Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It's funny how we keep patterns, even when we think we are beyond them. It's as if our life were a really finely crocheted afghan or superbly knit blanket. The patterns repeat, even if the weight of the yarn changes or the color. We might think we are doing something different with our lives, but in reality, if we step back, we can see the same pattern repeating itself.

I emailed my dissertation advisor a few weeks ago to finally admit I had not only been to nursing school, but passed my boards and was in the process of looking for a job. It was, more or less, admitting that I wasn't going to finish the dissertation. It was a hard thing to tell someone who gave so much of her time to me and held me with a certain degree of respect. She noted that she'd like to meet for lunch and that she admired my courage to reinvent myself. I want to think that this "reinvention" is different for me, but it's not really. I've been reinventing myself my whole life. Partner recently noted that I like the process of becoming and not so much the "being." For once in my life, I might have been silent in return. The truth of what she said can't be denied. I must like the way it feels to change the yarn, to keep the metaphor going, to note how the new color adds richness, but then I get bored, need a new color.

This makes my life a pretty colorful blanket, which appeals to some but not all. This need to change the color manifests sometimes in not so desirable way for those who love me. I can't help it. The colors are often layered with each other. Some days I look longingly at those whose lives are constant, going in one direction with a single aim. Brother N is like this: I believe he might have known since high school he would go to medical school, and now he is there in his third year. At his age, I believe I might have been starting grad school in English, after being a preschool teacher and having a brief stint with education classes, and spending a brief escape living in London. Brother N also met his fiance in his first year of college and has been with her since. It's lovely-- I can't count how many people I have been with since I was 17.

I know that both ways of being have their pros and cons, but sometimes my need to change, my love for new color of yarn, makes my life seem very disjointed. It makes it hard to appreciate consistency where I have it. Part of my struggle right now seems to be accepting who I am. I might change my path in life, but no one can say I don't go after the change with both hands, with passion, with a desire for what I want. I'll do this with nursing. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to be the best nurse I can be.

The only constant I have ever had in my life of shifting direction is writing. I've been ignoring that and it's time to get back to it. I'm willing to be held to my promise to write more here and elsewhere. Until then I guess I have to take solace in the bright colors of change in a my afghan, and appreciate the warmth that it gives me nonetheless.


Blogger frog said...

I've missed you so much. Even when it doesn't help you, maybe knowing that it helps me will...help?

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

But that's the beauty of nursing. You can change and change and change and still be a nurse. For awhile, ortho. When you're tired of that, NICU. Tired of that? School nurse, occupational nurse, insurance companies, doctor's offices, etc. If you need to change faster, you can join with a staffing agency or a travel company and change every few months or even every shift.

I stayed with cardio until I went to an insurance company, but with the travel agency and staffing agency, I was able to switch hospitals whenever I wanted without it looking like I job hop. :)

2:08 PM  
Blogger agoodlistener said...

Jenn is exactly right about nursing. There should be enough flexibility to accomodate even you! :-))

You have certainly woven a wonderful tapestry over the years--I bet it will indeed keep you warm. It's prepared you for all the challenges you will face in this next iteration. I bet it's your best one yet!

Happy New Year!

8:35 PM  

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