Sunday, July 23, 2017

What I tell people about myself #nursingschool #puttylike

As you know, I started nursing school.

It's only been nine weeks, y'all, this is crazy. I feel like my brain is full already.

This month we started 'clinicals', which is where we do 12-hour shifts in the hospital and practice our clinical skills like real nursey-nurses.

And here I go again...trying to encapsulate my life in a pretty bubble for people. Not just my fellow classmates, whom I've been getting to know, but also patients, who frequently like to turn the conversation back to you [yeah but I'm trying to ascertain your family history of heart disease, lady...]

Well, my life does not work that way. It no-go-straight-line.

And do I use the word "crazy"? Say, "oh yeah, I'm a mess", or "all over the place" turn of phrase, make people feel comfortable putting me in the "other" category of the bubbles in their mind?

Not usually.

Here's where I find myself going:

First off, I'll say I was "in music" or, "a musician." I've always defined myself this way. Even when I got my Actor's Equity Card my husband/then boyfriend would say, "can I tell people NOW that you are an actress?" and I would say "NO WAY, people think actresses are CRAZY and have no skills." I guess old habits die hard. If I get a chance to elaborate, I'll say that I performed musical theatre, wrote musical theatre, and also worked arts administration jobs. And then if I get a chance to go further from there, I'll say that the last full-time job I had in music was recruiting music majors for the University of Maryland. All of which, I loved, of course, so what brought me here?

From there, I'll say the NICU. [Now I feel like this post is sounding like If you give a mouse a cookie...he'll want some milk to go with it...and if you give him some milk....he'll want...] Well, it's true. This is how I've been threading the pieces of my adult life together for others. And I can imagine it is difficult for a 22-year-old classmate of mine to understand how I got here now, but they might as well get a 3-D illustration of what "letting life happen" can do. I'm happy. Get into it.

So I'll say I had twins, and they were born super early [oh, how early?] 29 weeks, and we spent two months in the NICU, and I found myself chatting with 60 different nurses, and the seed was planted to go into nursing.

Oh that's cute, they think, mommy wants to work with babies. That makes sense in my mind.

But then, if I have a third conversation with a person, it might be revealed that my parents work in Hospice Care. And the other day in our lecture for "transitional care" I mentioned Hospice, so now all my classmates think I want to go into Hospice, which would be totally fine for me, I grew up with it and feel very comfortable talking about death and end-of-life care. I can imagine this is the most real that it gets, and it kind of screwed up my mother's way of interacting with people so hence the reason I say what I mean ALL THE TIME and IT'S TOTALLY ANNOYING I GET IT BUT I CAN'T HELP MYSELF.

Here's the fourth conversation. You've now learned that I'm a mom, and most of the time, I truly love it. I wouldn't mind being a professional mom for a living. But since my husband didn't want to foster 20 children in our house, I thought I could get paid to take care of people in other settings. Boom. Nursing.

Here's another tangent I might get into: I love school. Remember that time, at band camp, when I got a Master's degree in French from Columbia? That was funny. That throws THE WHOLE thread off. You have to expand your bubble. Or put me in multiple bubbles inside your head. It takes a lot of love to do that.

A quicker tangent: college admissions. When I recruited those music majors at the University of Maryland, I did a lot of higher ed administration and actually managed people. I was best at working with people. I tried to get back into college administration, but I cried and cried when I thought I might actually get offered one of the jobs. I didn't want to travel away from the family, and I didn't really care about where the state of our university system is going. Ohhhhh it's baaaaaaad. Probably coulda mada lotta moula tho. How ironic that I interviewed where I am going to nursing school now, though. Ironic, I tell ya!

Another tangent: I was trying to make it on Broadway. If you want the quickest way to put me in a bubble, I will likely say this. Oh, did you perform in anything I would know? No, no I didn't. I did experimental theatre [bubble], but we did a European tour [bubble] and I also performed Grease regionally [bubble] and was in Motherhood, the Musical here in Philly [bubble] but you didn't see any of those so just imagine me standing in line to audition for Rent [original production] six times in the 90's and you'll get a nice picture in your mind. Or read this post. 

I pop. ALL. the bubbles.

Thanks, Emilie Wapnick, for making me feel ok with all of that.
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