Best of 2019!

by / / in Activities/ 0 Comment(s)

The world might be in chaos right now, but there are still so many things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my life, for the passion that I have in serving others, for the roof over my head, for the food on the table and for the people who love me dearly. The year 2020 started off the wrong way that all I want to do is to press the reset button and do it all over again, but as what Marilyn Monroe said, “Everything happens for a reason”.

The year 2019 was my unforgettable year. It was a good mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. But today I will focus on the good because 2019 was the year I blossomed and flourished to be the person I am today.

So here are the lists of the things that I am thankful for in the year 2019:

  1. I started my Professional Integration Program for Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) in John Abbott.

As a nurse-immigrant, starting a new life in a foreign land is not easy. In order for me to continue my practice as a nurse, I have to do an integration program and pass the licensure exam based on the province and the country’s standard. The process to get into the program here in Quebec is very tedious. John Abbott College is the only English school that offers a 6 months program for IENs, and because of that they set the bar high and ultra-filtered the applicants to make sure the ones who get into the program are the crème de la crème. When I got accepted, it feels like my stars have finally aligned and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, but I had to remind myself all the time that it is just the beginning of the long and winding journey.

2. Completed my internship in two of the best hospitals in Montreal.

The hospitals and areas where I did my internship are in the Cardiacsurgery Unit of McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Neurosurgery Unit of Montreal General Hospital (MGH). To see the state of the art pieces of equipment and a different kind of patient approach, I was blown away by the experience.

3. Successfully completed the IEN program and hosted our Graduation Program.

This was probably one of my proudest moments. That 6 months came and went like a shadow in the night. It was stressful and demanding. Our Program Coordinator even called it a “Boot Camp”, and she wasn’t joking. If I am not in school or in the hospital, I am at home buried in my books. I stopped going out and socializing with friends because studying occupies most of my time. I endured all that and sacrificed my freedom because I just want to do it one time. Failure is not an option. I don’t even remember breathing during those months, so when it was finally over I screamed “I made it!” at the top of my lungs.

I hosted our graduation program, my first hosting gig and I was overcome with anxiety, I don’t know what I was talking about on stage anymore. It was embarrassing, but memorable anyhow.

4. Travelled to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine.

It is my goal to tour at least one American state per year. So far I have already been to Washington DC, Virginia and Vermont, but last year I did a 3-state tour in 5 days with my roommates which I will be blogging separately.

An idea occurred to me while on tour. Since I had the chance to visit 2 Ivy League Schools during the trip, it is now my goal to visit all Ivy League Schools when I do my future US tours! That’s a new perspective I am very excited about.

5. I took and passed my Quebec Nursing Licensure Exam.

This is another proud moment for me. I remembered I was awake all night waiting for the result. When I received the email, I was looking for a keyword “réussi” which means success in French (since it is the message that will come first), and when I did, I felt like floating in cloud-9. It was surreal!

The exam wasn’t easy so I didn’t have a high expectation, but I also made sure I was prepared enough to take the exam. For the second time after my graduation, I was just buried in books, reading and studying 6-8 hours per day. When the pressure starts to build up and I feel suffocated, I will take my bike and ride around TMR as my way to distress. The goal never changed, it is still “do it one time”.

6. Travelled to Israel for a 10-days Holy Land Tour.

Cruising in the Sea of Galilee.
Inside the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem.
Floating in the Dead Sea.

This was an unforgettable trip and my first time in the Middle East region. As a Christian full of questions, I knew I would do this tour to enrich my knowledge about religious history and to see the places mentioned in the bible with my own eyes. I particularly like Jerusalem because most of the country’s history happened there. I will blog about this trip separately soon.

I do not know what this year will bring, aside from Coronavirus, but I am still positive that we will eventually get through this stronger than ever. If you want to share the best thing that happened to you last year, I would love to hear it so feel free to share that in the comment section.