Undone

There is a hole in my soul that no amount of amalgam or composite could fill.

And it breaks me, because I long for this cavity to be filled, but with what?

I always thought it was going to be Dentistry: my childhood dream, my adolescent mishap. The one that would fill the void, the searing emptiness that I’ve been born with. I have always thought Dentistry was my calling, the one to fill my blank slate.

Now, more than ever, I doubt it. I doubt myself. Because the truth is that I am not ready for this kind of responsibility. More than that, I am not willing to bear it.

I have wanted this for so long that I have gotten lost in the process of trying to grasp it, of trying to keep pace with the nerve-wracking, speed-of-light exercises. And I falter; I come undone. I am spiraling down, trying to keep myself together for just two more weeks.

I have lost myself. I no longer know who I am: not the girl who loved learning with all her heart, not the girl who accepted challenges easily, not the girl who was happy. In her place is a girl with long, untidy hair, and shadows under her eyes; a girl who is so desperate to swim but the water is dragging her down into the blackness.

There is nothing to hold on to. Not the poorly made restorations, not the flawed radiographs, not the mediocre preparations, not the emotional breakdowns at night.

What scares me so much is that not even learning can hold me in place. I love learning. I especially love the feeling of enrichment at the end of each semester. But now, as the imminent end of this semester approaches bleakly, all I can feel is relief, albeit temporary, from the torment of college. Not even joy that I have learned about bacteria and viruses in Microbiology, or learned about diet in Nutrition, or learned how the pulp responds to noxious stimuli.

I feel empty.

Because the demand is high and I couldn’t deliver. I know that with practice, I will improve. But the thing is, I don’t think I have it in me to actually want to practice, let alone pursue this. I just want this semester to end so that I can finally rethink things.

I have never felt so tired and unworthy and sad in my life.

Right now there is a mass of school work waiting for me impatiently but I pay no attention to it. I couldn’t function. I am paralyzed. I am tired of being tired.

I wish I did my research before I filled out that UPCAT form. Then I would’ve known earlier how difficult Dentistry is and how expensive it is. Instead, I just went on with it, filling out my first choice with it because it has always been that way in my mind.

How childish and naïve, to think that things would always go as planned.

My plans have all been crumbling down.

You see, I don’t want to stay if my reason for staying is that I regret wasting the money my parents have already used to fund my education. I don’t want to stay if I’m only staying because I am in UP.

I will only stay if I really do want to stay. But I’m not so sure if I do.

I want to leave the college and start all over again.

I want to leave the college because I want to be actually good at something, not just mediocre.

Happiness should not only depend on getting an exercise approved on time. But mine does. I have been consistently last for two semesters now, always trying to catch up but never being able to do so. My schedule consists of a large gap in the middle and everything crammed near the end. And my professor will tell me: “Baka gusto mong bilisan?” (“Maybe you’d like to be faster?”) And my mouth falls open in incredulity because I want to catch up! Who doesn’t? I want to catch up so bad I might trade my soul for it. I am almost that desperate.

But I don’t want to be like that.

I just don’t know anymore. And the pain frightens me. I have never felt it this much: it’s like everything hurts, except for the occasional bouts of relief. Like every rejection is a slap in the face, every delay an excruciating scream.

This whole thing is unhealthy.

God help me.

But:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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