Since I was old enough to understand the meaning of ‘resolutions’, I have been making my very own list every New Year to the point that it has become sappy and redundant—to study hard, love what I’m doing, be a better me, the list goes on. So after a life-altering incident that took over me (an illness that forever coursed my life into a less-travelled track), I decided to author my own maxim– a more refined replacement for my yearly poorly-written resolutions. I deem it as more of a life-long promise to myself than just a mere list of resolutions I make at the beginning of every year; it is exhaustively something that will sustain me and uphold me at all times and at all possible costs. Hence its title, “A Manifesto”, in which I am glad to share with you:
I will always merit and seek divine help.
I will always change for the better.
I will always acknowledge my hunger for knowledge. And will nourish myself by learning more each day.
I will always be passionate. I will always want and want and want. And love and love and love. Entirely and faultlessly. I will take no shame in loving and getting hurt all the same.
Lastly and most substantially, I will always rock the boat and will never ever let the boat rock me.
Five years after and now on my third year in med school, I still find it very useful and handy in times of extreme distress (because trust me, med school is actually a series of highs and lows, with intermittent breakdowns). I always write this on the first page of each of my journal and would re-visit it time to time as a reminder that though it is taxing and toiling, self-improvement is the most rewarding and enduring gift I can offer myself.
So this 2016, may all the effort I put into improving myself come into fruition. Because as a future physician, it is compulsory that I offer myself as an instrument of healing in the best version of myself.
And to you, whoever is reading this, may the manifesto shed light upon you and offer you comfort and grace as it has to me. In this sea of life, when everything else seems vast and uncertain, remember to not let the tides clamor you. Arise. And always, always rock the boat.