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.
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.
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.
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?