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Playlist 24; staircase.

John Mayer – I Will Be Found

Halsey – I Walk The Line

Hunter Hayes – Rainy Season

Kygo ft. John Legend – Happy Birthday

Mike Perry ft. Casso – Inside The Lines

Sara Bareilles – City

The Chainsmokers ft. Phoebe Ryan – All We Know

The Vamps – All Night (Matoma remix)

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Big bad wolf.

I’m on cloud nine. There’s this event called Big Bad Wolf that sells any type of imported book 24/7. I went there on Wednesday and the feeling I got when I first saw the venue was indescribable. I saw piles and piles of books in various colors, stacked in groups of different genres. Young adult, fiction, non-fiction, movie & music, history, travel, literature, business, politic, even self help! I burst out laughing and immediately dragged my feet to that specific corner. Seeing that many book in one super wide room felt like I was finally able to breathe a clean fresh air. I was in my best element. That was my happy place. I patiently scanned every row, touched as many book as I possibly could. When I first entered the venue, they gave us a cart to carry our selected books. I literally scoffed. Was that really necessary? I would only buy a thing or two, I already had too many books at home. Mama would kill me. But still, my partner in crime, Mbak Biru insisted. And boy did I lose my self control. As soon as I got the first self help book (it’s called My Journey, a guide book to help you understand yourself, by writing about you, your family, your childhood, your dreams, etc. And I fell in love instantly. I needed that) and then it escalated. I couldn’t help myself! It’s like a rush. Adrenaline rush. Before I knew it there were already 10 books on my cart ranging from romance, fiction, mystery & thriller, up to humor. Can you believe I bought a book in humor section? I felt so guilty that I put few of them back. I had no income! I couldn’t just keep wasting my parents’ money. Well technically I could, I’m their child.  🙋🏻

As I strolled through various aisle I couldn’t help but notice people all around me were pushing the already too full carts. Books highly piled up to the side, ready to fall down at the slightest bump. They picked a book, read it’s back cover in less than half minute then absentmindedly threw it on the cart. Amazing. It’s not really expensive though. Majority of the book only costed around 60k each. Three times cheaper than the usual. So I totally got why people went crazy. The people. They’re my kind of people. Who minded their own business and practically lost in their own world. Few of them dressed in the most comfy outfit, flip flops, thick glasses and all. Another bunch just got outta tiring work. Few of high school students in uniforms, they’re just goofing around mostly. And the last group were the parents. Who went cray cray at the sight of laminated hard cover reading books (160 k, tops). I felt a sharp pang of jealousy as I watched their kids squealed in delight, enthusiasm drawn on their little faces. Their tiny hands diligently shoved any kind of colorful book in the cart (most of the books in the kids section were top quality, packaged in the most alluring & interesting way, some of them even contained interactive toys as bonus. With super cheap price of course). When their parents were trying to talk them down into buying one copy of princess tale instead of two (just because they had different cover), they argued. Oh they were good at arguing. They stood their ground alright. The parents finally surrendered. Amazing. They talked in fluent English too. “Mommy I want that one! Can we also have the butterfly one? Pleaaase? But Dad! I started my timetable yesterday, I need that Counting with Thomas book!” I was like, whoa what is this, a family AU came to life? Gosh kids these days! (I’m not being sarcastic). I tried my best not to snatch one of those glossy books (for my future kids!) and that was hard. Life’s hard. Those lucky kids better thank their parents later. 

I loved the euphoria. Standing in the middle of thousand books realizing that I shared the same passion, same excitement as those people. I’m already on my third novel. How. I’m stunned. I totally forgot that I used to love reading. I used to go to the bookstore every month. I patiently waited for every sequel of the book to come out. I used to stay up late, scrunch under the blanket, and turn the pages away. Back then my mum thought as a kid, and then shortly after, a teenager, I should read less & go out more. Sorry ma can’t do. Then medschool happened. It rendered my desire to read senseless. I’ve been inactive for what felt like years. My poor unread novels were abandoned. I felt like a bad mother, neglecting their child. Free time was and is a luxury that’s best spent by none other than sleeping. Recharge. Any chance of reading for pleasure was thrown out of the window. 

And now as I slowly build up my appetite to read again, the joy that I feel when I’m reading a book kinda takes my by surprise. I am happy. I turn the pages and I am completely happy. I feel whole. I don’t come from a family that love reading / have admirable library collection (my mum falls asleep on the second page of a magazine. What does that tell you), but my dad is very supportive of my hobby. And at this point I feel like I’d do anything so that my future kids can have the same privilege; being able to buy as many book as they want & enjoy reading wholeheartedly. 

I would do anything. 

X.

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All we know.

I’ve been obsessing over All We Know, a song by The Chainsmokers & Phoebe Ryan- for days. I literally put it on the car as I’m driving to the hospital every morning, on the speaker up in my room every night, when I shower, get dress, pack up some clothes for the night shift that’s days away, anxiety and all, hurriedly stuffing un-read books back to it’s place,etc. The first thing that got me was obviously the catchy melody, the chorus, and Phoebe Ryan’s sweet sweet engulfing voice. As if she could coax you into doing almost anything. It’s a good addition to my “DRIVE” playlist (I miss Sidoarjo already!) but I wasn’t paying much attention to the lyrics at that time.

Now that I listen to it for a hundredth time, I think there’s a sort of raw sincerity in the chorus and I can’t help but relate to it on spiritual level! With my anxiety, medschool, uncomplicated but to me very complicated life, exciting yet mysterious future, my love life… It’s like, all the things good and bad are laid in front of you. They’re there. It can’t be undone, you can’t go back in time and try to prevent them from happening. In the midst of this mess the only thing you know is surviving. I know the way I interpret the song may be totally different with the way the song-writers do. But I totally get the concept. It’s a broken relationship, but no one seems to want to end it, cause they’ve fallen into easy habits that will be gone & they need to adjust their life once they’re separated. It’s like that one thing you can’t easily throw out even if it’s old and rusty and loses it’s function. It’s there solely to make you feel whole. So even though the relationship doesn’t work anymore they decide to stay. And so the routine goes. Cause that’s the only thing they know. Keep on going, keep on doing things. Keep on moving. How else can they get past this? That’s the only way they know. 

Every time the chorus comes, I’ll be like, I will wake up tomorrow, put on the white co-ass coat, I will sit through the morning report and try to absorb as many things as my dysfunctional brain could, I will go through the clinical postings and night shift, patients will obviously come, I need not to panic, if I fall into a panic attack I will take a breath, I will follow the PPDS instructions, I will do things one at a time. I will not hesitate to ask cause sometimes my over-anticipating brain fails to do it’s function. The hours will pass. Pinky promise! I don’t want to think about how my anxiety cripple me and (I think) make me more inferior than my other friends. I obviously don’t want to think about what kind of  (trying hard not to put bad adjectives even if my mind tells me to) doctor I’m gonna be. This is the only way I know. Getting through one sticky thing at a time. This is all I know


I’ll ride my bike up to the road

Down the streets right to the city

I’ll go everywhere you go

From Chicago to the coast

You tell me “Hit this and let’s go

Blow the smoke right thru the window

Cause this is all we know.”

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There was a halo resting above your head then it slid down around your neck, and I bet you thought I’d never find out. Because you think you’re so clever.

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Outer space.

Sidoarjo is so.much.fun. Too bad it’s almost ending. The working hour isn’t as crazy as RSUA / Soetomo, there are lots of level 4a cases (GP competency) in both clinic (we usually get to do Ante Natal Care, learn basic USG, do pap-smear & IVA test, get to see simple cases like myoma, cyst, prolapses) & VK (enough per-vaginam partus for each DM), and lots of chances to independently do things, if you’re into it. I mean, I’m more of a thinker than a doer so this kind of stase practically haunts me. You’re forced to be active, brave, initiative in order to get some “tindakan” like helping out labor, hecting, vaginal touche, rectal touche, episiotomy, etc. I think I’m far too clumsy & unskilled to handle those, so most of the time I settle for just being an “observer“. The thought of me having to battle my way through other DM, nurses, & midwife to get one chance to do “tindakan” (it almost feels like treasure hunt), is just horrible. You either kill or get killed there’s no in between. No hesitation. No comfort zone. So yep, smile and endure. I used to feel so stressed out like how are my friends able to overcome their fear & move on & do things upon things fearlessly? but then it dawns on me that each one of us, even as a doctor, has our own career path. And if I don’t excel in one aspect then it’s simply not the kind of road I wanna go down to (i.e. being a surgeon / anesthesiologist/ gynecologist) ? There are a lot of specialties, lot of options. Who knows what the future holds?

But even if this is not my cup of tea, RSUD Sidoarjo manages to keep me happy and smiley; the first time in months that I don’t feel anxious to go home. Located in the heart of Sidoarjo, it’s a rather small hospital for a type B health center. But it’s green, compact, and lately the weather is chilly-in a very good melancholic way and I love it here. The architecture! Kinda reminds me of my hometown. You know the kind of feeling you get when you’re stepping into somewhere old, familiar, but also sophisticated at the same time? I don’t know how to put it into words really. The people are super nice and friendly, they don’t talk aggressively (as many Surabaya people do). The security, even the parking ticket guy, they’re always like hi! How are you! Thank you! Good morning! 🙂 

On the first day here we’re given clear directions about our job desc, what to do and not do, simple introduction about obgyn, and few words from the head of department. We didn’t feel as clueless as we did the first day back in RSUA, our first ever obgyn round. I think first day is like the most important aspect, like if it’s ruined then it will affect your view throughout the entire round. We work side by side with midwife, nurses-in training & medstudent from another university, and they’re all SO nice I’m touched. I feel like I’m already a part of them instead of newcomer who’s only staying for two weeks. Although we don’t get case report, morning report, & kuliah klasik as much as we do in RS. Dr. Soetomo, the supervisors here are all kind & informative.

The long drive through the highway is my  absolute favorite! In order to get here I have to drive approximately 20 km through Surabaya-Waru highway. It’s a new experience. I was hesitant at first, like “I’m no racer, my speed limit is 90-100 km/h, and I hate big big trucks. How am I gonna survive?” Turned out I was doing okay. Now I’m enjoying.every.single.minute of it. There’s a sense of maturity & freedom in it. I love the trees, the smooth road, the clouds, the horizon, the wind, my grip on the steering wheel… Happiness actually comes from the simplest things. I honestly don’t wanna leave!


PS: Of course I have to make special playlist titled DRIVE (for when I’m feeling ecstatic, it’s filled with up beat, rocky songs) & HIGHWAY (for one of them cloudy days).