I trust my intuition so much, even to the littlest thing like going to a book store and feeling that a certain book is ‘calling’ me. No matter how random and unfamiliar I am with the topic, I tend to just go with it and give it a chance.
This one, turns out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. The balance of sweet happy tone of a victory to the tragic side of disaster in neurological cases and treatments is what makes it beautiful in a very humane way. The balance of hope and despair. And the life and death.
Never I empathized so much to other profession like what I feel during my experience reading the story of Henry marsh. His thoughts, his emotions, his decisions while trying to ‘fix’ the brain, the one particular part of the body that gives you consciousness, language, logic, and basically, what makes you, you. From arrogance to humbleness. From sadness to forgiveness.
And from the little gesture I learned from his habit to personally wash and blow-dry the hair of his female patients after the operation, I can see what kind of person he is. I tend to distrust doctors for their detachment with patients. I know I still do. But I hope more doctors are wise enough like Mr. Marsh.
The best part of reading a book is the feeling to be understood. It’s like a rendezvous with a like-minded stranger.
And quoting Henry Marsh, this is the exact reason why I got fascinated by our brain.
As a practical brain surgeon I have always found the philosophy of the so-called ‘Mind-Brain Problem’ confusing and ultimately a waste of time. It has never seemed a problem to me, only a source of awe, amazement and profound surprise that my consciousness, my very sense of self which feels as free as air, which was trying to read the book but instead was watching the clouds through the high windows, the self which is now writing these words, is in fact the electrochemical chatter of one hundred billion nerve cells.
Q: What is your most memorable moment during your work here?
A: When I said to myself “ini gimana cara gue ngerjainnya ya?”
Q: ..and how is that positive?
A: Because that means I’m doing something new. I’m in a new situation and I can learn something new.
I feel scared and anxious all the time. Most of my works that I do right now, I know nothing about. I’m taking baby steps each and every time just to ensure that I start something, knowing that I can craft the path along the way.
There are days when I came home with my head so full I just sit in silence so I can sort everything out. There are days when I just shrugged it off and trying not to care.
There are days when I wish I could go back to the day when it’s all fun and play. But there are also days when I think that the sense of thrill not always come from something physical. Sometimes it’s mental. And it’s exciting too.
For me, The Lord of the Rings series is always a classic. And not to mention I grew up with Enid Blyton books, with all those adventures and mysteries, influenced me so much since I was a kid.
But for more recent publication, I love The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. God, I laughed so hard throughout the book. It was so random. So unexpected. So hilarious. And heartwarming at the same time.
What I learned from that book:
1. You never too old to start your adventure.
2. Let randomness led your way, and embrace the surprises along the way.
3. The sign of good adventure is the one you share with your friends. No matter how silly it is. Even if suddenly there’s an elephant showed up in the scenario.
4. Those friends you just met, can be your friends for the rest of your life.
5. Live, and love will find you.
6. And it’s easy to overlook our role in this life. You know what, you matter. We matter. All of us matter. One action, could affect the world. And the history. So remember, we are powerful. Do good. Be good. Always.
I’m not born strong. In life, so many times I ended up screaming to myself “I’m tired, I’m scared, I’m lost, can I just stop, can I be not care, can I go back and hide, I’m not doing this anymore, I can’t, I just can’t”. And that’s how weak I am.
But I don’t run from myself. I travel. I travel to the other side of the globe. I travel to every corner of my inner self. I travel to find beauty. I travel to heal. I travel to face my fears. I travel to understand. I travel to see. I travel to feel.
And I travel to trust myself. That this internal compass will lead me to wherever life needs me to learn a lesson. Or two. And I travel to have hope. To choose. Will I go back or go on? And I know. More often than not, I choose to go on. To try new roads. To try new turns. To lost myself even further. Because that’s how I learn. That’s how I try to be strong. That’s how I lost and found myself again. That’s how I choose to live. That’s how I choose to be strong.