Nightmare in Paradise

Breathe. Take deep calming breaths. That’s it, a few more. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. No, no, do not go back there. Do not. Just don’t. It’s not worth it. But what if? What if, right? No, don’t even think about that.

Ignore that feeling. Yes, yes I know that you feel as if the walls are moving towards you, threathening to imprison you. Calm down, it is just an illusion. Come on child, breathe. No, there are no hands on your throat either. Yes, I know you feel suffocated. Nobody is trying to strangle you, stop panicking child!

Stop saying what if, it’s no use child. It has been done, you made your choice. It is what you wanted right? What you think is right and proper. Nobody forced you child. It was your decision.

Ropes? What are you talking about? You’re full of fancy my child. You can’t move your limbs? I assure you child, it is only panic. Yes, I am positive. Come on, breathe with me.

What is these binds that you speak of? Child, the manacles you speak of are only figments of your playful mind. You do have responsibilities though. Oh yes you do. Those decisions comes with a certain set of circumstances. You were not informed?! Oh you silly child, you make me laugh. Life does not come with an instruction manual and terms and conditions documents.

What is it you’re saying? I can scarcely hear you. Speak up dear, come on now. Breathe I tell you. What is that? You never meant to strike a deal with me? Fancy that! You were so eager last night, even ransaking the whole place just for a pen in order to sign your pretty little name on the dotted line.

You were not informed about other options? Oh, you are so adorable, so naive. You chose this my child, you did. You knew well where this leads. It was you’re doing.

Oh don’t give me that crap about happiness. You chose this right? You wanted everything to be cushy. Oh, you could have chosen not to choose this, but the other path won’t be comfortable enough to your liking, though I don’t know about happiness. It is your choice to lose your soul.

Oh child, stop crying. Tears would not do you any good. It cannot turn back time, just accept this fate. Come on, breathe with me. Calming breaths now. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

I wrote this because it is 3 am. It just occured to me, what if- what if the devil talked to you in your sleep. Taunting you with possibilities that those choices you forgone held. So let me know if this is creepy/scary enough.

Quarter Life Crisis

I used to think that I would have my quarterlife crisis at the age of 25. Why? Because in monetary terms, a quarter is a 25. I know it is a stupid kind of reasoning, but it made sense to me, and I was pretty sure any younger than that was– well, I was pretty sure I would still have 5 years before going into that slump but I was wrong, so terribly wrong.

On paper I shouldn’t have an excuse to have such crisis; I topped my board exams, I recently got a home-based part time job while waiting for a call from the hospital I applied to.

It sucks because I excelled in a profession I don’t like, and that I’m getting a job through my mother’s connections. I know it sounds cushy and all, but it makes me feel conflicted. I should be happy teaching english to chinese kids, but I haven’t yet due to technical difficulties, and that I’m stalling and using those technical problems as an excuse. I only told people that I took the part time job so I couldn’t bail, or at least paint myself as a fucking grown up.

When I was in college, I was so excited to graduate and tackle the real world. Now that I’m here, I feel lost. It’s probably how Benjamin Braddock felt in The Graduate, sans the Mrs. Robinson part.

I miss school, I miss the rigidity of my schedule, the habits I had, the constant flow of exams and paperworks, the neverending flow of cortisol, the whining and the bitching about anything and everything academically related. I miss the safety net that the academe provided.

I took a vacation after school, those three months in California was like a dream. When I was in there, everything sounded possible. I just need to get an employer to petition me for a working visa then pass papers to the board of nursing so I can take the NCLEX, pass the NCLEX and get a job at a hospital, then save enough money so I can move out of my aunt’s house. Everything was so simple on paper, but in real life, it is almost improbable. Because, one, I only hold a tourist visa, two, the board already denied someone from my batch because of unmet requirements, and three, since I only hold a tourist visa I don’t have (and won’t have) a social security number which leads to, four, the board not processing my papers. Now that I am back in my country, I realized all flaws in my plans and I want to smack my past self on the head for filling her mind with those stupid thoughts. It wasn’t me, it goes against my usual logic.

When I got back home, I forgot the idea of going back to California immediately. I was offered to apply as a military nurse, I was tempted; the pay and the benefits were good, but I don’t think my mother would be happy to see me come home inside a box. So I declined, but I still think about the what ifs if I chose that path.

I know I should feel content. I graduated on time, I have good credentials, I have possible jobs waiting but instead I feel lost, conflicted and alone.

This is not due to the fact that I am perpetually single, my lack of romantic relations don’t really bother me. It’s not that kind of alone. It’s the kind of alone that is making me vent this out on the internet where nobody knows me instead of confiding in my friends.

Third

Job hunting was hell.

Especially if you’re in a third world country where the profession is considered as a commodity for export. Competition is hard; you need a good ranking, a good education, and the right connections (which she thankfully all have). But before you have an actual job at your chosen institution, you would need to go on training for certain skills and other licenses, which means money, in addition to that you would need to pay the hospital, who would (hopefully) employ you, to train you at their institution.
It’s more money down the drain really, especially if you consider the abysmal paycheck in proportion to your investment and insane work load.

It pisses her off that nurses in her country are undercompensated. She blames it on capitalism and globalization. Nurses from her country usually just work there for a minimum of 2 years before moving on to another country with better financial compensation.  That causes a fast turnover in the work force, which should be good. But the case is, there are many nursing graduates in the country, because parents (and relatives from countries with greener pastures) want their children to take up nursing so they can work abroad. So the selection process is quite bloody (not literally), although it produces top notch nurses for first world countries.

Some nurses end up working in BPOs and other non-course related fields. Which sometimes pay better than hospitals, but is probably a waste of 4 years of hellish nursing school. Some get stuck there, but some only work there temporarily just to get funding for the hospital training, and probably for a ticket to the first world.

She finds it quite sad really, the irony. That the nurses from her country are probably one of the best in the world, yet health care there (especially for the less fortunate and far-flung areas ) is not really up to par with some better parts of the world. It is not due to the lack of skill of the health professionals, rather it is due to the lack of funding and unequal distribution of health care.