On the top of my graduation cap, I put two of my favorite lyrics from the hit-musical, “Hamilton,” not realizing how true they would become to me at this point in my life.
I am the one thing in life I can control…
I’ve always been the one to initiate any and all sort of change that has happened in my life. I made the choice to get out of a major I wasn’t pleased with, I stepped down from a stage manager position because the person in charge made me feel useless, I ended friendships because it was long overdue, I made a lifestyle change because I couldn’t live the way I was any longer. Anytime I’m ready and want to do something on my own terms, I do it and no one can talk me out of it.
Change was coming, I just didn’t know it yet.
I’m not falling behind or running late…
I’m not late in the sense of time, because theatre teaches you one should never be late, but my maturity has never up to the same speed as my peers. I didn’t develop social skills until high school in my late teens, I didn’t figure out study skills until I graduated college, I understood class information and lessons days after it was taught in class. It’s always taken me longer than everyone else, and it still does.
In high school, I knew I wanted to major in theatre in college. Originally, I wanted to major in a performance focused curriculum, but after my first year, I just knew I had to graduate with a theatre degree, regardless of what my focus of study was. I added another major, switched that second major and minor too many times, and I graduated after five years with two degrees in theatre and communications with a minor in journalism.
I thought, “Okay, here we go. I have the skills to get a job!”
After coming home the summer I graduated school, I applied to multiple different places, with absolutely no luck. I began thinking, a small doubt in my mind, that maybe, just maybe, what I’m doing isn’t what I should be doing.
My first change happened: I moved to Buffalo in January 2018.
Two months later I took a job at a call center and six months after that I realized my mental health was spiraling out of control, so I left that job and have been living off my savings since August.
It was time for another change but I need a sign.
I’m willing to wait for it.
And I did but not for too long.
The world works in mysterious ways because before I knew it, I got my sign.
My mom went to a medium where she mentioned my brother and I. She told my mom that I was a healer, I had a healing aura, and that I’m capable of anything. It felt good to be reminded I’m intelligent and capable beyond my own self-doubt and insecurities. Through everything my mom told me, I just kept thinking of the part where the medium said how I was a healer.
I mean, all my friends can attest that I am the mom friend of the group. I take care of people when their sick, I took care of a girl I didn’t even know in college who was too drunk to walk one Saturday night. I am always the DD when my friends and I go out, I put other people’s well-being before my own. I make sure everyone is okay mentally, physically, and emotionally. I always take care of people.
I got the sign. I’m healing, a healer, and that’s where it all began to make sense.
Out of no where at 1 a.m. this past fall, I began feeling my fingers type rapidly in the google search bar, “n-u-r-s-i-n-g p-r-o-g-r-a-m-s i-n -b-u-f-f-a-l-o,” that I didn’t realize what I wrote until my search results appeared.
Nursing was never something I considered. For over 10 years, I had my heart set on being in theatre. It’s what I always knew I was going to do from the time I was in middle school in my first musical. I knew that, I believed that. But I’ve changed drastically over the years, and as I’ve changed, my thoughts, goals and dreams have, too.
I’m not upset over my five years spent at Fredonia. I don’t regret the degrees I studied, the classes I took, the shows I did and the opportunities I earned. Two years out of school with no luck, savings or some sense of security will make you think… a lot.
Maybe, I might not be in the right place. Maybe, I need to take another couple turns down this uneven path I’m walking. Maybe I need to step out of somewhere that’s comfortable to somewhere that is unknown and scary.
…I am the one thing in life I can control.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that I can’t compare my journey to someone else’s. I’ve learned that just because someone got from point A to point B one way, doesn’t mean the way I get to point B is any less. My story and journey is nothing like I originally thought; and that’s okay.
What does this all mean? Well, after much consideration and long hours of studying, I’m going back to school, sooner than I actually anticipated.
I got accepted into a LPN, Licensed Practical Nursing, program here in Buffalo starting in April. It’s a 1,100 hour, one year program.
I studied my butt off for my entrance exam in December, I found out I passed mid-January and before I knew it, I put my deposit in today, Feb. 5, for an official acceptance into the program.
I’m really excited, more excited than I’ve been about anything I did during my first round of undergrad. If I decided I wanted to do be a nurse when I was 18, I wouldn’t have been ready or mature enough. If gaining entrance into a program didn’t mean anything to me, I wouldn’t have studied as hard as I did, panicking from the doubt about, “what if?” I didn’t pass.
But I got in. This program is going to challenge me and I’ll have to put more time in than the average person because of how I learn and study but I’m doing it. It’s happening.
I’m 25; ready, nervous, excited and determined about becoming a nurse.
In a year, I’ll be an LPN. My goal is to become an RN and then earn my BSN within the next 10 years or so.
When I became a stage manager in college, I had this feeling, something I still can’t fully describe. In that moment during my first show, I knew that stage management was my home in the theatre. I had that same indescribable feeling for nursing; I just know it’s where my career lies ahead for me. I’m listening to my signs, trusting my instincts and understanding these moments that are happening in my life as they happen.
And I’m exactly where I need to be.
Because I waited for it.