Growing Up All Over Again

Britt wrote a post this morning that I needed to read. In it, she says, “When we go back to school as adults, we give up the confidence of knowing who the hell we are and what we became when we grew up.”

Britt’s Mom, Melissa, has been an inspiration to me as I embark on the journey to becoming a nurse.

I’ve been thinking a lot about who I have become in the last two years of school, and although I’m proud of my marks:

and my skills (not shown here):

You can probably see the uncertainty on my face. It’s there. It’s there ALL the time.  This nursing thing, this caring for people that I do is all new to me. Yes, we had clinical practice, but nothing like what I’m actually doing. I’m a problem solver by nature, and I love trying to figure out how to help my patients, but the fact of the matter is, I’m in a summer student position, which is more-PSW-less-nursing, and it’s GO-GO-GO, with no time to really talk to the patients. I’m afraid that is the way it is, and it makes me uncomfortable.

The routines are something I’m getting used to, and most of the people I work with are fabulous. These people really, truly care for the elderly as though they were related to them all, and I’ve witnessed, been involved, and even led in some beautiful moments that I’m very proud of. I truly am a wonderful advocate for my patients and take my job very seriously, throwing my heart into it.

However.

Uncertainty seems to play out in all areas of my life right now, save for family. The Man & the boys and I are having as much quality time as we can, and I am so happy to be home more now that school is finished for the summer.

Here’s where things are getting tricky:

1) I’m on a women’s baseball team and mostly, I love being a part of that. The problem is, I get SO nervous before each game, before each time I’m up to bat, and before I get behind the batter (I’m the back-catcher). I know I’m not the strongest player – and that it is for fun. My 7 year old and I have the same personality: if we aren’t really good at something right away, we give up. Well in recent years I have tried to lose that mentality – especially with being a nursing student. I want him to keep trying at whatever it is he wants to learn, so I’m trying to set a good example for him by sticking to everything I start. I was not an athletic kid and essentially, I’m learning how to be better at baseball NOW, at 37. I know I need to relax and enjoy, but I am super bummed if I drop a ball or strike out – and I seem to be blind to others when it happens to them. Having said that, the team is AMAZING to each other and they are such a supportive group of women – I love playing. So I guess I need to somehow shut up that crappy inner-voice that keeps psyching me out.

2) School is over for right now, but I’m working on a research project, for the summer. It’s only gotten as far as reading a billion journal articles on the subject. I need hospital privileges in order to carry it further, but I haven’t heard back from my coordinator. That stupid inner voice is saying mean things, despite glowing reports and recommendations from said coordinator. I should just call and leave a message. Sheesh.

3) Friendship. Oh boy is this a mental labyrinth for me right now. I have friends I can call day or night, in increments of six minutes to six months apart, and nothing will change – it will be like we talked the day before. Those friends are amazing and true and I love them like family. Then there are a few I’m still getting to know and I’m feeling so insecure in the rest of my life, that I’m having trouble. I feel shy and reserved and I’m afraid it’s coming off snobby.  I’m having a bit of social anxiety a lot of the time, and I don’t know why. I should be a confident woman right now, but I’m just not. So I push people away.  This kind of ties into work too – meeting 50+ women through work has been mostly good, but there are a few co-workers that do not have a lot of patience for students and it’s not fun to work with people like that.

4) Religion. So I went to church, just like I said I would. As I walked through the front doors, I immediately was greeted by a friendly face from work. I confessed that I hadn’t set foot in a church since I was a child. She opened her arms, gave me a huge hug, and simply said, “Welcome.” Then she invited me to sit with her family, and guided me to the welcome center after the amazing service. I signed up to be called but I haven’t heard anything yet. I loved it and I’d like to go back. The uncertainty here is that I didn’t agree with everything the Pastor said. I don’t want to debate any of it here, but I feel a little lost in this area and I have about 5  billion questions.

5) Exercise. As I said yesterday, I’m having a bit of heart/high blood pressure trouble. The doc wants me to run/exercise beyond walking, in order to bring my BP down. I’m terrified of running because I’m so afraid I’m going to stroke out or have a heart attack and no one will find me until it’s too late. I know that seems super extreme – but high BP/heart trouble runs in my family, and the men in my family have been particularly prone to issues in their late 30′s. I’m super scared. Having said that, I signed up for two road races: an 8K on May 21 & a 10K on June 10th. I think I’d like to run with someone the first few times until I get back into it, just for safety’s sake.

That’s about it. Uncertainty from all sides. I want to be a better person, and as Britt says, The Cost of Progress is Comfort. Boy is that ever true for me right now.