What do you want to be when you grow up is something we often hear as children but not as adults. In my opinion we never stop growing up so it is never too late to do what you want to do in life. With people living longer these days and the medical advancements we are blessed to have access to , we don’t ever have to settle for anything in our lives. Keeping a little bit of childhood with us throughout our lives can stave off illness, create a more quality life and make us happier people!
When I was young I just knew I wanted to be a nurse. That was my dream from as far back as I can remember but after high school I got married and had kids and no longer had the time or the money to pursue that dream so it got put on the back burner and believe me it kept simmering in the back of my mind for years. Many years later while working at one of the big three auto companies I was offered a “buy out” which is a lump sum of money to terminate my employment. After much consideration I decided to go for it and get myself back into school after twenty years away. I enrolled in a community college and started getting my prerequisite classes out of the way so I could enroll in the nursing program. I have to tell you I was more than a little bit scared and nervous and I just knew that I would be the oldest person in any of my classes. I wasn’t sure I had what it took to study and pass all of those classes since it had been so long since I had put any of those skills to use.
I worried for nothing because older people like me made up more than half of any class I took and was amazed to see those in their sixties going back to school and I thought to myself ” I got this” . I aced all of those classes that I needed and maintained a 3.8 GPA. I was so proud of myself. Next came taking the nursing program entrance exam(HESI) and the nerves took over once again. I sat in a room with 30 other people at a computer screen with sweat rolling down my back because I just knew there was no way I would get a good enough score to make my dream come true. A few weeks later the little yellow envelope showed up in my mailbox and I was too nervous to open it. I waited several hours until my hubby got home so he could open it for me. When I saw him smile I knew I was ok! I scored 98%. Nursing school here I come or so I thought. Come to find out, everyone in the state of Michigan had the same idea I had and wanted a new career since the economy was so terrible. Even scoring a 98% did not get me into the program right away. I ended up number 889 on a waiting list to get in and since they only take 50 people per year for the program I had a long wait ahead of me. 889 people scored better than 98%.
Now I had decisions to make. What do I do now? After a lot of thought I decided to enroll in a different program but still in the medical field and I could be working and gaining experience until I could take a spot in the nursing program. I chose phlebotomy, which is a fancy word for the person that draws your blood, you know the one everyone refers to as vampire. I really enjoyed the program and found that I was really good at it. I got a job after completing the program at a local hospital working in-house. I constantly got compliments from other staff and especially patients that I did it so well that they didn’t feel a thing and if you have ever had blood drawn you know just how important this is. But what I found out for myself is that although I loved helping the patients I really hated the job. It was extremely hard on my body and having sciatica and fibromyalgia it was so painful that most days by the time I got home I had to take something for the pain. I found that my co-workers did not seem to care as much about the patients as I did and that frustrated me because I thought of each one as a family member that I would want treated with dignity and care. I learned that employees in a hospital are treated very badly by superiors and they expect quantity over quality and that is just not me. I learned that patients in a hospital are sick and in pain and some of them treat the staff very badly too. After a lot of soul-searching I realized that my dream of being a nurse was not going to be realized but this field was just not for me. I saw how the nurses were treated and the amount of work they do and it all became very real for me. So now I was 40 years old and still not doing what was going to make me happy. So now I start my search again.
I think we all deserve to work in a field that we love and then going to work will not feel like a chore. I believe that we are never too old to start again. Life is too short to be stuck in a rut or to hate our jobs or to not do something we want to do because others tell us were too old to dream. We get one life to live and it is my firm belief that we are supposed to make the most of it. Whether it’s or jobs or a certain place we long to see or a hobby we have always wanted to take up, don’t stop believing that you CAN do it. I know that most of us have little energy left at the end of the day, after jobs and kids and after school activities but it’s never going to just happen unless we make it happen.
Is there a place you have always wanted to go to? Make it happen. Put aside a little money each month that you vow to not touch or start a separate bank account and have the money taken right out of your check so that you don’t have the option of spending it. Sell some unwanted items on Ebay and make a little extra cash to put toward it. Save your change in a jar or take back bottle returns and ask for it in change to add to your jar. If you really want to make something happen, you will find a way!
Is there a hobby you have always wanted to take up? For me it has always been a love of making old things new again. I decided that I wanted to re-purpose old things into something beautiful and useful and after months of talking about it I decided to do something about it. I started looking for items I wanted to transform. I went to estate sales, yard sales and thrift stores and even found a few pieces in other people’s trash. I started buying the supplies I needed and now I had no excuses to stop me. I have a basement full of projects just waiting to be pretty again. Now I can decorate my home with them or sell some for extra cash.
The sky is the limit and the only stopping you is YOU! Find what you love and go after it with full force. Make your dreams a reality. I have found that the best way to teach your children that they can do anything is for them to see their parents achieving their own goals. Lead by example and you never know where you will end up. That hobby you finally decide to make time for could end up being your future profession. Just because we are “grown up” doesn’t have to mean we are done growing~