Twenty-fine?

I took a blog vacation for a little bit, mostly because life was too busy to stop and blog. It’s true. In a nutshell, I was struggling with the greatest level of discontent I have ever experienced, coupled with big life choices, and employment decisions. And I was feeling antisocial in a way that extended to the blog world. I’ll touch on some of those details while I explore my thoughts on last year, and what I hope for this next year.

So, yesterday was my birthday, and I honestly haven’t ever wanted to celebrate it less. Seriously. For someone who has always loved birthdays, I just was not feeling it this year. “Twenty-fine” is really an appropriate play on words. Because while it could totally refer to my feeling oh-so-fine, it really relates more to my answering, “Fine” when someone asks me how I’ve been. You know, “not that fine,” but still breathing. This time last year, I started my “twenty-great” year with high hopes and dreams, but life’s circumstances just about crushed me. Clark’s pregnancy, health concerns, graduate school, work, finishing Ben’s degree, etc. It was truly an exhausting journey and honestly just a pretty shit year. One that squished out so much of my sparkle and has made me feel very old and very tired. I know, I know, people who have lived longer say, “Oh, but you’re so young! Life is just hard.” And I kill them. Well, in my head I kill them. In real life, I just give them a tight smile and say “Yep. It sure is…”

I’m feeling anxious because I was given the choice to choose an easier life and continue to be a nurse at my sweet little preschool; an easy and happy job with great hours and a steady paycheck. Or, I could finish my masters degree program and become the nurse practitioner I set out to be when I first began my nursing journey. Surely after this year, no one would begrudge me taking an easier route. But, because of who I am, I cannot. I am looking at all of the possibilities and responsibilities and MAN–the struggle! Yet, I am willingly, albeit hesitantly, choosing that harder path. The persistently nagging feeling about finishing this degree has shown me that despite my feeling puny and beaten down, I still have some fight in these tired bones.

So, for the last month, I have searched for preceptors (took about 18 different rejections to find an OB/GYN preceptor), paid off tuition, registered for classes, quit my sweet job, and just about lost my mind with these sick kids. Seriously Clark and Darcy have been sick forever and I’m about to give them away because if I get puked on one more time I will lose what’s left of my mind completely. It has been a busy month, but until I had preceptors lined up and tuition money paid, I didn’t know if I could quit my job or not. It took a while for everything to cooperate and fall fully into place. 

This past year, I have prayed, cried, rejoiced, and trembled in fear more than I have ever thought myself capable of in an entire lifetime. I have heard the phrase–paraphrased from Isaiah 61:3-that, ‘God makes beauty from ashes’ and mistakenly thought that the ashes were what I was dealing with when the ultrasound was bad, when the assessments were scary, or when the doctors speculated, but  I was wrong. It was then that I was in the flames, and it is NOW that I am looking at the remaining ashes wondering just what in the hell I am supposed to do with them at this point. I mean, how do you heal from the trauma of sustained, high-level stress? But I start with this. I need to finish this program. I need to rediscover my hobbies and passions, and renew old friendships. I mean I should probably take a yoga class, and spend more time on things that I enjoy. Hell, I need to try to remember *what* I enjoy.  I gotta water these ugly ashes and plant some seeds, so that there is at least a glimmer of hope that something beautiful can grow out of the scars of this past year. I AM thankful for surviving this past year. But I hope my twenty-ninth year is the year in which I thrive. Love to all.