The Beginning & The End

It is over. It is done. I am finished and I can't tell you how joyful I am this morning. I don't believe the full reality hit me yesterday as I walked out of those hospital doors one last time. I believe the exhaustion from that day and the previous day's workload took some of the enjoyment out of my final stroll down those halls. But a new day is here! I woke up at 6am this morning feeling excited and ready to take on the world. I feel as if a weight has been lifted and I pray that this is a corner I am turning and not revisiting ever again.

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Perhaps my intro sounds dramatic. I don't mean it to sound that way. I should have prefaced that paragraph by describing the other emotions I was feeling yesterday as I scurried about finishing my last day at the hospital. Along with the excitement I was feeling some anxiety about starting a new job again and knowing I am back at square one, the rookie zone. I also felt sad. Believe me, this surprises no one more than myself. I've realized these past few weeks just how much I've come to rely on the other nurses on the floor. When a crisis hits I need to trust my colleagues judgement and actions. Even in the mundane tasks, when I am unsure what the best course of action may be, I needed to know that I could trust my coworker's opinions and advice. In learning to trust, I have learned a great deal about these nurses and have developed relationships with them. And so explains the sadness. 

As I said my goodbyes this week, probably the biggest emotion I felt was gratefulness. Hospital nursing is a tough occupation, it was not something I could sustain long-term as I quickly discovered. However, I can't imagine learning as much as I have anywhere else. All throughout school, my instructors recommended starting on a MedSurg floor and the past six months I've been very frustrated at them for this suggestion. However, the premise of the advice was that the experience is invaluable. And that advice is absolutely 100% true. My new employer was convinced that six months on my type of MedSurg floor well prepared me to enter this new job. A job I believed I had no chance of getting. But that's it, six months is all it took. Looking back, six months is a small price to pay for an opportunity such as this. I am grateful for the experience and the new opportunities it has opened. I must also say that I am grateful to my coworkers and especially my supervisors for all of their patience, advice, and teaching. It takes very special individuals to work long-term in the hospital and to still have patience and the know-how to teach, demonstrate and encourage new nurses entering the field. For each of those people, I am forever grateful.

I also want to publicly praise my husband for putting up with me these past few months. Amidst the tears and frustrations, he was a rock, he was my rock. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to hear that whatever I needed to do--quit, stay, go back to waitressing--whatever I needed, he supported and we would make it work. What an incredible blessing this man is to me. He pushes me to exceed my perceived limitations, encourages me when I have nothing left, celebrates my every little accomplishment, listens when words just won't do, and believes that I can do anything. Thank you, Jake. 

And thank you, my friends and family for your continued support. For listening to my stories and for sending me your encouraging words. You have not gone unnoticed. Your words continued to come at just the right moments and for you I am incredibly grateful.

And now, as I sit in my sunroom looking outside at the gorgeous weather and reflecting on this past week, I find I am once more full of hope. I am proud of my achievements these past six months, but I am also excited to close that chapter and eager to discover what lies ahead. 

From Austin, With Love