In Termit[e] Tent.

The contact that I have with Ben is intermittent. And by contact, I mean the deep and meaningful conversations that I feel are building on what we have, not simple the hellos/goodbyes/how-was-works/I-miss-you-toos/etc of everyday texting.

But last night I was lucky enough to have had a conversation with Ben that has helped to reduce some of my stress (well, for now at least).

Mostly we were talking about some of the finer details of me moving down – thankfully great minds think alike, so that was one of the easiest set-ups of a Roommate Agreement I’ve ever seen (not completely finalised, but will be easy enough from here).

We also covered Valentine’s Day – and, again, we agreed completely on this topic (relationship is too new, neither of us believe in it as a holiday anyway, we’d rather spend a romantic time together that’s not on a day dedicated to couplings, we think gifting flowers is a waste of money, and so there’s no need for us to celebrate it next Friday) = allover win 🙂

We also touched briefly on my neuroticism and that it seems to be worse at this distance; things are easier when he’s around. I tried to explain it’s less about worry that he’s sleeping with someone (or multiple someones), and seems to be more concentrated on the potential for him developing feelings for someone else, or reigniting any feelings from past someones.

Naturally, he reassured me, and offered that I can talk to him if I have any worries or thoughts.

There was more to the conversation, but basically I came away feeling so lucky to have someone patient enough to be able to handle me, and to know just what to say to calm me down. I’m still smiling, and that’s even after a night shift!

Theory #20: Trust is easier to give when you get a little intermittent reassurance that your trust is well placed.

– Dr O.


Q&A uncertainty.

Can you really protect yourself with love? Is it worth avoiding asking the difficult questions because even if you get the answer you want to hear, everything might still go wrong anyway?

I read this post about how it might be pointless getting an answer from someone because ultimately life is uncertain and people can lie or changed their minds; an answer doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt.


This was, after all, my whole dilemma about whether or not to ask Ben to define what we have (or perhaps what we don’t have).

Luckily for me, I read this post yesterday and not last week, otherwise I mightn’t be able to say, with confidence, that I am definitely in a relationship now.

On Tuesday 29th January, the following happened:

I sent Ben a message with When you have a minute, can I ask you something?

He replied a bit later Sure, what’s up?

Even though I’d been drafting this question all day (or longer, realistically), I didn’t quite have the right words.

Since I took a while in writing the reply text, he rang instead (something he never does).

So he asked me again, You wanted to ask me something, what’s up?

I attempted to steady myself by taking a deep breath in…

He chimes in Oh no, a big sigh, that can’t be a good sign.

But I could tell the words were formed with a smile on his lips, playful teasing.

So I explained that I couldn’t remember all of the conversation we’d had on Australia Day, and that it was probably because I’d had a fair bit to drink, that I remembered asking him, but just not the answer… Am I your girlfriend? Are you my boyfriend? Or…?

He said .. I would like you to be.

He mentioned that he didn’t remember me asking, and that I had obviously been thinking about it a lot more than he had, but he thought we already were together, or at least was acting like he wasn’t available anymore.

We talked for about an hour. I was in an all-smiley-happiness-bliss for the whole conversation.

The following morning I got a text message saying Good morning girlfriend 🙂


So the post ‘The Answer’ essentially comes to the conclusion that ‘the answer is irrelevant, and therefore so is asking the question, and so we should live as happily as we can in the moment’.

I can’t speak for the general population, but I’m not satisfied with that. I wouldn’t be satisfied working in a job with no contract and no agreement about how much I will be paid (or even whether I will be paid). While I don’t need any formal paperwork to say I’m in a relationship, it’s a kind of verbal agreement – and it’s the kind of something we need to hear from the other person so that we know we’re not alone in this, we’re not alone in the way we feel.

Sure, you might get hurt, but you could get hurt without an answer. At least if the response is not what you’re wanting to hear, then you definitely know your place and can move on. And you can also miss out on hearing a wonderfully unexpected answer from someone who was just waiting for you to ask. With an answer you get to live in bliss for a time, whether short or long, you still get to experience it.


So I would say, when the time is right – ask.

As long as you have considered as many of the possibilities, the consequences or repercussions as you can, where exactly is the harm in trusting someone’s answer, in asking? Then you can end that chapter, one way or another. Be optimistic, ask the question, have your answer, allow yourself to fall in love completely and if things go belly-up relish in the experience you got to have.

Theory #19: All roads lead to somewhere, or nowhere. If you’re not after the journey for journey’s sake, might be nicer to ask for a map.

– Dr Gigi.


Society determined the rule: you are not to talk about your ex with your new partner. But I figure that’s more about the post-break-up feelings – either you’re talking about them too much because you want to be back together, or you’re complaining so much about them and/or how it ended. Neither of those situations is great for the new person to have to listen to.

But I wonder exactly how compulsory is this relationship ‘rule’ is supposed to be?

What if you want to know about someone’s ex? Are you allowed to ask questions that encourage someone to break the ex-silence rule?

My mind has been on the Ex-Files. As in… Ben’s Ex-Files.

He’s shared some of the stories with me, but not all of them, and not all of the information I’ve recently become privy to was welcome. As an Orist, there are just some things you do not need to know.

But all the same, I’ve been obsessing about the stories pre-Ben&me – the Prequels, if you will.

It’s not about whether he might go back to any of the exes if given the opportunity – he just doesn’t seem the type (please don’t laugh at me for how lame and naive that sounds).

It’s not about discovering any possible flaws of his – because, as we’ve established, he seems fairly perfect at the moment.

It’s not about learning the mistakes those girls may have made so I can strive to be the perfect girlfriend – I might be insecure, but I’m still my own person: I’ll do what I want to do; I ain’t putting down any eggshells to walk on.

Trouble is, I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on the source of this neurotic obsession with Ben’s exes.

If you’ve not experienced this before, it’s the kind of obsessing that comes with crushes (particularly of the unrequited love category), or in the post-break-up analysis phase: either you just want to know them better, and that includes knowing their past and their people too; or you’re wanting to know their every move to be able to determine whether they’re happy without you and/or if they’ve moved on already.

It’s not quite as stalkerish as it sounds… Ultimately, social media does not help in this phase.

I think I’ve figured it out, on a few levels.

Partly, I’m jealous. I want to know him better, and I wish I could have been with him a million years ago when we first met and it could have saved us both some heartache and trouble if we’d known where this was going. (But I’ve learned things along my own path, and we weren’t parts of each others’ lives then, so I do just have to let this one go).

I’m impatient. And I like stories. They’re pretty much the point of human existence – the stories of our short, insignificant lives. It’s why movies and books are wonderful. But since works of fiction have endings already, they don’t invade and persist in my thoughts quite as much.

And finally, I realised… I’ve not been with someone with a history before. Not for long enough anyway. Mitchell, and Scott were firsts in that category; Peter and I had been friends long enough that I knew his already; Alex, I didn’t get to be with long enough; and Arni, I didn’t want to be with long enough. 

I don’t know whether I should try to explain this to Ben – that since he’s the first guy I’ve been with whose stories I don’t know well enough, I can’t help but try to find out more. Maybe then he’ll understand why this is a topic that exacerbates my neuroticism; and maybe he’ll share more of his history with me.

But do I even have the right to know any of Ben’s stories that may have come before this one with me in it? (And just as importantly – do I even want to know?).

Histories are complicated. They help shape who we are. But that doesn’t mean you need to know and understand any part of history to be better equipped to tackle the future.

This is all especially difficult when you’ve got someone who isn’t big on communicating.

I don’t think I have any theories today; it’s all riddles. Which makes me think of Doctor Who:

“The Silence will fall when the question is asked.”

– Dr O.


(An involuntary, though not necessarily unwanted, action.)

I got some advice today – that if you love someone, you should tell them. It felt like it was in the context of life is fleeting; carpe diem.

I do fully appreciate this concept – and I do agree with the diving-in-head-first philosophy. …

And I have already done the deep-breath-take-the-plunge recently with asking Ben (again) if we’re an item – luckily for me, his answer was in the affirmative and made me feel so incredibly special. …

But I don’t know whether I told you about my most embarrassing moment in this whole thing – the part when I think we both realised I am not cool at all, and after an agonising delayed and then the actual plane flight.. (I think, I hope) that he finds me more adorable because of it.

When I had to drop Ben off at the airport after Christmas, I was flustered because we were running late, and so a reflexive-and-a-little-rough-sounding “I love you” escaped me before I’d even formulated a thought of any salutation.

Kind of like you’d do with your mum …or an ex you’d been with for five and a half years.

And I didn’t get the chance to explain or take it back or even try to work out how I could take it back.

He just kissed me. And it was a little harder and longer than it probably would have been. A brief goodbye, safe flight. And then he was gone.

I sent a txt when I’d gotten the chance to start to apologise for the reflex and that it didn’t count as me having said it …yet (tongue-out-smiley-face).


So my thinking is, now I can’t say it first (officially) at all. Regardless of what I’m feeling when.

Theory #19: Every now and then it is someone else’s turn to make the grand romantic gesture. Best not to get in their way.

– Gigi.


I have a boyfriend.

– Gigi 🙂


Good to go yet?


In traffic light terms we know exactly what it means.

The relationship Ben and I have is very new. It’s even still at the naive stages where everything is wonderful and hopeful and probably not-so-realistic.

This is the time where everyone is allowed to caution me against moving – it has the potential to go down in a lot of flames.

Though a friend at work made me feel confident. “Go for it! Why not?” And proceeded to tell me about how two years ago her now-husband-then-green-boyfriend cancelled her removal truck to take her things to her friend’s place and instead arrived with a truck to help pack her things to take to his place instead.

Her theory (#18): “When you know, you know“.

I researched a bit about checklists for moving in together. Promising at least. I’ll need to have a couple of conversations with Ben in the near future, but no glaring problems or alarm bells or red flashing stop lights.

However, I do have some main hurdles (aside from the greenity) to moving state and moving in: Work, house + furniture, and the dogs.

1. Work.

There is no way I will move without a job to go to. I have two options, kind of. First option is to apply (i.e. send my CV) to all the hospitals within a half hour travel distance from where “home” will be. Second option is to register for locum work and hope that I can (a) get approval considering my narcolepsy, and (b) get enough work to be able to pay the bills.

2. House + furniture.

Probably the easiest to organise of all of the logistics. I can rent out my house and store my furniture. Plus if things can be organised/happen at the right time, then I can take some furniture with me. At worst case scenario and things don’t work out, I can crash with my mum, keep the furniture in storage and move back home when the lease runs out. (But that’s worst case and I’m banking on things going well with Ben and I).

3. The dogs.

Oh boy. I don’t think I can take them with me. So with one disabled little dear and the other a tad anti-social, it might be difficult. I don’t like the idea of finding a friend to dog-sit for an unknown time – makes it hard for them to find a way to back out if they can’t handle it. (And really, I can’t handle it half the time, so can’t expect someone I know to cope). They’re gorgeous dogs, and I love them, but I wouldn’t want them to be the reason that stops me from taking this opportunity with Ben. So they would need to be rehomed. I’ve got some options, but I am a bit worried. I’m hoping I can organise it for a foster-type-situation, but I don’t know if I can be that lucky. At worst case scenario, I have to give them away, and if things don’t work out, then I’ve lost the relationship and the dogs.

Hence, some hurdles. Not impossible.

Any advice?

– Gigi Orist.


So I haven’t blogged since Monday since there has been a lot going through my head, and because of NYR, I’m trying to live in the present and not worry too much.

As you know, my latest mini-weekend away lead to a really big decision – which I’m still sticking with, strangely enough. Talked to my mum about it – gently though, as that’d be a big change for her, and we share custody of the three dogs so there’s a big impact for her too… Also strangely, she was not as against the idea as I was expecting – she was actually supportive, and only cautioning me about the green-ness of the relationship and the logistics that I’ve got to have sorted before being able to leave.

I’ll get back to that though – they’re on my list of things I’m trying not to worry about too much.

However, the main thing I’ve had on my mind is kind of complicated.

Part of the conversation Ben and I had over the weekend delved a little into our past relationships. Not to say that either of our histories is very exciting or extensive, but now my insecurities are back.

And just when I was used to dealing with things on my own with the minimal contact/reassurance from Ben, too. (Except when I’m with him – he’s amazing at completely sweeping away my worries).

I don’t want to go into details, partly because they’re not my stories to tell, and also because I’m trying to focus on the “honesty and trust” side of it all. We each shared things we mightn’t tell other people, but the information has the potential to put in some doubt and could ruin things.

Theory #17: Try not to invent any doubt; be honest and trust where you can; if there are actually things that make you doubt – hesitate like mad until it’s sorted one way or another.

Might be too messed up to give advice to others.

– Gigi.


“Don’t even blink.”

Doctor Who reference not even remotely related to how awesome my weekend was. Ultimately, I didn’t even blink when it came down to the pointy end.

Theory #16: Trust your instincts when making decisions: your subconscious already agrees with you, it takes less time, and you’re less likely to panic and fret over any potential negative aspects.

Split second decision. Trusting my instincts on this one. Figuring out the details later. And possibly relatively soon.

By all means, there is nothing wrong with hesitating – it probably means you have a lot to lose, or perhaps not enough to gain. There is something to be said for weighing a decision, assessing the value of the pros and cons, carefully calculating all of your options.

That is usually the way I work – overthinking everything, hesitating on every decision, sitting on the fence for as long as I can.

But for this situation? I’ve known my choice for a while now – perhaps just subconsciously though. And as most of you know, I’ve been agonising over everything that Ben has done or said (or what I’ve done or said and how he responded), wondering how he really feels about me and what this whole thing is.

So here was the result of a wonderful weekend (I only wish Dutch courage hadn’t been what helped us have the conversation or perhaps I could remember it a little better!):

In the not too distant future I will be moving. To a new city, a new state. To move in with Ben.

Call me crazy. Actually, please do – I’ve not done anything like this before and I’m not usually the kind to jump head first into things – especially something as important as this.

But here’s my reasoning – I don’t have enough reasons not to.

And I’m not talking logistics here, I mean that my first reaction, my instinct has been “sure, why not?”.

Fear of failure is only minimally present – is this a “when you know, you know” type situation? Or am I just not thinking hard enough about it all? Or am I just being stubborn because I’ve made a quick decision (one of my very first) and I’m subconsciously avoiding thinking about the difficult parts.

So here I am, getting excited about moving and taking a big step, while I try my best not to catalogue just how complicated things might become.

-Dr Gigi Orist.

p.s. Hope you all had a smashing Australia Day! 😀

Long weekend.

Work has been a bit hectic.

Monday I wanted to quit everything and run far, far away – why on earth would anyone become a doctor? (Run-in with a nasty boss – I won’t go into specifics – it’s all okay now).

By Wednesday I had gotten to a high of “oh wow why did I ever question my career choice?” as I freaked out all the way through my first fairly difficult shift (Paediatric Registrar in ED) – survived obviously, as did all the children of course.

And then by Thursday I’d come back to my equilibrium – feeling like work is just that and I’m okay with my choice.

No theory or questions today. I’m still half asleep on a plane to go visit Ben. Finally 🙂

Have an awesome long weekend! Happy Australia Day!!

-Dr O

Parasitic work.

Anyone looking at a career in medicine needs to take a good hard look at their life and decide whether they are willing to give all of it up for the sake of trying to make other people better. Oh and those people? Some of them are demanding, ungrateful, rude, irresponsible, stupid, non-compliant with treatment, and generally so entitled and so unaware of the time, effort and energy that you have put into their medical management that you mightn’t even get a thank you.

Some days, you want to be rude back. You want to yell at them that it’s their fault they’re sick. That they need to be better parents. That they need to use protection. That they shouldn’t use Doctor Google. And that they should get a job and stop relying on the government and expecting that everyone else has been put on this Earth to fix all of their problems.



*deep sigh*

It annoys me some days more than others. Particularly when someone has been particularly rude and it reminds me: I still have to put up with all of the crap while I’m at work; because I work, I pay taxes; taxes that help support government schemes like the PBS, medicare, public health system, and welfare payments; which, more often than not, these people are heavily reliant upon; which amplifies their sense of entitlement because they have most it handed to them on a silver platter. It is very frustrating to trace the loop around – essentially I’m at work so they can be rude to me if they want to.

The worst days happen when you add difficult patients to unpaid overtime any overtime.

Overtime is an expected part of being a doctor. You are also judged, and critically so, by other doctors if you are walking out on time (…mustn’t be a very good resident/must be neglecting so much work for someone else/must be a Q-word* time of the year/must be a breezy rotation.. have to get my hands on that one). There is always more work to be done, you are almost never on top of anything, and if you were to leave something urgent for the following day, there is always the potential you might kill someone. Nothing like the threat of medical negligence, or even manslaughter, bearing down on you as you try to complete your mountain of paperwork.

*Q-word will not be typed by myself in work context or I will be smote upon.

I have become acutely aware of what the hospital and its overtime steals from me.

Sleep. Lunch. Dinner. Time. Rest. Relaxation. Exercise. Hobbies. Sun. Fresh air. Holidays. Dates.


I do love my job, but it can often be quite hard to remember what regular life is like when you have chosen a career that will always take precedence and always be demanding and suck away at just a bit more of your time/energy/life.

Yep. A medical degree is like having an extremely needy toddler. Minimal symbiosis. It’s a parasite.


Theory #15: Give up on trying to fix people and you can have a much happier work/life balance.

– Dr O.


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