Hey all! I promised myself I couldn’t let February go by without a blog post, so I’m happy to finally have time after all the madness these past couple of months.

Some brief updates:

  • Visited Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Kuching AND Jakarta
  • Applied for my housemanship post and got where I wanted
  • Got the chance to volunteer for Hospital Beyond Border’s mobile clinic
  • Resigned from my previous job – two days before my big move for housemanship
  • Prepped for the release of Kalthom Hijab‘s new collections (photoshoots, etc)
  • Found a house to live in
  • The article on my thoughts about medschool has been published in Iris magazine!

Among other things. What I regretfully, did not have a chance to do:

  • meet with everyone who wanted to set dinner/lunch dates with me before I left
  • volunteer for Imaret’s vaccination clinic
  • Paramore’s Tour Four
  • go for Shidah’s (my fave yoga teacher) special class
  • watch Ola Bola The Musical

Now that’s over with, here’s the biggest life update:

I’ve started my housemanship in Sarawak.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term houseman/house officer/HO: it just means junior doctor. After graduating from medical school, it is required for us to undergo training as a house officer for two years in a government hospital. It’s supposedly the toughest period of any doctor’s career, being at the bottom of the food chain and from some responses I’ve heard: it’s also the most fun! No sarcasm here.

It took awhile for the fact to sink in, but as I called up my uncles, aunts and hugged my parents for the last time at the airport… my heart dropped to the ground. This. Is. It. I’m a working doctor, living away from the people I love and the home I was raised and pampered in. *cue sad music*

Everyone asked me the same thing: WHY SO FAR? DID YOU HAVE A CHOICE? THEN WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SARAWAK? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

I did have a choice and I was thinking quite clearly, thanks haha. It’s been my dream to be trained in Sabah or Sarawak since the early days of medschool. Other options were Miri, Tawau or Kota Kinabalu. Narrowed it down to Kuching just because I love the city and its people. So much so that I was willing to overlook the results tracing system, the major construction that it’s undergoing, and the distance. Besides, housemanship is grind time anyway – why not take the opportunity to stretch my capabilities and learn as much as I possibly can? I haven’t been in the wards yet but seniors have said there are an abundance of cases, procedures, and a diverse range of patients. I’ll see it for myself once my orientation is over.

 

With my groupmates during our induction course

 

Rethinking of Home

Will I miss my life back in Semenanjung? Of course. But to be honest – at my core, I see myself as a traveller. Hahah sorry if that sounds pretentious, but I think it helps that I look at the present and the future as an adventure, and that I’m malleable to my surroundings.

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.

-Robert Lewis Stevenson

There is so much to learn, and relearn here. The language and culture is a little different, and working life isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Experienced a bit of separation anxiety before coming and was afraid that I would lose what home meant to me.

Some say a home has two eyes, a smile and a beating heart. For some, it’s their physical address or where their family is.

I don’t have 24/7 access to that luxury anymore. For me, it has to be where I make it. The mind palace I return to when things get overwhelming. Even the hospital, as part of my duty serving the public and the place I’ll be honing my skills. It’s this mindset that will help me survive the years to come, and hopefully thrive.

Some definitions don’t change, though.

Physically apart, but never distant at heart.

 

Till next time.

 

 

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