Just as I had gone through a period of transformation this year, Joel went through his. He had to stomach the disappointment of not doing as well as he had expected at the GCE O’ Levels examinations, and was forced to come to terms with accepting admission into a course at the Polytechnic that he did not opt for as a first choice, nursing.
For him, it was a painful journey of acceptance, compromise and most of all humility throughout the first few months of the year. He was so adamant about not wanting to be “Gaylord Focker” staring down a patient’s bedpan throughout his life. However, upon our encouragement, he did some desktop research about the profession, read all the materials sent over by the polytechnic and I dragged him, kicking, to a career fair for prospective medical professionals. The lady nurses at the career fair must have helped swung his thoughts positively towards the profession.
He took our advice to embrace the nursing course as a learning experience, and we told him to enjoy his campus life. There was going to be so many more years filled with plenty of opportunities ahead of him. If he doesn’t try it out with an open mind, he will never know.
Over the months, I had seen Joel traipse in and out of home and campus with a little spring in his step and he had talked incessantly about the lecturers, his course mates, his tutorials and his industrial attachment at the hospital. Recently, the chats about these were injected with a lot of humor, enthusiasm and a can-do spirit. He seemed to be voraciously learning as much as he could because he came home spewing weird medical terms in a bid to impress us. From time to time, he would chase the dogs around the house with a stethoscope and pin me down onto the bed to take my blood pressure. He hasn’t yet pin David down for a prostate check so thank goodness for that.
So here’s my question. Was he really enjoying it or was he just trying to keep the peace at home with us?
When he was posted to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for his industrial attachment, I swore I never saw anyone as excited about staring down a patient’s bedpan as he was. He was so fired up with excitement that the chatter at home was filled with his passionate accounts about the things he learnt at the hospital, his experience of administering medical care to his patients, the different types of patients he had been talking to, and how happy he was when he saw his patients recover well enough to be discharged.
When he was booked in on a late shift, I often see him coming home exhausted, but still with a smile. He once returned home and told me that his back hurt as he was on his feet all day. As I was administering the plaster to relief his pain, he was recounting excitedly what he did in the hospital and what he had learnt. Surprisingly, he said,” I prefer to be allocated the early morning shift Mum. Although I start my day at an ungodly hour, at least I have so much more to do with the patients.”
A few days ago, while having a casual chat about his work at the hospital, Joel suddenly said, “You know Mum, initially I thought I might just complete this 3-year nursing course, go on to fulfill my national service obligation, then do something else different after national service.” He went on to make a point, “However, after my experience at SGH, I realized I do enjoy nursing. It’s so fulfilling when I know I am doing something great for the patients. I can’t understand it when some people can’t embrace an experience wholeheartedly enough to enjoy it and learn from it. In fact, in future, I hope to be able to establish a private nursing care service. That’s my goal.”
I was taken aback by that mindset change. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by my son’s maturity. He actually has aspirations! At the age of 19, most people his age would be thinking which club they should be checking out next weekend or which girl they should be making out with the following weekend. Their vision is often short-termed and tinted with self-interest.
It is truly commendable for Joel to go from that unenthusiastic “nay-sayer” at the start of the course to one who has a respectable goal of bringing joy to patients with an aspiration to open a private nursing care facility.
I am so glad that like me, ultimately, Joel trusted the universe to guide him along this journey. I remembered updating my facebook status on my Sun Goddess Tarot facebook page at the beginning of the year “ If your intent is pure, the universe, in its own time and pace, will put the right opportunities before you.”
The universe is indeed placing an abundance of opportunities at Joel's feet.
About The Writer:
The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 19 year old son. She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".