Thursday, 19 October 2017

Spectrums of Life


I've started blogging cause other social platforms would limit the amount of words you're typing and even when they allow you to type it all out, no one really has the time for it. Our reading habit has definitely evolved throughout the years. Let's take how we get our news for example. It used to be either the local newspapers and magazines to electronic news and Facebook. Yeap. Admit it, most of us get our news updates through social medias. Even then, we prefer news in the form of videos cause we're just that lazy to read nowadays. It's exhausting. Watching videos on the other hand is like having a servant to feed you, just open your mouth and you're full. That's how new platforms like NowThis or AJ+ got really famous. They act as our servant. Oh, wait. Or is it the other way around..

Anyway, blogging's different. On Facebook, people expect everything to be fast. If there's a bloody long post, chances are you're gonna skip it. Well, it's social media, not some essay writing shit. Those who voluntarily clicked on a blog's link, like the angel reading this right now, you're expecting to have a good long read. You're less likely to click away (please don't). But hey, view counts don't bother me at all. If you're here, either you love me or you were on my Instagram bio and you were curious. And ily too.

In this blog post, I'm just writing down my thoughts, whatever thoughts that came through my mind this week and just thought it would be great to share my thoughts. Taught thought thoughts. Hmm. See what I just did there? I'm writing them thoughts down.

Life is definitely not black and white. We can all at the very least agree on that. Everything and i do mean every single thing has a spectrum of variation. Life is just created unique like that. We are gonna find two very extreme part of the spectrum, and also everything in between it. I'm gonna start this with a simple and obvious example. Skin tone! There're those really dark ones on one end of the spectrum and there're those really fair ones on the other end. Then there's also all those who are in between the two extremes. If this example triggered anger in you, try these relaxing techniques.
PC user: Press Alt + F4
Smartphone user: Look for nearest window.. throw it away. Throw your anger, not your phone.

Now for some less obvious example. In the extroversion spectrum, we have extremes like introverts and extroverts. If you fall in the middle then you're called an ambivert. Of course, nothing in life is definite. Don't get yourself stuck in a label. You might be somewhere in between an introvert and ambivert. Yeah, cause we're all unique in our own ways. Got it?

Hopefully we're still on the same boat when it comes to this concept in life. It's always a spectrum.
And when there's a spectrum, there will always be someone who falls somewhere in between that spectrum.

Now let's discuss on something harder (even for me) to swallow. Earlier this week, two different specialists discussed about the LGBT community in my class. Then during one of the outing with my squad, they too brought up this topic to the table. Which got me thinking, perhaps this community is more common then I previously thought. If that's the case, could this be just another spectrum of life? Being straight on one end. Being L or G on both ends. B is right in the middle. Well I can't explain on T though.

Next example. Earlier this week during a teaching session, we studied a 17 year old patient who just got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Life could be pretty unpredictable. If you're destined to be on that one end of the spectrum, you will be. She will be sitting for her SPM in few months time. She said she wouldn't want any of her friends to know about it. She's only 17 and she has already started her life long medication. She was friendly and would answer the questions we threw to her, but i can sense a tinge of denial. Then again, who wouldn't? It's the first stage of grief. Getting a chronic disease at a young age. Unable to reveal her 'dark' side to her friends, afraid of losing them; bearing the shame. Wherever you are now, I'll pray for your success in life. Stay strong buddy.

That's about it.
Spectrums of life or call it whatever you want but that's the way it is.
Just something I've been thinking about lately.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Aiman Azlan and My Regrets


Semester break! One of those rare moments of (almost) no work and all play. With all the free time I finally got a chance to finish reading some of the books I've always wanted to read but never got the chance to. One of them is 'The Other Side of the Coin' by Aiman Azlan and Ameen Misran.
Yes! #SupportLocalAuthors

Well I bought the book mainly because of Aiman Azlan and here's the story of how I get to know him.

Back in my matriculation days (I'm not as old as it sounds), I was given the responsibility of leading a campaign called 'Islamic Awareness'. Being a naive kid that I was, I agreed. That 'oh shit' moment hit me when i realised there are two main problems. I have zero experience in leading campaigns and my knowledge of Islam is really superficial.

I tried to calm myself down.

Don't worry too much. You got this man!
Muslims pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan and everyone has to cover their awrah.
Alright! Lets make everybody more aware about that.

During the planning process, we have a slot for a motivational talk. Everyone's brainstorming on the topic as well as which speaker to invite. One of the committee members suggested Aiman Azlan!

My reaction was like, 'Aiman who?' Raising an eyebrow.

'Aiman Azlan! You know, that famous (good looking) Malaysian Youtuber studying in Canada.'

I put 'good looking' in a bracket because I wasn't certain if she said that but she was fangirling while suggesting. So even if she didn't say it, I knew deep down, she wanted to.

Okay, so we're not only gonna talk about Aiman Azlan in this blog entry. I'm also gonna talk about me. Well because this is my blog and what I did was probably the worst mistake in my life.
Just keep in mind that with my zero experience, I was a terrible event organizer.

Aiman Azlan, despite being Youtube famous and an oversea graduate, is one of the nicest and humblest guy I've ever met. A wise man too and i mean it. He was willing to speak for free after we told him about our tight budget. We just have to provide him shelter for the night. The committees waited him at the guard house, brought him to the guest house and we even had dinner together before the talk which was held in the college mosque after the Magrib prayers. Everything was smooth. The talk started and I sat on the last row with some of my Muslim friends.

I'm gonna go on a tangent here just to point out how uncomfortable it can be for a Chinese dude like me to enter the mosque. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful place and non Muslims are welcomed too. It's just that I'm not used get all those eyes staring me.

It's not that angry 'Hey what's he doing here?!' kinda of stare but that rather friendly 'Hey look, there's a chinese here' kinda stare. Or maybe it's just my tendency to overthinking and complicate all things.

Back to the story, the throughout the talk, I was really tired and i even got a headache. Running a week long campaign was draining. Towards the end of the talk, I wasn't feeling good and decided to walk back to my room and have some rest. Everything went smoothly so far and the talk was ending real soon. What could possibly go wrong?

When a story asked 'What could possibly go wrong?' anything that can go wrong, will.

I remembered vividly lying down on my bed before getting a text from my friend. He told me that he saw Aiman Azlan walks around the mosque and later walks back to the guest house all alone, unaccompanied.

Invited a somebody to an event without paying him a single cent, the least the organisers should do is to thank him after the event and escort him back for some rest. But nooo, the person in charge decided to go back to his room early and leaving the Aiman Azlan all alone after the event ended. I was and still am ashamed. God knows I much I hated myself back then.

Acting on my natural guilt, I apologized through emails and the forgiving soul was really calm and cool about it.

I was touched by the way he reacted and yes, he's definitely someone I idolize.

It has been 3 years. People grow and hopefully wiser by age.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Mr Aiman Azlan. I wasn't polite addressing you as Aiman back then plus reading back on those emails, I sounded like a kid!

Thank you so much for being kind. Thank you for pardoning my messy management. Thank you for inspiring and empowering thousands of youth in Malaysia through your educational programs.

May God bless you and your family.

Monday, 14 August 2017

One More (Light) Too Many

2016/2017 was a great term. It was my first clinical year. Started fresh. Constructing goals and planning my year ahead. Convincing myself that this term would be much better from the previous two. I consider this my honeymoon year. Extremely excited for clinical teachings and finally being able to do things my way. Keeping my fingers crossed that everything would go well, and it did!

Here are some highlights throughout the year.

I fell in love (professionally) with the patients in the ward. Kelantanese are among the nicest people I've met in my two decades of living. We medical students have to practice our History Taking skills which can be lengthy, but it's crucial in process of making the right diagnosis. It would really make my day if my patient (despite being ill) is willing to share their story. Some even share their personal life stories and it's really interesting to see where they came from.

The kids in Paediatrics ward stole my heart away. It's an amazing feeling of happiness sprinkled with satisfaction when we get to see a worn-out and helpless looking child on admission who recovers throughout the treatment and suddenly turns into a mini happy monster running around the ward. Oh oh, there was once when I carried a child with Down Syndrome with no stranger anxiety and she was looking at me with her innocent googly eyes. She slept too not long after I carried her. I had that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Could be my fatherly instinct, you'll never know.

Throughout the year, aside from clinical stuff, I was pretty satisfied with everything. I got to represent my campus for a Frisbee Tournament. Might not sound like much, but being a potato that I am, it's certainly an achievement worth noting down.

Started joining volunteering programs! That's another tick off my non-existing, imaginary bucket lists. Ran a Charity Breakfast program in my school. It's a small program. But hey, for an idea that i got while thinking in the shower, it turned out pretty great. Couldn't have done it without my inspiring team though. 

It's not always sunshine and rainbows, here in Siang's land.
I have my gloomy days too and seems like monsoon came early this year.

I owe it to my complicated mind. I have the tendency to overthink things which would induce unnecessary stress. I kept it to myself. I mean, everyone would get stressed out at one point. Mine happens to be now and i just have to deal with it. 

It's scary when you can relate to most of the depressive songs in LP's new album, One More Light. Favourite album by far in 2017! 

I do not have clinical depression, but I was depressed. Concentrating on my daily task is a struggle. I sleep a lot. I contact my family less frequently. Socializing is exhausting. The only thing i look forward to is going to bed; foolish attempts of sleeping it off. I started having nightmares. I began to lose hold of myself. Everything seems so heavy and I cried.

Hey, I'm no superhuman. 

I didn't open up, at first. I tried hard to bury it hoping that no one would notice the loose dirt. 
One might say opening up will make us look weak but I don't believe in that bs. I did not open up because opening up to the wrong person is just as useless. So putting on a smiley mask was better option.

In the end, I did find my way to open up and trust me, talking helps a lot.
Along the way, I've learn that if you can't take good care of yourself, nobody else will. Know that even the rarest disease is shared by few. Whatever your situation may be, odds are, there will be those who has the same experience as you. We're never alone with our problems. You just got to find the right support group. Seek help from professionals if you have to.

Open up a picture file of a beautiful scenery and zoom it to it's smallest pixel.
That's how we see life when we're too focus on one particular problem in our life.

When in reality, if we open our mind (zoom out), live a little more (enjoy the details)

and live our life as a whole (look at the scenery as a whole), this world is a wonderful place be live in.

Hakuna Matata babeh.