A few weeks ago Deuce put up a doohickey that records how many people read this blog. Turns out, it's just him and me. Personally, I'm ok with that, but I could tell he was a little frustrated over it. I think that maybe he's been discouraged or not inspired to post because of it and that got me thinking. We were hesitant to put up a blog- I didn't and still don't want it to become a place that screams "Look at me! Look at me! I'm so special!"- and so we've tried to keep posts pretty open. It's hard for it to be anything, but an online diary, and that's what I've been trying to resist. If I'm going to write about something that's gone on in my life I want it to have some sort of meaning or purpose because if someone doesn't know me why would they give a shit if I finished up a tough semester? So, what do I have to offer that will get people interested in reading this page?
I'm 24, earning a Masters degree in international public health, I work full time, I'm from upstate New York, I love my family and friends dearly, and I am constantly looking ahead at what's coming up next. Oh, and recently for graduation, Deuce and his family gave me a NIKON! camera and I'm pumped to start taking and posting photos. What do I know about? I know I have gone through a lot of transitions and I'm at a point in my life (again) where I'm wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do next. Maybe most people go through this after undergrad. I avoided it and went straight on to grad school. Now, as I finish up one degree I'm working on applying for another. I have to ask myself whether or not I'm doing this because I want to earn a second Masters degree, or if I'm just avoiding reality for a little bit longer. Am I scared shitless to go out into the real world? If I answer myself honestly, I know that I could get a job. I just don't know if it would be the job I have always wanted.
Since I was little I have been interested in why some people live on the streets and others live in mansions; why some people are always sick; why people are stressed; why people speak different languages; why people argue; how people live; how people view the world; how people make the world beautiful and make it rust; and what I could do to incorporate all of that and make it all better. That pushed me into studying political science, anthropology, several languages (none of any use) and then international public health. I think the reality of all of this continuing education is that I still don't feel like I have any tangible skills. Let it be known, I'm only speaking for myself. If I think about it I can tell you what I can do and how that could manifest into a real job, but the truth is, I still don't feel like I own a skill. That's one reason why I'm continuing on with becoming a nurse practitioner. Clearly, there are several other reasons why I am going into the medical field, but that's one that I hope will be resolved after this clinical degree.
I also have to admit that oddly enough, a lot of the skills that I do have have come from the jobs that I've held (and not the education I have received, although that's what I continue to pursue). I've been working for over ten years. I was a candy store clerk, a lifeguard, a babysitter, an au pair, an admin. assistant at my undergrad and a I'm currently financial coordinator. I have learned a lot by having these jobs; like, jello is a great way to entertain kids; CPR; the difference between penuche fudge and vanilla; how to tell what is inside of a chocolate without biting into it; and how to balance and create a functional budget. I guess at this point I'm in the same shoes as many other 24 year olds. I don't know what is next, and I'm not sure how to decide.
I'm incredibly grateful for what I have, what I have learned, who I have met, and will never take that for granted. I know I'm one lucky cowgirl for being in the position I am in, where I can make my own decisions and my own path. But, I have to admit, sometimes it's exhausting. I know that sounds like a celebrity that's bitching about being photographed all the time, but what I mean by it is that with all of these options, sometimes it is overwhelming and I'm stuck between making (and again, I know) very privileged choices between whether I should just get married, settle down, find a decent job that pays for my life, squeeze out a few pups and spend my evenings at PTO meetings, soccer games, and chorus concerts. That could be nice. Living in the country, being close to family, cooking a lot, overcoming my fear of snakes and planting a giant garden...OR do I want to continue with school, become a family NP, work in Boston for some time, go abroad routinely to help out others, start my own clinic in a more rural place, marry, have kids, settle and be fucking Dr. Quinn? House wife or career woman? Or neither?
I guess the bottom line is that my struggles with transition and conflicting desires are what I have to write about. I think people can relate to that. If not, then we won't have any more readers, but if so, then at least I know that others out there are going through the same thing, and perhaps this can be a place where we share our stories of transition, moving forward, looking back, keeping it real, happy and honest. I also hope Deuce writes something soon or else it's going to look like this was my idea. ;)