Grateful For Time and Opportunity In 2021

Despite contracting the Coronavirus early last year, I still believe that 2021 was definitely a better year for me than 2020 for many reasons. Looking at the photos I took last year, it's evident that 2021 was all about spending time with the people I truly love the most. It was also the year when I made new connections with so many wonderful people, and gladly took an opportunity to progress in my career. 

The first four months of 2021 was definitely full of mixed emotions, personally and professionally. Having lost my second father the month before, I was still sort of grieving. Then J and I had the coronavirus, although we only had minor symptoms. But what probably hit me the most was the condition of my mother and the fact that I couldn't go home and see her. The loss of Daddy Henry made me realise that I really didn't try hard enough to go home to my parents- for six years. It was very hard for me, but I knew it was definitely harder for my mother. 

Work, on the other hand was going well during this period. I believe I was performing at my best. I had the best team any manager could ever ask for, and that's probably why. But honestly speaking, I was very blessed with good people at work. People who truly cared about me, the patients and each other. And if I were to talk about opportunity, knowing the people at work and the chance to have worked with them for a year was one of the greatest opportunities of last year. Then there was the blessing of friendship that was built through shared frustrations, difficult shifts, instability, and of course, many happy days inside and outside work! 

The rest of my 2021 was pretty great. I was able to spend time with the people I care about in London. And most importantly, I was able to go home and see my parents and the rest of my family.

Yes, I was finally able to go home in November after six years. Whilst some people doubted my genuine intentions in booking an urgent flight to the Philippines and the validity of the reason why I had to go, I knew it was the right thing for me to do at the time.

Few weeks before I decided to go home, my mother was having frequent abdominal pains. I feared that her symptom was related to her medical condition, hence I wanted to see her before anything regretful happened. Then my father was taken ill and subsequently had an amputation. And with the imminent rise in Covid cases, I wasn't sure if travel restrictions will change again. This is the reason why I needed to go home and unwillingly spent only six days with my family. Short as it was, my trip back home was the highlight of my year. I just wish my parents were healthier, but at least I was able to spend time with them. It was a risk I had to take, and it was definitely worth it.

When I came back to the UK, I only had two weeks left at my job. Three months before, my former manager contacted me and asked if I wanted to work with her again and take on a higher position. I reluctantly accepted her offer and went for the interview. I was reluctant because although my workplace at that time has become too stressful, I didn't want to leave my team. I had the best team and I wanted to make it work for us and for the ward. But I also wanted to progress, so I made the difficult decision to accept the job offer and leave the most amazing nursing team I have ever worked with in my entire nursing career.

I have left several jobs through the years but this one was the most heartbreaking one. I guess it was hard because I made a special connection with most of my staff. As much as I was their manager, and despite the professional boundaries, they treated me as a human being. I hate to say this but for the first time in my nursing career, I felt truly valued and cared for by not just the minority of the staff, but by every single one of them, and then there were some from other departments as well. These people picked me up when I was really down at work. They lighted my path when the road at work seemed so dark. They lifted me up when I felt like I was drowning. This is why I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them.

The messages they left me at my work leaving do brought me to tears. I had no idea how much I've touched these people's lives. And to hear it directly from them was so overwhelming. For the first time in a long time, I believed that I have done something right. 

The people that I met at work last year were some of the reasons why I am who and what I am today as a person and as a professional. I may have left my job, but I gained two inspiring Aunties, one wonderful Ate, a handful of amazing Adings, and some really good friends. There were also some nice people I met just before I left that I wished I met earlier. But I've always believed that the world is small so I'm sure one day, our paths will cross again.

2021 remained challenging for most of us. I have so much to be thankful for but I am most thankful that I made it through the year healthy. As much as I have been blessed with time and opportunity last year, I hope and pray that 2022 will bring us more time to share with the people we love and opportunity to do the things that make us happy.

TIN x 


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