Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Life

So. Where was my life before testing anxiety took over? Ah, yes. This quote:

*Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild 
and precious life?* -Mary Oliver

This question goes beyond New Year's resolutions. Do you have an answer when people ask who you ARE and not just what you DO?

I was watching Eat, Pray, Love the other day (the movie was beautifully filmed, but the story was not nearly as good as the book) and the characters were talking about defining words. What one word defines you? It's a hard question to answer! I'm afraid mine would be something like basketcase, or apathetic, depending on the day. This makes me sad. I want a different word and the good news is, it's completely within my power to change that! I'm still thinking what I want my word to be, but when I figure it out, I will most definitely share.

Now that I'm an RNC, people are asking what's next. I honestly don't know. My days off are now a void staring me in the face, and making me fear I'm wasting precious time. Asking myself what I really want to do is a powerful question.

The reality of life is hard to face sometimes. Part of me wants to ask, "What would you do if time, money, and other people's opinion didn't matter?" On one hand, that's a question that could lead you to your life's passion. On the other hand, flying by the seat of your pants and living like there's no tomorrow can set you up for disaster. How do you know when to jump? And if not now, when?

I do know that if I sit and think about it too long, I am sick with regret that I didn't study abroad in college. But I can't change the past. Instead, I can decide that I still can and want to live overseas at some point in my life. Forming a concrete plan to make that happen proves difficult now that Ross does have his dream job. Before Derek Porter hired him, we were talking about a semester in Italy, or else a few months overseas after he graduated. Now it's going to be much harder for him to leave.

I also know I want to LEARN more. I love learning from a good teacher (it was the self-starter studying that freaked me out about my recent test) and talking with fellow students! Whether it was discussing philosophy with my honors classmates who came from all different majors and backgrounds, or discussing pathology with my nursing friends, these conversations were some of my favorite parts of college. I love Spanish and anthropology and ancient history and physics and microbiology and genetics and words and...  [the list goes on]. But I can't know everything. So I will have to settle for awe and wonder and love of God's creations. And the possibility of grad school or at least a few community college classes at some point in the future.

I love babies with all my heart. (Does it really surprise you to hear that?) The days I have a stable baby who wants to interact are the best days of my job. I know that if I leave the NICU, I will miss "my" babies. But part of me will always wonder if I would like Labor and Delivery. I originally went to nursing school to become a nurse midwife and I would love to be the type of Midwife who can combine the safety of a hospital environment with more holistic practices of labor. I'm not saying we all need to sit in a hot tub and hum while we deliver babies without any pain medication (I personally know I won't go that route), but there are alternatives to "the business of being born" in this day and age. Inductions, pitocin, and laboring on your back with an epidural don't have to be the standard.

My future possibilities overwhelm me, and I run the risk of being paralyzed into inaction. But in reality these dreams will require a lot of discussions with my husband and family and planning ahead before they become a reality. And to an extent, I have to wait for the right time. I believe God will make it obvious when I am ready to make a major life change.

For now, as Audrey Hepburn says, "The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy- that is all that matters."

Something to think about:

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

(the prayer of an unknown Confederate soldier)

Do you have a word that defines you? Do share!

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