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11/4: Perspective

I wrote this entry on September 18 but I decided against publishing it. At that time I was down in the dumps after failing the same exam twice (who wouldn’t feel that way!?) and I was desperate for relief so I went to the convenience store to buy myself a drink. 

I came across my friend William in a convenience store the other night. I almost didn’t say ‘hi’ to him but since it was already impossible to pretend I didn’t see him, I waved at him. I’m glad I did.

I’ve been avoiding rendezvous with old friends lately (preferring more the company of the people I go to school with). I dread invitations for lunch dates and the how are you? how’s med school? that came with it. Because honestly, I am not ok. I am walking on tightrope and I’ve never felt so doubtful and uncertain of myself. Many times I’ve questioned myself if I had made the right decision coming here and I would tell myself that it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change anything. I am still hanging by a thread. 

I didn’t tell William that though. I didn’t tell anybody outside med school that. Nevertheless, he tried comforting me. He probably saw that I needed it. And although we didn’t exactly talk about what was bothering me, I parted with him with a smile on my face– glad that I had a companion at such a time. Perhaps he’s right: I may be in a bad situation, but somebody has it worse than me.

I remembered that entry because a few hours ago I had dinner with an old friend and hearing about her life made me realize how shallow my problems are. Not that she belittled me when I told her my struggles, but if her problems were boulders, mine were mere pebbles. Suddenly, my life wasn’t so bad at all. 

What amazes me more is the strength and courage she has in facing her problems despite their size and complexity. I mean, how does she do it!? I was almost at the brink of depression when I failed one exam after another while her family’s barely holding together and she still manages to get a hold of herself. Wow. 

I am such an arrogant, self-absorbed fool.

I wonder how I can help carry the weight of someone else’s burden… How I can alleviate their pain? How can I offer them rest even for just a while? My hands are small and calloused. My heart knows not to love. That I may learn to love others as You have loved the Church. Amen.

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