February 27, 2018 by hallyrh
Three-letter word, full of curiosity.
Even the way it’s spelled is a bit of a head-scratcher.
How did people know that the sun was at the centre of the universe? That the smallest particles of matter are atoms? How come we have laws of physics and theories of evolution?
Because people asked why.
How did women get rights to vote? What prompted the African-American civil rights movement? How come all our course books enumerate countless revolutions throughout history?
Because people asked why not.
Isn’t it curious how that annoyingly short, one-syllable word propagated ideas, and then ideas into action, and then action into outcomes that ultimately lead us to where we are now?
I’m asking because I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered that word over the past few months. Countless. Sometimes in wonder, sometimes in pain.
I’ve had so many decision-making blunders and basically all other kinds of blunders in the past. It kept happening, over and over. This is why I get anxious when I feel genuine happiness bubbling inside me – because one way or another, I know that that happiness is fleeting and it will be taken away from me in an unexpected manner.
People often give me grief for not being sunshine-y and positive about my own outcomes, which is peculiar because I am a jolly bee by nature. But that is what happens when you’ve been bitch-slapped by reality more times than you can count. This is why I am always cautious and why I suddenly seek some quiet time alone after prolonged merry-making with friends, and this is why I always have Plan B’s. (And C’s if I’m being extra neurotic, hehe.) I was just not the kind of person who will walk blindly by faith because my fear of getting run over by the harsh realities of life has a stronghold on me.
But you know. Like I mentioned, it keeps happening. Even back home, it’s the same. I get hopeful over something and it builds up, only to be knocked over by the ruthless mallet of reality in the end.
I mean, why is everything an uphill climb? How come other people prosper so easily while some people are just constantly stuck in the rough?
Why bring me here only to fail me three miserable times? Why am I the first one to arrive and the first one to go? Why bring me here when I’m not meant to be here in the first place? Why did the appeal get approved only to set me up for a third failure? Why why why why why?
I wanted to go home. I wanted to retreat, regroup, and then begin again.
But my friends, and even my mother, refused to acknowledge the white flag I was waving. They wanted me to keep going. They told me this chance may never come again. I understood their sentiments, I really did, but I was crying and telling my housemates and my best friend on the phone, and my parents that please, I want to go home because my morale has been reduced to doormat status and I was just so tired.
Some of my friends supported my need to take a breather back home, and some were adamant that I can take whatever the heck breathing break I needed here. I know there are ways for me to stay, but I just felt really exhausted with all the highs and lows, the peaks and the troughs and what have you — and I just wanted to go back to my comfort zone for a while.
And so, on the day I got the result of my third attempt, after crying for hours, I went to Torsway with my housemates and had Chinese takeout for dinner with friends. Throughout dinner, they encouraged me not to give up. To exhaust all possible means.
The following day, I woke up and my initial thought was, I’m not going home.
It was a completely demented 180, but yes.
I’m kind of pessimistic (I prefer the word realistic though) and I look sad even when I’m happy because of my resting facial features, but despite that, I am convinced that I’m kind of a tough nut. Or at least I try to be. Or you know, if not a tough nut, then maybe like one of those tiny plant species that keep popping out persistently in odd places.
So, I looked in the bathroom mirror and took in my bloodshot, swollen eyes and swollen face and asked myself inwardly, who is this trainwreck?!
What I wanted was some peace. And clarity of mind, and strength in spirit. For days after that meltdown, devotional readings were all about being resilient, being brave, being strong, and trusting unconditionally. It spoke to me. And so I started dusting myself off and cracking my knuckles again.
Plus, the support. I was expecting my friends would feel sorry for me, but it was more than that — it was like my friends were actually feeling the same pain. And I thought, this is why we’re all brought – assembled – here. Because we’re kind of extending God’s grace to one another. And with all the love and support I felt during that rough patch, I decided to love and support them back, by helping them the best that I could as they prepare for their OSCEs. Because when you feel God’s grace, you have to pay it forward. You’d think it would hurt me seeing them succeed with their test when I couldn’t, but it doesn’t at all — far from it, in fact.
When I failed the second time, I was scared I might be resentful when my friends pass their exam. But I prayed about this fear, and I came to this realization: we all came here for different purposes, and the weight of one’s purpose does not invalidate the other. All of us have different back stories and reasons for being here. And I care enough about my friends to want them to succeed even if I couldn’t – at least not at the moment. I care about what they care about, and I care about the reasons why they want to pass the exam. Hence, love trumps jealousy.
So anyway. I’ve decided to explore every possible option to stay here in the UK. It’s going to be extremely difficult and painful, like shitting broken pieces of glass (haha) or passing a kidney stone, but I, will, endure — and one day, I will be filing this whole thing into my portfolio of hallmark stories. Haha.
Now about the title (those are the Japanese characters for why. I was trying to be creative, bite me. Haha!). I haven’t really gotten the answer to it yet because I am still in the process of figuring it out. But I trust that I will, eventually. The answer is out there. Somewhere else, probably. But trusting fully, unquestioningly — this is one of the toughest obstacles I’m trying to work my way around. Because there are just so many things in the world to doubt. But I continuously ask God to be patient with me because I’m wading my way through.
And I know I haven’t been out in public except to go to friends’ houses. I’m not grief-stricken and beating my chest, nor do I have a one-way ticket back home just yet -almost bought one, but punched myself just in time. I am just, to put it simply, laying low and figuring things out, cause there are so many things to figure out. People have offered help and I am so deeply grateful for it, even to those who suggested adoption (lol) or marrying a British chap (haha!). But I think the best route to go is to find a new sponsor. And that is where I am focusing all of my energy at the moment.
So yes. Anyway. Things are rough and tough, but I will try my hardest not be knocked down. Power through, endure, pick up my cross and carry it. Punch walls. Strengthen my spine. Get the answers to this seemingly-eternal outpouring of why’s. Carry God’s promises through everything, and learn to trust.