On Learning to be Brave

I’m living in a season of strange transition and murky water. As a girl who always (or mostly always) has a plan, this is completely unnerving. I’m still swaying from the roller coaster of graduation and pinning and passing the NCLEX and my roommate moving. All of the sudden, I feel like adulthood has been shoved in my face and I’m expected to somehow cope with it when I can’t even decide what to eat for dinner tonight.

The life I had planned for after I graduated is not here. I’m not engaged (I was totally convinced I was going to find/marry my future husband in college), I’m not living in an adorable cottage on the beach, and I’m not a Pediatric Nurse. Instead, I have made it 21 years dateless, live in a ridiculously hot (as in temperature wise, not fabulous-wise) one bedroom apartment that has a spider infestation, and I’m still a CNA (even though technically I’m an RN). And I’ve never felt more alone in this season. I’m hurting. Bad. Because the life I thought was guaranteed is definitely not happening right now. Or anytime soon for that matter.

I’ve worked hard at my job with the hopes of gaining an RN position after graduation. Everyone told me I was pretty much guaranteed in on my current floor. But, I got a call from HR during finals week that said “it’s a no”. I’ve done a really good job of pushing the weight of rejection aside these past few months because there’s been other more important things to worry about besides my quarter-life crisis. As New Grad programs start and I’m watching my amazing, beautiful friends do amazing, beautiful things (which I am so, so proud of them for doing), I feel stuck on the sidelines, waving as they walk off into their sunsets of realized dreams. I hurt every time I’m at work because I know I could love my patients so well as their nurse. I’m doing my best to love them as a CNA, but I’ve cried and bled to be an RN to serve the little ones I feel so called to love. I hurt because I feel angry and frustrated and sad all at once.

Some of that is good. I’m learning to embrace being single (mostly wearing lots of bright lipstick and laughing at the days to come). I’ve learned methods to kill the invading spiders in my apartment (I let the little ones live, but I use la chancla* on the big ones). I’ve learned I can survive heartbreak. And, I’ve learned I’m not alone. I have friends here that love me well and drive me to the beach when all I want to do is sleep and watch Netflix. I have parents that have supported me every part of this difficult journey, even when I’ve cried out of anger or yelled at my Mom on the phone. I have a church that reads scripture and practices eucharist and gives me a firm foundation when I can hardly keep my footing on anything else.

Annie Downs writes inĀ Let’s All Be Brave “You are going to survive this, friend. God has not forgotten you. Your life and desires are important to God”. This is all my hope is built on. I know I was created for a purpose. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am called to be a nurse, and I know that my heart is in pediatrics (because I’m a preoperational child. Piaget is my homeboy). To have someone tell me through print (which is really the best way my book-loving soul processes things) that I have not been forgotten, that my desire to serve little ones has not been forgotten, was enough to bring me to tears. Tears of joy and relief and hope. Because I know I’m going to be alright.

Amen?

Amen.

So the takeaway points are 1. Go buy Let’s All be Brave because it’s beautiful 2. I’m a little sad right now 3. But a lot hopeful 4. I’m going to be okay.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Later Days,

Jess

*La Chancla is the rod of discipline and the sword of destruction. Use with caution (see below)