Summer time swooped in through the window like a bird, and seeing that there was no bird bath, flew out and gathered speed, soaring back into the air.
Nevertheless, it has been a productive summer, I think. I have read, as per usual, and wrote more than usual. There were days when I didn’t want to do anything at all, when I tried to sleep away the boredom or to suppress the panic that rose whenever I thought of going back to school. It isn’t anymore a question of staying now because I want to stay. I want to do this, really. The problem has evolved into this fear of staying in Dentistry. Because if anything, last semester really affected me psychologically. It completely shook me. For one, it showed me that I want to be a dentist; but it also showed me how poor I could be skill-wise. I’ve taken quite a beating as I’ve said in a previous blog entry.
The good thing is that the latter part of this summer came with an epiphany and it happened while I was on my Harry Potter marathon.
It came in two important points, and the first one is from Professor McGonagall (my favorite professor, so badass and fair and morally upright: I just love her):
“You cannot pass an O.W.L.,” said Professor McGonagall grimly, “without serious application, practice and study. I see no reason why everybody in this class should not achieve an O.W.L. in Transfiguration as long as they put in the work.” Neville made a sad little disbelieving noise. “Yes, you too, Longbottom,” said Professor McGonagall. “There’s nothing wrong with your work except lack of confidence. […]”
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 Detention with Dolores
And I thought, ME TOO, PROFESSOR! I really love Neville for being such a great character, one with a splendid character arc, because he is so full of potential but he doesn’t know yet how to harvest it, to make use of it. He’s a late bloomer, but he blooms magnificently. And I feel that way often in (not Hogwarts, sadly) school. Although I’m not sure I’ve bloomed yet. Again, confidence.
Confidence allows you to give your very best, which is crucial. Not giving your all might end up being one of the myriad regrets growing thick like trees in a forest. At least, even if you fail, you won’t feel like you could’ve done better if you just pushed yourself. Aside from that, and more importantly, confidence allows you to trust yourself. It does not guarantee success but it guarantees a form of security, a comforting voice telling you that yes, you can do it. Confidence allows you to believe in yourself.
These are some of the many mistakes I made last semester.
The second point has kindly given me some peace of mind, and it is from Professor Dumbledore.
“There are bodies in here!” said Harry, and his voice sounded much higher than usual and most unlike his own.
“Yes,” said Dumbledore placidly, “but we do not need to worry about them at the moment.”
“At the moment?” Harry repeated, tearing his gaze from the water to look at Dumbledore.
“Not while they are merely drifting peacefully below us,” said Dumbledore. “There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 The Cave
It is the unknown we fear. When I entered Dentistry Proper, I realized the magnitude of the truth that it is a difficult course. Since then, images of a clinical setting have been rising into my mind, and all I can think of is it’s hard, I can’t do it.
But I realized that the reason why I think I can’t do it is that I don’t know it yet. The unknown is scary precisely because we don’t know what it is. It gives us no sense of control. And it’s really frightening: not knowing.
The good news is that I am studying, which is my only way of battling the unknown.
Realizing that has comforted and relieved me. I am free.
I am not saying that the tasks ahead would be less difficult by knowing so but it helps to know which one is the real fear. Because I’ve been thinking, all this time, that I am afraid of Dentistry itself when it turns out I am afraid of not knowing it.
So, let’s study! Here’s to another semester of coffee and sleepless nights that will be worth it in the end. Not to forget learning and the utmost blessing of it.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.” Psalm 126:5
Don’t forget that every hard work, every sweat of labor, every effort of doing will pay off in the end.
Summer is over.
And this time I am braver.