“I reached a point where I could no longer go on as I had been…”

July 21, 2019

"Medical school was a long, grueling journey for me. Learning and practicing medicine in South Africa is not for the faint hearted. For many years, it ruled where I lived, how much free time I had, when I could sleep, when I could see family and friends and it oftentimes left me to deal with anxiety, exhaustion, hopelessness, depression and frustration with the systems that were failing around me. Facing death, attempted suicides, psychological problems of others, substance abuse, interpersonal violence, end-stage chronic disease and acute traumatic events, amongst other things, were everyday challenges for me.

I reached a point where I could no longer go on as I had been.

I reached a point where I could no longer prescribe endless lists of medications to someone, rushing, as I tried to see endless queues of waiting patients. I reached a point where I realized I just wasn't doing myself, my heart, any favors. So I completed my government service time in the hospitals, and booked a flight to India.

I came to India to learn more about yoga, to embed the philosophies into my life, to explore the beautiful landscapes, to learn more about Indian culture and history and to be of service to others, which is when I encountered Peepal Farm and volunteered there for a short time, learning about the animals and the running of a sustainable farm.

Taking a break from the life which I'd always known gave me a different perspective on things. 
It made me realize that you really don't have to keep doing something which may be making you unhappy, just to pay the bills, even if you're good at doing that thing and others expect you to continue to do that thing.

Your mental health is always more important than anyone's expectations, including your own. It made me realize that life is rich, so bountiful and that we really should be making the most of it. It opened my eyes to the wealth of possibilities out there!

It also made me realize that when you can step out of scheduled, systematic living, even for a short time, and not necessarily for ever, you can realize other fears and judgments and old hurts that you've been holding onto which only hinder you from doing what you really love and being who you truly are. It made me decide to continue to live with the notion that everyday is a new adventure, every person has a story to share and that being free from judgment is one of the most liberating ways you can live.

I'm currently still traveling, gathering ideas, searching, exploring and volunteering at different projects along the way, and accepting that I also don't have to have it all planned out. The five and ten year plans will hinder personal growth, more than anything.

On the near horizon, I aim to write articles on integrative, holistic health, as I gain more knowledge on my journey. Finally, I hope to one day marry a creative career with a career in holistic health, inspiring others to live more wholesomely and more compassionately on their life journeys."

-Amy