Back!!

I found that too many things were happening in my little life;
I gave this blog a hiatus, and too quickly six months have passed.

Barely in time I’ve come to catch hold the last days of 2010 —
the year would really have gone without waiting for me!

No time to be shocked

It seems like much has changed since I last updated. I worked three months in a remote Aboriginal GP clinic in the Northern Territory Australian outback — that came to an end, and I realized how unexpectedly big the experience has grown, in my life this far. It was bittersweet to leave good old Katherine in the bus that would transit me slowly back to metropolitan life via Darwin.

There wasn’t much time at all to recover from any shock nonetheless, as what followed immediately was four weeks of isolation, working disorienting shifts in the Emergency Department in the satellite town of Traralgon, away still from my apartment in Melbourne. I remember the surreal two-hour drive back to Melbourne one midnight in pitch black 3am after working ten hours of unrelenting Emergency Medicine work — when various lights would fly by in the peripheries of my car in a blurry half-awake state. Despite being third year out of medical school, this was embarrassingly my first ED rotation. After one ED shift on the first afternoon, my very second shift was already a dreaded “graveyard” night shift, where I was assigned to be the “senior resident” alongside a “junior” one as the only two doctors holding the fort for the whole night!! I dread a little to even recollect what happened that night. I know I was glad when the sun peeked out to shine on the freezing wintry day, as the morning-shift doctors started to walk in and as the hospital started to wake up. The half-limps back to my car covered in frost, to return for a sleep after the night shifts, always felt mighty good.

Searching for beauty in the mess

In between the last few days being in the tropical Northern Territory and ending up in cold Traralgon, through a series of events I was offered some interviews in Radiation Oncology in Melbourne. This is the study of cancer and its response to radiation as treatment – a field I am interested to specialise in, if God is willing. The whole process of interviews happened over a few weeks that seemed truly incredibly long and stressful. I knew this will be one of those important decisions that will majorly shape the remainder of my life, and perhaps like many other things, it seemed to have come before I was fully prepared. I have been warned about choosing university courses, about working hard for important exams, about considering the right life partner — but nobody warned me about choosing my medical specialty!

In the end, I was offered the job, much to my jubilee and totally by God’s grace. I didn’t get into the College training program for this year, but I will plan to apply for this again next year — we’ll see!

So yet once more I packed my bags, and silently I moved from the South Eastern Melbourne suburbs to the North Eastern, ready to embark with a pair of big eyes and a good dose of eagerness on my new job. There was the period of unlocking and opening the door and then moving by myself my things into my new vacant apartment, then spending a few silent, Internet-less nights retracing the journey so far. It all seemed rather overwhelming all of a sudden; things were rolling so fast that I had to recollect who and where I was.

I have moved to Australia from New Zealand only earlier, and made some friends here and there, almost as if in a mess. I have been a hospital Resident all this while — now I am moving up to being a Registrar. I am starting work in a new field that I am interested in, but have not had much work experience with before (by nature of the specialty). It was all very exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. Rough and good moments, it has nonetheless been amazing so far.

In the busyness of modern life

November came not so long later at all. I was asked to help a friend couple take their pre-wedding and wedding shots, and another friend couple their first-year anniversary shots (the idea is new to me too). The two projects ended up having make-up artists and assistants correcting dresses and holding up reflectors — claiming way more effort and time than I imagined! At the end of what took almost five weeks of full hard work, I realized I was automatically in my subconscious taking note of the facial features, arms and thighs of random by-passers and formulating photography angles and poses for them; or I would be constantly metering exposures in my mind wherever I went. It was sickening. But the projects have been something I have always wanted to try — it was an amateur effort in all sense, but I am so privileged to have had the opportunity.

From New Zealand my brothers then came to visit, and they left about a week ago. I drove my little red car back to my apartment, and after all the things that have happened, it feels like it has been a while, but here I have arrived. I realized somewhere in the busyness of modern life I have left this blog for six months now.

A cup of coffee and a good thick book

I have redesigned this blog too, as you would have noticed. I thought the previous ones were too ‘cartoony’ (as much as I like cartoons). For this design I half-recalled the feeling of reading a good book in a good coffee shop in a foreign city — the mix of metropolitan soundscape, fleeting aroma, visual and literary distractions…

The design process always takes a major effort for an untrained person like me (2-3 months on and off this time including some php programming), and is invariably fraught with annoyances of not being able to bring to realization what I have in mind. I threw in various motifs in hope that they would work, but I am sure there are 99 design rules about flow, space and colour that I have blatantly broken and do not know. I am always keen to learn, so if you have comments, please share!

Of course the new design breaks the layout of some ancient posts here. Bear with me as I slowly work through correcting them.

Epilogue

I know it has been a long hiatus, but thank you for reading. I hope to keep on writing. Christmas is looming — have a good one, everyone, and take care.

I’ve made the same mistake before
Too many malls, too many stores
December traffic, Christmas rush
It breaks me till I push and shove

December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place?

I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice
Through the chaos and the noise.

— “I need a silent night”, Amy Grant

3 responses to this post

  1. Paul Sia
    // reply // #

    Yeah!!! good to see you back on the blog. I look forward to read more of your updates!

  2. // reply // #

    I am starting work in a new field that I am interested in, but have not had much work experience with before (by nature of the specialty). It was all very exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. Rough and good moments, it has nonetheless been amazing so far.

    I can SO relate to this! Nice to see someone else enjoying/getting through the difficulties and excitement of new jobs and new situations. Looks like you’re going in the direction you want to be, just like I feel I am! It’s definitely amazing to experience. :)

    • // reply // #

      Hey Jordan, thanks you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment!

      Yup, it is definitely an exciting experience, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it too. Let’s work hard together and be good witnesses as disciples of Christ!

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