For years, I’ve struggled with leaving the nursing profession. I think most RN’s do, when they finally end their career. My struggle comes from a place that has nothing to do with medicine. I loved working in the ER, but it’s over with now, which is a bitter-sweet thing. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t want to keep working as an RN, not at all!
Been there . . . done that!
It’s just the shift to “what next” that has been troubling. Almost without exception, I’ve heard nurses say (when asked, who are you?), “I am a nurse.”
Well, I never said that. I worked as a nurse, but that career choice never defined who I am.
Over the years, I’ve thought about how I would answer that . . . and never really came up with a satisfying answer. There are a lot of labels that I could assign myself: mom, teacher, grandma (that’s one of the best!), writer, singer, dancer, skiier, and most recently – jewelry-maker (big smile).
But I think a whiff of who I am came yesterday when I was walking the beach.
An ambulance had pulled up to the pier there and paramedics jumped out. I remembered too well my years working in the ER with the medics (whom I have tremendous respect and appreciation for). I also remember my years working in an ambulance as a critical care transport RN. It was supposed to be an amazing job, and I enjoyed the job, but it wasn’t for me.
Because . . . that’s not who I am.
I stared at the medics and watched them begin their protocols there on the beach and shuddered. Closing my eyes, I said a silent “thank you” that I wasn’t doing that anymore. God bless the medics! They have a tremendously difficult job that they do amazingly well!
So, I continued walking and watched as a seal played around the pier, hoping some fisherman’s crab trap would break and he’d have supper. I watched two little boys playing, who reminded me of a couple of my sons (the beach games never change from generation to generation). At my feet, I found beautiful worn, hydrated, colorful glass that is now attached to a chain and hanging about my neck.
It dawned on me then (this is the whiff) that I am . . . a creative.
You might say that’s just another label, and for someone who isn’t a creative, you’d be right. But for me, it’s who I am.
From the earliest time I can remember, I was creating. Through the course of my life, I’ve been creating. And I still create now. My mind is always thinking and my astrological air sign (I’m an Aquarius) only adds to fuel that fiery passon. Indeed, my head is in the clouds (so is my granddaughter’s, who I suspect is also a creative).
Today, I am relieved. I’ve figured out a little bit more of who I am and I like it.
I love that I wrote plays for the school in 4th grade, played my guitar with my girlfriend at weddings in the 6th grade, danced with university students while in Jr. High, danced with New York models through high school and college, wrote music, played music, recorded music, stood in front of the camera in Hollywood to make movies, stood behind a microphone to record radio spots, wrote stories when my boys went to war, wrote more stories for their kiddos, wrote more stories for friends, wrote stories for film . . . and now design and create beautiful things to wear from the sea and sand (actually, it comes from garbage–usually beer or wine bottles, but “sea and sand” sounds better).
The list could go on.
That’s me . . . it’s who I am. It’s what I want to be. It’s who I’ll be until I cannot “be” any longer . . . and that’s a good thing because it means I’m at peace and you (who are interested) will receive more stories to read.
Life is good for this creative!
Now, time to write!