Posts Tagged ‘Career paths’

It’s after midnight. December 23rd.  And like last year, I am awake and pausing to reflect on where this year has taken me.  Last year, I was dealing with things collapsing around me regarding my ex-friend, I was grieving being single at my age and facing the reality of not having kids — maybe never getting married, finding that partnership that we all seek and that person with whom I’d want to have kids.

I was pretty sad — I was in the beginning stages of what was a difficult beginning to this year.  This guy was one who I thought was a best friend, who surprised me by changing the status of our relationship. Who then didn’t follow through, lied about me to those around me, apologized, and when I’d forgiven him and reached out when I needed it most he betrayed me. Now, most of this happened at the start of the year, but it began late last year and I was in the middle of this on my birthday last year.

It was a poignant reminder that I am single and have been for a very long time.  Last year I felt like I was on the same path that I’d always been on, that nothing really had changed ever.  I felt frustrated and inhibited by my life and felt like I was making no significant contribution.  It was a very difficult birthday.

But how am I this year? I’m okay. I don’t love birthdays. I do find them difficult.  It’s another year where I’m single (as always), no prospects and facing another year with that major path the same as always hurts. I don’t like it.  But it’s a very different year.

This year my grandma passed away, I dealt with the loss of someone I thought was a friend. It was a year partly of grief. It also was a year of major decisions and life changing choices.    I ended up choosing to obtain my original birth registration and my adoption file it was a profound experience to consider ideas of identity, self, life.  I haven’t finalized this exploration or this path.  But for now, I need to set it aside. I’m not ready to open the door to a reunion, though I suspect I may have found (through the wonders of social media) my biological family.  Will I walk that path one day? Maybe.  Right now I need to concentrate on another path.

As regular readers of this blog (if any are still checking in after my long period of being AWOL!) will know, I’m in nursing school. Making the decision to go back to school was difficult.  I did not want to give up a regular paycheque and the stability of the ‘known’.  But I felt trapped, useless. I was in a job that I was trained to do, but couldn’t see any growth potential. I have things that excite me but nothing in the job that would directly take me to a place where I wanted to go.  Plus, with the instability in biotech I felt like I was trapped in a low paying job with no recourse to building anything better.

So I took the leap and decided to go back to school — nursing school.  So, now, I’m back in an undergraduate program, have little work and no money.  But, I have peace. I know that I’m doing something radical, yet it’s necessary.  It will bring me to a place that will let me make a difference in people’s lives. It may be on a small, individual, scale and being able to affect people’s lives is what matters to me. It’s why I went into research — to make a difference, yet now I have a chance to do it directly.  It’s a major change to my world, but it’s one that’s finally ‘right’.

I spent the early part of the year trying to run and dance as much as I can, though in recent days that’s tapered off.  I’m going to go to Portland for a dance weekend over New Years, and it’s possible that this will be a tapering off of my dancing for the time being.  I LOVE dancing when I’m in other cities, but don’t always love it here.  So I’m trying to plan my time carefully. With so little free time the question becomes ‘how do I want to spend it?’ As one friend has commented — the live music is often better — with those with whom we most enjoy dancing.  So, if I can manage the time, I’m going to try that — I want to make sure that I’m going to have fun in my free time as much as I can and if I can focus on the venues that are open and fun.

And running.  Running is something that’s kept me sane this year. I ran a second marathon. One that stressed me out much less than the first one — I was too busy stressing over school! But, I did it! My second marathon. My life in the fall was intense — I trained for a marathon, worked ~10 hours/week, and was a full time nursing student (in an accelerated program).

So, although my ‘big issue’ — that of relationship and family — hasn’t changed. I can easily say, I’m not the same person I was this time last year. I’m not thrilled about my birthday, but I’m at peace. I’ve made changes that will lead to better things, better days in a mere 16 months.

So I wonder, where will I be this time next year? Will I still be single or will that path take a turn too? This time next year I will have finished most of my courses and will be facing only one more term — my clinical major and my practicum.  I will have started to work as an employed student nurse and will hopefully have clearer steps about what will happen after my program is done (will I leave Vancouver as I hope, or will I decide to stay? What area of practice will I choose?).

This year has been profound, full of transitions. Some transitions I hope continue and I hope for a year of more joyful times in my life. For now, I’m going to stop, enjoy my birthday, finish preparing for Christmas (one more gift to buy and I’ve been sick so need to brave the stores on my birthday… ugh!), and will work on a post of some thoughts and goals about 2010.


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Have you ever felt like you know that life is changing? Things in my life are in flux. There’s nothing obviously different, but as a friend said to me (about my life) in an email today “I have been feeling like everything is massively shifting”. I have started to feel like my life is really shifting. I don’t know how it’s going to be different but I feel as though my life in 2009 will look very different than it does right now.

I often use the analogy of a path when thinking of my life, but right now I feel like I’ve entered a room. I’m just at the entrance and there are multiple exit doors. The room is pretty big and the doors are far enough away that I can’t tell which doors are real, which doors are just painted frescoes, which doors are real but locked and which door is real and unlocked.

I hate this place. I am fine dealing with what is known, good or bad, I find it stressful not knowing where things are at. Things feel like nothing is actually different, but I’m at that phase that is about to shift. What’s frustrating is that I don’t have control over much of this change. When it involves other people, I guess I have to learn to release control.

I was talking with a friend last night and I was pretty vague about what the changes were, this friend knows me, and may even read this blog (not sure though), but we were talking about life and I mentioned some gossip about friends in Seattle that eventually may mean we wont be able to stay there as often. It made me think, too, about my life. One door could take me much more frequently to Seattle – but this door may be locked, or a fresco. Another door could keep me in Vancouver with a reduction in my trips to Seattle. This door is the one that I hope is the unlocked door — if I can be patient enough to wait for it to be presented to me. But it might be locked.  Yet another door could keep me here but could lead to me being a student again.  This door is separate from the others I have been referring to, and is unlocked, I just can’t see beyond it, so I don’t know if it’s one I should walk through it — or not.  Another door was presented to me today that could take me away from this area altogether.

This last door is related to the test I took last June and I’ve received information that could lead to a job and all the cities are well far away from here. The other doors were more personal or my work-related doors don’t affect the personal doors. This door would transform my life entirely.

So do I know what 2009 looks like? No. I have guesses what the doors are, but I suspect that there also could be another door or a combination of the doors that will really be the ones that open. But I have a hard time being patient. I have no choice, though.

So this frustrating week has ended, and I’m going to keep going with my usual intent of choosing to do each day what I need to be happy. And tonight, I’m going to go with my continuous backup plan — and I will enjoy it because it’s a good start to a very long weekend. Hopefully this time of flux will come to an end before too long and I will try to find the enjoyment in this season. I haven’t found it yet, but it must be here, right?

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Now that I’m working, I seem to have options for other opportunities sent my way. There’s the school option, multiple interview options – often with recruiters who I’ve worked with in the past – they all seem to have the ‘perfect for me’ job. There’s the test, too.

The test I’ll take, that could set me up for a job a year, two, down the road. School I am relieved to point out, I can defer. I had to write a letter making my request, and I have to wait for a response – which will take a few weeks. But, they said it’s usually not an issue. It’s especially fortunate that I am, quite honestly in the throes of family crisis, so my excuse is very very real. Ironically, today’s the day that I finally managed to speak with people (we’d spent the last 3 days playing telephone tag).  I get home and what do you know, another recruiter I’d worked with in the past calling to catch up.

Tonight was another dance night. So far, since moving my blog to this site, my dancing’s been highly ineffective. I always seem to be posting about unsuccessful dance nights. Well tonight, I was in a good mood, relieved over the school deferral, and ready to dance. I get down to the beach and there were one or two other dancers there but no DJ and no music. I know these guys so I call them and they’re having dinner and will be there after. No worries, I had some journalling that I needed to get done, and was hoping for time to do that.

But, they ended up taking an hour. Or more. A lot of people were there, waiting for them to show up. I suppose they eventually did, but I left before they got there.   The thing was, I was feeling in such a good mood, that I felt like I had the energy and strength to make a call to one of my family members. This is someone I love dearly and in my necessary hiding away as I process and sort through ‘stuff’, I miss seeing them.

So, while heading to the beach I gave this person a quick call. Left a message. And while I was waiting to dance, they called me back. Questioned why I’ve been hiding and what was going on, and when I explained it, spoke up with fears that I have about my hiding. I’m sure that makes no sense at all to anyone reading this, but it suffice it to say, it really stressed me out. Do they think choosing to hide is easy on me? The easy road for me is to not hide and to not deal.  But I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself or I wont make it with my sanity intact (no comments from the peanut gallery!).  If I’d taken the time I needed 6 months ago (though I know I wasn’t ready in some respects), perhaps the situation wouldn’t be what it is. But it is. So I am. Hiding and dealing.

But it did stress me out, and since there wasn’t music yet, I had no way of distracting myself (and it meant I heard my phone ring in the first place), and I was really hoping to be distracted. So I tried journalling, that helped calm me down – mostly, but not enough to hang out. I just wanted to go home and ‘process’. So I did. Sadly, I handled it with my favourite inappropriate way to handle stress. I should have gone for a jog instead. Oh well, next time.

So yet another unsuccessful night of dancing. OR not. Next week, I hope to get my dance back. When going about my day to day life, I’m feeling like ‘me’ again, and I want to have fun doing ‘me’ activities. Like dancing. I miss it.

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