Hey friends, How was the month of October for you? Lately, I’ve been caught up with exams and planning my future, leaving little time to share updates. The prospect of moving to a new country and starting afresh feels daunting, yet it’s a humbling experience. My year has been centred around preparing for and taking two significant exams – the MCCQE 1 & NAC OSCE. For those outside the medical field, these are just tests required to practice in Canada. However, this post isn’t about those exams; it’s about my week. I aim to share my week regularly, even if it’s seemingly uneventful, as I cherish mundane moments and believe that a memorable week doesn’t always demand grand activities.
Monday started with a touch of stress due to my body acting up, compounded by the workload. The day raced by, as workdays usually do. To my surprise, my boyfriend arrived home with flowers, a thoughtful gesture, knowing I had been stressed lately. Working from home allowed me to wrap up tasks and set the stage for my evening routine, typically involving reading a novel, watching a movie, and having dinner. During the summer, I used to take walks, but the encroaching cold weather has made it a struggle. That evening, we opted for a horror movie – the specific title escapes me – and turned in early, as I had to head into the office the next day.
Waking up, I felt even weaker than before and had to inform work that I’d be working from home. Around 2 PM, in the midst of eating my oats and continuing my work, a message from a friend caught my eye. We had spent a considerable amount of time studying together virtually for the September exam. The message simply read, “Hey Joy. Results are in.”
Panic surged through me as I hastily navigated to my account to check my results. My heart raced; the outcome felt like it would determine the course of my entire life. “This will determine the rest of my life,” I muttered quietly to myself. The moment I saw the word “Pass,” I couldn’t contain my excitement—I screamed in elation, and then let out a huge sigh. I imagined my neighbours were probably worried.
I quickly responded to my friend, inquiring about her results. She too had passed, and I shared my good news with her. My family is an integral part of my life, and we virtually speak every day. Without hesitation, I started a video call to share the news with them. Their ecstatic screams filled the call. Titi, my immediate elder sister, immediately asked when I would start working as a doctor. I explained that this was a step in the process and that there were more stages to come. Amid laughter, they expressed how proud they were, especially since I had confided in them after the exam that I didn’t believe it went well.
I made sure to inform my partner as well and to celebrate, we enjoyed dinner at our favourite hot pot spot.
The feeling of how well I performed still feels surreal. Scoring in the 98th percentile left me stunned. Despite my disbelief, everyone around me continuously reminded me that my achievement was a result of the effort I put in, insisting that I deserved every bit of it. However, as I delved into the application process, a new wave of stress crashed in. It’s funny how life operates – we conquer one challenge, only for another to swiftly take its place. It’s a never-ending cycle. That’s why I constantly remind myself not to become excessively overwhelmed. There will always be something new to stress about. Instead, I focus on things within my control.
Amid my tasks, I’ve started to grasp the substantial expenses associated with this application process. While engrossed in work, a call from an unfamiliar number disrupted my day, informing me about a delivery. The surprise left me astounded, prompting me to quickly rush downstairs. Given that I had only shared my exam result with about three of my friends, I was genuinely taken aback. My friend had confirmed my address the day before but surely, it’s too soon for anyone to send anything. To my delight, it was a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a dear friend.
I spent the evening trying to work on my application. Exhaustion eventually caught up with me, and I found myself drifting to sleep, laptop in hand, after savouring a cup of hot chocolate. The sensation of my exam success still lingered, echoing in my thoughts.
Today was just an ordinary day for me, immersed in the routine of work. Work raced by as usual, and I swiftly turned my attention to ensuring I had all the necessary documents and requirements for the application.
My partner and I had been contemplating a mid-November trip, yet we hadn’t finalized the plans. In retrospect, I’m relieved we hadn’t made any payments, considering that this month is turning out to be particularly hectic. Not only would it have meant additional expenditures, but it also would’ve meant the added stress of completing an impending application before the deadline, intruding on our vacation. And that doesn’t align with my vision of an ideal getaway.
In an attempt to reassure me, my partner pointed out that there might never be a perfect time for certain things. There will always seem to be an excuse or reason as to why another time might be better, but unexpected events tend to pop up regardless. I concurred with this perspective. To unwind, we watched another movie while indulging in Domino’s cheesy bread bites – undeniably delicious!
Waking earlier than anticipated, I realized that the clutches of anxiety had robbed me of feeling fully rested. Swiftly, I powered up my computer and dived into work. Engaging in my tasks provided a welcome distraction, and predictably, the day sped by. During a break, I took the opportunity to reach out to the doctors back in my home country, the ones I hope will act as my referees, explaining the process and making my request to them.
On another front, my sister and I had plans to meet up on Saturday, and in an attempt to finalize the details, we had a phone conversation. Unfortunately, her schedule was tight, curtailing our discussion. We agreed to catch up the next day, acknowledging that I had a few tasks to tackle on my end, but assured her we would meet after.
Waking up earlier than planned wasn’t too bad, especially when my partner surprised me with a delightful cup of coffee. It was a welcome start to the day. Hydration became a priority, given I had an ultrasound appointment. The weather seemed agreeable, prompting me to briskly walk to Staples to make photocopies of the necessary documents for notarization. Admittedly, I’ve been postponing the driving test in Canada, relying on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) for transportation. So, off I went to the bus stop.
At the appointment, time flew by quickly, thanks to my full bladder. Upon finishing, I found myself unable to catch a bus and ended up enjoying a 15-minute walk. Surprisingly, I relished the exercise, a rarity in my work-from-home routine. I seize every opportunity to get my heart pumping.
Later, I met up with my sister for a chat, book shopping, and a cup of coffee. Eventually, we opted for an Uber ride back to my place, engaging in more conversation before she left for a dinner party.
The day culminated with a cosy meal shared with my partner. Our evening took an entertaining turn as we settled in to watch not one, but two movies, which, in the end, proved to be hilariously pointless. Both films left us puzzled, as they seemed to end abruptly, leaving us questioning what we had just witnessed. The day turned out to be a wonderful one. I reminded myself to direct my energy towards things within my control and not to stress over matters beyond my influence.
Waking up to discover that time had shifted back an hour still captivates me each time it happens. As usual, I rose early and was greeted by a message from a friend in Nigeria who had just seen my father preaching in church. Being a pastor’s daughter, these connections always hold a special place in my heart. We briefly caught up, and she mentioned that my father had proudly mentioned my exam success to her. The warmth in his pride truly touched me.
The day has only just begun; it’s currently 7:30 AM as I’m typing this, but I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of the day to rest and care for my mental health starting with a cup of mochaccino.
Till next time,