Friday, May 29, 2009

Better late than never...

So I arrived in Mytilene, and the first days have been stressful, exciting, and full of discoveries. I won't actually work until Monday, so I am waiting until then to post about my first experiences here.

I have some catching up to do on your adventures, and it has been fun getting "in touch" with you again. Also, a while ago I received two awards, and I would like to write a little about them. I know it is late, but I hope it's not too late...

This is the first one, and I received it from Tatoos and Teething rings and 5th sister. Thank you, guys! It is a personality award, and now I have to list 7 things that characterise me - so here goes...

1) Pessimistic: I always think about the worst case scenario that could take place. Even when I am happy, I keep wondering when the next catastrophe will hit me hard. For me, this doesn't always prove to be bad, because, expecting the worst, I am more often pleasantly surprised than not. But for my loved ones, it is sometimes a torture to be around me, and listen to my negative remarks.

2) Stressed: About everything and all the time. Everybody around me hoped that this would get better as I grew up and took on more responsibilities, but nope - I am still nervous, only about more serious things now. :(

3) Perfectionist: More like a typical patient suffering from ocd, actually. Everything has to be "one way" and not another, and until it is, it is "failing". I loose my sleep or my (very little) serenity over a book that is not in the "right" position, or over a small detail that nobody really cares about. I struggle to change that, though. I try to overlook the little things that bother me with their non - perfectness. After all, nobody and nothing in life is perfect, and I have to accept that and live with it.

4) Sensitive: I observe little things around me that almost nobody does, and they can have a huge impact on my mood and attitude. A tiny gesture, a single word in a huge conversation, a thoughtless remark uttered subconsciously can make me replay the whole scene in my mind for hours, and try to think of the different interpretations. Also, I am sensitive to other creature's hardships, whether it is an old lady trying to cross the road, a kid hurting his knees playing football, or a stray cat struggling to find food in the garbage.

5) Fair: I try to look things from different perspectives, and I am not too quick to judge people. Also, I try to be objective when thinking about my own actions, and I am anything but soft on myself.

6) Honest: Both in the way that I am sincere on most occasions, but also in the "integrity" department. I hate cheating and breaking the rules.

7) The queen of mood swings: This one goes along with the "sensitive" thing. While everything seems to be perfect, I may burst into tears (having noticed something that nobody else did), or may start laughing hysterically at a totally inappropriate time. My mood can change with the speed of light, and that may surprise or even make the people who barely know me tag me as "weird" and shun me. Those who choose to overlook this thing and try to cope with it have to be armed with a lot of patience and not take everything I do or say for granted - after all, who knows what the next minute will bring?

I observe now that most of the things that characterise me are negative, and that I sound like a horrible, terrible person. I don't know... I am not that bad! But pointing the things that go wrong is always easier than emphasizing on your strong points.

And now the nominees for this award:

1) Debbie from "Suburb Sanity" for her amazing sense of humour, her honesty and her ability to turn everyday catastrophes into cherished experiences.

2) 5th sister for her hard-earned wisdom and her compassion.

3) Honeypiehorse from "Our feet are the same" for her wittiness and decisiveness.

4) LB from "Muddy Runner" for his motivation and persistence to his goals.

5) Kristina from "Pulsipher Predilections" for the fact that reading her blog makes my day.

6) Raoulysgirl from "Who has the thyme?" for her eagerness to discuss different points of view.

7) Pam from "Pam fried family life" for her ability to juggle everything and still be sane.

This is the second award, the "Passionate blogger one" (thanks, Lisaloo!). So, 5 things I am passionate about:

1) Preserving life: Having seen what I have seen, I have come to greatly appreciate the gift of life. So, this is the number one priority for me in life, and it extends to many different topics. From being against abortion, to doing my best to help patients, and to avoid killing stuff, even if this is a disgusting insect that drives me crazy. It also explains my many attempts to become vegetarian (I have not succeeded yet, but I am still hoping).

2) People I love: I am not one to love easily, but when I do, I go to great lengths for these people.

3) Books: I love reading and writing. It makes me travel to faraway places, and discover new emotions and ways of thinking.

4) Food: I am always eager to try new things, regardless of their "weirdness" and unfamiliarity. I take great pleasure in cooking, and also enjoying good food with people I love.

5) The mighty trifecta: Sun, sea and a blue sky, that is. This explains why I love my country so much (and also every country with a similar climate). Cloudy weather always makes me feel blue, and summer doesn't come for me, until I get to spend some days in our beautiful Greek islands.

And now the nominees:

1) Donna from "My tasty treasures", because she puts the term "passionate" into a whole new perspective!

2) Willoughby from "This stop Willoughby", for her creative projects.

3) Katie from "Katie's corner" for her love of dogs.

4) Kristina for her passion (or should I say obsession? LOL) for Snuggies.

5) And finally, ♫ Spasm ♫ from "Got org?" for being a time management goddess.

That's all for now. Have an amazing weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Change - is it good or very good?

It has been such a long time, that I have almost lost the ability to post. I am surprised and touched that some people still remember me. I haven't forgotten about you, guys, either. I was just overwhelmed by the many changes happening in my life. I was forced to move suddenly, and went to a place with no internet connection! I am now writing from a net cafe, and it won't be until next week that I will have my own connection, and be able to catch up on your blogs, read about what you all have been up to, and comment on your adventures!

As for myself, I would expect this last one month and a half to be painfully difficult. Looking back now, it was surprisingly refreshing and taught me a lot of things. I am thrilled to report that I feel much better now.

The last months following my graduation from Med school in November, I was slowly sinking in depression. I didn't realise how it happened. Suddenly, I was unemployed, with most of my friends moving back to their hometowns, and I ended up shut in my house, alone, totally dependent on the net and more than eager to unwind my tension and frustration onto my boyfriend. He was unemployed too, and it wasn't easy for him either.

We went to Med school expecting to have to work and study our asses off, but for a reason: To graduate and have a shot at doing good, and achieving something great. Instead, because of the unemployment situation in Greece nowadays, we were ordered to write our name on a list, and wait for a residency program to open up... wait... and wait... for years, for an indefinite amount of time, watching time pass by and slowly forgetting all the things we learnt.

And while my boyfriend was strong enough to say "I've had it! I will look for a residency abroad! I don't deserve this humiliation!", I was too disappointed and depressed to think of the situation the same way. As a result, months of "Let's go!" - "I am not going!" followed, and the result was the expected one: The tension wore our relationship out.

And then, 2 months ago, an opportunity came up for my boyfriend, in Cologne, Germany. He was excited about it, but I couldn't be more negative. At that point, I was an emotional wreck, and moving around the house was difficult for me, let alone move abroad! Meanwhile, his parents (I have mentioned the fact that our relationship couldn't be worse in older posts) saw this position abroad as the perfect opportunity for us to break up. After all, I didn't speak German, I couldn't find a job there, so why would I want to go? After months of following a passive-aggressive tactic, they became openly offensive towards me, and started expressing threats and ultimatums ("Either you go alone, or we won't provide you with money for the trip, or accomodation" and "The moment she comes to Germany, forget you even have parents!")

Finally, my boyfriend and I agreed that he should go alone at first. There was no need for me to move my negativity and misery abroad. These were too heavy for me to carry. I had to get rid of them first, in order to start my new life properly. So I gave up my student apartment, and moved to my parents' house (they live abroad now too). I did a lot of thinking, I learnt to depend on myself again, and started driving lessons. I know I am ridiculously old for that, but driving has always been one of my greatest fears, and a chore I avoided doing.

And luck is finally on my side. I am amazed to report that I FOUND A JOB! A real, medical job - that of a general practitioner at Mytilene, a Greek island! And because good things usually happen all together, there is GREAT possibility that a residency program will open up for me soon!

I still love my boyfriend, of course. And he loves me too. We are in touch every day, (I even visited him last week in Cologne) and things between us are much, much better. He is very proud of himself, earning a living for the first time in his life and honestly, I need to do the same. I need to be able to depend on myself, and not somebody else. I can't say that I have completely managed to get the "new me" out there, but I am trying hard.

For a full year (that's how long my job on the island lasts) we will be apart. But I am not afraid. I will remember what being a doctor feels like, I will finally learn German and, after that, knowing the language and having a full year of experience as added qualification, I will pursue a job in Germany. If us being together is meant to be, it will happen.

But I learnt not to think of the distant future too much. I have today to take care of, and it is enough work for me. Ok, maybe I can plan 2 days ahead... after all, that is the day of my driving exam!

So, that's what I had been up to these past weeks. Thank you all for being there for me. As soon as I get an internet connection, I will be taking a peek at your lives and experiences too. Until then, I will be thinking of you and hoping you are all well.

PS: By the way, thank you for your awards! I have to think of my nominees too - I will get to it as soon as possible!