I thought I was all set. I thought I was ready. All of my core coursework was completed. I was working on the weekends and whatever free time I had was devoted to helping care for my grandfather. I thought I was motivated. I thought my goal to be a nurse was the end all, be all. Acceptance letter received, required materials purchased, physical examination done, student I.D. obtained, first couple of weeks done – I had to make a choice: adapt or become defeated. When I thought I had my life all planned out, suddenly: BOOM! I felt a big smack in the face.
I quit. As I was driving home after I signed the withdrawal form, I felt as if a brick were lifted off of my shoulders, but the problem was not the program. The problem was me. I was out of my comfort zone. I am not proud of the choice I made. Typically, I finish what I start. Now, this is what I constantly say to myself, “Finish what you start”.
A couple of days went by and then a couple of weeks. The feeling as if a brick were lifted off of my shoulders was no longer a feeling. I was back in my comfort zone. There was no going back. I had to figure out how to move forward.
When I quit nursing school, my grandfather was entering his final stages of dementia. No one knew what was going to happen. No one in our family ever had dementia, so, dementia was not only a journey for my grandfather, but it was also a journey for my family and I. I was very close with my grandfather. I never knew if I would wake up to say good morning or wake up to say goodbye. Watching my grandfather battle with dementia and knowing that I just quit school caused me to drive myself up and down an emotional roller coaster. I had days when I was an emotional wreck and I had days when I was angry and frustrated. I could not take it anymore, so I sought help from my doctor. My doctor quickly prescribed medication for me. I was hesitant at first because I thought that maybe I had to learn for myself how to move forward.
December pulled up around the corner. My brother encouraged me to set one goal to work towards, and that was to finish my associate’s degree. My brother suggested that I focus on a different topic of study instead of health sciences. So, I switched my coursework up by enrolling in business classes. Mid-way through January, just when I was starting to move forward, I woke up to say goodbye to my grandfather. Initially, I was in shock. I did not cry. I did not say anything. Shortly after his aide took care of what she needed to do, it hit me. He was gone, but I had to keep moving forward.
January through May, were five very difficult months. I was taking a full course load. I was grieving the loss of my grandfather and I had no direction of a career. Quitting was not an option, so I found motivation in seeing myself walking across the stage receiving my diploma. After all my perseverance, I graduated with honors. My grandfather would have said, “You climbed the first step, now start climbing the next one.”
I had to keep moving forward.
Unfortunately, June 2016, I was going backwards again. I was stressed, not knowing what I was going to do come Fall time. I was stressed, knowing I was still working for the family business. I was stressed, knowing my grandfather was not with us anymore, and overall, I was stressed life. As a result of these stressors, I lost some weight. I was not eating properly. My family and close friends became concerned but did not know how to help me. It was my responsibility to find a way to move forward.
Summer of 2016, I was presented with two opportunities to help move myself forward for the third time. My Aunt and Uncle invited me to stay with them for a couple of months, with the agreement that I would re-focus on self-care, and my academic pursuits. As well, I found a local and small, private, personal training center that had been running a special on personal training and nutrition counseling. I took advantage of both opportunities. Within six weeks, I was eating properly again and I had reached the proper weight based on my height. It was the best I felt in months – in years. I found my way to move forward.
The end of the summer of 2016 I was still living with my Aunt and Uncle. I wanted to go back to school. Although I still had no clear idea of what I wanted to do, I decided to take another business class. I took an entry level accounting course. I passed, but, I learned that accounting was not for me. I was still moving forward.
As I have read: “Life is a Journey, not a Destination.” I thought I was all set. I thought I was ready. BOOM! Smack in the face. What comes next?
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