Sunday, March 01, 2009

big yellow taxi

three years ago, at exactly 5 pm, classes would end, and i’d be free to go home. i could spend the rest of the night studying (like a good girl), eating (studying makes me hungry), watching TV (my favorite form of rebellion), socializing (just to prove that i have a life), or sleeping. all my weekends were free. i *always* went home to QC because no matter how toxic med freshies were, weekends were always ours.

second year came, and things started to get a little more complicated. exams took place weekly. readings quadrupled in volume (and mass?). gimiks with classmates became less frequent. i stopped going to diliman to see my UPIS friends. i started to stay up late every single night just to barely pass all those exams. by then, i was seriously doubting continuing. if things only got harder from then on, why should i even bother?

as the years passed, i found myself sacrificing more. i only had half of weekend days free; but in the strictest sense, we’d still be in the hospital on a Sunday afternoon because we *never* finish our work before 12. there were times when i’d be miserable in the hospital thinking how i'd give anything to be back at home with my family, eating my mom’s cooking, playing with my dogs and catching up with mik. i'd miss family parties (i was the only one who was always absent). every third day was spent in the hospital – weekends included. post-duty days were dedicated to sleep (because seriously, you’d be too exhausted to think about doing anything else). meals became optional, especially during the toxic rotations. precious free time was spent studying to avoid being humiliated to the consultant/fellow/resident/nurse/patient/patient’s family. not that it does much because it still happens. in medicine, you learn that no matter how much you read, you will always know less than everyone else. i’d miss church services to finish clinical abstracts and discharge summaries. i’d skip org meetings to research for SGDs or to finish my “clerk responsibilities.” my friendships with some people started to deteriorate with me realizing only months too late. i am becoming a doctor, yes, but i feel like i’m also turning into a horrible person.

where is the tara i used to be? the girl who would drop everything to answer to a friend in need? the girl who would always have time for music? the girl who loved to write whether it be on a blog, on paper or in the mind? the girl who would never end a day without praying? the girl who always had time for family? i feel like i’m losing more of myself day after day. i have one more year of med school – internship. how much more do i have to sacrifice to become *that* something i’ve always dreamed of? how much of myself do i have to give up to earn the right to heal? is it still worth it? is this what i really want?

don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone?

i paved paradise, and put up a parking lot. i don’t blame medicine. i chose to do this. this is my fault. i can only blame myself.