Sometimes it’s a mistake. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes, just sometimes, it’s both at once. I’m talking at the moment about people and how they come into and out of our lives and how it can be hard to know when they’re really gone. The past week or so has been a little like that for me – if there’s anyone who’s read through my archive here, they may recall my first entry of the year where I summed up 2010; it’s here if you want to read – that’s cool, I’ll wait for you to finish.

Done? Great!

A big part of 2010 was getting over a very serious relationship and as events of the past week have proven, that was a difficult thing, largely as I reconnected with said ex-partner which was overall a positive experience. It was good to talk and such, and although it may not have been a smart thing to do I’m glad it happened. What it has also taught me is that bonds are sometimes harder to break than we realise, but that they can be broken in ways you didn’t think they could be. It also reminded me of a lot of things about both her and myself that I missed – and a lot of things that, truth to tell, I don’t like to recall. I’m hopeful that we can move forward as friends and perhaps life will fold that back in without too much insane difficulty. There are of course issues there that may make it not smooth and easy, but life never is. At any rate – I feel, oddly, that I have a lot more closure on the past relationship now in multiple ways. What happens moving forward, well, let’s wait and see.

Touching, isn’t it?

For those following my travails, I’ll put a brief note in here that the lady formerly known as Miss Butterfly isn’t particularly so a few weeks later, but that’s okay in its own way – prepare for the fall, and believe in the shatterstorm potential. It’s odd how you can sometimes talk with someone more after an event has occurred than before or during. How’s that for cryptic, Jessie?

I spent a chunk of the past week at Global Health Conference (GHC) at UNSW in Sydney, which was both interesting and stimulating, while also being boring and uninspiring. Sadly, there was a lot of backslapping going on (self-administered) that seemed out of character, much of the workshop/skill material was not geared at someone with multiple years of medical knowledge and training, and there were quite a few agendas hanging out for the world to see, and being relatively blatantly misrepresented. Add in the fact that for the one social night I decided to attend I was trapped on a boat for four hours where I was feeling like curling up in a ball and hiding for a good two of them, and… well. I’ll give it an overall positive grade for a conference, but I probably enjoyed around 60% of the time.

The boat mentioned just then… I’ve never been on a harbour cruise before. That was fun. The fireworks on Darling Harbour were lovely until everyone rushed outside to watch them and took over my little hidey-space. There were a few people I adore on the boat that it was nice to chat with and spend time with. I met a very interesting young lady from Deakin who had the most insanely captivating accent (Denmark, moved to Australia ten years ago, a subtle blending) who had a former life in HR before med and was a stimulating conversationalist. So, I’d have to say that I did have fun… but let me share a message thread (via SMS) between myself and another GHC attendee who skipped out on the evening:

Me: I always forget how much being introverted sucks when trapped with crowds of people!
Them: And that’s why you should adopt my strategy of just avoiding places that would put you in said situations
Me: Well, the speech is entertaining enough, and there were fireworks. Still, I need to get away and am stuck for hours to come. Ah, life.

I’ve been called a social butterfly. I’ve been told I ‘act like I need people’. I’ve been told I ‘must be an extravert because you get on with people so well’. Maybe it comes across that way, but well, as the ‘extraverted introvert’, I can safely say that the past two days of no people have been entirely and absolutely crucial to my wellbeing.

Time off from people? I love you but please. Go away.

Otherwise, I started moving up to Bowral today, have my house key, have my room picked out, left a chunk of clothing and bedding there (to be fixed on Friday after the carpet cleaner comes tomorrow), had a delicious pie and coffee, and tried to visit my sister and niece only to find the roads were still cut off due to excessively speedy winds and fallen trees and suchlike. Tomorrow, I’m thinking of making a roast dinner and maybe reading some Stephen Donaldson. Perhaps.

Need to work on some fiction too, but that’s another story – pun fully intended.



self-renewal & a slight amount of zen

It’s been about ten days since I last had a long and organised rant on this online space, and oh what a rant it was indeed. At this point I’m feeling rather more zen about life in general, and hopefully this following entry will support that theory, although I will admit and warn right now that ’tis likely to be somewhat haphazard and perhaps disjointed, as I’m composing it in a rather relaxed and stilted pace – as the mood comes and goes. Rather than a single splurge of emotified text, it is the work of a lazy Sunday – a Sunday which, if God was on my mind, I’d be praising It for.

It’s now four weeks into my Geriatricageddon: Old People UNITE! experience, and I’m going to start by addressing it: I have really, really enjoyed this rotation. Three days ago I would have said no, god, make it stop, I need help, argh! but I’ve had a day and a half to mellow down, and besides I’ve felt like that in the fourth week of every single rotation so far, so it’s cool, that’s just the Week Four Fuck This experience. That said – I will not be a geriatrician. I will almost certainly be a physician track, but I won’t specialise in Old People Medicine. I don’t have anything against them at all, they are generally lovely (such as the bipolar lady who chatted with me for twenty minutes about how nice my ManBag is!) but dementia isn’t my cup of total-everything-tea.

I was driving home on Thursday night after spending my Token Social Evening of the Week (twice last week. I felt really, really people-tired-but-amazingly-full-of-cheese) and listening to my most recent mix CD (my driving music & monthly iPod playlist) and was struck by something that has amused me and saddened me in the past… namely, music association. There exist, at this point, a few songs that when played are highly associated for me, specifically with female members of homo sapiens sapiens, both close friends and former/current ‘mores’. As such, I started thinking about them and decided to put a few of them online as I remembered them as, hell, I’m blogging about life and stuff in general, so why not be as open as I can be (for my audience of what, four? five?). So here’s a few songs that I associate with people.

You Raise Me Up, by Lena Park.
Let Her Cry, by Hootie & the Blowfish
She, by Elvis Costello
Hello, by Lionel Ritchie
The Only Exception, by Paramore
Beautiful in my Eyes, by Joshua Kadison
Just the Way You Are, by Boyce Avenue (Bruno Mars cover)
Standing at the Edge of the Earth, by Blessid Union of Souls.
Daydream Believer, by Mary Beth Maziarz

Yes, the majority are effectively love songs. Fancy that. No, there is no duplication of songs on that list. One song makes me feel guilty every single time I hear it, another is painful, a third is wistful, and then the others, well.

I suppose the point I’m thinking of eventually trying to maybe make is this: music is associative, and is especially so in specific cases for me. Thought I’d share that before I move on.

In terms of moving on, I’ve decided to place something creative here. Creative, sad, depressing, but amazing in that it dragged me out of Thursday. Setting the scene – Thursday, Hospital Grand Rounds, listening to a case presentation by a neurologist about a lady from the south coast with Locked In Syndrome – for those at home, that’s a condition caused by a stroke resulting in infarcted (dead) midbrain tissue – a stroke in a basilar artery, if you want to google it. I was sitting there listening, considering the film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and wondering, what would it be like? The following was my answer:

Don’t shut the door

Stare outwards; flare then blink
but don’t pray, that’s worse than weeping
& God probably doesn’t care.
Tongue-tied mind-flayed open to soar
but sadness-
& it’s all a show for the other.

I want to scream so I do
but I can’t they don’t hear
& I’m alone attended cared for waited upon
but anguish-
& I fall free-down into lightless sunshine.

One day I’ll be a real boy
but don’t please never admit tell doctor
& nurses looking at me scattergun demon:
I can’t think without butterfly entrapment
but solitude-
& I think I’m over, probable, yes.

Mm. That’s a tad depressing, yes. Afterwards, Jess asked me if I’d want to be disconnected at that point, and I thought yes, I think I would – it was interesting how the thought process went, it had almost everything to do with others and nothing to do with self. Interesting.

I have, however, just had a lovely weekend considering that I did maybe three hours work on Saturday, gave up, spent six hours watching the Big Bang Theory and Glee, and did nothing at all today – being Sunday. First total day off for… well, since the middle of January. I think. I needed it. I’ve been rather down both physically and mentally, and I’m now in a position of relative calm again – avoided most people, and just recharged, oh and had an internet argument about personality type which is always more fun than it needs to be, if only because NT people are so easy to set off. Apologies NT friends. Love you all. 🙂

Anyway, the time is now here for me to sleep and resuscitate, and then do one more week of Geriatrics… with a steak dinner arranged for Tuesday. Looking forward to that, especially.