2016…

… was the year I blogged the least! I was busy saving the world myself.

It may be possible that every year of our lives is a set with its’ own unique challenges, but 2016 was really an uphill challenge for most of the year. But like bad comes with good as its’ counterparts, there were sweet moments that just reminded you that hard and good times are just a test of faith.

Faith, a heavy 5 letter word.

On Medic Life.

The cusp between 4th and 5th year is a notoriously difficult time for Cardiff Medics. All med schools have their own way of organizing their curriculum, and Cardiff schedules students to sit their 4th year final exam and OSCE 2 months before the 5th year final OSCE and first out of three knowledge papers.

Individually, all these exams are crucial, with the overall score from 4th year contributing directly to the Foundation Program rankings which determine your choice of jobs and the 5th year exams being the determinant of you graduating as a doctor.

January till July was one long term broken up only by bank holidays, revision weeks and stolen moments that had to be taken to maintain sanity (haha, I am very guilty of self-declaring holidays!)

There was a critical time in June, 3 weeks before our finals, when Ramadan was upon me, and I was willing myself to keep on swotting for finals in the heat of the North Walian summer, one of my placement partners got involved in a fatal car crash.

I don’t really know how to describe the exact feeling. It was surreal to say the least, especially because only a week earlier we had both been with a patient who arrested and we were there to see his resuscitation process which ultimately failed. I remember distinctly our conversation on the way back to our accommodation about how the resus teams’ procedure. Then a week later, he would have been the recipient of such procedure.

Medics on away placements together are a close knit group. Looking back, I may have been numb initially at the loss, but I can’t deny it knocked the miniscule momentum I had for studying out the window.

Dear Rav, may you rest in peace buddy.

On Life in General

The characteristic that I envy the most in people is the ability to be positive and stay positive despite all the odds life throws at you.

I think I smiled the least this year.

Astaghfirullah, I know it is a sign of ingratitude towards the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me, but it is a struggle for me to not turn bitter and cold inside.

A few things happened, regarding family and relationships that pushed me towards the apathetic-bitter emotional spectrum. It is at a time like this that the weight of ayats that I have heard a few times like,

al-Baqarah: 216 – Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.

al-Fatir: 2 – Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

becomes not just words to comfort but something to put conscious effort into practicing so as to not breakdown and just give up.

A conversation I had with a good friend as we reflected on how we have changed since the kiasu-ist days of SPM and pre-uni, he reminded me to forgive everyone, especially myself and seek help from God to forgive myself. It is Allah that is the Master Planner of all His slaves and everything happens for a reason. Bearing a grudge against myself, and blaming myself is an inevitable habit that I am trying to break.

My only advice to anyone who is or was in a dark place like I was: Seek help.

I know sometimes it was a burden to even put how I was feeling into words, much less talk to someone else, but keeping quiet can cause you to over-estimate situations and is not good for mental health.

On Happier Things

Another one of my girlies, Rifhan, tied the knot this year! There good ol’ stork dropped 3 more bundles of joy at the Nik household. And last but not least, alhamdulillah I passed those said exams up there so inshaAllah I will be graduating come July. I started going to gym this year and it has been one of the best things about this year, and I finally ran 10K in one go! It ain’t much but it’s a start.

Had my first Hari Raya Eidulfitri and full Ramadan in UK.

It’s been satisfying to finish most of my rotations and experience a lot more of what Medicine has to offer. It’s also good to finally end the to stay for F1 or not dilemma. Yes, I’m testing the waters of this adulting thing.

I also finally bought myself an A6000 Sony camera second hand from Ebay. It’s been the best buy of 2016 for me though I am a bit slow at learning how to fully use it.

On ‘Worldly’ Things  

In my humble opinion, it’s been a pretty anti-establishment year with Britain leaving the EU and Donald Trump making it to the White House.

The plight of Syrian refugees worsens, and those heartbreaking videos of people saying their last goodbye in Aleppo L Bombings in Brussels, killings on Bastille Day and in Berlin. Back home in Malaysia, sighs, the currency flip flops, job prospects for graduates remain elusive etc while Bersih returns. The Rohingya continue to be oppressed while Aung San Suu Kyi keeps silent.

A new virus, named Zika, pops up with the threat of microcephaly for the unborn and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Read more professional views on any news site but I sincerely pray that people don’t forget their humanity and unite for the sake of it.

InshaAllah, Rabbi yassir wa la tu assir, may 2017 be a a better year that brings everyone closer to Him and finally tick those resolutions off your list!

Of Random Shots/ Various Moments

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

Escape after 4th year finals, Nyhavn – May ’16.

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Stockholm- May ’16.

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Virgin zipliners no more. 

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Come Raya with us- July ’16

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My 2016’s favourite graduate! – July ’16

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Strokkur in all her glory- Dec ’16

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Aurora hunting, Reykjavik on Christmas eve.

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errr undefined- Dec ’16

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Aurora borealis- Dec ’16. Temperature: -2.3C

 

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