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All I Really Wanted

Without getting into the 800 reasons I did and did not want to become a nurse, I have to stop here and say that the steep climb to the top is delightful and deceitful, causing me to have daily bouts with my ambitious yet artfully deluded mind. The conversation I have with myself always includes the sickly desperate words “I can’t do this.” But the other day found myself spiraling, clinging to the shredded bits of whatever plan I had had in mind when starting this misguided tour of real life. And with an exaggerated sigh I proclaimed in exhaustion:

“All I wanted was to look cute in scrubs.”

Never did I imagine these would be the glory days…far from it. I both expect and slyly hope for torture. In fact, when the professors go light on us, I silently scoff and question their overall commitment to this thing called education.

But, more often than rare do they set those hoops ablaze. Most days it’s a tedious task just getting by, always reminding yourself that you’re one clumsy step away from making a sad faceprint on the exit door.

The first six weeks of nursing school were painfully exam-centric. All those obscure multiple choice questions will have you choked with double-guessing, over-analyzing panic. This might be intentional, because it’s a great way to forget that in the very near future, you’ll be face-to-face with a real, live patient. And those don’t have answer choices A through E scrawled across their bellies.

Remembering this fun fact always brings me to the aforementioned moment of blind panic. But it does something else, too. It makes me push through it. Because there’s no way around it, you have to know it. And, more importantly, you have to believe you know it.

All the back and forth, the doubt, is the change. The parts of you that couldn’t do it will be stripped away. A day will come when my “I can’t do this” will sound more like “you got this?” And I will just faintly acknowledge the obsolete question as I walk on by, looking very cute in my scrubs.

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