Thursday, September 30, 2010

work, two weeks in.

Dear all, it's been two weeks since I started my career as a pharmacist. How fast time goes by, a blink of the eye and I've been working for two weeks. Two weeks! I remember how awful I felt the first day at work, I didn't know anyone and didn't know what was expected of me, and what I was supposed to do. I started off with labelling, and then filling, and dispensing. Now I rotate between all three, depending on the number of prescriptions flowing in and the people available at that time.

Dispensing is still a challenge for me, I still can't remember the dose, frequency and indications of so many medicines, and I have to dispense with a BNF by my side. I am still slower than most of the other pharmacists but then again, I still have so much to learn. I think it will take a whole lot more time for me to feel completely at ease when a patient comes up to the counter.

I admit I'm much happier now compared to my first day as I have made so many wonderful new friends, who actually make the effort to include me in their activities. My housemate (technically my senior) described me as outgoing and likes to go out (hey it kinda rhymes!), which I thought was the exact opposite of what I used to be. I mean, I have been a homebody for the longest time and I still don't quite know what to say to strangers. But I am trying my best and it certainly feels great to have an awesome bunch of colleagues who really make all the difference. Especially those that blurt 'Uncle your cincin very cantik!' or 'Auntie your blouse is so pretty!' in the middle of dispensing, and the conversations which leave us dissolving in laughter in the OPD.

Life is good so far. I hope it stays that way for this one year.

I just want to be happy. =)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

a new place, a new life

Dear all, I have been posted to Hospital Seri Manjung, in Sitiawan, a small town very near Lumut and about 1.5 hours from Ipoh. I have just got the news on Friday, by which then I immediately rushed to JKN to report, so I'll be starting work on Monday. I think there was too little time for me to digest the information that I'll be starting a whole new chapter of my life in a whole new place, so much so that when it finally sank in, it felt terrible. I thought I have learnt to mute my heart towards such things, I don't think I have felt much even when I knew I was to enter the national service, or before leaving home for Glasgow. I would like to think it is just another normal part of life, at which I'm supposed to work, earn money, support and take care of myself, without all the people that I've been used to. I will be there without my parents, my best mates, and all will be new to me in that place. I want to think I'll be alright, and I thought I was strong enough. But somehow I still feel scared sometimes at the prospect. I am scared of the unknown, and I think a new job, a new place, and new people to deal with would make enough unknowns to make anyone scared. Ever since a long time, this is the first where I don't quite know what to expect, and I don't really know what to do.

You know how people sometimes ask, what would you save if your house were on fire? Well, bizarre as it sounds, I feel like what I'm about to face is just that, though neither my house nor my future hospital is on fire, hah! I feel like I'm losing everything that I'm familiar with, and yet again, it scares the shit out of me. I feel like clutching at whatever is left of the life that I'm used to, no matter how trivial it may be. For me, that would be the company of my parents and friends, the 7pm and 8.30 drama series I'm used to watching on the tv, the familiar smell of home-cooked food, and my cozy little room at home. All I'm bringing to my new residence would be two suitcases and a purse. I want to claw and struggle against change, I want to resist the change, but yet I know I can't stay the same forever. I can't be under the protective wings of my parents forever, I can't be used to the comforting presence of my current, wonderful friends forever. Things change, life changes. I know I should embrace it, but so much change in one go still leaves me so fearful that sometimes I feel I may have chosen the wrong career. I mean, if I was about to start work at something I love, I would feel excited about it, and not feel the cloud of impending doom above my head that I can't seem to shake off, won't I? I really don't know.

As said (very beautifully) by a friend, what's the worse that can happen? I may make mistakes at work, I may still drive horribly but really, whatever comes, the only option is to deal with it, and make sure it won't happen again the next time. Thankfully I still have two high school friends who are working in the same hospital, one of them was my best friend back in high school, who's working as a houseman at the exact same hospital. I hope we'll be able to revive our friendship, and I really, really hope that I'll be able to make friends that are equally as awesome as my current besties.

Right now, I'm nervous, scared, and somewhat sad. But I want to enjoy my life, I want to be happy. I really hope that, in time, I will be just that, fingers crossed. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

this is your life.

After spending a few years away from home, I came home to realize that there was a recurring theme in my family - we tend to force ourselves to do many things that we didn't like, just because we SHOULD. Perhaps it's a common concept in traditional Chinese families, who tend to put anything and everything above themselves. Work comes first, making money comes first, children comes first, a large house, the perfect picket get my flow. I never felt this way before when I stayed at home but after I came back from my studies, I realized that my life at home had been quite suppressed. We would deny ourselves the most minute of things, just to save money or 'because we shouldn't do it.' The most common examples in my home is that we tend to NOT turn on the fan if we could, for the sake of saving electricity and money. Not that bad, you think? Well, certainly not the best idea in the blistering heat of Malaysia. Another thing is that my family has this notion that everyone should do everything together. For example, they used to drag me to the pool and badminton court, when I really really hated swimming and badminton. But when I was young I never even thought of rebelling, and went along on those swimming trips and forced myself to swim. (Don't ask me why I hate swimming so much. I'm just born with it I think.) Years after, I wonder to myself why couldn't I have just refused to go along, and saved myself all of that. But to be fair to them, some good came out of their efforts, I grew to love badminton after playing with them for so many years.

Another common trend in Asian people is that we tend to do something because it fits us in the 'acceptable' mould, be it of a good husband or wife, a filial son or daughter, or a responsible employee. I think the main difference between western and asian people is that the westerners embrace their individualities. They encourage their students and children to pursue their passion in life, regardless of whether it will be a profitable career in the future. They encourage their young people to embrace differences in personalities and characteristics, likes and dislikes, beliefs and goals in life. No goal is too trivial, no passion is too silly. A very real-life example is that people who dress differently are wholly accepted in the west. No one bats an eye if you walk down the street with a mohawk, or wear fishnet stockings with thigh-high boots. Try that here in Malaysia and people will probably think you're crazy. And most parents in Asian families would encourage, and sometimes force their kids to study something 'socially acceptable', preferably professional courses. That would perhaps explain why our population is overflowing with doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and dare I mention it, pharmacists! How many a budding artist has been fully encouraged to pursue their true passion in life? My bet is that most parents would coerce the little Picasso to brush up on their maths or science, instead of spending his time drawing. Sometimes I wonder if it is due to an innate fear of 'losing face' that make parents force their kids to have, what they think is, a proper career, and let the parents be proud when stating in front of the relatives that 'Oh, my son is a doctor *cue for parent to smile and swell*' instead of saying 'Uh, my son is a starving painter *cue to drop head and sad frown*.'

Does that not sound sad to us? We do things for people to accept us as one of their own, for fear that we would be ostracised for doing something we really love. Are we really doing the right thing when we heed our parents and relatives' advice to become a doctor 'because people will look up to you and you will make lots of money', and hate our job with a vengeance all the while we're at it? Are we?

What I am just saying that if we realize that something that we've believed wholeheartedly in for our whole life is not quite right, we should at least try to make a difference in our life by changing for the better. And what is 'better'? I guess it is whatever that makes us happy that counts.

Life is too short to waste on doing things that are useless, or make us unhappy, as long as we don't harm others in the process. Isn't it?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

something for all my friends...or maybe not ALL. =)

☆戴爱玲 对的人☆

你问在我心中 是否还苦恼
那次受伤 否决了爱的好
谢谢你的关照 我一切都好
一个人 不算困扰

爱要耐心等待 仔细寻找 感觉很重要
宁可空白了手 等候一次 真心的拥抱
我相信在这个世界上 一定会遇到
对的人出现 在眼角

那次流过的泪 让我学习到
如何祝福 如何转身不要
在眼泪体会到 与自己拥抱
爱不是一种需要 是一种对照
然后得到多少 并不计较
放手去爱 海阔天高

I have been loving this song for the longest time. It's incredibly inspiring to all the single people out there!

Friday, September 3, 2010

updates, I'm not dead!

Dear all, I'm sorry it has been months (longest hiatus ever!) since I posted. Mostly that stemmed from the fact that I've been doing very little besides rotting at home, and also partly because I just don't feel the urge to write about my boring, boring life without boring the rest of you. But anyway.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, which translates to birthday cake and free calls to maxis numbers! *wide grin* My mobile is registered under her name so I made full use of the privilege and called all my old friends one by one according to alphabetical order. It was great fun! In fact I'm just so incredibly happy that I got to talk to them after years of not meeting each other. I found out I was just in time to contact one friend, who was about to leave for the UK to study masters. Phew! caught her just in time. I also chatted with a few friends still in medical school and inwardly congratulating myself for not choosing that profession...ahahah don't hate me doctors! But I digress. Another friend has been posted to Sabah for her PRP year together with four other BPharmers, but she seems to be having fun despite the underlying terror that has been going around our batch about the prospect of being sent there. (buhbye brendan, siva, chunwai, kamarul and perhaps guys are going to be missed sorely!)

Penang road trip was a success! I've posted the photos on FB so I won't be posting them here. Jason very kindly lent us his Batu Feringghi apartment (which was gorgeous, by the way) and Wenchin, Weiluen and Jeannette brought us around the island for those three days. Penang hawker food lives up to its name indeed but in the end I ended up with food poisoning, dang the seafood! But I'll definitely be going back for seconds once my stomach has become more resilient! And the last day was hilarious. Most of us putty princesses were tired and washed out by the heat at the end and begged the tour guides to bring us to the mall for the day. The guides smiled and we happily went back to our cars and guess what? They brought us to the youth park see monkeys! The joke was on us in the end, I even spotted S hitting W on the head in the car in front of us when we almost reached the place. Classic!

And right before penang we had our second convocation. It's weird is it not, to have two graduation ceremonies for one degree, but still... =) I went for the sole purpose to meet my friends and have a good time, less so for the convo, but I was still happy being able to finally wear the mortarboard! For some reason the universities in the UK doesn't seem to like the mortarboard and we couldn't figure out why it was so. Then someone came up with the briliant idea that with the characteristic strong winds in Glasgow all the mortarboards would be flying around in the air instead of staying put on our heads! It totally makes sense doesn't it? Oh and an old friend came over to attend my convo, which made me very happy as we'd not seen each other for, oh I don't know, years? I totally did not expect him to drop by so that was one of the best surprises I had for a long time. =)

Oh, and hello Mr. DC! Thanks for stopping by. *even wider grin*

Till then!