Dec. 31st, 2016 11:54 pm
autumnsoliloquy90: (Default)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90

Now that the year is ending, I'm really in a happy place right now. Maybe it's the fact that I'm graduating, medical school is over, and the next year is full of promise and new changes. I must admit, the sudden foray into social networking and interactions with peers after many years of social isolation really fucked me up a little bit. Just a little bit. Maybe it's the daunting feeling of how I'm a noob at everything; I'm a fresh graduate with very little substantial practical experience at the hospital where I actually had to make crucial decisions and carry heavy responsibilities; i have very little experience with friendships in close physical proximity, dealing with interpersonal conflicts because I've managed to adeptly avoid them all these years; I'm still pretty much a noob at serious long-term relationships and dealing with men (mainly cos I really cannot be fucked to attract and pander to male attention). Not that I particularly expect myself to have accomplished these things by now, but somehow just the thought of my impending induction into the harsh cold world of adult responsibilities and cutthroat medicine makes my knees go weak and me doubt myself.

Nevertheless I do feel whole again. Despite my inadequacies and shortcomings, I'm trying to be less harsh on myself. I am still a work in progress, after all. Every phase of life is a chance to reinvent oneself and that's what I'm planning to do. Shed my old, bespectacled, preppy, goal-oriented loner self for something more well-adjusted, a well balanced life. That's my goal for the next year anyway.

Throughout my whole life in Germany I often envied my peers whose lives seemed so full, so rich and so settled. They had a life path to follow which seemed convenient and comforting. But recently, seeing younger peers attempt to change their life paths either by way of career change or cheating on their long-time partners, I realize that indeed, the convenient paved path carved out by the expectations of your family, or your society is pretty much a straightjacket, balls and chains tying you to a life determined by chance, fate or conventions. And thus I realize how fucking lucky I truly am to have this freedom. I've always lamented how my parents were unable to provide us with stable social support structures to grow up in, and how they pretty much in their own moxie way disregarded conventions and made the great sacrifice of letting go part of their cultural identities and traditions in order to adapt in their new surroundings where they sought a better life for us. But now I see it as a blessing. By giving us little in form of shackles like an extended family, comforts of a homeland, cultural baggage, my parents serendipitously gave us freedom to create our own lives, create our own choices, instead of making us choose from a very limited range of options a cushy sessile lifestyle would have afforded. I always thought my family was helpless because of our permanently immigrant and alienated status, but maybe we were among the most empowered mobile people there is.

Of course there are times when this lifestyle of fleeting intense connections to places and people takes its toll on me. No matter how much i have had practice in this life, every goodbye fucks me up so bad. With people I genuinely had a deep connection with, of course. But like the true TCK prototype, it has really helped me to learn how to enjoy the moment, the present, while it lasts because tbh nothing good in life every lasts forever. Cliched as it may sound, that song was right; "all we have is now". For much of my life, this has been true indeed, and maybe it's a blessing. The ability to appreciate precious things in life because they are so mortal, fleeting and rare. I'm going to try to be less afraid of getting emotionally attached to things and places and people. Life is all about emotional attachments anyway, even if they don't last forever. Now, if only I could deal with goodbyes without feeling fucked up.

For years all I've ever thought about is graduating asap and leaving this place, but despite all the unhappiness and isolation and trauma I suppose I've gotten attached to this place. I have no idea where I will end up in this wide world working but if it's germany, I'm surprised at myself that I actually wanna stay put where I am right now. Is it because I have a handful of good friendships now? Is it the inertia of leaving the comfort zone this city has meant to me in this alien place, because after all these years I know its roads and corners like the back of my hand? Is it misplaced nostalgia? Or the inertia some women feel when they're about to walk out of an abusive relationship? I suppose that in spite of everything that I've gone through in Frankfurt, the city has experienced it with me. The people might feel like strangers still but the place is like a good friend with whom I shared seven years of tumultuous friendship with. I will always have a soft spot for the river with whom I made many many beautiful and painful memories with.

Going to the US for the research internship next year is of course an exciting prospect, but I think I've also been having some latent apprehension about it. I've been trying to manage my expectations about it. So okay, I'm done with med school now, English is my first language so for once in ages I could actually express my true self in all aspects of the word. I have a full scholarship so there's no more guilt of being financially a burden to my parents. But I guess I'm just nervous about going to a foreign place again. Right now my major goals about the US are: 1) publish at least one paper and have enough data to write a thesis, 2) do observerships at hospitals during weekends and make connections, 3) learn Spanish up to CEFR B2. I'm not scared of solitude; I've enough preparation for that in Germany. I guess it's just the feeling of being small and insignificant as a foreign PoC woman in a vast diverse country like America. Will I actually find kindred spirits over there? Make meaningful connections? Be at the front seat of a fascist uprising? Maybe I'll find what I'm looking for over there, whatever it is? Who knows. I don't even know if I'll love it there, or if I would come to realize after all that germany is the best option after all.

This holiday season i could finally truly say I'm happy and contented. I'm done with a major phase of my life; I've made a few significant friendships albeit very late in med school but still better late than never; I've been traveling with old friends from the past to beautiful nooks and crannys of Germany I've never explored before. One of them is a classmate from secondary school, to whom I've always harboured guilty feelings because I had some teenage girl dramatic fallout with her back then and I feel that I might have made her life extreme hell through my teenage bitchy ways. But talking to her again, it seems that my feelings of guilt are mutual. And it's nice reconnecting with her and realizing how far we've matured, and how I really like the person she has become too. Maybe we'll rekindle our old friendship once again. To quote a Harry Potter character, things and people you lose always have a way of coming back to you, if not in the way you expect them to.

My parents have arrived for the New Year's and to attend my graduation ceremony. I had low expectations of my family especially in view of all the dramatic explosions we've had in the past few years when we're together, but surprisingly everyone has been making the effort this time to be more considerate and understanding of one another. It might be too premature to say this, but I do feel that we are starting to feel happier and contented with where we are in life. We've come very very far together as a family, and I'm proud that we have made it here, proud of our long trajectory in life thus far, and that we are still intact after all of that. I do hope I would have many many years left with my parents.


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