Sometimes it may seem dark but the absence of the light is a necessary part.

Almost half of my first semester at UB has flown by so quickly and I can’t believe that despite all the mad frenzy, I do enjoy school. I actually find what I have learnt useful and applicable, unlike the old days in JC whereby doing differentiation won’t directly link to what you see and do in your daily life. Today was one of the days whereby the little lessons and conversations around me made me think about my future.. And my past.

While engaging in a discussion on euthanasia, it hit me how maybe I’m not that accepting of the whole concept of mercy killing as I thought I might possibly be all these while. I used to believe in ‘quality (of life) over quantity’ and I still do. I am ok with the idea of euthanasia, if I see myself as the person being the patient in a terminally ill or vegetative state. But what if it’s someone that makes up a huge part of my life, would I be all that ready to let go and say “Oh you shouldn’t be suffering like this, I wouldn’t want to prolong your suffering” or would I cling on to the hope that the person would be well one day, and it wouldn’t be that bad? Frankly, I don’t know. I would never know unless I’m thrown into that situation one day. Then I think about how I seriously need to add ‘To do up my Advanced Medical Directive’ to my to-do list. Death is such a foreign concept and it doesn’t help that it’s seen as a taboo topic in an Asian society. People are unwilling to talk about death because some feel ‘Why worry about the future? Live in the moment!’ or ‘Why are you so free to think about such things?’. If not now, then when? And the truth is, I feel like I need a back up plan. I want to have a say in my future if I’m unable to make a sound decision at that point of time. I want my next-of-kin to know that not wanting to prolong my suffering is what I want. I don’t want them to second-guess themselves and think if switching off the life-support was a wrong decision. Most importantly, I don’t want them to regret that decision made. Maybe there is a possibility of me waking up, 2 months later, 5 years later, a decade later. But honestly, nobody knows. I wouldn’t want to hold on to a hope and neither do I want the people around me to cling on to that minute possibility that happens to one in a million people.

Then there’s something that we learnt about in Psychology today about how our memories may not be that accurate. What we witness, may have been greatly altered and reinforcement has only made us believe in what we thought we saw even more. I thought back on my near-accident back in 2006 and wondered if all that I thought I had remembered was true or was it largely me who filled in the gaps of that event? Could it be possible that I was indeed crossing the road when it was the ‘red man’? I’ve always questioned myself that over the years.. But I have the habit to check the traffic lights and I remembered vividly how the green man was flashing but I had 11 seconds left to cross the road and it was more than enough. I remembered how the cars on the opposite lane were not moving because it was the red light signal for cars. I just can’t help but question my then-memory though. It’s been more than 6 years but one does not simply forget nearly getting hit by a car if I had taken just one more step forward.

My thoughts for today intrigue me. I doubted myself in different ways and I guess in a way, I learnt more about myself and possibly my thoughts on certain issues. After completing a survey for the school yesterday, I must say it allowed me to reflect more on the relationships I have with people around me. I feel sheepish when I check the box which says ‘I contact them at least once a month/year’ despite me labelling them as ‘close friends’. But that’s just me. I still feel at ease with certain people that I don’t talk to on a regular basis simply because, time does not really alter a friendship by a lot. If anything, it sometimes does strengthen our friendship to a certain extent. And while filling up the portion about the things we talk about, I was really glad and awed to have checked every single box for the conversations I share with you. It’s amazing how we are not limited to talking about things in a specific context or time period. I’m really contented for all that we’ve shared, even though it’s only been a short 3 months plus.

It felt really good seeing your face again tonight after about 2 weeks. I love how we don’t really bother about how we look like on the camera, me in my PJs and you mostly in your PJs. I love the silent pauses that exist when we Skype while I’m doing my work just so I could feel your presence with me, even if it’s just the sound of you typing on your keyboard and you breathing. I love our early morning and late evening/night chats because we cherish those moments that we are given.

I thank you for making feel like there’s so much I could share about myself with you, be it my little embarrassing moments, or topics that I’ve covered in school for that day. You make me feel intelligent and good about myself.

Thank you for giving me so much through your presence.

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