Standing on the Threshold

Well, helloooooo Strangers.

It has been over two and half years since I last posted and it has taken me a long time to finally decide to knock on this door again.

When I first started blogging, I wanted to write about everything that mattered to me, in an honest and truthful way. In a world of political correctness and judgmental self-proclaimed ‘experts’, not to mention medico-legal confidentiality issues, it was difficult to for me to blog without anonymity. I did my best to be non-specific about my identity, so that I could stay true to my blog (i.e. to be honest about how I felt and to be able to write about real events without violating confidentiality). The medical fraternity is a very small world, especially in my specialty which is predominately male. It became increasing difficult to field specific comments and personal emails without being deliberate dishonest or misleading in an attempt to hide my identity. I was not prepared at all for the onslaught of people who were not just happy to read my blogs for what they are (a female surgeon’s perception of the world, or just a story); there were those who wanted to ‘expose’ me in my personal and professional life, some well-meaning, but majority of the time not necessarily in a positive way.

I did not start my blog to ‘advertise’ my business. I did not write my posts to ‘seek attention’. I joined WordPress because I love telling stories, and I love writing. I have been told by non-medical people that I have a knack for making Medicine easy to understand and humorous at the same time, and I just wanted to refine my ability to do so because it is something I enjoy immensely: to let everyone see the health profession in a positive light. At the time I found a perfect outlet in blogging, because it was the ideal way for me to explore different writing styles, to expressed the ‘wanna-be-writer’ in me, and respond to the variety of reactions my posts have evoked in people. Not to mention, I have ‘met’ some pretty awesome fellow bloggers and made great friends in the process. Many of whom I was so happy to find are still blogging.

A few months ago, I was truly honest with myself and asked the hard question: What was it that made me feel uncomfortable when people started confronting me about my true identity? I knew it was because once I have lost my anonymity, I felt uncomfortable to put down in writing on how I really felt about things. Then I snickered at myself as a voice within me sneered, ‘did you just hear yourself?’  What I was really saying was that I was afraid of what others would think of me and I was ashamed of my opinions.  So, it was self-preservation that kicked in two and half years ago and stopped me from writing.

I never took myself as a coward.

That’s when I gave myself a hard mental slap in the face. Why should I be ashamed? And why should I be afraid? I should be proud of who I am and where I am in life. I don’t claim to be an expert in everything, even in the area I have been trained. I don’t push my opinions onto others, or tell people what to do. I simply tell a story the way I see it, or voice an opinion formed by my experiences.

I am dedicating my first ‘return’ post to all my friends on WordPress. I sat down to write today because I have just spent the weekend reading all the comments you have posted on my past blogs. I could still feel the positive vibes and the encouragement each one of you have put on my page. But more importantly, I realised that it was not just blogging that I have missed but also all of you with your warm funny comments that I used to read with my morning coffee. You are the reason I wrote today.

So here I am, standing on the threshold.