Friday, May 10, 2013
I got the dreaded letter last night. The piece of mail I've been waiting for all year, the one that says my last hope into nursing school was dashed. I kind of knew it already. I've been having manual labor dreams for weeks. I've been driving forklifts, loading trucks, repairing hinges, fixing broken fuel pumps. I've done farm labor and I've been an auto mechanic. I've done blue collar work most of my life. My head was telling me I should plan on going back to that because at almost 48 years old, no one was suddenly going to let me into another world.
Sure, I've done SOME white collar, but it's been dominated by the blue, because the blue paid my bills while I was a single mother (18 years). I thought I was doing the right thing then, keeping us in a nice home, bringing home groceries, paying the mortgage. My kids never went without. The traditional papa and mama roles were blurred in our home - I was the husband and the wife, the bread-winner and the bread-baker... and my resume reads that way. I ran the front and back of the house. Maybe people reading my resume imagine me as a whip-cracking no-nonsense people-pusher, who gets things done, and not as a nice person at all. Or maybe I'm just too old.
Anyway, despite my 3.98 grade average, despite the fact that I was chosen by anatomy teachers and the science resource center as an exceptional student to tutor other anatomy students, I was not chosen as a nursing student. A few of the students I tutored were. My mother and husband think my age had a lot to do with it.
Until I got the letter, I didn't particularly know what I was going to do.
For about ten minutes I was devastated. I admit my first inclination was to swear off eating ever, ever again. (Twice when I was an impressionable preteen I did this and dropped ridiculous weight. My early relationship to food was to love it to the point where I was 20 pounds over or to give it up because I didn't deserve it at all.) But I'm not naturally a drama queen anymore, so the temptation to make headlines by starving until someone took me as a nursing student didn't last.
It soon seemed 100% clear. I've spent my entire life with my hands in a lot of different pies. I don't mean the pies you eat. I mean, I really am a front of the house-back of the house person. I cook, I clean, I repair, I nurse, I play, I train, I teach, I give tours, I lobby bureaucrats, I do paperwork. I have always tried to stay out of nursing homes because they are horrifically depressing places, generally. And I tried to stay out of the VA for the same reason. But then a patient I cared for went into the VA and I had to volunteer to work there so I could make his experience better. I couldn't let him whither. And once I looked around, I had ideas... and more ideas. This is who I am. I am an idealist. Let me at a sad place and I will try to cheer it up.
I am over the nursing program now. I am changing majors today to nursing home administrator.