Maybe it was burnout. After all I did the almost impossible feat of finishing my dissertation while doing my clinical internship and working at the same time. Add that to my ever active social life that included 4 nights of playing badminton and several nights of drinking sessions with friends.
Maybe it was the challenge. I've always been a crammer and I've yet to submit something that I have never crammed. I'm actually good at it. In fact I can probably right a book on "cramming for dummies" and it would probably be a bestseller.
Maybe because somewhere along the road I lost my heart for it. I don't know how to explain it but I guess I realized while doing my dissertation that life was more than research and school. It wasn't because I didn't love school but it was because I realized that there was more to life out there. I remember arguing with my mom about it one december night when I told her that I was just so tired. She told me to give up badminton so I could finish my work. But I told her it was my work that I need to put on hold first. I could understand her concern and I didn't want to disappoint her and all those rooting for me so I threaded on. But I guess after my defense my spirit wasn't there anymore.
So it took me 355 days. Was it worth it? Yes and no. No because I did waste a lot of time. And because of that I won't be able to march in graduation with my friends. As much as I would love to, I don't know how I could fly back and forth from Malaysia to manila in under 24 hours.
But it was worth it still because in 355 days I lived a good life. There were many losses all over and heartaches abound but there were the good days too. And they outweighed the bad. Who would have thought that in 355 days I would find my way here in Malaysia living a life that I've only imagined doing several years ago.
In the end, I did it. I fulfilled my promise. I took several detours along the way but I did it still.
In my dissertation there is a portion there called acknowledgements. I am reprinting the entire thing here in whole.
The famous endocrinologist, Hans Selye, once said, “To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence- a faith in the dream.” This is a fulfillment of not just a lifelong dream but a promise made thirteen years ago when I was seriously ill with ITP. Through the years of battling chronic illness, I strived hard to be brave. And I would not have made it if it were not for the love of all these people.
To Mommy, Vesper, and my best friend Ella for their never ending love and support through the years and for believing in me even if I sometimes disappoint them. To my four legged babies, especially Oliver and Datu, who taught me that love knows no bounds.
To all those who in one way or another shared in my journey through the highs and lows of life-- “p10,” Cha, Weevens, Maan, Ces, Cara, Denden, Oliver, Mimo, Mardet, Fr. Ben, Lyzet, Obeng, Chin, Bambi, Aldwin, Kim, Merly, Jeff, Tita Sansu, Elma, Tita Nitz, Phen, Beth, Doc Eva, Len and George, Luis and Byo, Camacho Family, Pamilya Badminton--Tito Noel, Tita Nel, Kei and Rb, Jesse, Charles, Ann and Classmate Adrian. Thank you for the love and support.
To my doctors, Dr. Cavilles+, Dr. Yuzon and Dr. Liza Naranjo for restoring my faith in the health system and for patiently taking care of me through the years.
To my adviser, Dr. Isabel Melgar and to my mentor Fr. Jaime Bulatao, for believing in my dreams and pushing me to strive beyond mediocrity and soar to greater heights.
To Daddy and Peter, who taught me that rainbows do come after the rain.
My Sincerest gratitude also goes to my panelists-Dr. Emy Liwag, Fr. Nilo Tanalega,SJ, Dr. Liane Alampay, and Dr. Lota Teh for their wisdom and kindness.
Most of all to Mary Grace and Adam, co-warriors and friends, who taught me the true meaning of courage by valiantly fighting aplastic anemia and leukemia respectively till the end.
Believe in your power to create miracles. Thank you for your gifts of love.