The past two weeks have been difficult for me. Challenges have arisen at work that left me questioning my career path. Roadblocks have shown up financially to hinder my progress. Sleepless nights have followed busy days, leaving me drained and unable to employ all of my capacities to make clear, rational decisions. I find myself vacillating between applying to Fellows or working more overtime for the next 6 months, continuing the endless wait. Even my dreams are rambling, jumbled thoughts of right and wrong decisions, fears and consequences, choices that have no easy answer. Most days, I want to slap on tennis shoes and run until I am out of breath, outrace the worries that plague me. This is by far one of the toughest decisions I have ever grappled with in my adult life.
The Fellows application lies on my desk in the office that opens to our living room, to the noises of the children Craig and I share, home, responsibilities. I press my temples, sigh, deliberate, write about why I want to become a nurse, where my future lies. My desire to help others, to give back all of the endless gifts I have received since my son was born. Save others, heal people so they can get back to their lives, their families, their own decisions, and choices. At work, there are moments I wander aimlessly lost in my own thoughts. I recall the children I have seen mauled by their family dog, families mourning the unexpected and painful loss of a loved one, couples facing tough diagnoses and unknown futures, parents crying with fear and worry for their sick or injured children.
I feel this deep sense of responsibility, urgency within myself to to make it better for them, to ease their path, lighten their load. Realistically, I know it won't happen every time, that being a nurse will be a tough burden to bear, it won't be within my power to fix everyone. I see brief glimpses of the relief in a touch or a smile, words of reassurance, guidance towards the answers that are sought, dedication and devotion from nurses that have found their calling, their life's work, their mission, in helping others. They ease their patients pain, comfort their families, make them laugh, smile, assist them in some of the most intimate and fearful times of their life. They make a difference each and every day in the lives of their patients, treating each one with care and dignity, experience and confidence directing their steps. They reaffirm my choices, inspire me, encourage me.
In return, I pick up the application and began to write my words on their pages. My responses filling the empty spaces, I am following my dream, hearing my calling, responding and pushing forward past the obstacles. Hoping to join their ranks instead of floundering in my fears and doubts.