This letter is long overdue. During my first few months in med school I already wanted to write that I am sorry for so many things but I have been immersed in my new world, by my new responsibilities and by so many changes that happened to me. This academic year has been a journey to different peaks of emotions and to phases of painful adjustments. Every single day I wish and hope that I could do the same things and be the same person but med school demands more of my time, effort and myself that I failed to keep my old self and old routine.

I didn’t leave and I didn’t forget but I had to change myself. I had to let go those distracting, toxic and negative baggage I carried inside me, I had to suppress for a while my creative and artistic side to spend more time learning medicine, I had to set aside my luxuries of life, creative plans, I had to reject opportunities that were knocking on my door and to say good bye to people that I could no longer accommodate in my life, I had to choose between two things I love the most and give up the lesser important one. Some goals I had to let go forever, some I had to set aside for a while.

To my family and my friends, I am sorry if there were days I could not answer my phone. I am sorry if it takes a day or more to respond to your messages. I am sorry if you thought I was ignoring you when you see me online on my social media accounts. The truth is Facebook has become both a professional and academic platform for us these days. We log in on Facebook only to get updates about assignments and announcements, and to chat with our group mates in so many group projects. I am sorry if I could no longer hang out with you and I’m sorry if even at weekends I couldn’t spend time with you.

It’s rare to have a free time these months and when I do I spend it taking rest, spending time recharging myself, my sanity and my over all health, reflecting, writing, running errands, paying bills, washing clothes, doing groceries. I’m sorry if when we meet, after a long time I could not share any fun and exciting stories because these months were all about school, grades and medicine that I know won’t interest you. I’m sorry if I could not make it to attend to the important events in your life, I lost track of a lot of things and it’ll take time for me to get used to this kind of routine and to juggle everything at the same time. I’m sorry if until now I’m still learning and adjusting. I may be consumed by this world I’m committed to, I may be different now in so many ways, I may not be the same like how you knew me know that I didn’t leave and I didn’t forget. I’m still your friend, your family.

To you mom and dad, I know you’re giving me all forms of support, you keep on including me in your prayers for me to survive this journey to M.D., you are working hard for me to reach my dreams, you are motivating me daily by sending me reminders and love-filled messages yet I could not give you the grades I told you I‘d earn. I’ve been doing my best, I really do. I’m sorry if I’m not even sure, if in this medical journey, I will make it on time or if it will take me longer than you expected. It’s been a painful and uncertain process but I promise that every exam I take, failed or passed, is a product of hard work, patience, faith and hope that someday you will see me graduate as a medical doctor and practice as a good doctor. I’m sorry for having to stay away from you, for not being able to take care of you, for not being there to make you smile, to make you laugh and to cook your favorite dishes. I’m sorry if at this age, I should have already bought you gifts or treated you out for dinner but instead here I am still asking financial support from you. I know you are tired as well. Even I know you’re doing everything for me without expecting anything in return but for me to work hard for myself still I am sorry.

To myself, I am sorry if I didn’t take good care of you in these past months. I fed you with bad food. I made you tired. I pushed you so hard. I restricted you. I let you sleep with fears and life dramas and let you wake up to it. I deprived you. I confused you. I’m sorry that until now I am not able to adapt to a routine that fits you well. I’m sorry if this takes time but know that I’m doing my best to bring your health, happiness and sweet smiles back. You will be fixed. We will be okay.

Najmah is a Filipino Muslim, Clinical Nutritionist and Med student. Roots in Marawi. Born and raised in Jeddah. Studying in Manila. By Najmah contains posts about her life lessons, personal excellence and journey to becoming a doctor. Check more of her works on Hijabi Mag

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