This is not what I thought 28 would look like. I have worked as a nurse at 8 different hospitals in six different states, I have finished my Master’s in Nursing, and have been able to internationally travel to Peru, Malaysia, and Colombia. I am proud of these things. I feel very grateful that this is what my 20’s has looked like so far.
Obviously age is not something that should matter much but there is a lot of pressure placed on timelines. As my 10 year High School reunion approaches this year it inevitably comes with some reflection and evaluation. It is amazing to look at even the small group of people I graduated with and see the diversity in our journeys. Clearly no one path is better than the next. Some paths may have seemed easier and some may have more moments of pain and hardship, but all have moments of beauty and moments of challenge. Not that I can speak to anyone’s story but my own.
It is easy to sit back and think that I wish certain things would have happened by this point in my life or complain about times that have been difficult, but sitting in those thoughts of comparison, jealously, frustration, and bitterness do not lead to good. Of course, there are genuine moments of pain and sadness and anger that sometimes only get better by sitting through the discomfort. Sometimes there are painful things or hurt that has been caused that will always linger in some way. Some people have hardships that I can not imagine getting through. Some moments in life leave me not wanting to get out of bed, and some moments feel like a dark tunnel that has no end. Some painful moments have no easy way out, sometimes it takes sitting in discomfort and knowing that even if the painful parts don’t go away, there will still be joy filled moments to look forward to. I try to take inventory of all the things that I love about my life and journey so far as opposed to being frustrated and complaining about the things I wish were different. This is what motivates me and drives decisions. Its not focusing on the things to be fixed or that I am missing, but how to I inspire more of what already is beautiful. The rest tends to follow.
When it comes to my next step I am at a crossroads. I am uncertain what comes after my assignment in Oregon, and it can be overwhelming when I try to narrow down my options (I am extremely grateful to have so many options). I think it comes down to three things: Does it bring me joy? Is there a need? Are my strengths utilized? I think that if those three answers are yes, it is something worth pursuing.
So, at 28 (almost) I have more clarity in some areas and more confusion in others. I have direction in some things and no idea in others. I know more of what I don’t want to be and more of which areas require growth in my life. I mess up often and will continue to. But I am hopeful. I am hopeful and looking forward to what comes next, knowing that there will be painful things and joyful things, there will be hurt and there will be healing, there will be growth and there will be mistakes.
Some pictures below of my assignment in Nevada and my current assignment in Oregon: