I’m an official twenty year old .. (deep breaths/distant laughter), and I thought a positive post would be a good omen for the next twenty years to come. So grab your favourite drink and munch on your favourite snack because I’m ready to give you a large dose of happy.
Five months isn’t a long time at all, but when you’re in an environment of constant change, five months easily feels like five years. Unless you’re sleeping, in which case a 1 hour nap feels like a minute. Rough times.
I’ve been overwhelming myself by trying to figure out how many new people I have met and befriended since October. My god. My head hurts. Every single person I have befriended has honestly enriched my life. So that’s a hell of a lot of enrichment.
It’s such a priveledge to be surrounded by people who are tirelessly strong and positive. Whether it be my partners in endocrime at the Med School, my flatmates, people in my college or my friends, colleagues and family from home, their positivity makes it so blindingly obvious when someone drains you rather than lifts you up. To the med students who are feeling my pain right now and walking around half asleep, to my Cypriot flatmates and friends from countries all over the world, it has become so clear that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you do, a can-do attitude with some kindness and acceptance thrown in there is something pretty special and needed in this world.
Saying this I’m reminded of a patient I saw last year. Funnily enough, this person was being, to put it nicely, difficult. They were aggressive, annoyed, demanding and disrespectful and most of the staff were at the end of their patience. The ward was having a pretty rough day anyway and morale was low. (Rag’n’Bone Man// Human plays in background). Me, the slightly intimidated 18 year old whose sole job was to make tea, almost made a senior member of staff go and attend to him instead, but I went in anyway quaking in my boots just hoping the tea wouldn’t end up in my face.
By some miracle, the tea went down a treat (that’s the British for you), and despite everything, we ended up chatting, which gave way to many odd and confused looks from passing nurses, who had been tearing their hair out over the uncooperative patient all morning. I won’t go into the ins and outs of our conversation – but I’ll always remember two things he said.
- ‘To have a plan is good – but I find they never work out they way you thought they would. So have hopes and have dreams and work for them, but never think you have failed because of some twisted idea that you’re supposed to know the route when only He has access to the map’
Now, I’m not particularly religous, however the idea that everything happens for a reason is one I strongly resonate with. I don’t have the explanation of why things happen the way they do, but I know that they’re supposed to. Even getting to medical school didn’t go as planned – however I’m here now and so much richer for the experiences I had – none of which would have happened if it had all gone to plan. This also gives rise to my ALL TIME FAVOURITE QUOTE.
2. ‘You’re the first one who has smiled’
I nearly cried. I’ll be brutally honest, I have a bad habit of smiling when I’m nervous – even when it’s inappropriate, so I probably didn’t smile at him on purpose. However it really hit hard at the time that my lil smile was supposedly the first one he’d seen in hospital, and the reason that he calmed down. Since then I’ve made a concious effort to smile more and it’s almost scary how much of a difference it makes to attitudes and behaviour.
Lesson learnt – if in doubt, tea, toast and a smile go a long long way.
I know I’ve already mentioned this special lady in my very first blog post, but I feel her quote is appropriate here too. For anyone who hasn’t read that one, a lady in A&E was unfortunately in a very poor state of health, but had a piece of wisdom for me, which was;
“at 19, I wish someone had told me this,” she smiled and then said, “darling, just get out there and have fun.”
My conclusion – people. Don’t fret if you think things aren’t going quite to plan. Or if you don’t have a plan. (Shoutout to all the students/Phoebe Buffay’s facing the dreaded “what are you going to do after uni”)
Things will work out if you are passionate and determined. And Oh, don’t forget to smile, have fun, and make me a cuppa whenever you fancy xo
p.s – here are 5 random acts of kindness to distribute as u go about ur day 🙂
- Pay for a coffee for the person behind you in the line
- Buy a muffin or cookie for a friend
- Smile at 5 strangers
- Compliment someone
- Reconnect with old friends