Monday, July 28, 2008

When I Grow Up...

I wanted to be:

A Hairdresser- I'd spent hours doing my friends hair, but wouldn't let a brush/comb touch my curly sue long banana curls. Then I discovered scissors and suddenly my barbies suddenly looked like her . So blame me, I started the trend.
original photo credit:

A Teacher- My mom used to find me sitting on the toilet, with the shampoo bottles lined up along the tub edge, speaking to them...uttering some sort of academic verbage. Thankfully, I moved on from shampoo bottles to dolls and my friends. I thought it was SO COOL when my dad brought home a giant, school size, chalk board from his office conference room that was being renovated. I was the only kid on the block with a class room necesity mounted on their playroom wall!

A Cashier- I thought cash registers were so cool. After years of cutting up paper (and killing lots of trees to make fake money and receipts), my parents bought me a REAL cash register like one that made receipts and beeped and chimed. Unfortunately, it didn't come with real money, but a girl can dream, right?

An Archaeologist- Digging up the greatest lost treasures of the world.
Unearthing dinosaur bones. Finding the treasure map that would lead to the hidden chest of gold. Getting the glorious tan outside under the dessert sun. Oh wait! WHAT?!?! I might see a snake? Er, no thanks. I guess I'll stick to the history channel.

A Doctor- trauma surgeon, actually. The rush of adrenaline as the gurney wheels in through the ER door. The rapid "lub-dub" of my heart beating as my beeper goes off...what sort of fun next? The satisfaction of closing up a chest after stopping the gushers from a gunshot wound. Comforting and consoling a family when they fall upon hard times. Wearing scrubs to work every day (so budget friendly)!

An Architect- I must have drafted 20 versions of my dream house. I had grand plans for renovations and additions to my parents house. I'd go on walks through new neighborhoods and browse the real esate section to look at floor plans. I filled 2 sketch books with various homes and designs. One Christmas my parents bought me home design software for the computer. It was my favorite gift that year. we no longer have the computer but under my bed at home is a box filled all my designs and the paint chips of varied color palates and the cut outs of furniture and hardware to outfit my designs.

It's funny how I never dreamt of being a nurse, yet managed to spend $200,000 on an education to become one. At the begging on my junior year in high school, I started to heavily contemplate my future. what did I want to do? What exited me? Where did I see myself? Heavy stuff for a 17 year old. I don't remember when I first considered nursing. But I do know that I got mixed reviews about my choice to attend nursing school.

My guidance counselor, a fabulous mentor, was disappointed. He thought I was settling, "Why not medical school?"

My chemistry teacher, a woman who still inspires me to this day, thought it was great. "Kelly, you are so detail oriented and organized, not to mention your compassion and friendliness, you'll be a wonderful nurse."

My English teacher, the warm and fuzzy grandmother like figure, was thrilled. "Oh good choice Kelly. We know how much you hate grammar and full sentences." (I'll never forget the look on her face. Love you Mrs. B!!)

My friends, people who had seen me at my best and worst, weren't that supportive. "You want to wipe asses all day? Ew, gross."

My aunt and uncle, always jealous over my academic achievements, thought it was just great. Their girls would clearly end up with a better paying job some day.

My best friend S, someone who always called it like she saw it, embraced the idea whole heatedly. She was going to school for OT and we knew that we'd be able to commiserate though biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology together. She is one of the reasons I made it through.

My parents, my rocks though thick and thin, wanted me to do whatever was going to make me happy. They went to every open house, drove all around the east coast looking at schools, listened to me bitch and moan in fits of indecisiveness, wrote out all those application checks, and didn't think twice about re-mortgaging our house to send me to my top choice school. Without their support I never would have made it though college or even the application process, but when they walked me walk across that stage and receive my diploma they knew all their patience and prayers had paid off. Plus now they had a diploma receipt for their $200,000, even if it was written in Latin and no one knew what the hell it said.

As I approach the one year anniversary at my job and look back, I don't really have any regrets. Being a nurse may not have been what I originally saw myself doing... it's certainly not glamorous, I'm not in it for the money, the hours can be crappy, I deal with a lof of crap (literally)...but at the end of the day I'm learning a lot, meeting great people, making decent money, wearing scrubs to work (take that dry cleaning bills!), and proving to myself that some of life's best adventures aren't the ones you originally saw yourself completing.

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