I can't talk about it in depth because of the private nature of the cirumstance and the public nature of a blog, but this blog is my journal so I want it recorded that this happened here. At this point in my life archives. For my own memory.
I also want to be recording what I observe and learn as I process the experience and as it comes to an end in a few days. So bear with me and my vagueness. I'm hoping to be able to write the story after some time passes.
In every leadership position I have had, there has been some type of personal crisis. It happened to a resident when I was an RA, it happened to one of my staffers when I worked at summer camp. And now I've navigated yet another emergency, this time on a larger scale, as a professor. (I wish God would realize that I am just a doody head and stop making me have to deal with heavy stuff in a leader role.)
Last night I did not feel good. I felt strange and sad - affected by the events and thankful that I have a kitty bug at home to keep me company and cuddle with me. (best spontaneous purchase I ever made). This morning, after a cup of coffee and strawberry oats, I feel much better, more clear-headed.
Here are my thoughts as of now:
1. I am so thankful to be an American and have the American medical system. Yes, people complain. Yes, the bills are outlandish and the industry has issues. But our culture has a developed sense of self and a deep-rooted sense of responsibility to mankind. What took two days and me screaming and yelling in Chin.ese would have taken one hour in America. The mental health care system here is despicable. Horrendous. I want to say more, but can't because of no free speech. But I can say, that I have been through another experience where I am so thankful for my country and my ability to navigate this one.
2. I am thankful for my Chin.ese skills. I kind of surprised myself by my ability to deal with the heaviness of the event in mostly Chin.ese. I think it was adrenaline and the fact that I work well under pressure. I did not need to pause to translate in my head before speaking - I just spewed out demands without thinking - leaving Chin.ese professors, doctors, and nurses shaking in their boots - and ultimately doing what I said. (suckers). I have more confidence now to face my PhD classes, where I often feel beat down language-wise, because hey, if I can do this in Chin.ese, surely I can pass, "Philosophical Thoughts of the Han Dynasty," in Ch.inese.
3. No man is an island. I am so incredibly humbled and thankful for my posse of students who supported me along the way. I really can't believe the outpour of love that I felt from my students. It is humbling in a way I've never experienced. A student stood by me as I made tough decisions, held my elbow as I signed my name where I didn't really want it to be, and took over some duties when I was too mentally exhausted to continue. They laughed with me through the hardship, brought me chocolate and diet coke (they know me so well!) and waited in the hallway for 2 hours while I was in another place doing my professional duties. They allowed me to talk incessantly as I verbally processed my feelings and showed deep compassion to the circumstance when my well had run dry. We group hugged when it was all over. And I think we all feel a heightened sense of closeness. I could not have made it through as a pseudo-leader without my incredible support system. I'm just so thankful and aware of the necessity of community.
Now I am going to go to Walmart, go to the gym, read some school books, and meet Dr. Xu for dinner and a chat. Then I am going to drink 100 mojitos with my friends who just arrived back from the Philippines. (ok, maybe just one - too many calories). All the while, directing calls between many sources until our recent event is over (won't be over for a few days, though my responsibity now is just to be a people-linker and information-transferer).
I'm just trying to move forward with strength and leadership and a sound mind-- big words that require coffee and good people, but do-able nonetheless.
Whatever you are going through, (because let's face it, I'm not the only person who's had a hard few days in the world,) you can get through it. Maybe you'll surprise yourself with some skills, maybe you'll be jaded by incompetence of others, maybe you'll be humbled by the giving and care of people around you. But most of all remember, when you are weak, He is strong.
And go buy a cat.
Thanks for listening to the vagueness, dear blog.
walk slow. xoxo.