Friday, November 7, 2014

A Touch

A  Touch.
It was my last day in Dunedin for the year of 2014 before I went back home. It was so bright, sunny and warm after a period of cloudy and gloomy weather in the early morning. My heart jumped with joy because of the obvious reason – going back to Malaysia.

 But before that, I decided to go to the Saturday Market, and bought some macaroons from the famous Tart Tin Bakehouse. The market was so packed that I had to move my feet bit by bit to prevent myself from shoving people in front of me. It was probably because the good weather we had on that day. Mind you, we rarely get this kind of weather in Dunedin, so nice weather is always celebrated by everyone here.  And it was also difficult to look up because the sun was so striking that I had to mostly look down and cover my eyes from it.

As I was waiting for my friends to get their sweet and savoury crepes, somebody was trying to pass in front of me smiling. But I didn't really realize in that instance. It took me few seconds to actually realize that that man was smiling at me. I remembered that face. He was my Chemical Pathology tutor in medical school. He was also happened to be one of my OSCE examiners during the finals.

He was still smiling at me.
“Hi” I said.
“Hi, how are you?” He replied, was still smiling. 
“Good, thanks”
We exchanged smile and he went his way.

I didn't know how to describe my feeling at that time. I was still quite shocked because I never bumped to people out of my circle especially those people from medical school, outside. My friend, who was standing beside me at that time, told me that he actually made his way in front of me so that I could notice him. I was dazed for a moment hearing what she said. The fact that he made quite an effort probably just to make himself noticed made my heart sank.  I have never found any teachers as friendly as him. He is so warm and also nice to talk to.

So after my friends had gotten their crepes, we strolled around the market, looking for things that might catch our eyes.  As my eyes wandered here and there and my mind lost to the space, somebody poked me in the arm.

“Hey” She said.
I was stunned for a moment. Looked at her, and realized she was my case tutorial mate.
“Hi” I said quickly.
She smiled, and went off with her friends.

I had never expected to see her in the market, although I know how small Dunedin is, that you can surely meet your classmates almost everywhere. But it rarely happens to me. Or if it happened, I would try my best to get away from their sights or try to avoid them at the very best.

“She is my tutemate.”  I said to my friend.
“You have a very good day then!” She replied.

Indeed. It was a very good day.  Such brief moments of meeting my tutor and my classmate at the Saturday Market out of the blue made my day.

I think people would probably say what is so good about these things I told you earlier? Isn't it normal to meet friends, classmates or teachers outside formal classes?

Yeah I know. It probably is not important to some people. But trust me, those moments had huge ( with a capital H) impact to my life. Throughout this year, I was a very quiet person in my tutorials. I spoke when being asked or triggered or it seemed mandatory for people to say something. I was never cliqued with anyone in the tutorials and it gave me hard times because sometimes I feel like people didn't notice my existence.  I always feel so envious to people who can get along well with others.

And for the same reason, I developed some kind of avoidance to those people, especially my classmates. I pretended that I didn't see them so that we didn't talk. But the actual problem is that, I am too afraid if people are not responding to me. I had quite a few experiences where people ignored me, not sure whether it was intentionally or not but it was so painful that I didn't want to talk to them anymore. So I decided to make myself invisible and just do things that I really have to do with this people.

Hence, I was almost crying when those two people that I mentioned before greeted me on a much unexpected occasion. It was just that nice feeling I had knowing that people appreciate your existence in this world. It might just be a touch, a smile, or just a simple hi, but those gestures meant the world to me. It’s pretty weird how it works, but it certainly gives me hope that people notice me and it is also a good sign that I shouldn't avoid people anymore. Maybe it is just in my head – that sometimes I feel like they didn't like me being in that tutorial.

Just be nice to people. Because you never knew when you would touch somebody’s heart. 

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there's always a little truth behind every "JUST KIDDING ", a little knowledge behind every " I DON'T KNOW ", a little emotion behind every " I DON'T CARE ", and a little pain behind every " IT'S OKAY "