Exploring and Expanding My Life
Several years ago I took a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) prep course. Most graduate schools required you to take a GRE exam and receive a score acceptable to their institution. I was exploring becoming a Nurse Practitioner and specializing in Oncology. There were several things happening in my life at that time. I was in school working on completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, my daughter was going to back school to get her degree to become a registered nurse, and our oldest son had returned from his time in Iraq. I felt life was too overwhelming to continue with school.
That GRE prep course was difficult. I had always prided myself in being a great math student. I have been out of school so many years that the math prep section was challenging to say the least. One other very important piece of information. I was incredibly burned out in nursing. Ultimately, I left my Monday through Friday oncology management position, started a weekend nights position as a staff nurse on an oncology unit, began watching my young grandson so my daughter could finish nursing school, realized my son back from Iraq was suffering complications from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, and was on a path to figure out how to leave nursing far far behind…
Times of Uncertainty
The next several years were filled with uncertainty and depression. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I probably never did know who I was. I was grasping to have peace in my life. I had hit a real emotional crisis.The space between where I was and where I wanted to be was a deep gaping hole and I didn’t know how to bridge the gap. I found some answers becoming a wellness coach and enjoyed learning more about alternative health.I had thoughts if I poured enough of my time and attention toward learning alternative health, I could leave nursing.
Over the next few years I studied herbalism, aromatherapy, wellness, and even ran a successful essential oils business. The ups and downs became more downs related to my son’s emotional health. I took on the need to “save” him from himself. I found it difficult to complete programs I’d started. Much of my time was spent worried that I was going to lose him to suicide. So many military were taking their lives and I just could not get peace in my own life. I didn’t know how to find real peace. I wasn’t finding complete comfort through my faith. Even though I was a wellness coach, it was difficult to release my deep fears and allow peace to fill my soul. I continued to fall deeper into this dark abyss. I wanted out of nursing, yet I felt I needed to have it “all together” before I could be effective in business so I could leave nursing.
A Mom’s Worst Nightmare Realized
Most of you know my story. We lost our oldest son to suicide, as a result of his military PTSD and TBI. I still stand by my belief that he was on so many mind altering drugs prescribed by the VA. All the medications he was on had suicide ideation as a side effect. When the drugs were at their peak at around 3:00 AM on 1/17/2017, there was no way he could have had full knowledge and understanding of the implications of pulling that trigger. He always did stuff in the middle of the night when he was staying with us. He never had any recollection of the things he had done in the middle of the night. Losing a child is something you never get over but I’m now learning how to live through it.
Finding My Way Back To Life
I was paralyzed in my life for over two years. I began receiving life coaching through a wonderful organization called One to One Women Coaching. This was life changing for me. At the end of our time together, I still had many areas left unfinished, however. I’m continuing to work in those areas including de-cluttering my home and organizing.I’m working with Michele Stoltz, Certified Life Coach, to help me with these organizational things. I sold my essential oils business in 2019. This was a major shift for me and so much pressure off me. My main concerning was still to have a big break in business so I could get out of nursing. Even after all these years I still wanted out of nursing. I had planned to retire by the end of 2020. We planned to sell our home to move into a smaller place and get rid of our mortgage. We still plan to sell our home on our minimizing journey, but that’s another story.
I still was looking for something. I didn’t know what but I was still unsettled. The books I wanted to write had not come to fruition yet. They will though. This is still a dream and it’s coming. In November of 2019, I decided to do a 30 day social media fast. I was SO tired of all the drama on twitter and Facebook. Too much of my time was being wasted in these media outlets. I had no idea what I was trying to accomplish, only I knew I was looking for some answers to questions I didn’t know how to ask. I used this time away to read and enjoy my real life.
Time for a Break
Sometime during this social media fast, I had a discussion with the oncologist I work with. I was talking about my one time dream of becoming a nurse practitioner and working in oncology. He said I should do it now. I laughed. Are you kidding me? Did he realize I was 61 years old? He told me age is nothing, and that I would be very good as a nurse practitioner and I should go for it. Hum…I thought about it for a few weeks and put the dream aside. Somehow, this topic of conversation came up with my husband. He agreed and encouraged me to do it… Something shifted in me mentally and emotionally for the good. SO… I’m doing it! It made me feel alive inside when I decided this.
Age is Nothing
I’ve taken the first step. Taking the few months to finish my Bachelor of Nursing. I had already started this, and I will finish it in January of 2021. I’ve already been accepted into an Adult Nurse Practitioner program once I finish my BSN. And just like that…a shift in my life. This shift has put in the best place I have been emotionally for a very long time. I no longer feel the need to leave nursing. I look ahead with anticipation and excitement as this journey is unfolding. Best part… I didn’t have to take the GRE. Ha!
There has been a confidence shift. I’m back in school at age 61 and I couldn’t feel more alive! I know our son is cheering me on! I’ve only had one negative naysayer about my decision and they are the one with the issue, not me. My 88 year old mother is supportive and thinks it’s great that I’m back in school. My husband and family is supportive. My work peers are supportive. My oncologist doctor is right. Age is nothing.
Convergence & Resurgence
So my thoughts to you as being a wellness coach…this is the most authentic I’ve felt in my entire life. I’m truly living a life. I’ve stepped out in a huge way and feel such peace. I just finished my Healing Touch Practitioner level one. My plan is to be an Adult Nurse Practitioner and blend my experience of oncology and integrative medicine. This feels right. It’s a crossroad of convergence. And for 2020 my word was Resurgence.
So now… If YOU could do and be anyone you desire…what would that look like and what can you choose to do to begin? I’d love to hear your story!
~ Authentically Joycelynn