week, the week after). I don’t know if that makes me glad or uneasy. Glad because it’s new material, yes, but uneasy because it’s a brand new routine with a supervisor I don’t know.

I have three weeks more in this rotation. Five weeks till I fly to Melbourne. One could say that my restless sleep is due to more than one reason.

In other news, Lulu went for surgery yesterday. After putting it off for years, she was finally spayed. My father was, and still is, completely against it. He kept saying that we were being too cruel. I won’t lie, those words did cut me. I had second thoughts all the way to sending her to the vet, and even while she was there.

When we got her back last night, she was far from her normal self. I felt very much like a strange parent because she was whining but there was nothing I could do about it. She is much better today but I think her movements were stilled by the pain. But she is eating and walking about a little, so that’s a marked improvement.

How are you, dear friend? Were there good parts of your week that you’d like to share? or any particular low points that need hashing out?

While I am here to listen and read your comments, I know there would be hesitation to write down your problems for the world to see. I hope that you have a safe space where you can expand your thoughts, a good sounding board of sorts.

Have a wonderful week ahead! x

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a miscalculation

I think as a child I believed myself to be more capable than I actually am. Either that or I killed that part of me that used to think she could do anything and be whatever she wanted to be.

Growing up is hard guys. And I think I underestimated what an effort it is.

I would like to say that I have gotten better at it with time but we all know that’s not true. I think I hold out hope that I will suddenly wake up with the ability to have everything sorted out quite well. The same way I set my alarm for 4am because ‘I want to do some reading before going to class’ and instead snooze all the way till 6am which is my ‘normal morning routine’ time.

And yet time and time again I set that alarm.

If that’s not wishful thinking, I don’t know what is.

I think that I had mastered the ‘art of getting by’ so well in my younger years that I forget that work gets harder the older you are. I think I also may have forgotten how much effort it did take to ‘get those grades’ or ‘nail that high note’. Perhaps something in me rewires my brain to delete any memory of struggle once I have managed a modicum of success.

My mom has said to me ‘you were so driven when you were younger, you’ve lost that spark’ and I wish I could disagree. My ‘spark’ has been doused with a tsunami of self-doubt. I was a far more confident child than I am as an adult. Puberty took a toll on my mind because I started to care what people thought of me- I would not raise my hand in class as much because I was called a snobbish know-it-all; I began to detest my body and hate my gender because we were the ‘more vulnerable sex’; I would rather fade into the background instead of stepping up center stage, something that 7-year-old Grace loved to do.

My ‘spark’ has been doused with a tsunami of self-doubt- I was a far more confident child than I am as an adult. Puberty took a toll on my mind because I started to care what people thought of me: I would not raise my hand in class as much because I was called a snobbish know-it-all; I began to detest my body and hate my gender because we were the ‘more vulnerable sex’ causing me extreme paranoia each time I venture out alone; I would rather fade into the background instead of stepping up “center stage”, something that 7-year-old Grace loved to do.

It is as though extroversion could be unlearned.

It doesn’t help that my mind is a steel trap when it comes to certain details, like how a Math teacher in secondary school let slip that they would discuss my ballooning weight in the teacher’s staff room, or how a classmate said that the first word that comes to mind when he thinks of me is ‘bitch’.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt me. Bones mend and become actually stronger in the very place they were broken and where they have knitted up; mental wounds can grind and ooze for decades and be re-opened by the quietest whisper.

-Stephen Fry

I hate that I allow myself to be so affected by the things people say to me or about me.I hate that I let those words echo in my head, allowing them to dictate how I act around people, leading me to filter my thoughts and actions. That is not always a bad thing but it is when you find that you cannot relax in any social situation.

I miss my freer self. Does that make sense?

I used to be more Lydia Bennet than I was Elinor Dashwood. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with being Elinor, I have come to miss the gumption that I used to possess. I sometimes see bits of it come through when I am very comfortable with my company, but I am often on my guard.

Yes, I know that all of this is the normal human experience of self-censorship and adapting yourself according to what is seen as acceptable to the world, but gosh, it is tiresome.

And I am so tired of feeling tired.

ain’t about the money

I have a genuine problem. It’s to do with breaking commandment no 10- thy shall not covet the neighbor’s goods.

This sometimes extends to someone’s partner too. I mentioned in the last post about how obsessed I am with Hamilton right? It doesn’t help that that obsession extends to it’s creator, Lin Manuel Miranda. There are few people on this planet that turn me into one of those groupie-type fangirls and unfortunately for him, he falls into that category of people. It’s pretty creepy how much I am invested in him.

I think the situation is mostly to do with how good he he is- he worked so hard, not only in this but in everything he has done throughout his career. I had no idea that the Piragua song that I used to be obsessed with was written by him. He is at the top of his game and I find that my attention is drawn to people who are in that similar position. Maybe that is to do with my own need to be “the best”. How stereotypically Asian of me.

But I digress.

That isn’t quite what I wanted to write about.

We had two Australian students in my last rotation- one in Paeds and one in O&G. They ended up becoming good friends of mine and my housemate, and we would hang out with them basically every day. The girl was more well off than the boy- he was more like my level of household income- and so she would own lots of pretty things, be it clothes or bags or shoes or make up, whatever.

And the little jealousy creature in me (that sounds a lot like Kelly Kapoor from The Office) just goes nuts. I want that SAME wallet, that SAME bag, those SAME whatever. And I genuinely feel small around her and my words are always tinged with envy. It’s a nasty habit, and I acknowledge that.

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It’s not just people I know “IRL”, it’s people I follow on YouTube, or celebrities or blogs on Tumblr. I can name so many things I have bought because someone I admire (or whose life I follow) has that same item. You would think that logic would win out in this but let me tell you, it doesn’t. With how easy it is to click away my savings due to the convenience of PayPal, I have spent on so many things in a span of three years. While I have not actually calculated how much money has gone into the economy due to my spending, I can imagine the size of the number and it has many digits.

Why am I so compelled to throw “dollar dollar bills y’all” at these things? At some level maybe I think that owning these things would fix something that’s missing from my own life. Dealing with what is self diagnosed depression (because I don’t really need to pay someone to tell me what I have because I have studied it- medical student complex), the urge to spend and throw money is part of the complex. Or maybe it’s the conditioning from society that makes me believe that these things are something to aspire to. And I have the “millennial” problem of wanting everything instantly. Patience has never been a strong suit.

I am hyper-aware of this and while it leads to me be conscious of the problem, it doesn’t stop me from going on websites and filling up the shopping cart with things I ‘want and don’t need’, only to exit the site after.

Self control is something I’m struggling with every day. I need to be content with what I have because it is good enough, and works fine, and having a prettier version of the same thing doesn’t improve my life in any way.

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Weekly Round-up #25

This is the start of my third week in Surgery. Four more weeks to go. A total of 20 days. I really get what ‘Monday Blues’ feel like right now. I never used to feel like this in JB. I don’t know. Was it less pressure there? Or is the fact that I’m alone without friends 8 hours a day actually gets to me.

Guess I’m screwed during my four months in Melbourne then.

crap.

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The highlight of the week was getting the absolute best present from a dear, dear friend. I think my adoration for Hamilton on Twitter and Tumblr has become overwhelming for people that she sent me this:

I assure you, there was screaming, running around the house showing it to everyone and then crying because I was literally so freaking happy. I wanted to get the book but shipping costs to Malaysia are horrifying, and would normally cost more than the item itself. I had no idea what it was and what to expect when the package arrived. And then the ripping of the box happened and when my eyes hit the spine, I absolutely lost it.

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It’s so nice when people get you.

I will always be grateful to the Internet for allowing me to meet people like her. Sometimes making friends in real life is hard enough, and you hold back on your ‘crazy’ because judgement from ‘IRL’ people is difficult. It is easier in some ways to make friends online, but it is very much the same because when you click with someone, you really click with someone. I’m lucky that I have found a good few people that I genuinely bond with. I am always so glad when I look at all the postcards and cards from all over the place on my walls.

Anyway, I hope you have a good week ahead. xx