Sunday, February 24, 2008

Journeys from A to B

For the past few days, I've been promising to wake up really early so I could watch the sunrise and walk along the white sand beach encircling the island before I going to work. But, despite being generally an early riser, I've been finding it so difficult to drag myself out of bed.

This lazy morning start is such a stark contrast to the frenetic pace at which I used to prepare for another day at the hospital. It was always a race against time to get into the train before 7AM and start traveling before the rush hour crowd hit. In the hospital, so much has already happened by 9AM - over here, at 9AM, my day is just beginning.

I love it.

I've always suspected that I am really a Type B person hiding behind a Type A facade. This easy slide into indolence might be proof that this is true. Maybe it's just my way of recovering from almost seven straight years of Type A living. Then again, it could just be the influence of living on an island.

I find myself spending time in between consults planning where I am going to catch the sunset this afternoon. I spend my lunch break walking barefoot on the deserted beach under the noonday sun, fed by the sight of the cool turquoise-blue ocean and blindingly white sand as far as the eye can see. And I love ending my day by choosing a spot on the beach where I sit and watch the shifting colors of the sky at dusk. Nights are particularly beautiful out here, where the only "bright lights" are the moon and the light of thousands of stars you can only imagine seeing in Manila.

It's so refreshing to go through a day without any definite plan. To watch the world and the day go by, just waiting for something to happen. To be at ease in a state of "maybe I will... maybe I won't... maybe tomorrow."

I know part of the reason why I manage to stay reasonably sane in such a remote place is having a ready connection to the outside world and the comforts of city-living. I would probably be singing a different tune if I didn't have the internet or electricity for an extended period of time. I have no illusions about being cut out for a rural existence in the Filipino context. No amount of natural beauty would entice me to settle permanently somewhere with no modern plumbing. But I can imagine being happy living somewhere that is not quite as urban as Manila, but not quite as untouched and remote as this place before it was developed. And I am definitely developing a taste for this kind of back-to-nature get-away as a place to kick back and relax and find my center again.

I will come back to Real Life soon enough. But for now, I'm closing shop and am going to look for a place where I can collect another sunset. Maybe it will be a good night for stars. And maybe I will finally get to walk around the island tomorrow morning. If not... well. There's always the next day.


Em Dy said...

This morning, while both of us were doing our rounds (on a Sunday!), a mentor asked me, How are you? Is this what you set out your life to do?. I told him, I need a vacation. He said, jokingly, Not just yet, you're still young.

He's the same mentor who told me when I was starting practice to spend some time for myself as it could only get busier. I followed his advice but wish I'd done more of it.

Enjoy your break from the real world, Claire.

Manggy said...

What time do you sleep?! If I was shanghaied somewhere distant, I'd probably sleep at 9PM and wake up at 6. If I wasn't playing Yahoo!IM with my British friend or something :D Those in Opus Dei (I'm not affiliated by the way) have this thing where they very abruptly jump out of bed to shake away the very thought of wallowing and start the day. Maybe an early morning stroll down the beach? Is there a dog that needs walking?! Hahaha :)

I'd definitely need my sketch pad. And some crap game like InsanAquarium, bwahaha (that is, if I wasn't studying). Maybe you can stroll into the resort kitchens or something :)

dr_clairebear said...

@ em dy: thanks! that's why i thought it was a good idea to jump out of the rat race for a while. i need time to meander. while i a part of me is a bit envious of my batchmates who have already started fellowship... i'm still glad i took the break. :)

@ manggy: i'm a bit of an insomniac. i sleep at around 1-2 AM, doing nothing much. :) surfing... blogging... watching HBO. i'm in the unit by 6pm - so you can imagine how much time i spend these days doing nothing. and i hope it stays that way. dealing with all these rich foreign folks is giving me nosebleeds. ;P

Manggy said...

Rich foreign folks?! If I were you I'd be flashing my dimples all over the place. (I realize that sounds a little, well, sl*tacious.) Kidding. Don't worry about your fellow-ed friends... I'm pretty sure they are equally jealous of you as you are of them :)

Cromely said...

That's not a bad way to spend the day.

I find that left to my own devices, I'll be up for 18-22 hours and then sleep for 12.

But there does come a time when you need that break from the outside world and routine. Eventually you just get tired and no amount of sleep will solve that. That's when sand and ocean become really important.

MegaMom said...

Count it as part of your education, Claire. You know me and the life I've led.

While giving the impression that I've always lived life in a frenzied pace, constantly training in this and that, I had my glorious breaks in between. And even during those breaks, I lived it up doing just that: being on a break.

Yes, catch those sunrises or sunsets, view those stars, get those grains of sand stuck between your toes, whatever it is... You will find that later in life, this experience will be useful.

MerryCherry said...

After reading this, I'm having real doubts if I want to get in that 'rat race' by the end of this year. :))

Inggit ako sa job mo Doc Claire. :))

tutubi philippines said...

wow! you're actually on amanpulo? such a fabled place i won't be able to reach probably in my lifetime...simply too pricey for me

iris said...

i'd have to agree with em dy, enjoy while you can. it's hard to get back to reality after 2 weeks of being a type B person :) ako lang, nag 3-day weekend lang ayoko na ulit pumasok today. hehe. i'm a type B kasi mostly, i think.

dr_clairebear said...

@tutubi: yes, i am on amanpulo... and for free, kasi i'm working here. :) the opportunity just dropped into my lap. sabi ko nga i would take the job even if they didn't pay me - sulit na!

@iris: i know what you mean. in medical slang (PGH) we call that "shifting dullness." coming from a vacation back to work mode is always very slow going.