"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Friday, May 13, 2011

We are Not Generic

So I graduated today.

I have this weird thing about me that it's hard for me to actually realize....the magnitude of what is going on. Like, I should be walking on cloud nine because I graduated college today with a BSN in nursing. I mean, this is huge. It was the hardest academic program I've ever been through. It was the most rigorous three years of my life...

But it actually just feels like any other day, strangely enough. Kind of like when its your birthday and people ask you, "So How does it feel to be...[insert age here]?"  And your response is usually...."It feels the same as yesterday."  

I guess what I'm trying to say is walking across a field and accepting a piece of paper doesn't make me a nurse. I don't even think passing my NCLEX will make me a nurse. I don't truly think I can call myself a nurse til I've been on the job for 50 years and even then I will still feel like I'm learning.

From this day on, this blog will change. It will no longer have tags, "Student Nursing" because that chapter of my life is finally over. No more anxiety-driven clinicals, no more posts about feeling too nervous that I can't go on, no more tears after a test....

There will be no more making a second back-up plan for my entire life because I am positive I will never graduate this program. I actually made it through! Although I did come up with some pretty good back up plans.....

So this blog will change into posts about nursing...(BSN nursing, not aide nursing!) ... My first job, the terrors of that, the highlights, the dreams, everything I learn...

Because I will never stop learning. Life is not worth living if you can't continue to learn every single day. If the day comes that you stop learning, that you think you know everything, then that is the day you know nothing.

I got an honorary award today at graduation for having an outstanding performance and interest in community health nursing. Which is AWESOME and probably was truly the highlight of my day.  I highly respect, honor and cherish two professors at that school very, very, very much and think they are the smartest two women I have ever met in my life--And they chose me for this honor. Which is incredible. So this confirms a couple things in my life. Being that I received an award for having an interest in community health nursing, I want to actually follow through with that. I still want to gain my "typical" nursing experience in the hospital, but then I plan to get my masters degree in International Nursing, and specialize in Field Epidemiology, which is a division of community health. Basically what this will enable me to do is do what I love most--Travel and Nursing. When a huge outbreak occurs, field epidemiologists get "sent in" and figure out whats causing the illness. They sort of get to play detective...get to the very bottom of where it all started. Trace it all back to the source. Figure out its path. The symptoms. How to control it. How to prevent the rest of the public from acquiring this disease. Also, they get to do lots of math, which, I love very much. I miss math terribly from grade school, high school and community college--and when we got to do a little bit of math again in epidemiology--I realized how much I would love for math (and nursing) to be my job again.

So, for the first time in my life, I feel comfortable with whats going to happen. Of course, we can never be sure of whats going to happen and my plan is *probably* going to change, but--Its at least nice to have a plan, even if it is a little tentative and bound to change.

To explain the title of my post, it was from one of my graduation speakers at todays "school-wide" ceremony (as opposed to the department of Nursing ceremony). We had two amazing speakers, the first being our senior class president. She gave this phenomenal speech--starting it off by saying she didn't know what to say, so she googled it--but didn't like what she was seeing-it was too generic and cliche. So she went with this awesome speech of how we at my school are definitely not generic and definitely don't fit any cliche. She went on to describe specific (funny) examples of how we are different from your typical college population, and overall it was a speech that actually kept my attention. Then we had another great speaker--one of my school's English professor's, and she gave this awesome inspiring speech that ended with a really special poem I wanted to share with all you. It is the typical perfect poem I would love  and sounds like something I could only hope to write one day.

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"
Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

I think the end is the best piece of wisdom I have ever heard, and will be with me in really difficult moments in the next years to come. So, I will leave you tonight with some pictures of my special day:
Crazy cool picture of all the crowds in the stands. We have a big school and lots of family came, as expected :-)

Thanks to my addiction to my new Hipstamatic app, this picture looks like its a graduation from the 70s and I love it! We walked under this little balloon archway and It was just so perfect for the day. It was adorable.

Last but certainly not least, we went to dinner to P.F. Changs to celebrate- And this was my fortune cookie. It says, "Endurance and Persistence will be rewarded" Which is SO fitting for today and making it through this program. Yay for unexpected perfect fortunes! :-) Love when life works out like that...


~ A Writer in a Nurse's Body

1 comment:

Jessica said...

YAY from Germany! I love you, you deserve it!!!