Throwback: Cowardly

Originally posted on October 4, 2013.

More good old Med school drama! Yay! (Fake enthusiasm! Whoop!)

May 14, 2013

I keep having to remind myself that I’m always around a person who is pregnant. PREGNANT. Having a baby in a few months’ time. An actual baby. It’s so surreal. Maybe a lot of this disbelief comes from the mum seemingly not bothered by the pregnancy. Not fussing at all. Like it’s not there until it’s there. Like the future is fine being blurry.

But it’s not like I can’t say the same for myself, you know? I’m acting like I’m just cruising, but in fact I am more scared than ever. Just trying to push it away. Like the future is fine being blurry… when I do know it’s not. But I’ve been finding inspiration lately, pieces of advice saying it’s okay not knowing where I am, what I want and what I’m going to do. These years are going to be the worst. I shouldn’t expect a lot because I’m going to start at the bottom. I’m going to be underemployed. I’m going to be treated like dirt. But the hero’s battle is from strength to weakness. (Yup, that’s from John Green.)

I forgot to say – the last time we saw each other, my friend C told me that a number of people she has talked to were willing to bet that I would eventually give in and proceed to Medicine. Maybe a few months ago, if she told me this, I would have giggled, “That’s silly!” But not now. I didn’t tell her this, but a small voice in the back of my mind tells me that, too. I’m terrified of that voice, and it’s getting louder lately. Like it’s feeding on my nagging doubts of a blurry future. “Fine. Keep your chin up. But we both know you’ll give in eventually.”

The thing is, and what people don’t understand is, that proceeding to Med is an option still, yes, but it is only my most cowardly option. It is my most passive, safest option, and in being my safest option, it is one that doesn’t involve any risk, any leap of faith, any bravery towards following my heart. That voice in the back of my mind is my cowardly voice clinging to the safety net that is Medicine – a road already assumed of me the moment I signed up for BMLS. It is very possible that I will cling to that option and everyone knows that. But they don’t know that even thinking of choosing to do that already makes my heart sink, because it feels like giving up. It feels like surrendering to a miserable life trying to please everybody else in the expense of my own passions. It’s like totally abandoning my potential to feel more and be more in a job I love. Just thinking about it makes me want to bawl… Because I’ll say it again – proceeding to Medicine is like giving up on everything I’ve learned about life thus far – that I have to be brave, that I have to take risks, that I have to follow my heart – that I should learn from experience in order not to make the same mistake twice.

The road may have been paved for me, but there is no cell in my body that will be truly happy in that road. And I wish I could have a good cry and tell someone this – someone who would listen with an open mind and not automatically reply with a sentence that begins with “But…?” Especially not someone who would say, yet again, “Sayang!” Seriously, how hard is it to understand that it isn’t about me not being capable of it, but it’s about me not wanting it at all? That I don’t find being filthy rich when I reach 30 appealing anymore when I’m going to be miserable for the entirety of my twenties (and possibly the entirety of my adult life) in exchange for it?

I asked C what she honestly thought I’d do, and she so kindly replied that she only knew one thing – she sincerely believed I’d be great at whatever field I chose. Bless her. It’s nice to have friends who believe in me. I don’t even believe in myself anymore.

(Teeny tiny December 2014 update: I haven’t given in, even though everyone else is still saying I should, even though oftentimes I feel like I am almost bullied into proceeding, and by people I love at that, but I haven’t given in, and just for that: Good job, self.)

(Also: Screw you, if you assume to know what it’s like to be in my shoes and have this heart beating inside your chest and think you can decide for me. You don’t know anything.)

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