Mental Health

On Not Failing: An Update

July 2, 2014

On Not Failing: An Update - Sweet and Savoring

Remember how I started nursing school in the fall, and then kind of disappeared for a bit, and then I came back and told you guys what happened? I was thinking yesterday on the train ride home from the city about how things have gone, how grateful I am for where I am at the moment, and how bad things could have gotten after such life-changing events.

A five second summary of what happened in the fall: In my first semester of nursing school, on my chosen path to become a registered nurse and probably a certified nurse midwife after that, I experienced unbearable anxiety and self-doubt. I quickly realized that I wasn’t meant to be in the program, despite my above average academic performance. And so, I withdrew, felt terrible and guilty and anxious still, and a few weeks later got a part-time nanny job, which I still have.

On Not Failing: An Update - Sweet and Savoring

Starting nursing school is  a major life event; anyone who’s been through it, either firsthand or secondhand (spouses/family members/etc) will tell you this. Deciding to leave nursing school is also nothing to scoff at. I still can’t believe I did it– not in a regretful sort of way (no regrets whatsoever!), but in a Wow, I started college and took classes for a year and a half and then I applied to the competitive nursing program, and got in! What an accomplishment! Then I had the balls to throw in the towel? To willingly leave?!

Some people might call that throwing away an opportunity.

But let me tell you something: I chose my happiness and my sanity when I signed those withdrawal forms. My longtime readers know that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing for me. I’m pleased to say that last winter was my least depressed in several years.  I’ve struggled with depression since I was a teenager, and anxiety first started hitting me hard in my early twenties. And yes, I was there in September and October. It wasn’t a fun autumn at all. But once I got past the trauma of my extreme anxiety while being in the nursing program and then leaving, after the dust settled and I could think more clearly, feel more myself, I felt okay.

On Not Failing: An Update - Sweet and Savoring

I got my job at the end of November: this was a big change in and of itself. We were now a two-paycheck household! A lot of the stress I’d felt ever since Andy and I got married in October 2011 melted away: no more worry about where our rent money was coming from, etc.

We have both been working steadily since the fall. On top of that, I’ve continued growing Sweet and Savoring and have taken several day and overnight trips as part of my Great 2014 Northeast Tour. I attended my first travel conference in March and am registered for a much bigger one in an exotic location in September.  I’ve worked with two B&Bs so far and look forward to  extending my reach and working with tourism boards.

In short, I feel more than okay now. I feel great about the fact that I’m not in school! I know I don’t want to be a nurse, and I’m probably not meant to be a midwife, either. Do I want to finish college at some point? Probably. But unless I had a specific degree in mind, that’s just not an option for us at this time.

On Not Failing: An Update - Sweet and Savoring


I know that I made the right decision. It feels good to have tried something and listened to myself when it was clear that it wasn’t working out, although it was an extremely difficult time for me while it was happening. I know I’ll face more difficult times ahead, but I’m grateful for where I am now.

I’m still not a failure.

Have you ever changed the course of your life, for better or for worse? How did you handle it?

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  • Heather @ Life of a Traveling Navy Wife July 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

    This is awesome and although I suspect you may not feel you do, you deserve huge accolades for taking such a step to take back control. I applaud you and I thank you for your honesty. I left my home state of Florida and moved to San Diego almost six years ago. Fell flat on my face more than once. Now I am thriving with an amazing career, income (not that money is everything, but as you wrote – it helps ease worry), marriage and life. I am so genuinely happy. I look forward to following you along on your journey and wish you nothing but success!
    Heather @ Life of a Traveling Navy Wife recently posted…What I Haven’t Had the Balls to Write. Bonus Parenting aka Being a Stepmom Across the MilesMy Profile

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Thank you so much, Heather! Moving cross-country successfully is something I haven’t yet accomplished (thought I do dream of moving across the ocean ;)) but it sounds like you’re in a great place now- yay!

  • Anna Belle July 2, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Congratulations for making a tough decision that sounds like it was better for you and your family in the long run! I’ve had to quit a few jobs because of family priorities and, while the right decision for us, can feel hard to explain to those because our society’s obsession with valuing work/career over everything else.
    Anna Belle recently posted…WIW: Day Trip PerfectionMy Profile

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Yes, we all have our own priorities, and what we value may not be a top value for a friend or family member, but…that’s not our problem. It’s tough making that kind of decision but I’m glad we both dd what was right for us!

  • Life Breath Present July 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Awesome post! I’m glad you are where you need to be in life right now. I’m glad you’re doing what works and listening to your inside self. That self is the most honest self there is (usually).

    Yay to continued travels! 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted…Mostly Unedited Week in Review – 7/2/14My Profile

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Thank you! And definitely yay for more travel on the horizon!

  • Sue July 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Good for you, Christy! It’s so great to hear that you have no regrets, are in a much better head space and are looking forward to your future.

    I would love to do more baking on a somewhat commercial level but it’s scary…I’m scared. Of failing, of not being good enough, of not living up to what people have come to expect from my desserts. You inspire me to be better.

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Thank you, my dear! Screw those fears! Stepping into them is where the good stuff happens. Otherwise, you’ll just be wondering and wishing 🙂

  • Carolann July 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I am a firm believer that where you are now, is where you were meant to be. We can take a road and easily change course if we need to. The past, and our decisions, are just that – the past. They are no longer a part of who we are now, just the dust trail that takes us to where we are. I think you chose what your heart and soul were begging for. I have had so many changes of course in my life, and loved each one….even if they seemed at the time a “mistake” I knew they weren’t. Tomorrow, you might wake up, and that day will guide you somewhere else. I hope all of your journeys are blessed. It’s all any of us can hope for.
    Carolann, xo

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      I like that: ‘the dust trail that takes us to where we are.’ Thanks for this, Carolann. I appreciate your sweet words and sharing your own story.

  • Kelly July 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Congratulations on your courage to stop and change course. In the end, your life is yours and it’s such a short, precious time to savor all that is sweet. You are on your path, and you will be a success because you will choose what is right for you. One day at a time. Wishing you much success, joy, and peace.
    Kelly recently posted…Ahora: JulyMy Profile

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I like your choice of words here: ‘it’s such a short, precious time to savor all that is sweet’ 😉
      One day at a time is the way to go right now!

  • Kristen July 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I wouldn’t call that a failure at all! I truly believe that we never really know if we’re going to like something until we actually get our hands dirty doing it. Sure, we can stand on the outside and think we might like something, but once we actually start doing it, we may realize it’s just not for us after all. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. It’s the only way we truly learn who we are and what makes us happy.
    Kristen recently posted…Where I’ve Been and What I’ve DoneMy Profile

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      You’re so right, Kristen. I felt like a huge failure when this was all happening, though, and it took a little while for me to realize that that wasn’t the case at all. I think I’ve been trying to learn who I am ever since I was born- and that’s okay! Something tells me a lot of us are in the same boat 🙂

  • Frau Dietz (Eating Wiesbaden) July 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    You are a far stronger person to have pulled yourself off the wrong road instead of carrying on down it, making yourself ill and unhappy. You should definitely hold onto that through whatever comes next for you. It seems we’ve been through some similar things and right now, career wise, I’m totally stuck (again!) too. At 35. I’m just trying to focus on the positive aspects of my life and be present, otherwise I’d go quite mad thinking about it. We’ll get there 🙂 I send you hugs from across the ocean!

    • Christy July 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      It was such an amazing feeling when I realized I knew what I had to do, and that *it was my choice*. Imagine that! Glad to hear you’re keeping a positive attitude, because I know how being stuck can be a downer. You’re right, we’ll figure it out eventually. Thank you! 🙂

  • Tamara July 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I always remember the story about my father going to law school.. and quitting after a day or two!
    I have done that, actually, with field hockey in high school and with a terrible job I had a few years ago. I at least gave it a week!
    Sometimes, mostly, sanity wins out.
    We know our limits, but heck sometimes we know our opportunities even more!
    Tamara recently posted…Not Even Close To Wordless Wednesday: Ten Years & Ice Cream.My Profile

    • Christy July 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I love that part about knowing our opportunities! Thanks, Tamara!

  • Kerry July 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    What strength you showed in standing up and knowing what wasn’t going to make you happy. That is such a hard thing to know and to do.

    • Christy July 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      It didn’t feel like strength at the time, but I know now that that’s what it was 🙂 Thanks, Kerry.

  • Amy | Club Narwhal July 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Don’t you love looking back at life and seeing all those pivotal choices and how they shook down? It looks like you made the perfect decision and I’m excited to see where it leads!

    • Christy July 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Yes! Thanks so much for this, Amy!

  • Hata Trbonja July 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    “I chose my happiness” , That is the best 4 words ever!
    When we decided to move A LOT of people were supportive and the ones who weren’t were down right cruel about it. We heard a lot of the word failure and “running away” from those people.
    Basically, I just shut them out of my life. I didn’t share details with them.
    They were choosing to be miserable about the situation.
    Let those nay sayers go.
    They don’t have the decency to try and understand you.
    You could never be a failure if you chose happiness.
    Good luck to you!
    Big big hugs,
    Hata Trbonja recently posted…I Have Lost My Blogging WayMy Profile

  • Nancy July 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    For me, probably the hardest part of choosing to end something that you seemed committed to is worrying about what other people will think! There is also this cultural compulsion to finish what you start, even if you shouldn’t have started it to begin with. I can think of a few times in my life when I should’ve ended something and I didn’t, and I can think of one time in my life when I did, and felt so much better about it. Good for you. And good luck.
    Nancy recently posted…First To Read: The Most Dangerous BookMy Profile

  • Rea July 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    You’re definitely NOT a failure! You’ve achieved so much in your life. During my college years, Nursing was a trending major and I felt the pressure of people constantly asking me to take up Nursing. But I just couldn’t because I’m never into it even though it’s more practical than the major I was thinking of. I guess we can feel when opportunities are not entirely for us because even though we didn’t pursue it, our heart is still at peace.
    Rea recently posted…The Art Of MotherhoodMy Profile

  • Erika July 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Making decisions like the one you made can be so difficult! I’m so glad you revisited it and let us know how content and free you feel as a result of it. There are so many things that can seem like a good idea in theory but we don’t realize until we’re in it that it isn’t right. But so many of us tend to keep pushing forward, as if we don’t have a choice. You recognized that it wasn’t what you were looking for and had the COURAGE to let it go. That deserves to be applauded!
    Erika recently posted…When Small Changes Feel BigMy Profile

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