Sometimes We’re Ahead, Sometimes We’re Behind

in hive-152587 •  last month 

When I was in high school and graduated in 1998, I was inspired by a song by Baz Lurhman “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”. I share it here a youtube link of the song. I really love the whole lyrics of the song. It’s absolutely a wise advice, I didn’t really realize it when I was in high school. But, stored the song in a floppy diskette in Mp3 format.

When I was studying at Medical School, I saved the song in my first personal computer and I played it again almost every morning. And little by little I got all the points advised by the song.

One of the lyric I like most is ”Don't waste time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself”. Later I found that the lyric is a quote by Mary Schmich. For me, it’s so true, I have not to be jealous of other’s achievements but I have to be motivated by them. And I have to encourage myself to get better and better everyday. I know that everything we do in life is like a race. It’s a long race, so I have to be with myself, always. I have to know what my strength and weakness.


You know, at the fifth year of my study, mega earthquake and tsunami hit my province, Aceh of Indonesia in December 2004. Alhamdulillah, thanks GOD, I was safe from the disaster though I got injured. I was so doubtful if I could finish my study and become a doctor as the hospital where I practiced as a trainee doctor was collapsed since it hit by earthquake and tsunami. It needs time to make the hospital work normally.

Almost all my friends decided to finish their study at universities in other cities of Indonesia. But I decided to be a volunteer to help tsunami victims. I joined Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF) - Belgium, based in Lamno, the most affected district in Aceh Jaya. I was being a Medical Assistant. Beside helping the expatriate doctors in treating patients at clinic and mobile clinic, I was also being as an interpreter to be a bridge for the patients telling their complaints. It was really a great experience for me, knowing many expatriate doctors, nurses, psychologists from abroad: they are from Belgium, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Philippine, Brazil, England, Sierra Leone and even from Hongkong. And I still keep in touch with some of them until now.

You know, I was not jealous of my friends finishing their studies in other cities. Not at all! It was my life, I have to be with myself. I was really enjoyed to help my people facing their sickness, physically and mentally. Many victims having anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

By joining MSF-B, I know I lost many “laps”. I was behind my friends to become a doctor. But I was ahead in having a real life experience working with many expatriates. A great field experience to help victims of a disaster.


After six months in Lamno, I got a phone call from my docent informing me that the hospital was starting to work and trainee doctors might continue their practices again. I was so excited and I informed the it to my field coordinator, Phillips, that I have to end up my voluntary works with MSF and continued my study. Finally, I was finishing my study 11 months later and become a medical doctor. Yeah, I am behind my friend in finishing the study, but I am the only one ahead to have field experience with expatiate doctors.

And since 2016 I have been a specialist doctor in Internal Medicine. I finished 5 years study at Sriwijaya University of South Sumatra, Indonesia. Yeah, the race is long, I am ahead something and behind something else. This is life, and in the end, it’s only with ourselves!

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