Friendship and Farewell

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”

– Elizabeth Foley

Its the time in life again; separation. This time, my most beloved friends from medical school are moving to Madiun and Wonogiri. Mixed emotions. Joy and sadness. When will we meet again?

I think one way or another, the friends I made during my journey in medical school have passed Aristotle’s three kinds of friendships. Friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Most being friendships of utility (because apparently, you couldn’t survive medical school without being helpful to others and take the time to use a helping hand and some extra learning hours from your smarter and kinder friends) and friendships of the good. Minding you that all people featured in this post are all my friends of the good. We shared mostly similar values, goals, dreams, and admirations towards one another.

Friendships are unique, don’t you think? You meet someone, you spent some time getting to know them, you found similarities, you found un-similarities and then you found yourself already caught up in between having fun and sharing your deepest dark secrets and eating ice cream together. Some friendships were made without you knowingly making them, like passing each other in the campus’ corridors, saying hi! and then you found yourself often having lunch together and got this feeling in your guts that this is someone I can trust and rely on. Some friendships often start with hardships, you found yourself in the mud of sadness and anxiety, with assignments falling like raindrops from here and there, a swimming pool full of exams and theories to master; another, someone, was also in the same mud and showered with the same rain and a member of the same swimming pool club. A once upon stranger befriended each other and found themselves surviving the same storms; growing together, becoming the better them. Friendships, friends are unique. The uniqueness I love having and sharing.

Then come along new tests, are you really a worthy friend? are your survival skill can overcome the storms of being distanced and away? are you going to always be there when needed and when not?

 The separation. 

There are separations that you know deep down is temporary and the are separations that you know is full-time and not gaining it back. It; being coming back together. These friendships with these friends that I have is definitely the first one. This separation is temporary. Being the generation that we are, I’m grateful for the technologies that have advanced so greatly that you can sense people who are far away as if they are near. One call away people, I want to label them, are always ready to respond to my whatever messages and phone calls. The type that doesn’t make you wait in anxiety; people who understand. As a friend, I’m trying to play my part really well in responding to their emergencies and un-emergencies. We all know that not being responded is the root of all heartaches and trust-declines, so let’s not let these people with beautiful hearts down.

Kebumen, Wonogiri, and Madiun sure are far, our bodies sure are apart, but our prayers and moral supports will always accompany each other. That way I know, our friendships will surpass whatever hardships and storms coming our way. And no, this separation is not us saying goodbye, this is not a farewell! Have faith and study hard, doctors! I’ll see you soon and bring Jogja to you.

Too bad I don’t have all the photos of my special people with me but these ones alone. But then again, that’s the beauty of my friendships with people that I love and hold dear in medical school; we don’t need photographs to explain the bond we have to each other. I love you, good people!

The Hotline Bling

“Late night when you need my love
Call me on my cell phone”

– Drake

One had just finished his first clerkship rotation exam, one has just about to start her clerkship programme, one has just about to finish her undergraduate degree. The dynamics of our friendship does not end there, it has only just begun.

What constitutes a great friendship? Is it the frequency of meeting each other? For having a shared interest? Or having the same dark fears and struggles in life? It is trust and understanding.

These two future doctors are among the few beautiful human beings I have the luck to meet in Jogja. CU is currently doing his clerkship in Kebumen, Verlita will soon follow in Madiun and me, eventually, will follow later this year insyaAllah in Madiun as well. The three of us met in 2014, got sorted into the same discussion group in 2015 and clicked with each other right away. We went out almost every night to eat and just tell each other stories and listening to each other. Regardless of our personalities’ differences, they hear me, I hear them. They understand. With some people, you can talk and try sharing things that punch you in the heart but they don’t usually listen to you, let alone understand. They can pretend, of course, but deep down you know they don’t really care.

The Hotline Bling, we call ourselves, haven’t had a proper dinner since early this year; CU is in town so Verlita and he decided to come to pick me up and go out to eat. Today is actually the first day I went out since being discharged from the hospital. It was nice, we went to my favourite restaurant (CU decided to compromised his longing for Japanese foods and comply with my craving for western ones, Verlita was good with both options). I opted to dress in a long-sleeves black T-Shirt and topped it with a black midi short-sleeves dress with slit, grey trousers, houndstooth scarves and black wedges (forgot to take full body picture). Coincidentally, the two of them were also dressed in dark outfits, Verlita in her navy blouse and CU in his black polo shirt topped with a navy sweater (we forgot to take a proper picture, only selfies).

The 3-hour long dinner was filled with updates on each other lives, we were surprised with how things happened and how we faced it, how each of us overcame our problems. We discussed a lot of things, medicine and life-related. I like it with them that they do not push me or trying to correct me on doing things that I did, or how I responded to those things. They listened and nodded and I knew they understand. Isn’t it lovely, to have someone to truly listen to you? These two were brutally honest too, so I don’t see why not let the words flow and see how they react, so yes, we’re very honest. Boy, they let their words flow, too! If our dinner table was a bowl that could fill up with words, it would surely overflow.

The discussion led us to several conclusions, but the one I remember the most is: adapting and keeping yourself well-tempered regardless of what situation life puts you in is how you win. Since the number of stressors we face as medical students is already mountain-high, how we behave ourselves to our co-workers and people around us (family, friends, significant someone, the patients, people you meet at campus and hospital) have to always be good, even though it’s difficult sometimes to maintain such attitude. They also said that it does not matter how smart you are, if your attitude sucks, it will not take you anywhere, and that’s true. It is also a sign of maturity, being the bigger person. When you function only based on your good-moods, bad-moods, let’s just count on how many people you’re going to lose, even people who love you must be tired to watch such pattern of behaviour habitually and have to always put up with such grisly way of running a life. You lose people not because you don’t pay enough attention to them, you lose people because you only focus on what suits you best.

In the end, I thank you for sharing your thoughts, taking the time to listen carefully and not judging what each other said, to nurture each other, for having great taste in music and always in the mood for food! We’re going to be the best version of ourselves during our study and great doctors in the future insyaAllah. I’m happy and full and I left a chocolate bar in the car because I love you guys!

Acceptance of The Now and New Short-Term Goals

“I am my mother’s novel daughter: I have my duty to perform.”

These last few months had not been easy for me. I have conquered some of my fears and built up new ones. I have made some new friends and lost the old ones, but most importantly I have let go of my demons. I have learned to grow.

The idea of being a medical doctor to me was the only idea that matters most, one that should be taking place soon, the only idea that has to be put into perfection. Getting to know how a disease happens and the possible ways to treat it is what I really want to dig deep into, regardless of what I have involved myself in university life. Not getting things done according to my timetable sucks, I haven’t achieved anything medicine related lately (like getting my thesis presented), but, God has plans and I have to comply.

It was hard, however, to accept the situation God has decreed for me to have at this moment in life. Nevertheless, I’m so lucky to be surrounded by my parents and friends who are so supporting, understanding, and nice. The thing is that… you just gotta accept what is coming your way, after all the attempts, prayers and sweats, it is what it is. Be patient and stay hopeful.

I have come to the realization and have accepted that maybe I’m not so smart, unlike my other friends, but I want to be a doctor and I will try my hardest to become a good one.

Saya tidak pintar, tapi saya mau!

I have set some new short-term goals (some are long term), achievable ones, ones that can be measured before I continue my study The Clerkship alias Co-Assistant (estimated: November 2018), among many are:

  1. Be nicer to mom and dad, after all, they’re the only living humans who would do literally anything for my happiness and well-being.
  2. Fix my vertical relationship with God.
  3. Re-read and take notes on my preclinical books and presentations.
  4. Write at least 4 blog posts a month, write more poetries.
  5. Work or be an intern, if the time before clerkship is enough to do so.
  6. Frequently visit Bantul to see how Mama Piara is doing now that Tita is moving to Madiun to do her clerkship.
  7. Learn to cook edible and delicious foods, that being said; eat more vegetables and drink more fresh fruit juices!
  8. Teach younger kids or my juniors medicine/biology-related lessons (or any other lessons, really) for free.
  9. Take more beautiful photos and smile more.
  10. Have my own business. Or partnered to have one.
  11. Speak more English, learn more Latin (by reading Sobotta and memorizing human anatomy like its easy; 1 month = 1 book) and try learning French at least 2 words a day (before taking serious class after internship insyaAllah).
  12. Save more money, buy less, cook more, make more of something on my own.
  13. Take a better care of my body, my skin, and my hair.
  14. Call home more frequently, give encouragements and motivations to my younger cousins and speak more to Oma about all the good things in the world. Talk more politics with Papa, Papa Oni, Papa Han, Papa Ferry. Have more heart to heart talk with Mama and Tante Heni.
  15. Spend times for my best friends whenever they need someone to talk to or to cheer up their days. Basically just reach out to them before they do to me; understand that the amount of stress clerkship put to them is heavier than my not-yet-co-assisting life.
  16. Go somewhere nice, alone. A solo trip!

Anyway, I got sick a few days back. Got myself laying on a hospital bed because of Typhoid Fever. I need to really be careful about picking foods to eat, this was the second time I have to be hospitalized for the same cause. Photos were taken a day before being discharged, hence the happy face. Friends who came were all so nice, they brought foods and jokes. The nurses and doctors who took care of me were all amazing, I couldn’t thank them enough.

Moral of the story: be fit, watch carefully what you eat, being sick costs you more money than being healthy.

Special thank you to Inov and Naela for always being there whenever I’m sick, Team Hooray, to Tika and Eka for the never-ending support via the phone! Also Prita and Verlita who made the time to accompany me the last night in the hospital and had to sleep in a very limited space. Thank you to everyone who came and visited and all those who prayed for my recovery. Cheers!