Sometimes I just have to laugh at the absurdity of the past year in regards to my job. I mean, really. It's been one long, stressful journey in the painful lesson on, the grass isn't always greener. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy with where my job situation is right now, but I'm still learning that really, the grass is greener where you water it.
Was it really just a year ago that I was teaching clinicals, helping in nursing skills lab, taking graduate classes, and working full time in the NICU? And I was so hard on myself! No wonder I was burnt out and ready for a change! From this distance, I heap grace upon grace upon that poor ragged girl.
This time last year I took a job at a clinic thinking it'd be a nice change of pace. That was a good lesson in learning that expectations are simply premeditated disappointments, as Ross' mentor Frank likes to say. It's a long story and one that includes as many external disappointments as internal ones, but I resigned in June. Has it really only been 4 months since my last week there? It. feels. like. a. lifetime. I learned so much there from an academic standpoint, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity, but I'm also thankful I've moved on.
I'm currently cobbling together a living with two different jobs: I'm a NICU nurse part-time and a home visit/postpartum/newborn nurse part-time. I'm loving the variety and honestly, I also like that I'm not fully vested in any one place right now. It helps me stay emotionally disconnected from my work, which God knows I need. In the past year I let the line between work and life become far too blurry and my life affected my work and my work affected my life and it was all a mess. I like being able to be a nurse. I love that! And I love going home and being Therese.
The downside, of course, is that I'm not accruing seniority or PTO or retirement benefits anywhere, which is unnerving. I'm constantly having to surrender control in that regard. God has me where he wants me right now and I'm so grateful that I listened and took the risk.
Which I guess brings me to the actual point of what I came here to talk about today. At my last clinic job, I became a person I really really disliked. I let my circumstances bring out the absolute worst in me. Cranky, self-righteous, selfish, demanding, entitled... the list goes on and on. The worst part about it is that I lost my filter and said more things out loud than I probably ever should have!
To my co-workers, I probably just looked like every other burnt-out nurse. But to me, I was appalled. My heart really is that dark. I would think, "This isn't me! I don't recognize this person!" But really, it was me at my truest and weakest and most human, I think. I'd been tired and worn and exasperated, but never that. Never bitchy. Never rude. Never so thoughtless. That's what I regret most about that job: the way I handled it. I blew it.
I'm so grateful for the cleansing wind that blew into my tired heart this summer. I've been able to watch with fascination, almost from the sidelines, as God begins to heal my heart. I'm learning to accept grace from God and from myself. The whirlwind of the last 3 years had finally ceased blowing and I got to stand there and watch the dust settle. As the air cleared, I started to catch glimpses of what God was revealing on the horizon. And it was good. All of his gifts are. This summer has been so beautiful, and filled with more second chances than I deserve.
Lest you think that this is where the story ends, yesterday I was reminded that the learning process is just that... a process. The more I grow, the more I see that in a sense, we never 'arrive' in this life. There's no point at which life is suddenly easy and every single thing makes sense. That's not to say there aren't seasons of rest and growth and happiness and sorrow and peace and angst, because there are! But they're always evolving. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I think I like that. I don't actually want to stay the same as I am today.
Yesterday at work I was flustered and busy and a little overwhelmed with new tasks fresh out of orientation, and what I had previously thought of as old-job-Therese popped up out of nowhere in an unnecessary snarky comment. Granted, not many people heard, and the people who did, didn't think much of it. It was a crazy busy day for everyone. But the heaps of shame that flooded my heart shocked me. I thought that kind of response was directly related to my old job. I thought I left that behind. But I did not.
Last night before bed, I read exactly what I needed to hear in Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon:
If you need to hear that, look up John 16:7-15, too. The Holy Spirit takes Jesus' inheritance and declares it ours as well! And like Spurgeon says, "your Father does not give you promises and then leave you to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well. The promises He has written in the Word He will write afresh on your heart." I love that. Good news, indeed!