Wednesday, October 15, 2008

15th of the Month

Since three months ago, I have declared the 15th of every month as my Day of Contemplation. It is the day in every month that I specially allot for counting my blessings and reevaluating my prayers. Somehow, perhaps by sheer coincidence or by some predestined design, pivotal events in my life have fallen on the 15th day of certain months during the past few years. So I figured I should probably mark this day to remember them.

Perhaps my biological clock has already acclimatized itself to this habit. This morning I was prematurely awakened by a strange dream. And I very seldom dream. I started my day a bit disturbed, although I couldn't particularly identify the issue. There was only a certain emptiness that was almost palpable, a void that was slowly sucking me in. I didn't want to get out of bed.

But I had to.

Hospital work was the same. Morning endorsement conferences, meetings to attend and organize, residents to talk to, grades to compute, endless reminders to be given out to students, residents, fellows and consultants. By mid-day, somebody remarked, "Jean, you're already at your crossroads."

Ah, a blinding light was immediately switched on in my consciousness. The unknown but disquieting stimulus that was bothering me was this: in the next 2 months will be a potential pivotal moment. Today, I am quite sure I will be saying goodbye to the institution that gently yet sometimes painfully cradled me in the past 11 years. I will be leaving behind not only a system I have grown accustomed to, but also people I may never see anymore, and a way of life I may never return to. Separation anxiety - this is it. I'm a child learning to ride a bike. I'm someone about to step off the edge of a cliff, with one foot already off the ground. I'm someone who has to make a choice. And the choice must come before the next 15th day of the month comes.

I managed to get through the day in a daze. This 15th day of the month thing is making me sick. I couldn't help but pray for old times. Those old times.

On second thought, perhaps it's time for me to stop remembering.

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