There is no sense to coming back to some areas of your past.
Right in the midst of preparing for board reviews, I was trying to declutter little by little my small living space at home. In my constant digging up of stuff, there were things that made me smile, like that diecast car gifted to me by one of my closest friends, still in pristine condition after all these years. There are things that made me wonder what might have been, like that old engagement ring that has since collected dust at my cabin. And then there are some stuff that would have elicited negative emotions had I seen it years ago, only this time it didn’t.
Hidden in a maze of admission documents, printed transcriptions, and scratch papers is an envelope dated almost a decade ago. Ascribed there was the letterhead from a previous employer. Even before I open it, that all-familiar dread crept into my inner conscience. I’ve been through this before years ago, and yet that feeling is lingering once again.
I opened the folder as if it was the day it was first sent to our house. As if that’s going to change the outcome, like watching the replay broadcast of the game that happened last night. And so there I was again, sitting at the corner of the bed, rehashing how it felt like.
It was the formal announcement that I was fired from my job. It’s the first time that I wasn’t able to get out of a workplace that’s not on my terms. And while it was something that I was expecting (I wasn’t really happy during my final months of stay there and I can sense that a split was imminent), it still hurt.
My pride, perhaps more than anything else, was hurt. I think I deserved better treatment than that, but the higher-ups thought otherwise. At this point, I was frustrated, firmly believing that I do deserve better. There were some grand plans on the horizon, with collaborations that would have pushed my profile to the next level. But hey, they got the last word in this, and there I was then, finding myself at the waiver wire.
I closed that letter, and for a mysterious reason, actually kept it. I was determined to make it by any means necessary, and I won’t let that cut define me or whatever my future would look like. Interestingly, I wouldn’t have considered a career in medicine if this entire fiasco didn’t happen. Inadvertently, this scenario has indeed set me up for bigger things. Call that fate or serendipity or whatever. It was amazing to say the least.
That once dark chapter in my life was now far off my rear-view mirror. But that was now. Back in 2013? 2013 me did not take it well, to say the least. I was really adamant that I’m going to come back better than ever and they are going to regret the day that they fired me. I guess I kept that letter so that I can have that all-important reminder that I got to keep pushing hard. I have that strong emotional need to stick it to them and everyone else who have counted me out.
Fast forward to 2020, and I saw that letter once again. I opened it for the first time in maybe 5 years, and it’s now filled up with a thick layer of dust. I read it aloud in my mind one more time, just slow and loud enough for my mind to hear, and in one motion crumpled the paper and dunked it in the trash can.
It’s over now.
The torment from that moment has already passed me by. Almost 7 years since that day, I have finally been able to say that yes, I am now at a better place. While I am still a long ways to go to being the person that I want to be, I am more confident than ever before that I am at the right direction.
So now, it is time to let it go, for there are some things in your past that makes no sense to return to. There are more important things to look forward to, like my upcoming board examination, like the continuing growth of my nephew and nieces, and even the slow but sure rehabilitation of my war room.
May all the things that made us bitter back in the day make us better eventually.
PS: I was scouring other letters after I wrote this, and I saw some of the recommendation letters my mentors from college wrote for my medical school applications. Those never cease to make me feel ecstatic. Of course, those letters end up being kept in a safe place at my room.