Friday, March 08, 2013

This is Where I Am

"It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet."

The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I am not dead yet.

To bring everyone up to the breakneck speed by which I am moving, I am now married, expecting my firstborn's arrival and looking to relocate to Penang (where my wife had bought our first home) before the end of 2013. If you tell me in the beginning of 2012 that this is what my life would be like after just one year, I would sooner believe in the existence of God than believe you. I thought I would never be married. I was sure I wouldn't have a kid. Now, I did both those things earlier than any of my you-will-eat-your-words friends have.

I apologise for being away for so very long but I doubt there is any of you left to apologise to.

Marriage, as I have always suspected, is a very complicated and difficult thing. I have been humbled and no longer thinks that it is merely just a romantic relationship plus certification - it is not "just a piece of paper" as I have often called it dismissively. It is, to some degree, the extinction of the self. Never before in all my previous relationships do I feel the urgent need to think in terms of "us" instead of "me me me" as per my normal, pre-matrimonial self. Every decision I make now affects two - no, three lives (or twenty one, if you count our two cats). I can no longer just live in the moment but instead, somewhere south of at least twenty years into the future. Being the egocentric selfish jerk that I am accustomed to being all my life, this is not at all an easy transformation.

Being married also made me realise that I am in no way an adult just because I graduated, started practicing as a doctor and became financially independent. I am still learning to wrestle with adult responsibilities like car insurance, taxes, investments and housing loans; stuff which my wife is way more capable at dealing than I am. It is sobering to realise that no matter how intelligent or smart I am, I would probably not do very well without her help in handling all these earthier but ultimately more essential concerns. Being married to an adolescent so out of touch with reality must be terrifying for her. She likes to call it my "bubble" of idealism and ignorance - I have an idea of how the world should work and that idea somehow repels reality. I like to think of it as a forcefield of denial. For her sake (and our kid's and cats' sakes), I must deny it no further.

She is the first woman I have met who makes me want to be a better man.

This is why I was gone for so long. I had a lot of growing up to do. After all, I got to be adult enough in time to be a father.

Manning up,
k0k s3n w4i


Niek Beaujean said...


Sapphira said...

Congratulations! I am very happy to hear that you guys are expecting. The relocation sounds very exciting as well. All the best to you three (nope, not including the cats)!

sxydevil said...

Congratulations once again! :))

Rewarp said...

I'll have you on my RSS Reader in perpetuity until you kick the bucket.

That said, moving to Penang? Woohoo! I thought for sure you would be staying in Sarawak.

I have a few months to spare for socializing before I travel to the US for grad school. The Penang chapter of MA should have a little welcoming party for you when you are settled.

Anonymous said...

I am forced to eat my doubting words. I have been humbled and beaten down. Think I gotta go and get laid by my inner she-demons.

Anonymous said...

She's really something huh? To turn your life around like that. All the best

Anonymous said...

You are a houseman going on to junior doctor. Are you allowed to deliver babies non-C? If so, it will be a unique bonding experience for you and your baby. If you do, please blog your experience so we can share your joys.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Niek Beaujean: It is?

Sapphira: Thanks! I still have to see if the ministry of health would approve of my transfer.

sxydevil: Thanks once again!

Rewarp: Well, both of us can participate more frequently in MA events and projects if we are in Penang. I won't be coming anytime soon though. When are you leaving?

Anonymous #1: Err, okay.

Anonymous #2: A house officer IS a junior doctor. And here in Kuching, house officers are not only expected to deliver babies but also perform Caesarean sections under supervision (something I have written about previously). However, I don't think any doctors should treat their own family members, especially in situations where emergencies can happen. One of my paediatrics MO's attended his own child's birth, and prematurely called code on his newborn because he panicked, completely forgetting his training.

nicoletta said...

Bahahah! Don't know if you saw me spamming my disbelief on your k0k b0ks thing some days ago :D Well, there's not much for me to say except congratulations! You sound happy. And I'd like to think that you are happy, at least right now. I'm sure you'll be a better parent than me ahaha, at least with someone like Cheryl at your side.

Gah! Am so glad you updated this blog. The next time you vanish for several months like that, I'm going to assume that Cheryl and you had triplets and you converted to Catholicism and everything :P

Good luck with everything and hope to see you update soon <3

c3rs3i said...

Congratulations!! Here's wishing Cheryl a smooth pregnancy and easy delivery as far as possible and even not.
And good luck becoming the person you want/need to be for yourself and the ones you love.

2013 sounds like it'll be a rollercoaster ride. Write about it sometime why don't you? ;)

siehjin said...

Congratulations! =D

my son is now 4 months old... it's a sometimes exhausting and often exhilarating journey, welcome to parenthood! =)

Melyong said...

Congrats Kok and what a wonderful life sharing that is :) Waiting to see baby photos and wish you a blissful life ahead

k0k s3n w4i said...

nicoletta: I think you are a good parent, if not great. And thanks. It takes awhile to get back into the blogging seat, but I am starting to think in terms of posts again. Let's see if I can keep it up :) Oh, I updated again, if you are interested.

c3rs3i: Thanks. So far, so good. I'll try to write more whenever I can. Someone needs to keep records!

siehjin: Congrats on making daddy-hood! I'll be where you are at soon.

Melyong: Thanks! As far as pictures are concerned, I already have a couple of sonograms.

Rewarp said...

I will be gone on the 29th of June. VISA application is in the works for now, along with our partially secretive project in the mailing list. I have no doubt you are too busy to get around for social activities - though feel free to toss an invite in my direction should you and Cheryl want some company.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to your new post-marriage, parenthood-inspired blogging. Including the obligatory baby pictures when they arrive and ordering the sequencing of hir genes.

`duckling said...

so glad that you're updating again
(should have commented on the latest post.. instead of the 2nd latest one, but this post answers the Qn as to why you've been M.I.A)

:) good luck juggling the responsibilities of many lives (and diapers soon)..

Liz said...

Congratulations! How exciting!!! :D

Ahaha, and you used to say kids were devils! Now you're gonna have your very own devil! ;)