It has been seven months since my last post. I can probably come up with a thousand reasons for the hiatus, but it really just comes down to one thing: priorities. In the past couple of months, I have been withered, beaten to the pulp and set into a dizzying spin by med school. Second year med, to describe it as challenging, is like calling a woolly mammoth cute. The higher batches have often warned us, to the point that I thought it was just to scare us out of our wits, that second year requires you to make a tight-wire balancing act of nine subjects, three of which are divided into lecture and lab, all expecting you to know, memorize and understand a truckload of information served in hefty, sometimes unpalatable servings. And my did I have a field day as a second year student. Perhaps it was to make me understand that you do not call yourself busy unless you're having an average of four hours of sleep per night (which in med school is already a grave indulgence) and you find yourself cavorting with burn-out every so often.
It has now became clear to me why this question is a staple in the admission interviews. Because it is the one thing that will keep you from copping out, breaking down, and losing your sanity. I went through first year med with the vaguest 'To serve humanity', which to me then sufficed as an all-encompassing statement for whatever it is that I planned on doing. But eventually the vagueness caught up with me, and I found myself questioning why I even bother doing the things I'm doing. Thinking it over, it isn't really that different from serving humanity, that is, I want to help people live better lives. (I know it may not be that specific, but somehow it manages to synthesize my motivations.) To me, a person who is healthy, unencumbered by disease or disability, has a greater chance of realizing his full potential. I want to become an instrument by which someone could be a better person, and I hope it overflows to a degree that he/she desires to be a better father/son/daughter/friend/citizen. I know it may be a fallacy to think that putting people in a better state of health would compel them to make a utopia of this world. But I'm placing my hopes on people's innate goodness, that somehow, we all have in us a desire to make this world a better place.
After spending two weeks of my sembreak in a relaxation frenzy, I will be coming back to my classes next week with a rekindled fire to put myself through whatever mad rough-drive med school has to offer. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but the good, valuable things in life rarely come in neat, just-open-and-enjoy packages. Someday I know all the effort and sacrifices will have its use, and until that day comes, when I finally gaze into the picture where the pieces have finally come together, I will make that decision of becoming a doctor everyday.